A Must-Do Hike With Bird’s-Eye Views Of the Alberta Town That Was Buried Under Rock – by Britanny Burr (Lethbridge Herald – July 15, 2024)

https://lethbridgeherald.com/

Along the scenic Crowsnest Pass Highway, as you drive through the remnants of what once was Turtle Mountain and the town of Frank, be sure to pull over. Here lies the historic site of Canada’s deadliest rockslide, which tragically buried the town in 1903. Follow along as we take a stroll through history and discover why Turtle Mountain is a hike worthy of your bucket list.

Frank Slide is one of those places where nature’s power and human history intersect phenomenally. Back in 1903, in the wee hours of the morning on April 29th, a massive rockslide roared down Turtle Mountain, burying the town of Frank in the Crowsnest Pass. Imagine over 82 million tonnes of limestone crashing down in just 90 seconds, obliterating everything in its path. It remains one of Canada’s deadliest natural disasters.

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The Prospector turns 100: how this workhorse of a canoe helped build Canada – by Joe O’Connor (Financial Post – June 26, 2024)

https://financialpost.com/

A century ago this sturdy, quintessentially Canadian vessel was built to take geologists into the remote north. Today, its descendants are still being paddled by modern-day prospectors in search of that lucky strike

There were clues around the brick bungalow in north Toronto where Deb Scott grew up that hinted at her parents’ adventurous past. Photo albums full of black-and-white images of big lakes, dense northern forests, rocky hills and rushing waters; an old Coleman camping stove tucked away in a basement corner; a pair of heavy, eider-down sleeping bags; wooden crates full of rock samples; and a red, 16-foot Prospector canoe kept in the rafters of the two-car garage.

A heavy, and yet nimble, beast of a canoe, the Prospector — and there is some debate among the experts on this — was introduced to consumers by New Brunswick-based Chestnut Canoe Co. circa 1924, and was so named for its early association with the rock-hunting endeavours of the Geological Survey of Canada.

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More than minerals: Why mid-stream capacity is key to Canada’s industrial future – by Ian M. London(Northern Miner – June 19, 2024)

https://www.northernminer.com/

Ian M. London is executive director of the Canadian Critical Minerals & Materials Alliance (www.c2m2a.org).

Canada boasts of its rich history and continued success in mining, metallurgical and chemical processing, advanced manufacturing, strong trade relations north-south and east-west, access to clean energy and its commitment to sustainability.

While these strengths lay the foundation for Canada to succeed in a rapidly changing economy driven by the global energy transition, they’re not enough. The looming challenge is how can industry, governments, communities and investors lever and translate these capabilities and aspirations to fulfill Canada’s promise?

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What’s behind a historic, unusual U.S. military cash transfer to Canadian mines – by Alexander Panetta (CBC News World – May 26, 2024)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/

The Pentagon fears global unrest, a shortage of raw materials, and seeks to kickstart projects here

The United States was growing desperate, months before its entry into the Second World War. It was gravely short of aluminum, and scrambling for suppliers. Its solution: turn north to Canada.

American public money flooded into Quebec, building the aluminum industry that supplied raw materials for Allied planes and tanks. “I would be willing to buy aluminum from anybody,” said Harry Truman, then still a U.S. senator, in 1941 hearings on the topic.

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Fire and the mining frontier – by John Sandlos (Canadian Mining Journal – May 5, 2024)

https://www.canadianminingjournal.com/

The massive expansion of Canada’s mining industry in the early twentieth century brought miners into close contact with one of the most fire-prone ecosystems on the planet ― the great boreal forest. Although prospectors sometimes lit fires to clear land for exploration, the smell of smoke and the site of flames more often signaled a mortal threat to new mining communities in northern Canada.

With their hastily constructed wooden buildings, rudimentary fire fighting capabilities, and lack of viable transportation infrastructure, mining communities had almost no defenses against fire. Some fires might start within a town or a mine (such as the July 1909 fire in Cobalt, Ont.), but large forest fires also spelled potential doom for anyone or anything in their pathway.

