Archive | Canadian Mining History

Canada’s Boy Miners – by Robert McIntosh (Canada’s History — May 9, 2017)

Pennsylvania Child Coal Miners – Wiki

http://www.canadashistory.ca/

Like children in other late nineteenth and early twentieth-century Canadian communities, boys in colliery towns and villages worked.

“Long before your city boys are astir the pit boy is awakened by the steam whistles, which blow three long blasts at half-past five o’clock every morning, thus warning him that it is time to get up. Breakfast partaken of, he dons his pit clothes, usually a pair of indifferent-fitting duck trousers, generously patched, an old coat, and with a lighted tin lamp on the front of his cap, his tea and dinner cans securely fastened on his back, he is ready for work.

He must be at his post at 7 o’clock. Off he goes, and in a few minutes with a number of others, he is engaged in animated conversation, and having a high old time generally, as he is lowered on a riding rake to the bottom of the slope.”

— Halifax Morning Chronicle, 4 December 1890

Like children in other late nineteenth and early twentieth century Canadian communities, boys in colliery towns and villages worked. Like other children also, these boys started to work at an early age. Even well after the turn of this century, according to mining historian Lynne Bowen, “if a boy who had lived in a coal town got tired of school and was anxious to make a little money, the obvious thing for him to do was to go to work in the mines. Continue Reading →

The Trump riddle: Did the president’s grandfather — or another Fred Trumpf — flip klondike claims? – by Maura Forrest (National Post – May 6, 2017)

http://news.nationalpost.com/

It was the summer of 1897, and word was beginning to filter south that there was gold up in the Klondike. Fred Trumpf got his foot in the door early. By the time the first prospectors landed in Seattle carrying the gold that launched the stampede, he’d already applied for a mining claim near Dawson City, in today’s Yukon Territory. His signature, “Fred Trumpf,” is still clearly visible on the original application, 120 years later.

By the looks of things, Trumpf wasn’t all that interested in digging for gold. On July 8, he split up his claim, which had cost him $15, and sold one half for $400. A few months later, he sold the other half for $2,000, equal to more than $50,000 today.

That September, he did it again — applied for a claim, split it up, and sold for a tidy profit. There’s no evidence he ever did any work on either claim. It’s widely known that Donald Trump’s grandfather — born Friedrich in Germany in 1869 — got his start by opening a gold rush hotel in the Yukon in 1898 and “mining the miners,” as Trump biographer Gwenda Blair put it. Continue Reading →

1978-79 Steelworkers strike subject of Mick Lowe’s new novel – by Heidi Ulrichsen (Sudbury Northern Life – May 3, 2017)

https://www.sudbury.com/

Local author has completed trilogy about city’s mining history

Given it’s a part of the city’s recent history, most Sudburians remember Steelworkers Local 6500’s nearly year-long 2009-2010 strike against Vale. More distant in the community’s collective memory is the arguably even more bitter labour dispute that happened a generation earlier.

Steelworkers Local 6500 went on strike against Vale’s predecessor, Inco, for 10 and a half months from Sept. 15, 1978 until June 7, 1979. The labour dispute, which involved 11,600 workers, and starved Inco of more than 22 million hours of labour, smashed records at the time for the longest strike in Canadian history.

The impact on the Sudbury community was devastating, with businesses closing, marriages breaking up and families losing their life savings. The 1978-1979 Steelworkers strike is the subject of local author Mick Lowe’s latest novel, “Wintersong.” It’s the third in the Nickel Range Trilogy fiction series, which focuses on Sudbury’s mining history. Continue Reading →

130-years later, historian recounts ‘devastating’ Nanaimo mine explosion – by Ian Holmes (Nanaimo News Now – May 3, 2017)

http://nanaimonewsnow.com/

NANAIMO — The 130th anniversary of a pair of devastating explosions that killed 148 men working in a Nanaimo coal mine is raising memories of the vibrant and extremely dangerous industry. The No. 1 Esplanade Mine, near the current cruise ship terminal, exploded after gas or dust was ignited on May 3, 1887.

The tragedy was the second worst mining disaster in Canada’s history. Vancouver Island coal historian and author T.W. Paterson told NanaimoNewsNOW the tragedy had a massive ripple-effect on Nanaimo, which he said was home to a little more than 2,000 people at that time.

