Resurgent gold mining and forestry activity holds promise and provides growth pressure for north shore community
When Maury O’Neill was hired by the Township of Wawa in 1990, there were seven operating gold mines in the area. As the community’s new housing coordinator, her job was to find lodgings for the influx of workers, including many employed at the Citadel gold mine on the outskirts of town.
Today, O’Neill finds herself in familiar territory as the current CAO and economic development officer for the town of 2,700 situated between the northeast shore of Lake Superior and Wawa Lake.
The mining industry is back with a flurry, and it’s full-time scrambling for town officials to plan and find suitable housing to help recruit miners and mill workers but also attract families.
Up the road 45 minutes away, outside Dubreuilville, the prolific Island Gold Mine got the green light from its parent company, Alamos Gold, to expand the high-grade underground operation for the third time. Across the property boundary, Argonaut Gold is reviving the former underground Magino Mine, carving it out and putting it into production as an open pit.