It is as follows:
Some Facts with Respect to the Nova Scotia Coal Industry Characteristics and Analysis
Bituminous coal produced in Nova Scotia
varies considerably in quality as the following typical analysis indicates:
Fixed carbon 54 % to 58%
Volatile matter 29 % to 37%
54% to 18%Sulphur
1 % to 8%B.T.U.'s
12,000 to 14,300Ash fusion
1,900 to 2.700
For general steam raising uses in industry, shipping and railways, it is quite satisfactory and the coal produced in the Sydney area is also suitable for coking and gas making; mainland coals are not coking coals.
Certain industries require a low sulphur coal as the presence of sulphur affects the quality of the product. To mention some: Glass making- brick making-gasworks-and for certain metallurgical purposes.
The low fusion point of a6h is also detrimental when coal is used under heavy forced draft with consequent high furnace temperature, the ash fuses and blocks the air passages in the grate and for furnaces designed for high fusion ash coals Nova Scotia coal is not suitable.
From eight to nine million tons can be produced annually.
Actually, production for the past three five-year periods has been as follows:
From Net tons
The principal markets for Nova Scotia coal are the maritime provinces-Newfoundland- Quebec and Ontario.
Consumption of Coal
Consumption has not remained constant in proportion to business conditions, it is steadily declining in relation to per capita of population.
The decline is in part due to consumers turning to alternative fuels or other sources of energy, also there has been a remarkable trend toward increased efficiencies in the use of coal.
Energy other than coal expressed in equivalent tonnage shows an increase in Canada from 18.592,000 tons in 1927 to 26,432,000 tons in 1936, an increase of nearly 8,000,000 tons or over 40 per cent.
The tendency in recent years is from coal to alternative fuels or energy. As pointed out in the above paragraph, energy other than coal has increased by 40 per cent over the past ten years. Use of coal by Canadian railroads has declined from 10-3 million tons in 1928 to an average in recent years of approximately 6-16 million (40 per cent), while wheat movements and trade activity generally affects traffic volume. The motor driven vehicle competitor has had a serious effect on railway coal consumption, Fuel oil offers some competition not only for steam raising in industry generally but for bunkering and even the heating and cooking market. Hydro-electric power has displaced large tonnages of coal for steam raising.
Economies in the technical use of coal have permitted railways to reduce their consumption by 10 per cent during the past ten years. Similar economies have been achieved in steel manufacture, steam electric power plants and in general steam raising practice.
Importations of Bituminous Coal
Bituminous coal importations for the past five-year period average annually 9,686,000 or li times the present Nova Scotia production, the greater portion of this is used in Ontario.
Quality of importations shows a wide range but such are usually of good quality with low sulphur content-low ash and high fusion of ash.
Preparation is carried out with a great deal of care and coals are sized to meet consumers' demands. Usually the grades sold are screened -run of mine-sized nut and slack.
Transportation of Nova Scotia Coal Nova Scotia coal receives many handlings before it finally reaches the consumer, which results in a great deal of degradation due to . the friable nature of the coal. It has to move from the mine to loading piers, then from ocean-going boats to terminal storage piles and from that point to railway cars or trucks for final delivery.
Comparison of Prices to Consumer In the province of Quebec, Nova Scotia coal moved by water up the St. Lawrence and distributed from deep water ports can on a price basis compete with imported coal from the United States. Inland movements westward involve a cost which places Nova Scotia coal at a disadvantage with United^ States coal, the greater the distance moved inland from St. Lawrence ports the greater the disadvantage.
Reason for Subventions
Subventions were designed to meet competitive disadvantages and enable Nova Scotia coal to compete with imported coal on an equal price basis, without such assistance it would not be possible for Nova Scotia coal to enter the market west of the island of Montreal.
This aid has been responsible for the movement of nearly twelve million tons of Nova Scotia coal into these competitive markets (as at the end of 1938). In addition to this, some million and a quarter tons of Nova Scotia coal were assisted under the aid of coking legislation.
Production in United States Mines
The United States coal industry is the largest in the world and produces about one hundred times more than the annual output of Nova Scotia with a potential capacity to produce twice the present output. The districts in the United States supplying Canada are Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Qhio and the Virginias, where coal deposits are thick and of excellent quality, they have shallow cover, good roofing conditions and light gradients, they operate with mechanical labour saving equipment, which results in the production per man being about the highest in the world.
