Archive | Canadian Mining History

Mining has been a core catalyst to Canadian economy – by Peter Caulfield (Journal of Commerce – November 13, 2017)

http://journalofcommerce.com/

Unlike such relatively recent economic activity as software development, mining has been an important contributor to the Canadian economy for hundreds of years. t has made some entrepreneurs and their investors very rich, and has created well-paying jobs for miners, as well as the people who build the mines that produce the pay-dirt.

Too few Canadians, however, know the history of mineral exploration and mining and their importance to the Canadian economy. Herewith a very brief and partial history.

According to the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame’s History of Mining in Canada, the 17th century French explorer Samuel de Champlain wrote of copper mineralization in what is now Quebec’s Gaspé peninsula. Continue Reading →

TURNING POINTS: 1958 Springhill mining disaster was a bump heard around the world – by Paul W. Bennett (Halifax Chronicle Herald – November 12, 2017)

http://thechronicleherald.ca/

On Thursday, Oct. 23, 1958, coal mine No. 2 in Springhill experienced a tremendous bump. At around 8:05 p.m. families in the wooden houses around town were huddled around their new TV sets watching I Love Lucy and laughing at the antics of the show’s star, Lucille Ball. Then, all of a sudden, it hit without warning, and for a 15-mile radius the ground shook and the mine caved in, trapping 174 miners far below the surface.

The only working mine left in Springhill, No. 2, was reputed to be the deepest coal mine in operation in North America. From the pit head to the bottom of the mine was a distance of 4,262 metres, or 2.7 miles, straight down. Having first opened in 1873, the mine was old and that meant that mining operations were carried on at great depth below ground.

Pressure had built up on the mine shafts in No. 2 as coal was removed; gas was being released underground and bumps or violent lurches were becoming increasingly common. Some 525 bumps had occurred before this one. Continue Reading →

Xstrata Zinc Brunswick Mine, Bathurst,New Brunswick-“End of an Era” documentary by Glen Ferguson (April 2013)

https://www.fergusonaudioproductions.com

“End of an Era” Brunswick Mine. Shot and edited by Glen Ferguson.

A historical look at Northern New Brunswick’s, Brunswick Mine.
Once the world largest zinc mine, this long time economic staple our the region has recently closed.

Over 50 years of unique history that changed the provinces Northern communities for ever and Over 7500 employees, thousands of contractors, students etc. worked the mine over its life span.

B.C. miner Donald McLeod fulfilled every prospector’s dream – by Catherine McLeod-Seltzer (Globe and Mail – October 19, 2017)

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/

Catherine McLeod-Seltzer is Don’s daughter.

Miner. Mentor. Husband. Father. Born Oct. 21, 1928, in Stewart, B.C.; died May 27, 2017, in Vancouver; of complications from a fall; aged 88.

Don McLeod’s story is the stuff of British Columbia mining legend: A tramp miner who, through gritty determination, unflagging optimism and a good helping of luck, fulfilled every prospector’s dream when he struck it big and brought three rich gold mines to production.

Don grew up in Stewart, B.C., a frontier mining community in the province’s farthest northwest corner. When Don’s mother, Catherine, arrived there from Scotland in 1926, she thought it was the end of the world. But for a young boy, it was paradise to grow up in a close-knit town in the middle of the wilderness; where else could you have a grizzly bear for a pet or play with blasting caps (even if he almost blew himself up)? Continue Reading →

Klondike Silver – The Silvery Slocan May Rise Again (Geology For Investors – October 13, 2017)

https://www.geologyforinvestors.com/

There is a thing about old mining camps. A certain resonance in the atmosphere. It comes from the hundreds or thousands that once toiled, in dark, dirty and dangerous conditions searching for fortune and fame.

Perhaps it’s the psychic energy of a million broken dreams or the electric shock when just 10 feet more breaks into a whole new vein or the whack of a hammer reveals a boulder of pure silver. Sandon, in the heart of what was known as the “Silvery Slocan” is one such place. Boulders of solid galena (lead sulfide) fell from the mountains, spawning the wildest city in BC, Canada and the beating heart of British Columbia’s last great mining rush.

So confident in their future that they boxed up the creek and put their main street on it, 100 years later it’s piles of rotting timber beside a very free running Carpenter creek. It’s easy to imagine that the mines are as dead as those long ago ghosts. Continue Reading →

Some Highlights of 150 years of Canadian Mining – by Stan Sudol (Canadian Business History Association Conference – September 12, 2017)

British Columbia Gold Rush – Wiki Photo

http://bit.ly/2gyCMjA

This speech was given at the Canadian Business History Association Conference at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto on September 12, 2017.

