History of Coal Mining in Nova Scotia
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Louis Frost
No. 26
No. 2

The Louis Frost Notes 1685 to 1962


Princess Colliery

Princess Colliery was originally a shaft mine, sunk in 1876 to the Sydney Main Seam. This corresponds with the Harbour Seam in the Glace Bay area and the Victoria Seam in the New Waterford district. The coal shaft, now discontinued as a hoisting shaft, is 684 feet deep and 13 ft. in diameter. The man shaft, which is still serving as a return air shaft, is 11 ft. in diameter. Sinking of the shafts was commenced in 1868, but due to water difficulties the seam was not reached until 1876. Both shafts are tubbed, the larger for 277 feet and the man shaft for 602 feet.

In 1955 the underground workings at the pit bottom were connected to the surface by an inclined cross-measure tunnel pitching at 201/4 per cent (l0 deg 26'50".) to the horizontal and 3,445 feet long.

The tunnel was developed to hoist coal as well as men and material. It is semicircular 18 feet in diameter, with a 4 ft. leg, concrete lined throughout and equipped with a 42" wide cable belt, (the first of its kind on the continent), to convey the coal from an electrically operated tipple in the shaft bottom to a coal washing plant located on the surface with a cleaning capacity of 350 tons per hour. The belt, which is 3800 feet long, has a capacity of 750 tons per hour and a belt speed of 400 feet per minute. The belt drive, powered by a 550 H.P., AC. 6600 volt motor, is located on the surface

The coal hoisting tunnel serves as an intake. The present return is through the man shaft. This is being replaced by new airway driven from the surface at New Victoria, in the Barachois Seam and connected to the Sydney Main Seam by an inclined tunnel 635 feet long pitching at 45 degrees to the horizontal. The drivage in the barachois seam was 3,291 feet and pitched an average of 29 per cent.

These airways have been completed and were put into service early in 1962, and are the main returns for the colliery. The fan is located at New Victoria. This development has eliminated nearly 41/2 miles of existing airways in Princess Colliery.

The seam averages 5'6" in thickness; the coal is clean and free from dirt bands. It is suitable for metallurgical purposes, being fairly low in sulphur and ash. The roof varies from a sandstone to a comparatively soft shale. The floor is a shaly clay and relatively soft. The seam dips at 7 per cent.

The workings are entirely submarine, the shaft being located near the shore. The main roadways in the colliery are vary long and at present the active workings are located over 4 miles from the shaft bottom.

The method of working is longwall advancing and on the south side, the longwalls are completely mechanized, with DOSCO Continuous Miners cutting and loading the coal onto chain conveyors, and are supported with steel props of the friction type.

On the North side of the mine local physical conditions have delayed complete mechanization and the coal is undercut by compressed air driven coal cutting machines and bored with Ingersoll-Rand Jackhammers. The faces are at present supported on hardwood chocks.

This was the first colliery to mine undersea coal to any considerable extent in the Sydney coal field, and was a pioneer in extracting the total seam under the sea, this being done from the 800 ft. cover line onwards.

The main deep from the shaft bottom is 19,150 feet long and is serviced by two endless rope haulages in tandem, the upper haulage being 9,500 feet long and the lower 8,000 feet.

The mine cars are of 1.65 and 3 ton capacity. The 3-ton cars are of aluminum construction.

The level haulages are electrically driven, of the endless rope type or are Diesel operated with 15-ton, 100 H.P. Diesel Locomotives. At present 8 locomotives are in operation.

A separate roadway is maintained as a travelling way for riding the men part of the way to work.

The make of water, which is only slightly acidulous, is approximately 135 G.P.M., of which only 20 gallons per minute is made in the operating sections of the colliery, the remainder coming from old workings to the rise. This water is pumped to a water level 40 feet below the shaft collar by two electrically driven turbine pumps. Each pump has a capacity of 400 G.P.M.

At present the mine is ventilated by a Sirocco fan, delivering 83,000 C.F.M. against a water gauge of 12.5 inches.

Surface Plant

The surface plant is completely electrified. A 350 H.P. electrically driven hoist is used for hoisting men and material from the mine, and three electrically driven compressors with a rated capacity of 10,200 c.f.m. to supply compressed air to the colliery.

A "Leonard" Boiler having a rated capacity of 125 boiler horsepower is used for plant heating purposes.

During its life this colliery has produced a total of 22,351,058 long tons of coal and worked over an area of 6,528 acres.

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Last Modified: 98-01-06

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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