History of Coal Mining in Nova Scotia
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Dept. Mines


Halifax, January 26th, 1872.


In submitting the following Report on the mining. operations in the Province during the past year, I have pleasure in again noting an increase in the sale of coal. The aggregate sales exceed those of last year 28,142 tons, the increase in the sale of round coal being 38,189 tons, The operations notwithstanding, have been of that diversified character which has prevailed for the last two or three years. Fluctuation in the production of the mines is again a noticeable feature; in some it exceeds and in others it is below that of last year. Whilst too, some have remained unworked, some have been more fully developed; and new mines are being rapidly brought into operation. The workings at most of the mines have been so slightly extended that beyond a notice of the locality of the mine in which they have been carried on, they present little for special remark. The regularity with which in most cases they are now conducted in the coal mines, owing to the few difficulties met with is a gratifying circumstance, which would, however, be still more so if the operations were on a par with the capabilities of the mines. In


the principal part of the mining has as hitherto been at the


in which mine the workings have been carried on in the usual manner, and in the same locality of the mine as last year, there having been no further extension of the levels in an easterly direction.

The operations to which I alluded last year have, however been put into execution. A new slope has been driven to the dip near the, hoisting Shaft. It is now 520 feet in length, and working places are being won out. A steam engine has been erected on the surface to draw the coal up the slope and railway connections are being made to enable the operations at the mine to be concentrated at the new works. On completion this mine will be in a much improved position in all respects.

The returns show an expenditure as follows:

     Adits and levels     $4900.00
     Surface work           910.00
     Machinery             1600.00
     Total		  $7410.00


At this mine no change has occurred in the character of the operations; they are still confined to the portion of the mine in which they have been carried on during the last two years; and the production being exclusively for land sale purposes it is limited in quantity. An expenditure is returned on-

     Adits and levels      $50.00.


Mining at this colliery has also been on the same small scale as last year; the workings have therefore been very little extended, and present no change worth noting. The expenditure is stated to be, on-

     Adits and levels      $413.25
     Machinery              600.00
     Total                $1013.25


In this locality, whilst considerable industry has been exhibited in the extent of the explorations carried on there has been little actual mining. On the Black and Macfarlane area the operations have been chiefly of an exploratory character, those of last year having rendered it desirable to continue them along the range of the crops of the seams,

A few tons of Coal have been taken out for land sale at a shaft near the crop; no opening of a permanent, character has, however, yet been made, the selection of a suitable place having been delayed till the result of the exploration was ascertained.

The following is the expenditure as per returns on the Black area:

     Prospecting and Boring   $473 00

And on the Macfarlane areas:

     Shafts                   $550 00
     Prospecting and Boring    586 00
     Total 		     $1136 00

A series of boring has been carried on by Mr. Livesey in this locality and also in the neighbourhood of Stuart Road, with a view to determine the position of the seams. As these operations are not yet completed little additional knowledge in this respect has been obtained.


In this County the principal mines have been kept steadily in operation, though not in each case to the same extent as last year. At the


the operations have been in both of the seams usually worked. In the Foord pit the main levels have been much extended and the number of working places correspondingly increased. In one of the drifts, which were being driven towards the old workings to the rise, a connection was recently made with them by boreholes and their position having been thus ascertained, the apprehensions which prevailed respecting the body of water in them have been very much allayed. The water is in course of being run off by the borehole and the workings will, it is expected in a few months, be entirely drained. A Ventilation Fan is about to be erected and other measures are being adopted to place this pit in a most efficient condition in all respects.

In the deep seam, the operations in which have been chiefly in the West District of the mine, arrangements have been completed for a more extensive working to the dip, in the neighborhood of the shaft. A crosscut or shaft has been driven to the dip, and a Steam Engine for hauling the Coal up it has been erected near the bottom of the slope. The Foster pit workings have continued shut off during the year, but there has been nothing to cause fear respecting the fire which rendered it necessary to close the mine. The indications are favorable to the supposition that it is now quite extinguished.

The manufacture of Coke on the open burning principle has for some time been practised at this Colliery. During the past year, however, Coke ovens have been erected and the production of this article is being conducted in the manner practised in England, with an improvement in its quality.