Good morning everyone.

For over 150 years the strategic mining sector has played a major role in the economic development of Canada as well as opening up many parts of the country’s isolated north for settlement. It also helped solidify our western and northern borders during the first few decades of Canada’s existence at a time of threatening American expansion.

British Columbia Gold Rush

In 1848, placer gold – which refers to the metal found in rivers and streams – was discovered in California. This was the first of a series of gold rushes throughout the world over the next 80 years.

Miners at the Mucho Oro (Much Gold) gold mine near Barkerville – Wiki Photo

Fortunately, when these placer gold deposits started to decline by 1858, a similar discovery was made hundreds of miles to the north at the mouth of the Fraser River, in a territory known as New Caledonia.

At that time, this region was controlled by the Hudson Bay Company and the colony of Vancouver Island was ruled by Governor James Douglas who was based in Victoria. He was fearful that an influx of about 30,000 miners, many from California, would cause the territory to be annexed by the Americans. Continue Reading →

Threatened B.C. mining heritage site gets a new lease on life – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – October 10, 2017)

http://resourceclips.com/

A structure vital to Vancouver Island mining history might not be doomed for destruction after all. The Morden mine headframe and tipple date to 1913 but remain the last significant signs of the Nanaimo region’s coal industry, where British Columbia’s first successful mining began in 1852.

Located on a provincial park in an NDP-voting region, the site had been neglected by B.C.’s previous Liberal government. But on October 6 the new NDP government announced a $25,000 conservation grant.

While encouraging to the volunteer Friends of Morden Mine Society, the money falls far short of the $2.7 million that a previous engineering study estimated necessary for the structure’s preservation. That amount included $500,000 for emergency repairs. Continue Reading →

Ontario Mining History: The Elliot Lake story – by Dit Holt (Northern Miner – January 8, 2001)

Global mining news

The evolution of Elliot Lake, Ont. — from a logging and fur-trapping centre in the early 1900s to the uranium capital of the world in the 1950s and 1960s, and then to its present status as one of most successful retirement communities in Canada — is unique. And few people know that history better than M.E. (Dit) Holt, a mining engineer who began his career by taking part in the staking rush that transformed a remote wilderness north of Lake Huron into a mining boom town.

In the next few months, Holt will bring that history back to life through a series of columns featuring the men (in those days, mining was a man’s game) who found, financed and developed a total of 11 mines in the district.

To set the stage, we’ll go back to 1948, when Aim Breton and Karl Gunterman discovered radioactive rock in Long Twp., east of Blind River. However, significant deposits of the radioactive element were not found, and Breton and Gunterman let their claims lapse. In 1952, prospector Franc Joubin (1911-1997), backed by financier Joseph Hirshhorn (1900-1981), restaked the lapsed claims and set out to determine exactly what was exciting his geiger counter. Continue Reading →

Excerpt from J.P. BICKELL: The Life, the Leafs, and the Legacy – by Jason Wilson, Kevin Shea and Graham MacLachlan

To order a copy of “J.P. BICKELL: The Life, the Leafs, and the Legacy”: https://www.dundurn.com/books/JP-Bickell

Jason Wilson is a bestselling Canadian author, a two-time Juno Awards Nominee, and an Adjunct Professor of History at the University of Guelph. He has performed and recorded with UB40, Ron Sexsmith, Pee Wee Ellis, and Dave Swarbrick. Jason lives in Stouffville, Ontario.

Kevin Shea is a renowned hockey historian and bestselling author of fourteen hockey books. He is the Editor of Publications and Online Features for the Hockey Hall of Fame, a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs Historical Committee, and a founding member of Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer. Kevin lives in Toronto.

Graham MacLachlan is a relative of J.P. Bickell who has an extensive business background in international trade that is equalled by his involvement in hockey in the IIHF, the WHL, Hockey Canada, Hockey Alberta, and Hockey Calgary. Graham lives in Calgary, Alberta.

OVERVIEW

He stayed out of the spotlight, but Leafs fans know J.P. Bickell cast a long shadow.

