History of Coal Mining in Nova Scotia
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Louis Frost
No. 2 Mine
No. 1 Mine
No. 3 Mine

The Louis Frost Notes 1685 to 1962



This mine was opened in 1873 by a slope from the outcrop of No. 2 Seam and was, prior to its closure in October 1958, the most extensively worked colliery in the district, having produced coal steadily since its opening.

During its operating life, the seam maintained its thickness of 9'O" of clean coal without partings of any kind, the roof and floor consisting of very strong arenaceous shales. Near the surface the pitch was 30 degrees, but gradually flattened. At a distance of 7,200 feet from the slope mouth, the inclination was reduced to 17 degrees and eventually to 11 degrees on the auxiliary deep, 11,000 ft. from the surface. The workings had reached a distance of 14,600 feet from the surface prior to the closure of the colliery. At this point the vertical distance to the surface was 4,347 feet. This can he considered a record in depth at which coal mining has been undertaken.

The workings to the South extend a distance of 4,000 ft at which point the seam near the surface is split by numerous stone partings.

In the early days of mining this seam, the workings extended North approximately 10,500 feet. Where signs of deterioration set in and the coal became steep in later years, the north levels were restricted to a distance of 5,500 feet from the slope. Beyond this distance, the coal deteriorates and is cut by a number of minor faults.

In 1887 a second slope known as the Aberdeen Slope, was sunk on the seam about 1.25 miles North of No. 2 Slope. This slope was used mainly for ventilation purposes. In 1912 a fire broke out in this slope, necessitating the sealing of it from No. 2 Slope, together with a large area of No. 2 Seam which had been developed and gave access to this area. This section, as well as the rest of No. 2 Mine, is now sealed.

Until 1925 the method of work was room and pillar, but due to the increasing thickness of cover and frequency of heavy "Bumps" a change of method of recovering the coal was made and Longwall Retreating was adopted. This system was worked successfully until the bump in October 1958 caused the closure of the colliery.

On the South side of the mine an inbreak of water from the overlying flooded area in No. 3 Seam, and the liability of this area to bumps, caused the abandonment of this side of the mine, although No. 3 Seam workings were dewatered and No. 1 Seam worked. The thickness of sandstone overlying this area was in excess of 60 feet.

No. 2 Mine was slightly gassy and compressed air was used throughout the working sections. The main pumping units and the auxiliary hoist were electrically operated and supplied with intake air.

Due to the great depth of working, undercutting was not necessary and the coal was worked entirely with hand picks and compressed air driven chipper picks.

A motor driven Capell Fan ventilated the mine. The fan produced an average of 100,000 c.f.m. at a water gauge of 9.3 inches.

Edison electric cap lamps and Koehler safety lamps were used by the miners and officials. The workings were remarkable for their low temperatures, considering the depth of mining. The wet and dry bulb temperatures averaged 65 and 66 degrees Fahrenheit respectively.

The mine made 415,000 gallons of water per 24 hours.

The average output from this mine was approximately 1800 tons per day, including the output from No. 1 Seam.


The surface equipment served No. 2 and No. 4 Slopes, the hoists being steam driven and the bankhead servicing was common to both collieries. A common wash plant having a capacity of 100 tons per hour for nut coal served both collieries.

Exhaust steam from the hoisting engines was used in a 900 cu. ft. per minute Rotan Exhaust Steam turbine air compressor. Three reciprocating compressors of the Ingersol-Rand type were used as standby units.

Electrification of the surface hoists and compressors was partially completed when the colliery closed.

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Last Modified: 98-02-17

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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