Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery (2 of 6) – Excerpt from Fortunes Found Canadian Mining Success – by Michael Barnes

Michael Barnes is the author of more than fifty books about characters, communities, mining, and police work. He is a Member of the Order of Canada and makes his home in Haliburton, Ontario, Canada. While living in Northern Ontario most of his life, he has come to know and admire those who make their living in the mining industry.

To order a copy of “Fortunes Found – Canadian Mining Success” go to: General Store Publishing House

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

Ontario’s Ring of Fire Discovery

When junior companies take on ambitious exploration projects like the work to develop The Ring of Fire, the rate of burn — the expenditure of hard-won financial investment — is used up at a fast clip. Noront Resources alone spent $19 million in 2009. One industry analyst suggests that the six companies drilling in the area will spend around $250 million over five years on exploration. Since site access is by fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, the budget for transportation is huge.

So it is that the juniors band together in various joint ventures and option agreements, and, since many actually share offices in the same building, there is frequent consultation and shared planning. Nickel ore is considered attractive and would likely bring the fastest payback, but chromite as chrome also has great possibilities for development. If this is the case, concentrate produced on-site could be shipped on the hoped-for road to the south and possibly be processed at a facility set up to produce ferro-chrome, which could be built in Thunder Bay.

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Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery (1 of 6) – Excerpt from Fortunes Found Canadian Mining Success – by Michael Barnes

Michael Barnes is the author of more than fifty books about characters, communities, mining, and police work. He is a Member of the Order of Canada and makes his home in Haliburton, Ontario, Canada. While living in Northern Ontario most of his life, he has come to know and admire those who make their living in the mining industry.

To order a copy of “Fortunes Found – Canadian Mining Success” go to: General Store Publishing House

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

Ontario’s Ring of Fire Discovery

As the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada Convention came to a close in March 2008, a group of industry influentials crowded the Imperial Room of the Royal York Hotel in Toronto for a luncheon to benefit Mining Matters, the mining education charity.

While they waited for the event to begin, a scratchy version of the stirring Johnny Cash song was played over the public address system. The fundraiser was in aid of charity, but the draw beyond the lunch was a claim-staking venture in the remote James Bay Lowlands, which was initiated in the late 1990s, and the events that followed. The series of properties that sparked the interest was dubbed — some say by Rob Cudney — “The Ring of Fire” because when it was further explored, the target area had the distinct shape of a broken circle or crescent with an original source as magma or molten rock from huge volcanic action.

The Cash song was really about love, but this mining play with the potential to create huge wealth for Canada and the expected much needed jobs and spinoff economic activity conjures up a mixture of emotions. The origin of the interest in the area came when two junior companies, Spider Resources and KWG Resources searched as a team for diamonds in 1997–98. They had optioned promising targets to De Beers, and one of these kimberlite targets was drilled and unexpectedly turned up evidence of copper and zinc.

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Excerpt From Michael Barnes New Book – More Than Free Gold: Mineral Exploration in Canada Since World War II

More Than Free Gold - Michael BarnesFaults and Fissures Vein Deposits

The discovery of silver and gold vein deposits marked the start of Canada’s mining legacy. The discovery of gold at Kirkland Lake and Timmins and silver in Cobalt and near Thunder Bay set the stage for the development of these parts of Canada’s hinterland and founded the development of a mining culture that continues today. …

Gold mining has come a long way in Ontario since the first property, the Richardson Mine in Eldorado near Madoc, fizzled shortly after its 1867 opening. The scattering of small mines working in northwestern Ontario eked out a few ounces of gold in the early part of the twentieth century. The success of the Cobalt camp gave witness to the Mexican proverb, “It takes a silver mine to make a gold mine,” by providing a labour pool and ready financing for the rich gold bonanzas of the Porcupine and Kirkland Lake.

The Porcupine-Timmins area produced 67 million ounces of gold from 48 mines between 1910 and 2004. The smaller but richer grade Kirkland Lake camp had an output from twenty-four mines that gave up 42 million ounces between 1917 and 1990.

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Excerpt From Michael Barnes New Book – More Than Free Gold:Mineral Exploration in Canada Since World War II

More Than Free Gold - Michael Barnes

Our Best Friend
Kimberlites with Diamonds

With the discovery of diamonds in the kimberlite bodies of the Lac de Gras district in the N.W.T., Canada emerged as a major diamond producer, challenging South Africa, Botswana, Australia and Russia in both quality and quantity of diamond production.

Diamond hunting is difficult because kimberlite outcrops are rare, due to the fact that the rock is easily eroded; often a chunk of the stuff will crumble in the hand.

The big mining news in the eighties was of the gold at Hemlo, but in that decade two men were searching for a much more elusive quarry. Veteran prospector Chuck Fipke and geologist Dr. Stu Blusson spent all they had and all they could borrow to finance a quest for diamonds.

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Excerpt from Michael Barnes New Book – More Than Free Gold: Mineral Exploration in Canada Since World War II

Pronto Mine, Rio Algom - Elliot Lake 1958The World Wants Yellowcake (Uranium)

Among some people uranium gets a bad rap due to its use as the explosive material for atomic weapons and yet these folks tend to forget that it has most beneficial uses for mankind, principally as the fuel for nuclear reactors which deliver about 15% of the country’s electricity. Canada is currently the largest producer of uranium in the world, although Australia has the larger proportion of the world’s known deposits. In 2006 of the seventeen countries that mined the element, Canada produced 28%, followed by Australia with 23%. The term ‘yellowcake’ was originally given to uranium concentrate, although the colour and texture today can range from anything through dull yellow to almost black.

Early interest in uranium in Canada took a back seat to the work of Gilbert and Charles LaBine who discovered radium at Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories in 1930.

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Excerpt from Michael Barnes New Book – More Than Free Gold: Mineral Exploration in Canada Since World War II

2006 Mining Activity in British ColumbiaHidden in the Rock – Porphyries (British Columbia)

Those who seek minerals in porphyries would be advised to follow the old adage, “Go west young geologist,” as this form of igneous activity is found in young rock with large crystals. Deposits are usually large but the trade-off is in low-grade mineralization. The name porphyry comes from the Latin for its colour purple and has associations with royal or imperial qualities dating back to the Romans. In Canada, British Columbia enjoys the lion’s share of this rock, which contains the largest resources of copper, significant molybdenum and 50% of the gold in the province.

British Columbia is copper-rich, and mining of the metal commenced in the late nineteenth century. Many mines have been worked in the province over the past 125 years, and there are currently still some porphyry deposits of interest.

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Michael Barnes Columns – An Introduction

In addition to publishing 50 books, Michael Barnes has written many columns on the history of northern Ontario. Even today, this is a region of Canada that is not well known across the country. With Michael Barnes’ permission, the Republic of Mining will be posting these columns on this site so a new digital generation …

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Michael Barnes – The Godfather of Northern Ontario History-Stan Sudol

Michael BarnesFor someone who has been retired since 1989, Michael Barnes has no intention of slowing down.

The author of 50 books and counting, most about Northern Ontario, Barnes has had a long and varied career that included a bus conductor, a bush cook in Ramsey, and a beer thrower in Wawa.

He has also been a CBC freelance broadcaster and newspaper columnist, both for a time in Sudbury. But his “real job” was a public school teacher and principal working in locations across the north and finally ending up in Kirkland Lake.

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