A self-made mining magnate and the man who kept the Maple Leafs in Toronto and financed Maple Leaf Gardens, J.P. Bickell lived an extraordinary and purposeful life. As one of the most important industrialists in Canadian history, Bickell left his mark on communities across the nation. He was a cornerstone of the Toronto Maple Leafs, which awards the J.P. Bickell Memorial Award to recognize outstanding service to the organization.

Bickell’s story is also tied up with some of the most famous Canadians of his day, including Mitchell Hepburn, Roy Thomson, and Conn Smythe. Through his charitable foundation, he has been a key benefactor of the Hospital for Sick Children, and his legacy continues to transform Toronto. Yet, though Bickell was so important both to Toronto and the Maple Leafs, the story of his incredible life is today largely obscure. This book sets the record straight, presenting the definitive story of his rise to prominence and his lasting legacy — on the ice and off. Continue Reading →

Norman B. Keevil book reveals tactics of 1970s B.C. flirtation with resource nationalism – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – September 29, 2017)

http://resourceclips.com/

The year was 1973. No sooner had Teck Resources transplanted its HQ to Vancouver than British Columbia premier W.A.C. Bennett’s 20-year reign fell to defeat at NDP hands. Resource nationalism proved to be one of new premier Dave Barrett’s earliest enthusiasms. But the guy who bragged about his commitment to doing “what was needed and right” showed a peculiar modus operandi.

That’s just one of the stories related by Norman B. Keevil in a history of Teck to be released next week, Never Rest on your Ores: Building a Mining Company, One Stone at a Time. Keevil relates that on summoning him and Bob Hallbauer into the premier’s Victoria office, Barrett’s first words were, “I want your coal.”

Interest had been growing in northeastern B.C.’s deposits, among them Teck’s Sukunka. “Well, at least he did call it our coal,” Keevil notes. “That would become questionable as the situation evolved.” The duo declined but Barrett wouldn’t give up. He kept calling them back to Victoria on an almost weekly basis. Continue Reading →

[J.P. Bickell and McIntyre Mine] Literary hockey history at Timmins Museum – by Emma Meldrum (Timmins Daily Press – October 2, 2017)

http://www.timminspress.com/

J.P. Bickell was the CEO of McIntyre Mine which produced slightly over 10 million ounces of gold from 1912 – 1988. Gold mines that produce over 10 million ounces of gold are very rare, even today. – Stan Sudol

TIMMINS – In a darkened room, men mill about the bar while a reggae band plays. On Friday evening, the Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre’s permanent gallery space hosted Books, Bands, Beer and Beards. The evening started off with Jason Wilson & the Perennials’ version of the classic Hockey Night in Canada theme song – the hockey theme only grew from there.

Graham MacLaughlan and Kevin Shea, who wrote “J.P. Bickell: The Life, the Leafs, and the Legacy” along with Wilson, spoke at length about the man’s contributions to the sport and to this city.

When asked by host Andrew Autio about what surprised them while they researched the book, Shea highlighted the depth of Bickell’s philanthropy. “He was behind so many things that still exist to this day and flourished because of his money in the early days,” said Shea. “It doesn’t really resonate until you really start to research the book. Continue Reading →

Chief Isaac and the mass media – by Dorota Kupis (Yukon News – September 28, 2017)

The Yukon’s earliest newspapers frequently treated the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in poorly

The Klondike Gold Rush altered the lives of several Yukon First Nations. The most affected were the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, living near Dawson City. The Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in came in contact with white people years before the gold rush. The first traders (Jack McQuesten, Frank Bonfield) arrived in their territories as early as 1874. Other than traders, early newcomers were missionaries and miners.

After gold was discovered on Rabbit Creek in 1896, enormous waves of white newcomers came to the Yukon. By 1898, about 40,000 people settled in Dawson City, the center of the Klondike Gold Rush, and the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in living in this area became a minority in their traditional territories.

The Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, who relocated to the little community of Moosehide, three kilometers downriver from the new town, had to adapt their lives to interact with the residents of Dawson City and miners working on the adjacent creeks. Continue Reading →

Excerpt from J.P. BICKELL: The Life, the Leafs, and the Legacy – by Jason Wilson, Kevin Shea and Graham MacLachlan

To order a copy of “J.P. BICKELL: The Life, the Leafs, and the Legacy”: https://www.dundurn.com/books/JP-Bickell

Jason Wilson is a bestselling Canadian author, a two-time Juno Awards Nominee, and an Adjunct Professor of History at the University of Guelph. He has performed and recorded with UB40, Ron Sexsmith, Pee Wee Ellis, and Dave Swarbrick. Jason lives in Stouffville, Ontario.

