News Release Archive

Landowners across Nova Scotia now have access to information that
will help them determine whether abandoned mine workings exist on
their properties. The information is available from a computer
database developed by the Department of Natural Resources.

The database is an inventory of many of the abandoned mine
shafts, hillside tunnels, trenches and other mine openings on
Crown and private lands.

In addition to the database, the department has developed a
brochure and a handbook to provide information to landowners on
how to mark and secure the sites.

"The whole purpose of the inventory and information package is to
make people, especially landowners, aware of the presence of
abandoned mine openings and to provide information on how to
secure them," said Natural Resources Minister Ken MacAskill.

About 300 former mining areas have been identified in the
inventory, compiled by the department over several years. Some
6,000 mine shafts, tunnels or trenches are associated with the
areas. Predicably, most are in regions that have a mining history
such as Cape Breton, northern Nova Scotia and Halifax County.

"Most abandoned mine openings date back to the turn of the
century, before site reclamation was required," said Mr.
MacAskill. "Staff in the minerals branch of the department have
documented most of these old sites and they are included in the
database now available to the public."

Abandoned mine workings can be dangerous, and care and caution
must be exercised when travelling in areas that have a history of
mining. Old mine shafts or tunnels should not be entered.

Although many abandoned sites have been located and catalogued,
some remain undetected. As they are identified to the department,
they will be added to the database.

Access to the database is available at the Department of Natural
Resources library in Halifax and at regional offices of the
department in Bridgewater, Coxheath and Bible Hill. The handbook
on how to secure sites and the information brochure are also
available at department offices.

Liability for abandoned mine openings is the responsibility of
landowners. The Department of Natural Resources will provide
landowners with warning signs to post at sites that may be


Contact: Susan Mader Zinck
         Department of Natural Resources

sab                        Aug. 15, 1997       1:17 p.m.