I'm not the appropriate person to answer that
, I don't use Atari/Mint (not even a real Atari these times). But I know Linux.
mke2fs and mkfs.ext2 should be exactly the same program with two names.
The "usage" display looks broken, it should say:
Use it without option, the default should be ok (connect as root
Where "device" is the device name of your partition. You'll have to find its name.
If the tool you used to create that partition displayed something like "/dev/hd<letter><number>" or "/dev/sd<letter><number>" as its name, you've found it. Otherwise, you can take a look at the '/etc/fstab' text file (if you have it) on the line which describes the root (ie mounted on "/") partition of your MiNT kernel. Your new partition will have the same name prefix with another number.
When you have formatted it, you'll have to "mount" it to use it, i.e you must associate a directory (I'll use "/home/p2") to the device:
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mount -t ext2 -o rw /dev/hd<letter><number> /home/p2
Find a better directory name than /home/p2.
If you want your partition to be automatically mounted at boot time (otherwise you'll have to type the mount command as root everytime you boot), add a line in the '/etc/fstab' file: copy the line that describes the root partition (ie "/"), change the device number to the one of your new partition, the mount point to the directory you created and maybe the options to "rw" (read/write)
This is what the new '/etc/fstab' line would look like on Linux
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# <device> <mount point> <type> <options> <dump> <pass>
/dev/hda8 /home/p2 ext2 rw 0 2
"dump" and "pass" are for the Linux kernel. MiNT may not have them, that's why you should copy the line describing "/" as mount point, change "device", "mount point" and "options" and keep the rest.