History of Coal Mining in Nova Scotia
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Louis Frost
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The Louis Frost Notes 1685 to 1962

Dominion No. 6 Colliery

Phalen Seam

Dominion No. 6 Colliery was opened in the Donkin district near the Town of Glace Bay, in 1904.

Entry was made by means of two pair of slopes in the Phalen Seam. One of these, driven in a north easterly direction, was later abandoned because of the high sulphur content of the coal.

The seam is of good coking quality and 6'6" thick in this location, but high in ash and sulphur, and the sulphur content of the seam tends to increase in an easterly direction.

In 1924 two parallel cross measures tunnels were driven to tap the overlying Harbour Seam, the coal of which is of better quality. Channel samples averaged 3.79 sulphur and 6.34 ash.

The physical conditions of the Phalen Seam in this area were quite good, although immediately over the seam there is a weak till one foot thick, which disintegrates when exposed to air. Above this the roof is formed of hard shale bands. The floor of the Phalen Seam in this area is made up of a hard shale, although in a westerly direction and seaward the pavement softens.

The mine in its life was gassy and was ventilated by a Walker fan delivering 64,000 cubic feet of air against a water gauge of 1.3 inches.

The method of work was pillar and room, with the coal being undercut by Ingersoll-Rand Radial Coal Cutters, bored with compressed air driven drills.

The mine cars had a capacity of 1.71 tons and were gathered from the working rooms by horses and air driven engines to the main haulage, which was of the Drop-Hoist type with a maximum haul of 8,000 feet. This haulage was steam driven and hauled trips of 22 cars.

The motive power underground was compressed air, which was delivered to the working sections through a 10" main 7,800 feet long.

The water made at this colliery was 240 G.P.M. and was very acidulous. The main discharge was through a borehole to the surface located below No. 5 East, and pumped by four air driven plunger pumps.

Prior to closure, the workings had advanced a distance of 6,000 feet under the ocean, and had reached a vertical depth of 1,146 feet. The average dip of the seam in this area is 13.6 percent.

Surface Plant

The bankhead consisted of a wooden frame structure with a floor space of 9,130 square feet. The screens were of the fixed bar and shaking perforated plate type, with which it was possible to make slack, nut, lump, screened and run-of-mine. The screens had a capacity of 325 tons per hour, with perforation in the plates of 3/4", 2" and 3" in diameter.

The surface equipment was steam driven, the steam being supplied by six B. & W. hand fired boilers with a total rating of 1710 boiler horsepower.

The total output mined until closure amounted to 4,288,311 long tons, with a daily output of 1241 tons. The area worked over amounts to 1,792 acres, of which 1,306 acres was submarine. In this colliery the percentage of extraction was forty-two percent of the seam in situ.

Work at this colliery was stopped as a result of the 1925 strike, although pumping was continued during a portion of the strike period until the pumpmen were withdrawn on the orders of the U.M.W. of A..

Following the strike, it was decided to close the mine permanently because of the difficulty of marketing this coal in its main outlets, the St. Lawrence market and the C.N.R. who refused to purchase No. 6 coal because of the high sulphur content, which had reached an average of 5.43 for the whole mine. At this period the west side workings had nearly reached depletion, and the effective life of the colliery lay on the east side, where the sulphur content was 6 percent.

As a result, notice of abandonment was given the Deputy Minister on July 28th, 1926, but the Mines Department compelled the company to keep the mine opened and pumped until the mine was finally closed on October 27th, 1933, after proving the thickness of the barriers between No. 4 and No. 6 Collieries. The coal in advance of the No. 6 Colliery workings has since been extracted by the workings in Dominion No. 4 Colliery.

Prior to the opening of Dominion No. 6 Colliery, a mine known as the "Clyde Mine" worked a small section of the outcrop of the Phalen Seam adjacent to and west of the area later worked by No. 6 Colliery. This mine was opened in 1863 and closed in 1890, and never worked by the Dominion Coal Company.

After the development of No. 6 Colliery, the workings were connected to those of the Clyde Mine and the areas formerly tributary to the Clyde were worked through No. 6 Colliery.

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Last Modified: 98-01-05

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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