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The Morden Mine

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                                                           The Morden Mine

morden collieries 95 - CopySouth of Nanaimo, at the east end of  Morden Road, are the remains of 100 year old (in 2014) concrete structures that were part of a colliery, referred to as the Morden mine.Nanaimo Morden Mine

The head-frame, tipples and chimney base are still standing, personifying one of the last reminders of a thriving coal mining industry that brought many people to the Nanaimo Region in the late 1800’s and beyond. Extensive information on the history, physical condition and general attributes of this heritage resource can be found on this website:

I have made many photographs and sketches at this site over the last 18 years as it is a great and unique subject. Unfortunately many of the concrete elements comprising this monument are deteriorating, almost beyond reprieve. I sincerely hope that the owner, which is the Provincial Government of British Columbia, can allocate funds to preserve these structures for future generations.

morden section                                                        Morden Colliery Headframe

In 2014, BC Parks cleared out a small section of the forest on the North side of the fenced area at the Morden Mine site. The open area provides a view of the headframe structures and a photo opportunity for visitors. It is also a nice and quite spot to sit and sketch, well removed from the parking lot. The lighting of the subject is also favourable as can be seen in these sketches.

headframe 2014

headframe 2014

Morden 2014

Morden 2014


A Vision for future Site Development by the Morden Mine Society.


The Friends of the Morden Mine Society  (the Society) commissioned several reports over the years with significant monetary contributions from the Regional District of Nanaimo, the City of Nanaimo, BC Parks and the Society’s  own funding resources.

The original physical investigation was carried out by Metro Testing Laboratories Ltd to establish the concrete quality and the condition of the constituent components, in 2005.

In 2006, the Society engaged Herold Engineering to prepare a stabilization plan and a cost estimate to support the concrete structure with temporary shoring  used in the construction of buildings.

In 2013 BC Parks commissioned a Visitor Safety Assessment Study by FJM Services and Management,  and an Engineering Report prepared by Herold Engineering.

In 2010 Gamella Design Inc. developed a comprehensive site development report with input from the South Wellington and Cedar Communities, and from  representatives of surrounding Municipalities, Towns and the City of Nanaimo. Several interesting plans and ideas with associated cost estimates were presented in this report.

More recently, in 2014,  Read Jones Christofferson Ltd, Consulting Engineers were commissioned to provide a comprehensive. preliminary engineering report to evaluate the extent of the current deterioration of the concrete structures and associated restoration work required with respect to an immediate, a short term and a long term outlook. Opinions of probable costs for the various scenarios were included in the scope of work. This report was subsidized by The Regional District of Nanaimo and  by the City of Nanaimo.


Several of these reports were publicized on the website if the Society at . Readers could also contact me at for a PDF copy of these reports.




Author: John Hofman

my email is Website:

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