Coxheath, Nova Scotia Canada

Discover Coxheath, Nova Scotia: A Blend of History and Natural Resources

Coxheath, a charming community in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, is nestled north of the Sydney River in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality on Cape Breton Island. This community is renowned for its rich history, natural resources, and educational institutions such as Riverview Rural High School and Coxheath Elementary.

The Historical Journey of Coxheath, Nova Scotia

The history of Coxheath, Nova Scotia, dates back to 1758, following the fall of Louisbourg. Captain William Cox, who was left in charge of English soldiers in Sydney, obtained a grant of 1300 acres of farmland along the Spanish River in 1796. The land, which he had been living on since 1790, was cleared by English soldiers who built a house, stable, barns, and a grist mill. A road was also constructed from his farm to the mill.

Captain Cox, along with his wife, ran a successful grist mill and dairy farm on the land, which he named Cox's heath. In 1809, he returned to England, and his land was purchased by James Boutilier from St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia, for £300 in gold. Boutilier ran a coal shipping business, transporting coal from Sydney Mines to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

In May 1811, three brigantine ships carrying the Boutilier, Lewis, and Andrews families sailed up the Spanish River and settled in Coxheath. The grist mill was converted into a sawmill due to the difficulty in growing wheat. This sawmill was used in a shipbuilding and repair business run by the Boutilier and Andrews families in the mid-1800s.

By the turn of the 20th century, the original land of Captain Cox was divided into 25 separate farms, providing the main supply of farm products for the residents of Sydney.

The Rich Resources of Coxheath, Nova Scotia

Coxheath, Nova Scotia, is not just known for its historical significance but also for its abundant natural resources. In 1875, copper was reported in the Coxheath Hills north of the current Coxheath Road by the Geological Survey of Canada. The Coxheath Hills saw the development of underground copper mines during two periods, from 1881–1889 and 1928–1930.

These copper deposits are part of the Late Precambrian Coxheath Plutonic-Volcanic Belt underlying the Coxheath Hills and Spruce Brook. In 1964, Mariner Mines Ltd. discovered Molybdenum in the area, which was subsequently described as a low-grade Cu-Mo-Au porphyry deposit.

In 2023, Nova Copper Inc posted a report to resume earlier attempts to explore, re-open, and plan to greatly expand the century-old copper mine for copper and other metals. However, this proposal has raised concerns among Coxheath residents and volunteer supporters regarding the impact on the environment, water supply, and infrastructure. The expanded scale of the newly proposed mining operation and the significant growth and proximity of the population are also key concerns. Efforts are ongoing to echo these concerns to local and provincial government.