It also means that United States bituminous coal is produced at a comparatively low cost and from mines where the shallow cover and easy access simplifies the problems of transportation, ventilation and pumping.
Comparable Conditions in Nova Scotia During the past 100 years the more accessible coal areas in Cape Breton have been worked out and the limited areas now being mined are at points far out under sea and at great depth. Mining in these remote submarine areas entails increasingly large costs of long uphill multiple -systems of haulage and lengthy airways for ventilation,.
Under the land areas seams have been followed to a depth of 4,000 feet, complicating the extraction of coal by heavy gradients representing high power costs for haulage and pumping.
Production per man employed in Nova Scotia is on the average 2-2 tons per day compared with 4-5 tons in the United States field.
Mechanization of Mines (U.S.)
In southern Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Virginia, production per man actually runs up to 10 tons per day with the_ greatly increased mechanization of mines. This mechanization is on the increase, which will still further intensify
competition. One mine in West Virginia is now planning to produce 6,552 tons per day with 500 men, equivalent to 13 tons per man per day.
Mechanization of Mines (N.S.)
Nova Scotia operators are endeavouring to keep apace by extending the use of this labour saving machinery. Coal cutting machinery was introduced in the mines many years ago, and the system of handling coal by conveyer belts has been done for some fifteen years.
Further progress is hoped for but the term mechanization includes a complete cycle by which coal is cut-bored-loaded and hauled mechanically to the tipple. The physical conditions of the Nova Scotia mines do not in every case lend themselves to complete mechanization. Where it is possible operators are endeavouring to use the most modern mining equipment.
In one instance equipment for the complete mechanization of a mine was purchased at a cost of some $400,000. It was installed and tried out but local labour refused to operate it, claiming its use would displace manual labour and also that it was unsafe; the mine is still idle with the equipment still there.
As a matter of fact this installation would not have displaced any labour as it is a new mine. It might eventually reduce the number of men employed for the same tonnage but by increasing the tons per man employed reduces cost of operation, thereby making extension of markets possible. Mining coal by old fashioned methods is too costly and to compete in consuming markets modern mining methods must be pursued.
Capacity to Produce
There is what is known as producers and non-producers in every mine. Producers are engaged at the coal face, actually mining coal, and non-producers are made up of men employed in handling coal from face to bankhead, maintenance of mine, preparation of the coal, and finally loading into cars.
In Nova Scotia coal mining 38 per cent of the men employed are producers and 62 per cent non-producers. American mines, with which Nova Scotia coal competes, have 60 per cent producers and 40 per cent non-producers.
The reason is that in Nova Scotia a large proportion of non-producers are required to meet the adverse conditions previously set out re:-
(1) Distance from face to tipple with steep gradients.
(2) Great depth of cover with heavy roof costs.
(3) Comparatively thin seams.
(4) Gasey and dusty mines, long and costly airways which restrict the free use of electricity, which is an important factor.
Regarding (1) loss in effective working time underground amounts to 1 hour 20 minutes per shift due to the time required for the workmen to travel from pit to face and return.
Also, steep gradients and gaseous conditions do not permit the extensive use of electric locomotives which play an important part in low cost production in United States areas.
Ventilation is also extremely costly in the submarine workings, necessitating in some instances coursing air for nine miles entailing large power consumption.
The Cape Breton collieries producing 80 per cent of the coal are dependent upon water transportation during the summer months. The St. Lawrence movement represents 60 per cent of the total production of Cape Breton, requiring peak loads for labour during the season of navigation with a serious slackening off during winter months. ,
Then again, coal produced during the winter months must be banked in readiness for summer movement. Similarly, the coal brought up during the summer has to be banked at terminals for winter delivery. This extra handling and storage, combined with weathering and the friable nature of the coal causing slackening and deterioriation in size, adds considerably to the cost. Much United States coal is delivered direct from the mines to consumer without this additional heavy cost burden.
Always to be borne in mind is the effect upon industry of increased coal prices. In the iron and steel industry it means 30 per cent of the cost of production and about 25 per cent in the manufacture of cement. Put the price of coal beyond that of competing fuels and you lose that market immediately.
Topic: SALT FISH BOARD
Subtopic: PROVISION FOR INVESTIGATION OF MARKETING AND ASSISTANCE TO PRODUCERS FOR EXPORT