200 Years of Mining in Walton

Walton barite mine, open pit, bedframe and buildings. R. CLARK PHOTO

Walton barite mine, open pit, bedframe and buildings. R. CLARK PHOTO

Over 350 million years of geologic upheaval and change left the Walton area with a rich endowment of mineral deposits that have been mined periodically for over 250 years.

The early French and Irish settlers of Hants County dug gypsum from the ground and produced plaster for their homes and for export to the New England colonies. In the late 19th century manganese was mined in Walton and Pembroke for use in steel making. Modern gypsum mining exported over , tons per year from the wharf in Walton harbour. The real mining gem of Walton was the world class barite, lead, zinc, silver mine that operated from 1941 to 1978.

The Walton mine ranks as the largest single deposit of barite in the world and among the highest grade. However as with all mines the ore eventually ran out and new deposits are explored, discovered and mined elsewhere. In Walton the only evidence remaining of the barite mine are two concrete silos at the wharf site and a reclaimed mine site west of the village on a hill overlooking the Minas Basin.

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