Malagash Salt Miners' Museum
Malagash, Nova Scotia

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The First Rock Salt Mine in Canada

 

 

MINING THE SALT IN MALAGASH

The Malagash miners recovered the salt by the open stope overhand method - a shaft driven down and stopes run out from the sides, with vertical inclined 'raises' run up from the bottom of the shaft to the floor of the stope. As the salt was drilled and blasted away from the face, the miners would slush it down via the raise to the skip at the bottom of the shaft, whence it was hoisted to the surface.

At the stope face the miners, most of whom were local men, operated their pneumatic drills from "benches" - three or four feet wide ledges cut across the great wall of salt and rocks. The stopes - some were vast enough to hold a cathedral - formed huge glittering caverns where the white and grey walls echoed back the roar of the drills.

On the surface, the skip was dumped onto two picking tables where the rock salt was hand-sorted and fed into the preliminary crusher with a 30 inch by 30 inch opening. From here the crushed salt went to the first set of sizing screens. Various grades of salt moved onto the bagging hoppers, or the bulk hoppers, and so to waiting railway cars.

(Taken from the book 'Malagash Salt', first published in 1975)

 

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