A Nova Scotia family has lost their fight to prevent the expropriation of their land to a gold mining company.

The Higgins family run a Christmas tree farm in Moose River Gold Mines. The provincial government expropriated a section of their property. Australia's DDV Gold Ltd. plans to start a $140 million open-pit gold mine and wanted the land.

On Friday, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed an appeal by the family. That appeal backed an earlier Supreme Court judge who cleared the expropriation, which was ordered by Darrell Dexter's government in 2012.

The Higgins family is planning to seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. The seven-acre section of their property contains an abandoned family home.

The project will affect 72 parcels of land. The company settled with dozens of other property owners in the area, but the Higgins have refused offers as high as $300,000 for the property.

The mining company says the mine will employ 150 people and extract 85,000 ounces of gold a year for at least five years. The annual payroll is estimated at $13 million.