“I liken it to a small nuclear device on a city,” Paterson said. “There would have been not one living soul in Nanaimo at the time who didn’t lose a family member, in-law, workmate or a friend.” Only seven men survived the carnage at the mine, which Paterson said was the largest and longest running operation on Vancouver Island. About 50 of the killed miners were Chinese men who were idenfifed only by numbers. Continue Reading →

Nation-Building on Permafrost: Three Prime Ministers – by Geoff Norquay (Policy Magazine – July/August 2014)

http://www.policymagazine.ca/

Contributing Writer Geoff Norquay, a former senior policy adviser to Prime Minister Mulroney, is a principal of the Earnscliffe Strategy Group in Ottawa. geoff@earnscliffe.ca

From the infrastructure ambitions of John Diefenbaker to the governance breakthroughs of Brian Mulroney to the resource development dreams of Stephen Harper, the North has enthralled and sometimes confounded Canada’s political leadership. Longtime political strategist and former prime ministerial aide Geoff Norquay traces half a century of policy trials and triumphs in a part of the world where change comes slowly

John Diefenbaker, Brian Mulroney and Stephen Harper are united by more than the fact that they were all Conservative prime ministers and politically dominant in their respective eras. For all three, northern Canada held a special place in their national policy agenda, they each had their “northern visions” and they took significant
steps to advance the economic and constitutional development ofthat region.

In the case of Diefenbaker, it was his “Northern Vision” and “Roads to Resources” programs; for Mulroney, it was the commitment and negotiations that led to the creation of Canada’s third territory, Nunavut;and for Harper, it has been asserting Canada’s sovereignty in the Arctic and the successful negotiation of a devolution agreement with the Northwest Territories. Continue Reading →

[John G. Diefenbaker: His Northern Vision] A New Vision – by John G. Diefenbaker [This speech was given at the Civic Auditorium, Winnipeg, 12 February 1958]

http://www.canadahistory.com/

Ladies and gentlemen, we started in the last few months, since June the 10th, to carry out our promises, and I can tell you this, that as long as I am Prime Minister of this country, the welfare of the average Canadian will not be forgotten. We intend to launch for the future, we have laid the foundations now, the long-range objectives of this party.

We ask from you a mandate; a new and a stronger mandate, to pursue the planning and to carry to fruition our new national development programme for Canada. For years we raised that in the House of Commons, and those in authority ridiculed it. Day before yesterday, Mr. Pearson came out in favour of a national development policy. Why didn’t they do it when they Were in power?

This national development policy will create a new sense of national purpose and national destiny. One Canada. One Canada, wherein Canadians will have preserved to them the control of their own economic and political destiny. Sir John A. Macdonald gave his life to this party. He opened the West. Continue Reading →

Homecoming History: Roots of a mining town – by Jonathon Naylor (Flin Flon Reminder – May 2, 2017)

http://www.thereminder.ca/

Accounts of local history often begin in 1927, the year Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Co., Limited (HBM&S) and Flin Flon were founded courtesy of the Flin Flon ore body. In actual fact, the area’s history – and the events necessary for the eventual formation of Flin Flon, Creighton and Denare Beach – date back further.

Amisk Lake, situated along present-day Denare Beach, has at least two important historical stories to tell. The serene lake has been utilized since the days of the Canadian fur trade. In the 1950s, explorers Harry Moody and Tom Welsh journeyed to the north side of Amisk Lake, where they found artifacts such as steel-bladed scissors and metal utensils.

Moody saw this as evidence that the famed fur-trading Frobisher brothers had set up a winter camp there in 1774-75. He later helped discover the actual site of Fort Henry Frobisher, an independent British post. Saskatchewan’s first gold-rush mining town was located on the southern shore of Amisk Lake, within driving distance of present-day Denare Beach. Continue Reading →

2017 PDAC Special Achievement Award: Women’s Association of the Mining Industry of Canada (WAMIC)

PDAC 2017 Special Achievement Award: Women’s Association of the Mining Industry of Canada (WAMIC) from PDAC on Vimeo.

Vi Andersen (WAMIC) and Ed Thompson

From time to time, the PDAC presents a Special Achievement Award that recognizes exceptional contributions to the mineral industry.

