History of Coal Mining in Nova Scotia
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Dept. Mines


Neither of the established iron works were kept fully employed. The Intercolonial Iron and Steel Co. reduced their production pending the transfer of their property to a new company who, it is expected, will erect furnaces on a part of the estate adjacent to the Intercolonial Railway where coal and coke can be readily obtained from the collieries of Spring Hill and Pictou.

The Annapolis Iron Works at Clementsport were again started, and the furnace run for some six weeks. The ore used is taken from the Potter and Miller Mines, and is mixed with a certain percentage of bog ore from Bloomfield.

The following table shows the production of ore and pig metal at both establishments:

Iron Works    Men.   Ore mined.   Ore smelted.   Pig metal.

Acadia         26         2947           2091         1046
Annapolis      16          538            630          180
  Total        42         3485           2721         1226

In the Pictou Iron field further prospecting was made near Springville, and the bed of Blanchard ore traced in an irregular course to the river. The limonite deposits by the river were also to some extent proved to be continuous. No preparations, however, have yet been made to mine these ores which undoubtedly exist in great quantities.

The explorations on the Indian Reserve near Whycocomagh proved, it is reported, the bed of ore to be about 15 feet in thickness for a distance of 1000 feet.

Other prospecting for iron ore has been made on the strike of the Londonderry vein toward Five Islands, and in strata of the same age back of Cheverie where ore, like that of Londonderry, is said to have been discovered.

The Nictaux beds still remain unworked.


Attention was again turned to the deposits near Gay's River, but the explorations as far as made did not prove of value. Galena is also known to occur near Stewiacke, Arichat, Sydney and Baddeck. A peculiar deposit is met with near Arisaig. Fragments of calamites with the tissue infiltrated with galena and iron pyrites are found on the outcropping of a sandstone bed, from the denudation of which, doubtless, the metalliferous fossil plants have been derived.


Much interest was again taken in the search for copper ore near Polson's Lake, and in following up the 'float' a large fragment from the vein was struck, which at first was supposed to be part of the outcrop. On discovering the mistake, the explorations were for the time stopped, although it might naturally be surmised that the vein is not far distant. The depth of surface soil greatly retards the work of exploration.


One of the appended tables shows the Plaster trade for the past two years and the increase that has taken place in the quantity shipped and the value of the material. This industry is becoming of more and more importance.

The quantities of freestone, &c., noticed, do not represent the total trade of the country in these minerals, but only of the ports mentioned. It would be of general interest to know what the whole quarry business is, and owners are solicited to send information respecting it to the Department.


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Last Modified: 2001-01-13

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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