The operations at this colliery have been carried on with great regularity, and the production again exceeds that of last year. The lower levels, won out last year have been considerably extended on each side of the main slope; the operations having been carried on simultaneously in that district of the mine and in the upper levels. Preparations are now being made for driving to the dip for the purpose of opening out another set of levels in connection with the slopes and thus maintaining the productive capacity of the mine. The expenditure is stated to be as follows:

     Surface work     $ 360.73
     Machinery         1320.58
     Total 	      $1681.31


Although the sales from this mine are not to the extent of last year, the operations have been carried on with steadiness as regards the underground workings. These have been conducted in the usual manner, and have been much extended on each side of the main slope. An additional winning to the dip is about to be made and other steps are being taken to maintain the mine in an efficient condition. An expenditure is returned as follows:

     Shafts           $ 429.18
     Adits and levels  1314.89
     Surface work      2163.29
     Machinery         1362.57
     Houses            2250.17
     Total            $7520.10


This mine has during the year been brought into effective operation by the completion of the railway connecting it with the shipping wharf at Middle River. The workings are being carried on in a systematic manner on each side of the slope, and the mine being now opened on a scale commensurate with the general character of the operations, an increased production may be expected. The returns show an expenditure on,-

     Adits and levels     $ 6350.50
     Surface work          13761.25
     Machinery               350.00
     Houses                 2636.28
     Total 	          $23098.03

Little has been done on the other mining properties in this county towards an extension of the operations hitherto carried on. On the McBean areas they have been, as last year, confined to the working of a few tons of coal for land sale - Messrs. Barton and Mitchell have very recently reached the seam towards which an adit was in course of driving last year, and it is now being opened out. An expenditure is returned as follows

     Shafts 		    $  80.00
     Adits and levels        1195.75
     Surface work             100.75
     Prospecting and boring    66.00
     Total                  $1442.50

The Crown Brick and Pottery Company of New Glasgow have continued their operations on the Richardson seam; the slope being now 159 feet in length. At a depth of 134 feet levels have been driven on each side and a few working places won out. A small steam engine has also been erected to haul the coal up the slope. The expenditure has been as follows:

     Slope 		   $ 750.00
     Adits and levels        500.00
     Surface work  	     100.00
     Machinery  	    2000.00
     Houses		     900.00
     Total                 $4250.00

On the Merigomish and Pictou Mining Company's properties, explorations have been made with a view to ascertain the position of the seams, but no regular mining has been carried on.


In the Counties of Inverness and Victoria the only mines opened are still the Chimney Corner and the New Campbellton. At


although the sales have not been large, the operations have been steadily carried on. The main slope is now about 400 feet to the dip, and the levels, which are driven in a southeast direction, vary from 300 to 600 feet in length. An additional boiler has been supplied to the hoisting engine, and other arrangements made for an increased production. The returns give an expenditure on,-

     Shafts          $ 185.00
     Adits and levels  250.00
     Surface work     1080.00
     Machinery        3500.00
     Houses            400.00
     Total          $15415.00

At the New Campbellton Colliery no Coal has been raised during the year. The Black Rock, Matheson, and Collins Mines have also been unworked, with the exception of a few tons railed at the last named.


The usual steadiness in the operations has prevailed at this Colliery; the production being maintained at a very uniform rate. The operations have been of the ordinary character and present nothing requiring special remark. The sinking of the new shaft near Cranberry Head has recently been resumed and arrangements made for a steady prosecution of this important addition to the productive powers of the Colliery. The returns show an expenditure as follows:

     Shafts        $3505.58
     Surface work   1201.08
     Machinery       709.85
     Houses          660.00
     Total         $6076.51


Operations at this mine have also been carried on with regularity and the workings are now considerably extended. The general arrangements, too, are more complete and adapted to an increase in the yield of the mine. The expenditure is stated to be on

     Shafts and Slopes   $ 5000.00
     Adits and levels     15012.00
     Surface work          8000.00
     Machinery             1800.00
     Houses                2500.00
     Railway and wharf     1429.00
     Total               $33741.00


At this Colliery the operations have been conducted in the usual manner, and in the same Districts of the mine as hitherto. The extension of the main slope to the dip and the opening of the seam at its extremity by levels on each side has placed this mine in a position to meet an increased demand for Coal. At the Barrasois operations have again been resumed and the slopes are being driven to the dip. The expenditure is returned as follows

     Adits and levels    $5454.48
     Surface work          194.85


The produce at this Colliery has, during the year, been largely increased, the operations having been carried on with much vigor. The workings have been much extended, an enlarged scale of pillarage has been adopted, and the mine generally is arranged for a steady and large production. During the year a manager's and an additional workman's house has been erected. The returns show expenditure on

     Shafts              $  12.00
     Adits and levels     3712.56
     Surface work          850.00
     Houses                200.00
     Total 	         $4774.56


The operations at this mine are still on a small scale in comparison with its capabilities of production. They offer little for remark; mining being pursued in the manner practised since the commencement of the Colliery. The removal of some of the pillars has been continued with success and the workings generally are carried on with regularity and system. The expenditure is stated to be on

     Shaft, &c   $351.00
     Houses       427.00
     Total       $778.00


This mine also, is, in its yield of Coal, much beneath its means of production. The Hub seam only has been worked; the extension of the workings being chiefly in the district of the mine worked last year; no extension of the levels having been made or further openings of the seam. The returns show an expenditure on

     Shafts		$234.48
     Adits and levels    334.61
     Slip and wharf      650.80


Nothing has been done towards the opening of this mine on a larger scale. The extent of the operations is very similar to last year, and the workings are in consequence but slightly extended. An expenditure is returne as follows :

     Adits and levels     $600.00


Operations were suspended at this colliery early in the year, and have not since been resumed, The mine has however been kept in working order, and mining will, it is expected, be commenced at an early date.


