Searching for a hidden gem: OGS cataloguing mining data in the Sault district – b Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – March 13, 2017)

At the Ontario Geological Survey’s Resident Geologist Office in Sault Ste. Marie, staff is undertaking a project to catalogue and digitize mining data that’s been unavailable to the online public — until now.

District geologist Anthony Pace said a mining company will often donate data to the Ministry of Natural Development and Mines (MNDM), such as original mine or surface plans, after a mine shuts down, or an exploration project comes to a close.

It’s information that could be valuable for future prospecting or exploration on the site, but it’s only available in limited format. “If we lose that data, the actual original data, it’s gone,” Pace said. “We don’t even have a form of backup for it.”

So staff at his office has started cataloguing it, with an aim of also digitizing it and putting it online, so that it’s accessible for everybody. The Sault Ste. Marie office oversees a district that extends from just east of Elliot Lake to south of White River, and west of Chapleau.

Currently, much of the exploration and development activity is taking place mostly in the Wawa-Dubreuilville area, where companies like Red Pine Exploration, Argonaut Gold, and Richmont Mines are making news for their mining activity.

Often, that data can be the information that companies want coming into a new area of exploration, as it can contain crucial details associated with a property, Pace said.

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