First Nations trainer setting up future drillers for success – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – July 29, 2016)

The Frontenac open pit may have limited gold potential, but it’s perfect ground for the type of real-world training that Randy Becker wants to provide for First Nations.

The CEO of Nimkie Mining Services is negotiating with the Town of Temagami to reopen the aggregate pit this fall, south of the Highway 11 community, and establish it as a training ground to turn out surface drillers.

The property, located on the Lake Temagami Access Road, is largely depleted of aggregate but Becker said there’s enough rock left over to drill, blast and crush for the next five years to deliver gravel to the municipality, the Temagami First Nation, and for local cottagers to use.

“We’re working with the town to transfer their (aggregate) permits to Nimkie Mining,” said Becker, who’s a member of the Temagami First Nation, located on Bear Island at the end of the road. “They’ve been very cooperative so far and it looks like it will go through.”

Becker established Nimkie in 2014 to pursue mining contracts, pit blasting and crushing operations, road work, and central sewer and water projects in First Nation communities.

The Temagami area has a rich mining past with the Sherman open-pit iron mine, which closed in 1990, and the former Copperfields Mine, which closed in 1972, only seven kilometres away.

The pit had been pretty heavily drilled by companies looking for gold, but Becker said its mineral economic prospects are dim.

“I don’t ever really see this property becoming a mine site for gold,” said Becker, “but for making crushed aggregate for the town, for people around the lake and whoever else needs it while we provide the training, for sure.”

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