Malagash Salt Miners' Museum
Malagash, Nova Scotia

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The First Rock Salt Mine in Canada

 

 

UNDERCUTTERS

Undercutters came into prominent use in Scottish coal mines during World War I. An undercutter is a chain saw driven by an electric motor.

The Samson cutter at Malagash came down from Galsgow and soon the Malagash boys masterted the wonderment.

It was not long before the cutters were cutting a face that was standing vertically.

It is not exagerrating to say that the manufactures came to Malagash to see what their machine could do. A Goodman Cutter (Chicago) was purchased later in 1935.

Potential cutter purchasers came from as far away as India to see undercutters work in salt. The stoping system worked this way. The main slope followed a large roll in the Lucas Seam. It would be developed when the need arose, and the new level 5' wide by 7' high would be driven a considerable distance say 1000 feet horizontally, and then a raise 5 feet square would follow the salt up to the old level. Then commencing on the old level 7 foot holes were drilled downward and they blasted salt into the 5 foot square raise and then the broken rock salt was trammed out in two ton cars to the slope to be transferred to the skip, to be hoisted to surface. The 5 foot square raise (chimney) as much as 150 feet long (tall) would become a huge cavity 150 feet high by probably 200 feet laterally, and 10 to 15' thick. Standing at the top of such a cavity with electric lights at the bottow one saw wonderful erie scenery.

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

 

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