History of Coal Mining in Nova Scotia
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Louis Frost

The Louis Frost Notes 1685 to 1962


ALBION MINE (Abandoned)
Albion Slope

This colliery was located in Stellarton and closed in 1955 due to a fire during the recovery of the slope pillars in the Third Seam. Most of the coal in this colliery was recovered prior to the above noted fire.

The seams worked were the Foord, Cage and Third Seams, which were reached by a slope 4800 feet long, at an average gradient of 23 degrees, driven in the Third Seam to the foot of the basin. Cross measure tunnels connected the Third Seam with the other two.

The slope was sunk in 1880 and closed in 1888 following an explosion. The colliery was reopened in 1889. In 1917 a fire broke out and the mine was closed for five months.

The Foord Seam in this district varied in thickness up to 35 feet but westerly the seam was split by numerous bands of inferior coal. The Cage Seam is located approximately 90 feet below the Foord. This seam at the foot of the slope attained a thickness of 24 feet but westerly it diminished in quality and thickness. When the workings were discontinued the Cage Seam had been reduced to 6 feet of clean but slightly inferior coal.

The Third Seam was 18 feet thick at the foot of the slope. but deteriorated in thickness and quality to the west. The strata separating the Cage and Third Seams also diminished toward the west varying from 107 feet to 53 feet.

The output from the three seams was mixed and made an excellent fuel.

The inclination of the seams on the same side of the basin as the slope varied from 23 to 35 degrees and the measures were fairly regular. On the opposite side of the basin, the measures are severely faulted and disturbed, with inclinations ranging up to 80 degrees. Recovery of the coal in this disturbed area proved too costly and had to be abandoned.

The coal was mined on a panel system mostly by room and pillar, but also in later years by the advancing method of longwall. Longwall mining was started in 1931 and was continued to 1946 in the Third Seam and to 1950 in the Cage Seam.

To minimize the danger from spontaneous combustion, the panel sections are protected by fire stoppings which were closed as soon as the section was exhausted. The maintenance of this stopping added considerably to the cost of production.

The coal in the room and pillar sections was cut and bored with Radial Coal Cutters and Jackhammers, and the longwalls with Longwall coal cutters. All these were operated by compressed air. Where the coal was softer, hand picks were used.

Mining was carried on to a maximum depth of 1624 feet, the average cover being 1440 feet. Ground movement in this mine was quite severe and, due to the weak nature of the roof and pavements of the seams worked, the timbering required frequent renewal and was a costly item in the total operating cost.

The mine cars were of 1-ton capacity and were transported to the working faces both by mechanical and horse haulage. Trips of 15 cars were hoisted to the surface on the main slope.

All the water in this mine was drained by boreholes to the MacGregor Seam, where the main pumping stations were located.

The workings were gassy and an average of 73,000 cubic feet of air per minute was passed through the mine at a water gauge of 6.4 inches.

The temperature of the mine is even; the average was 64 degrees wet bulb and 66 degrees dry bulb.


The bankhead was a steel structure complete with weigh scales, tipple screens and picking tables.

This coal in common with the rest of the coal produced from the collieries of the Acadia Coal Company in Pictou County, was passed through the Central Wash Plant after this plant was put into operation in July, 1947. This plant has a capacity of 150 tons per hour through three Vissac wash boxes. The plant makes Run-of-Mine, Egg, Nut, Stoker Pea and Fines.

The average daily output before the mine closed in July 1955 was 553 tons per day. Prior to this, the output ranged between 800 and 900 tons per day.

Due to a common bankhead being used for this colliery and the MacGregor Colliery, it is not possible to separate the output for each mine for the whole period of their operation. However, the total coal produced during the life of both collieries, which were opened in 1880, amounted to 11,579,076 long tons, each colliery producing approximately half the output.

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Last Modified: 98-03-15

Authored by: Louis Frost

The information contained on this site is not provided for the purpose of factual
representation. Instead, it is provided in an historical context. Every effort has
been made to ensure that this information represents the actual content of the
original document authored by Louis Frost for the Dominion Coal Company
on or around 1962. Nevertheless, no warranties are provided in any respect.

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