At this colliery the usual steadiness of the operations has prevailed; the sale of coal however exhibits a deficiency in comparison with last year. In the mine the levels and other working places have been kept regularly going and the position of the mine generally is unaltered with respect to its productive capacity. Another shaft is being sunk near the western boundary of the area, with a view to shorten the lead of coal underground and increase the yield of the mine. In the returns the expenditure is given as follows:

     Shafts 			$210.00
     Adits and levels 		 200.00
     Surface work      		 202.00
     Machinery 			 356.00
     Houses 			 230.00
     Prospecting and boring      120.00
     Breakwater			3150.00
     Total  		       $4468.00


Nothing has been done at this mine of any moment during the year. An expenditure is returned on,-

     Surface work     $654.29


The operations at the Gardener colliery, which consists of the sinking of a shaft, were suspended early in the year; it being considered desirable to effect a winning at a point farther to the dip than was at first projected. No steps have, however, been taken towards this object. The returns show an expenditure as follows:

     Shafts  	   $175.00
     Machinery      120.00
     Houses          75.00
     Total 	   $370.00

At the other localities in the County of Cape Breton, in which preparatory mining operations were in hand last year, no further progress has been made. A considerable development of mining property has, however, taken place on the route of the Glasgow and Cape Breton Railway, the construction of which was commenced in the early part of the year. This line of railway passes through a district which has hitherto had no means of access to the seaboard, and the seams of Coal which it contains have therefore remained unopened. The vigor with which the line has been pursued will be appreciated from the fact that ten miles of road have been made since Feb. 7, last. The track is of narrow guage being only 3 feet in width. At the distance named it is connected with the Reserve area, on which mining operations have also been conducted with highly creditable energy. The seam of Coal opened is the Phelan, and is the same as that worked at the Caledonia Colliery. A pair of slopes have been driven to the dip in a diverging direction. One of these, the North one, is now 700 feet in length, and the other is 350 feet down. Levels have been turned and working places won out; and the interior arrangements of the mine are being rapidly prepared for extensive operations. On the surface the usual erection for screening the Coal has been completed. An Engine-house, in which a 60 Horse-power Engine is about to be placed, has been built; twelve blocks of two houses each, stable and barn, Smith's and Carpenter's shops, Foreman's and Manager's houses, Powder Magazine, &c., have been erected and the usual equipments of a mining establishment are being provided. The returns show an expenditure as follows:

     Adits and levels     $13085.26
     Surface work           2279.23
     Machinery              1673.48
     Houses                23976.14
     Total  		  $41014.11

On the Lorway areas,which are situated a short distance to the South West of the Reserve, operations have also been begun and are being pushed forward with much energy. The seam opened underlies the Phelan and has not yet been mined in any locality. Its thickness is 4ft. 1in. Two shafts, 14ft. and 10ft. in diameter, are being sunk, the situation of which is about 1000 yards from the crop of the seam and in the direction of the dip. These shafts are intended for the general requirements of the mine, viz., hoisting, pumping, and ventilation, and will, when completed, enable a large extent of Coal to be opened. An opening is also being made by slope from the crop by which it is intended to win out working plans and carry on regular operations until the completion of the shaft, &c. This mine is very advantageously situated as regards the Glasgow and Cape Breton Railway, with which it is intended to connect it by a short branch. In connection with these operations, eight double houses, a manager's house, stable, and Smith's shop have heen erected. The expenditure is stated to be as follows:

     Shafts, Adits and levels    $ 5964.69
     Surface work  		   3472.51
     Machinery  		   1480.00
     Houses  			  11500.00
     Total  			 $22417.20

In one other locality in this County, preparations are being made by Messrs P. Ross & Co., for commencing operations in the sea areas held by them near Cranberry Head, and which are situated about half a mile from the shore. An expenditure is returned of $1004.61.

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Last Modified: 99-02-07

Originally Printed by: The Citizen Publishing Company

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 published Nova Scotia Department of Mines annual reports.
Nevertheless, no warranties are provided in any respect.

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