Kevin Shea is a renowned hockey historian and bestselling author of fourteen hockey books. He is the Editor of Publications and Online Features for the Hockey Hall of Fame, a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs Historical Committee, and a founding member of Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer. Kevin lives in Toronto.

Graham MacLachlan is a relative of J.P. Bickell who has an extensive business background in international trade that is equalled by his involvement in hockey in the IIHF, the WHL, Hockey Canada, Hockey Alberta, and Hockey Calgary. Graham lives in Calgary, Alberta.

OVERVIEW

He stayed out of the spotlight, but Leafs fans know J.P. Bickell cast a long shadow.

A self-made mining magnate and the man who kept the Maple Leafs in Toronto and financed Maple Leaf Gardens, J.P. Bickell lived an extraordinary and purposeful life. As one of the most important industrialists in Canadian history, Bickell left his mark on communities across the nation. He was a cornerstone of the Toronto Maple Leafs, which awards the J.P. Bickell Memorial Award to recognize outstanding service to the organization.

Bickell’s story is also tied up with some of the most famous Canadians of his day, including Mitchell Hepburn, Roy Thomson, and Conn Smythe. Through his charitable foundation, he has been a key benefactor of the Hospital for Sick Children, and his legacy continues to transform Toronto. Continue Reading →

Excerpt from J.P. BICKELL: The Life, the Leafs, and the Legacy – by Jason Wilson, Kevin Shea and Graham MacLachlan

To order a copy of “J.P. BICKELL: The Life, the Leafs, and the Legacy”: https://www.dundurn.com/books/JP-Bickell

Jason Wilson is a bestselling Canadian author, a two-time Juno Awards Nominee, and an Adjunct Professor of History at the University of Guelph. He has performed and recorded with UB40, Ron Sexsmith, Pee Wee Ellis, and Dave Swarbrick. Jason lives in Stouffville, Ontario.

Kevin Shea is a renowned hockey historian and bestselling author of fourteen hockey books. He is the Editor of Publications and Online Features for the Hockey Hall of Fame, a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs Historical Committee, and a founding member of Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer. Kevin lives in Toronto.

Graham MacLachlan is a relative of J.P. Bickell who has an extensive business background in international trade that is equalled by his involvement in hockey in the IIHF, the WHL, Hockey Canada, Hockey Alberta, and Hockey Calgary. Graham lives in Calgary, Alberta.

OVERVIEW

He stayed out of the spotlight, but Leafs fans know J.P. Bickell cast a long shadow.

A self-made mining magnate and the man who kept the Maple Leafs in Toronto and financed Maple Leaf Gardens, J.P. Bickell lived an extraordinary and purposeful life. As one of the most important industrialists in Canadian history, Bickell left his mark on communities across the nation. He was a cornerstone of the Toronto Maple Leafs, which awards the J.P. Bickell Memorial Award to recognize outstanding service to the organization.

Bickell’s story is also tied up with some of the most famous Canadians of his day, including Mitchell Hepburn, Roy Thomson, and Conn Smythe. Through his charitable foundation, he has been a key benefactor of the Hospital for Sick Children, and his legacy continues to transform Toronto. Continue Reading →

ARCHIVES: The Murders In The Mine – by Katherine Laidlaw (Up Here.com – September 18, 2012)

http://uphere.ca/

Eighteen months on the picket line. Thirty-eight kilos of explosives. Nine men dead. 20 years passed.

It’s the story that made world news and changed a mining town forever. The Giant Mine strike stands as one of the longest and bloodiest in Canadian history, punctuated by one of the worst mass murders the country has ever seen. For those who lived through September 18, 1992, the scars have never healed. Here are their stories …

On May 22, 1992, a company called Royal Oak Mines Inc. locked out its workforce at Giant Mine in Yellowknife. The union, the local 4 chapter of the Canadian Association of Smelter and Allied Workers, and management couldn’t reach a settlement. Before the strike, it was a good, if finite, time to be a gold miner.

The average worker at Giant was pulling in $77,000 a year, and those clocking overtime were making more than $100,000. But the strike got dirty quickly as rumours swirled of Royal Oak CEO Peggy Witte’s intent to break the union. One thing she did break was an unwritten labour rule in Canada: you don’t bring in replacement workers. No mining company had done that in 45 years. Nevada-born Witte flew them in by helicopter the next day. Continue Reading →