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Recent Activities -Antimony Mine, West Gore, Hants Co., Nova Scotia

05/30/2012

The Antimony Mine near West Gore, started operations in 1884 and operated off and on until 1917. Antimony was mined and shipped to Wales for use as an alloy with lead, amongst other uses. There isn't much left at the site but a few concrete foundations in the woods and some rock waste dumps where you can find nice specimens of native antimony and other minerals.
On a nice day in late May,2012, my collecting friend, Jim Haase, and I used Anne P. Sabina's Book to successfully locate the old site. We used a metal detector to check out old mine rock waste dumps, to find chunks of native antimony. Here are a few images from that trip for your interest.

The road into the site is fine until about a 0.5km or so from the site. Wash outs make it difficult for a car to pass. A four wheel drive vehicle with good ground clearance would have no difficulty.

There are some old foundations of buildings and machinery in the woods near the rock dumps.

This is the first rock dump that we found. It was well exposed and, actually looked like someone had recently removed broken rock for construction fill or some other purpose. It was relatively easy to locate some smaller pieces of native antimony with our metal detector, along with lots of scrap metal.

This is Jim Haase using the metal detector to confirm that the chunk that he picked up does, indeed, give a signal, indicating that it has some amount of native antimony in it.

We decided to look around the site away from the first, well exposed rock dump. I noticed a raised feature in the woods that looked like it could be a very old rock dump. It was but was covered by the larger trees and moss-root-leaf mat that covered it. We soon determined, with the aid of the metal detector that there were fairly large chunks of native antimony in this very old dump. This is yours truly doing some detecting!

Besides finding native antimony, the metal detector tipped us off to many pieces of iron that were also buried in the waste rock. Thankfully, there weren't too many since it is hard work digging these things out!

This is typical native antimony, as found at West Gore. The pieces that we found most commonly consisted of rich, fine-grained antimony associated with stibnite, pyrrhotite and enclosed in a quartz vein matrix. OK! Not the most beautiful mineral in the world but rich and rare!

This is a close up of the antimony. Note the elongated quartz crystal that cuts through the antimony.

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