Women’s Association of the Mining Industry of Canada (WAMIC): For continuous philanthropy to the mining industry, as well as Canadian health and educational institutions for 95 years.

WAMIC was founded in 1921 with the objective of promoting friendship among women connected to mining, supporting the industry and people in it, and participating in work that related to the well-being of Canadians.

Over the past 95 years, WAMIC members have overseen the distribution of more than $1.8 million in support of young people’s education, most of which was raised directly by their efforts. WAMIC is probably best known for its fundraising, its numerous and imaginative social events, and the association’s strong presence at both the PDAC and Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum conventions in Toronto. WAMIC was also the inspiration for the similar Greater Vancouver Mining Women’s Association in British Columbia.

While the role of the association has evolved in recent years, it continues to make a significant impact. WAMIC has provided financial support for hundreds of students undertaking earth science and mining-related subjects and programs at colleges and universities across Canada. Continue Reading →

2017 PDAC Distinguished Service Award: Neil Gow

PDAC 2017 Distinguished Service Award: Neil Gow from PDAC on Vimeo.

(L to R) Neil Gow and Rod Thomas (PDAC Awards Committee Chair)

This award recognizes an individual who has achieved one or more of the following: made a substantial contribution to mineral exploration and mining development over a number of years; given considerable time and effort to the PDAC; made outstanding contributions to the mineral industry in the field of finance, geology, geophysics, geochemistry research, or a related activity.

Neil Gow: For using his vast knowledge and experience as a geologist to volunteer for the betterment of the mineral exploration and mining industry.

Neil Gow is a geologist who served the mineral exploration and mining industry in an exemplary fashion. He started his career in Australia before making his way to Canada in 1982. For the most part since then he has been an independent Consulting Geologist based just outside Toronto in Burlington.

Neil is well-known for his work in lead-zinc, laterite and gold deposits, which included valuation reports for potential investment by clients and independent qualifying reports. Yet, it’s his many generous volunteer commitments that make him a standout in his field. Continue Reading →

Proud Canadian mining sector for a strong nation – by Marilyn Scales (Canadian Mining Journal – February/March 2017)

http://www.canadianminingjournal.com/

Canada is celebrating the 150th anniversary of Confederation. In 1867 the founding fathers met in Charlottetown built the foundation of a nation truly “strong and free”. They did a very good job, too. We can savour their hard work as we join in various celebrations around the country.

One of the reasons to be proud of Canada is its vast storehouse of natural resources and the men and enterprises that put us among the world’s premier mineral producers – gold, uranium, potash, base metals, diamonds, and the metals of the future. Our mineral legacy has also given rise to some of the world’s best technology for finding, mining and processing those riches.

Let’s take a look at the first person to be caught up in our mineral wealth. While Martin Frobisher searched for the Northwest Passage, he ballasted his ships with shiny yellow rocks. What he thought would be his fortune was pyrite, not gold, and his mistake was not pointed out until he had made another voyage and collected even more rocks. The lesson is: Never send a ship captain to do a geologist’s job.

French king Louis XIV granted what are probably the first mineral concessions on Cape Breton Island to Nicolas Denys who discovered coal there in 1672. For the next 200 years mining was small scale, done to meet local needs. Continue Reading →

[Ontario Gold mining history] The Red Lake Marines – by Leslie Roberts (MACLEAN’S Magazine – November 15, 1937)

http://www.macleans.ca/

Freighting that ties up the air lanes with ice and water routes is a big job

BILL COOK, transportation executive at the Red Lake base, said, “If you’re all set, let’s get going.” The mechanic cast off from the dock. The pilot gunned the motor. The ship taxied out into clear water, nosed into the wind, raced over the choppy surface, stepped into the air.

Behind us the town of Red Lake faded toward the northern horizon a town of 900 people who live in virtually the same circumstances of creature comfort as may be found in Aurora or Orillia, excepting the absence of railroads or motor highways. Back in Red Lake, nattily uniformed waitresses were spreading white damask and spotless silver on the tables in the hotel dining room; guests were debating politics and the stock market in deep armchairs in the lobby.

