History of Coal Mining in Nova Scotia
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Louis Frost
No. 4 Mine
No. 3 Mine
No. 6 Mine

The Louis Frost Notes 1685 to 1962


Nos. 6 and 7 Seams

This mine worked No. 6 and No. 7 Seams with the main haulage located in No. 7 Seam, cross measure tunnels being driven at intervals from the main slope in No. 7 Seam to win the overlying No. 6 Seam.

Prior to 1928 No. 6 and No. 7 Seams were worked as separate collieries, but in both mines the main slopes had run into ground too steep for ordinary haulage and, as the steep ground was known to continue for some distance before flattening out, it was decided to restrict the workings in No. 6 and No.7 Mines to the area above the steep.

A new slope was driven in No. 4 Seam from a location on the surface close enough to No. 2 Slope to allow one bankhead to serve both mines.

This slope was driven at a gradient of 30 degrees and followed No. 4 seam, a seam of inferior coal, for a distance of 3300 feet, at which point two cross measure tunnels for haulage and ventilation were driven back across the measures to tap the underlying No. 7 Seam at the 3200 ft. level.

No. 7 seam

No. 7 seam in this location was 5 feet 3 inches in height and free from dirt partings. However, as the workings were developed to the west, stone intrusions became numerous, dirtying the coal so that the West side workings above the 3200 ft level were discontinued.

Below the steep exploratory levels driven West from the 4400, 4800 and 5100 ft. levels showed the coal in the west side of the mine to be too dirty to work.

On the East side of the mine slope, longwalls were developed below the 4100 ft. level, the walls being discontinued when the stone intrusions in the coal rendered the seam too dirty to work. The upper walls reached a distance of only 3200 feet from the main slope, with a maximum eastward penetration of 5200 ft at the 7100 ft level.

Development in the seam was continued to the dip for a distance of 5200 feet below the 3200 level, where the tunnels had penetrated No. 7 Seam. The workings at face of the deeps were at a vertical depth of 339 feet from the surface.

The operation of No. 7 Seam was discontinued in 1953. The total output thereafter was obtained from No. 6 Seam, until the mine was closed due to an explosion which occurred on November 1st, 1956 and resulted in the death of 39 workmen.

During its working life the workings in No. 7 Seam were subject to a very large number of bumps, 105 being recorded between 1943 and 1952 in this seam, and 9 in No. 6 Seam.

This seam was developed by driving short, level tunnels across the measures between No.6 and No.7 Seams from the main haulage slope in No.7 seam. The interval between the seams in this area was between 90 and 100 ft. in this way the original haulage and ventilation roadways provided in the lower seam served the operation of the upper seam.

The first cross measure tunnel was started in 1944, off the 5400 East and 4400 East Levels, and put into operation early in 1946 to provide intake and return airways for the operation of the east side of the mine. This was followed later by an additional tunnel off the 5700 West level in No. 7 Seam, to work the west side of the mine.

The seam averages 6 ft. 2 ins. in height and was split by a number of thin bands of splint which thickened to bands of shale sometimes over twelve inches thick. This intrusion was generally of a local nature and largely lenticular in form.

The method of working was advancing longwall, but due to a serious bump on August 30, 1956 on the 6100 Wall, in which seven workmen were injured, it was decided to revert to longwall retreating and narrow work development was started toward that end, when the mine was closed due to an explosion on November 1st, 1956 and the colliery permanently abandoned after recovery operations.

Following the rescue of 52 workmen, trapped for four days in the 5400 East Level, and after exhaustive efforts had been made to determine if any other men were alive, the mine was sealed. Prior to the sealing, analyses of samples indicated that a fire was still active, and as there was a possibility of a second explosion, the recovery of the bodies of those known to be dead was halted and the mine sealed on November 7th, 1956.

On January 18, 1957 No. 4 Mine was reopened to recover the bodies of 26 miners. This work was completed on January 21st, 1957 and following an inspection of the mine by members of a Royal Commission appointed to enquire into the cause of the explosion, the mine was sealed. Sealing was completed at 3:31 p.m. on Monday, January 21st, 1957.

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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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