A Nova Scotia family that's lost efforts to keep an open-pit gold mine off their property says a company is threatening to break into their family farm in Moose River before an appeal is heard.

The Higgins family run a Christmas tree farm and is fighting the provincial government's expropriation of land.

In the latest round, the courts upheld the province's right to take the land.  The family's lawyer says they plan to appeal the decision to Nova Scotia's Court of Appeal.

Robert Pineo said despite that, his clients have received a letter saying they must clear out the buildings they own on the disputed property.

"Agricultural buildings that houses our clients’ tools, machinery, fertilizer etc., for their Christmas tree operation and the other building is a century old family home and it contains about 100 years of the family’s heirlooms, documents that sort of thing and DDV Gold wanted them out of the house immediately," he said.

Pineo said he is applying for an injunction to keep-out the company, while his clients can prepare for the appeal.

Court backs gold-mine expropriation

Australia's DDV Gold Ltd. plans to start a $140 million open-pit gold mine in Moose River Gold Mines. The project affects 72 parcels of land and the company reached agreements with all but the Higgins. The company offered $300,000 for the seven-acre property, but the family declined to sell.

The Dexter government intervened in 2012 and issued a rare expropriation order forcing the sale.

Nova Scotia's Supreme Court upheld the ruling last month.

The decision confirms the Crown owns and controls the rights to develop minerals underground, regardless of who owns the property on the surface.

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.