History of Coal Mining in Nova Scotia
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Louis Frost
No. 3 Mine
No. 2 Mine
No. 5 Mine

The Louis Frost Notes 1685 to 1962


Acadia No. 3 Mine (Abandoned)

This colliery was situated at Thorburn, to work the six foot seam, which was reached by a slope started in the year 1884, by the Vale Iron and Manufacturing Company. In 1886 this Company amalgamated with two other companies to form the Acadia Coal Company, Limited.

Work was continued until 1914, when the mine was abandoned as it was the policy of the Company to concentrate all their output from the Stellarton district. The mine was allowed to fill with water, but in 1918 owing to the steady demand for coal, the mine was dewatered to No. 3 Level and coal getting was resumed. Since that time the old slope was dewatered and development continued across the basin until the coal became too low to work and the colliery closed in August, 1938.

All the available coal has been extracted with the exception of a small area in the northern section of this field where the coal is of inferior quality. It is estimated that 350,000 tons of coal remains in this section and may be recovered.

The pitch of the seam near the surface is 23 degrees but this gradually decreases until at a distance of 2400 feet the slope reached the bottom of the basin.

The seam was irregular in thickness, varying in height from 8 feet to 3 feet 6 inches. The seam was clean without any parting but in places bands of strong coal were found next to the roof. The coal is bituminous and of firm texture and made an excellent grade of coal for steam purposes. The roof consists of strong shale and the pavement of shaly sandstone. The average depth of the lower workings was 788 feet.

The method of mining was originally room and pillar but following 1925 longwall was the principal method of work, with compressed air driven coal cutters and conveyors, or flat sheets in the steeper workings.

The mine cars were of 0.6 tons capacity and were lowered to the main haulage ways by self acting inclines and from there are taken by main and tail haulages to the slope landings. The main and tail haulages were electrically driven and located in intake air next to the main slope. Other haulages in the workings were actuated by compressed air. The cars were hoisted to the surface in trips of 7 cars.

The make of water was 385 gallons per minute and pumped to the surface by electrically driven pumps located in fresh air next to the main slope.

The mine was practically free from gas and was ventilated by a 28-ft diameter Walker Fan, electrically driven, producing 41,000 cubic feet of air per minute against a water gauge of 2 inches. Spontaneous combustion of the coal was unknown in this mine. The underground temperature averaged 53 degrees Fahrenheit.


The Bankhead was a simple wooden structure in which the scales, screens and tipple were housed. Only Run-of-Mine coal and crushed coal was made.

The hoist and two compressors were steam operated, the steam being generated by four sterling boilers at 100 lbs. pressure. The rest of the machinery, including a third compressor, was electrically driven, the power being supplied from the Company's central power station at the Allan shaft. The air compressors for supplying motive power underground had a total rated capacity of 3,000 cu. ft. of air per minute.

The average daily output of this mine was 450 tons per day, and during its life the colliery produced 3,549,725 long tons of coal.

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Last Modified: 98-03-21

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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