Around the streets youngsters were wondering if this Infantry Paralelasis, or whatever it is, would mean longer holidays, the way it did in Toronto. Their mothers were plugging electric-iron cords into wall sockets, buying steaks down at the shops along the Main Street sidewalk, talking bridge, tennis, plans for the coming badminton season with their neighbors. Continue Reading →

Will the nickel boom make a new man of Manitoba? – by Robert Collins (MACLEAN’S Magazine – April 13, 1957)

http://www.macleans.ca/

It’s been a have-not province for years. Now its “worthless” north is bustling with an epic strike and staking rush. Some enthusiasts insist it’s the biggest thing since the CPR went through

Until a couple of decades ago every Canadian schoolboy was aware that the prosperity of our three prairie provinces — Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba — depended on agriculture. Given a bumper wheat crop, the prairies were rich.

Hit by drought or rust, they were poor. Then Alberta broke the mold with a series of oil strikes, and in the bonanza that followed became a fat and flamboyant Canadian Texas. Times changed in Saskatchewan too with the advent of the atomic age and the discovery of major uranium deposits.

Manitoba was left in the lurch, with a horse-and-buggy economy hitched to agriculture in the south and a desolate pile of rock in the north that yielded a modest treasure without changing the basic pattern of the province’s economy. Continue Reading →

The story of nickel is industrial romance writ by man in metal – by Charles Vincent (MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE – December 15, 1936)

http://www.macleans.ca/

THE CONSTRUCTION gang foreman looked down the cut where his crew was tackling the tough rock with heavy picks, getting ready to blast. The track layers were right on his heels, pushing the new Canadian Pacific Railway westward to bridge the continent. The foreman’s eye fell on one man.

“Hey, you !” he roared, “what’re ye standin’ there gapin’ at? Get busy with that pick.”

“Well, take a look at this slab of rock, boss; it’s kind of queer.” And so in 1883 nickel was uncovered at Sudbury.

It was a product that nobody wanted. When the first smelting yielded a metal which was curiously pale instead of copper red, and when analysis showed that this fault was due to the presence of nickel, men cursed it as a plague which they neither knew how to get rid of nor how to use in such large quantities. It was the copper content of the Sudbury ore on which they had set their hopes. Continue Reading →

[Manitoba Mining History] Flin Flon – by Jack Paterson (MACLEAN’S – OCTOBER 1, 1938)

http://www.macleans.ca/

Ten years ago Flin Flon was a struggling mining camp in the wilderness; today it is Manitoba’s third city

OVER Flin Flon at 4,000. Visibility excellent. Landing now. Advise Winnipeg. Okay Lac Du Bonnet.”

A quick rattle of sign-off letters and the pilot carelessly tossed sponge-rubber earphones above the cowling. At Lac du Bonnet, 450 miles distant, a young operator of Wings, Limited, would relay the message from loudspeaker to private telephone line. In brief seconds head office would have it. Simple routine.

My mind flashed to an article I had done for Maclean’s short years back, wherein was prophesied general two-way radio for wilderness airplanes. At that time voice distance and sixty-five pounds unit weight had been the sticker. Now here was voice distance handled by a compact set of only thirty pounds, live and simple as a telephone.

Progress. Yes, but 4,000 feet below us, a jumble of wooden boxes, scattered over rocky hills plumed by smoke from a great smelter, was another herald of progress that commanded attention. Ten years! My spine tingled at thought of changes I would see. Continue Reading →

The Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Company, Limited History (1927-1996) – by International Directory of Company Histories

Centennial of the Flin Flon Ore Discovery (May 2015) 

For a large selection of corporate histories click: International Directory of Company Histories

Company History:

The Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Company, Limited, is a major Canadian producer of copper and zinc which operates mines and metal processing facilities in remote areas of the province of Manitoba. The company has been removing metals from the ground for most of the twentieth century, and its efforts to industrialize western Manitoba have helped to foster development in the region.

More than 23 mines have yielded ore to the Hudson Bay metal processing works over the last 60 years, as the company has engaged in aggressive geological exploration to support its metal refining activities.

Hudson Bay got its start in January 1915, when Tom Creighton, an early Canadian prospector, happened upon an outcropping of sulfide ore in an undeveloped area of Manitoba. In the previous decade, prospectors had discovered that an enormous greenstone belt stretched east from Manitoba into northern Saskatchewan. This geological structure contained numerous deposits of different metals mixed together, including zinc, copper, silver, and gold. Continue Reading →