The Nova Scotia Abandoned Mine Openings (AMO) Database

The Abandoned Mine Openings (AMO) Database is an inventory of the surface expressions of abandoned mine workings resulting from past underground mining and advanced exploration in Nova Scotia.

The Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources (NSDNR) has identified more than 600 mining areas, containing approximately 7,000 shafts, adits, slopes, trenches and associated underground workings (Information Circular ME 42) which are or were at one time, open to the surface. This information is not, and should not be considered, a complete record of abandoned mine openings in the Province. Additional abandoned mine openings exist which have not been documented. As well, the database does not include surface expressions of subsidence resulting from the collapse of underground mine workings.

The inventory does not include quarries, sand pits, open pit mines, naturally occurring caverns or subsidence features related to karst topography.

NSDNR regularly updates the inventory of abandoned mine openings whenever sites are visited or whenever previously undocumented mine openings are identified. As well the following points should be noted:

  • The location of most identified abandoned mine openings are not surveyed and therefore the locations in this database are only approximate
  • Not all mine openings have been examined
  • Since this information was compiled, new openings may have developed due to the deterioration of abandoned mine workings
  • Conditions of sites which have been examined may have changed since they were last assessed and the degree of hazard given in the database should be used as a guide only

Undocumented abandoned mine openings resulting from small scale illegal mining, particularly related to coal, are added to the inventory when reported to NSDNR. In some cases a large number of mine openings are located in very small areas with subsidence features being impossible to distinguish from mine openings. In some of these cases each mine opening may not be uniquely identified in the inventory. Users of the database with an interest in these areas are encouraged to contact NSDNR for more detailed information.

Information related to historic mining was obtained from the following sources:

  • NSDNR Mineral Occurrence Cards
  • NSDNR Open File Maps and Reports
  • NSDNR Papers and Bulletins
  • Assessment Reports
  • Annual Reports of the Nova Scotia Department of Mines
  • Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) Summary and Annual Reports, Papers and Memoirs
  • GSC Faribault-Fletcher series of Geological Maps
  • General Public

The Abandoned Mine Openings Database can be searched by the mine opening name, location, claim reference map, land owner type, commodity mined, county, mine opening type, name of vein or seam, hazard degree and by mine opening original depth. Additional information such as mine opening identification number, tract, claim, date last visited, inclination, protection and UTM NAD83 coordinates are available through the generation of individual reports.

The coordinates used in the database are in Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Projection, Zone 20, North American Datum (NAD) 1983.