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[Saskatchewan Uranium Mining] A restart 15 years in the making – by Trish Saywell (CIM Magazine – May 02, 2024)

https://magazine.cim.org/en/

Mining at the McClean Lake uranium mine in Saskatchewan, which has been suspended since 2009, will restart in 2025 using technology developed to extract high-grade ore from small ore bodies

After spending 15 years and more than $100 million on research and development, partners Orano Canada Inc. and Denison Mines have built mining equipment that is deployed from surface to extract high-grade uranium ore. They plan to use it to restart mining operations at their McClean Lake property in northern Saskatchewan; Orano owns a 77.5 per cent stake and is the operator of the McClean Lake Joint Venture (MLJV), while Denison owns 22.5 per cent.

Restarting uranium production at McClean Lake is a major milestone. Mining operations at the site began in 1995 and the MLJV extracted ore from five open pits, producing approximately 50 million pounds on a 100 per cent basis, before operations were suspended in 2009 due to low uranium prices.

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Cobalt’s boomtown blues – by John Sandlos (Canadian Mining Journal – March 7, 2024)

https://www.canadianminingjournal.com/

Every mine develops at a different pace. The discovery of a major mineral deposits may create feverish excitement, but an actual mine may remain undeveloped for decades, waiting for a favourable alignment of investors, infrastructure developments, or market conditions.

Some mines develop rather suddenly, however, leading to the “rush” conditions that have been romanticized in popular culture. Mineral rushes may lead to riches for some, but they also can create impossibly difficult conditions for miners and their families, including poor housing, hunger, diseases, and high accident rates in the mines.

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Heart of gold: the legend of Nellie Cashman – by A.J. Roan (North of 60 Mining News – March 1, 2024)

https://www.miningnewsnorth.com/

Undertake an adventure through the riveting tale of Ellen “Nellie” Cashman, perhaps one of the most inspiring women of the 18th century.

Perhaps no other individual could be regarded as true an American pioneer as Irish immigrant Ellen “Nellie” Cashman. Easily regarded as a quintessential gold mining stampeder with her acumen in business and the nose to sniff out opportunity, she traveled the width and breadth of America, leaving success and hope in her wake.

Known as the Angel of the Mining Camps, this is the story of a woman whose family name may have once been O’Kissane, but through her exploits, lived up to the name Cashman.

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After the gold rush: The rise and fall of Ontario’s own Eldorado – by Jamie Bradburn (TVO Today – January 30, 2024)

https://www.tvo.org/

You might blink and miss it if you’re travelling along Highway 62 today, but in the late 1860s, thousands went there in hopes of striking it rich

“Eldorado is one of those cities which American genius calls into existence in some emergency of speculation, which rise like a mushroom, sometimes attaining a world-wide celebrity, and often sinking as mysteriously as they have risen.” — “Orlando,” Hamilton Spectator, September 10, 1867

For a brief moment in the late 1860s, central Ontario provided visions of riches for thousands of prospectors, speculators, and others caught up in the province’s first gold rush. While our own Eldorado still exists as a small hamlet you might blink and miss while driving along Highway 62 between Madoc and Bancroft, it has yet to fulfil the dreams that continue to this day.

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Canadian Mining Hall of Fame celebrates industry-making feats of five new inductees – by Blair McBride (Northern Miner – January 12, 2024)

https://www.northernminer.com/

The Canadian Mining Hall of Fame (CMHF) held its 36th annual induction ceremony on Jan. 11 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, welcoming five new honourees, and bringing total membership up to 208. The celebration, attended by 720 people, was hosted by Northern Miner Group president Anthony Vaccaro. Full bios of all the inductees are available here.

From office workers to standard-makers

The first new members of the night were William E. Roscoe and John T. Postle, joint inductees whose eight decades of combined work formed the system of mining consulting and standards development the industry now relies on. Roscoe, an exploration geologist by training and Postle, a mining engineer, had both developed their own careers in mining before they first met in 1967, at Cominco’s Wedge mine in New Brunswick.

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Who was Skookum Jim? – by John Sandlos (Canadian Mining Journal – November 1, 2023)

https://www.canadianminingjournal.com/

John Sandlos is a professor in the History Department at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the co-author (with Arn Keeling) of “Mining Country: A History of Canada’s Mines and Miners,” published by James Lorimer and Co. in 2021.

Among the thousands of people who searched for gold amid the rivers and creeks of the Klondike in the late 1890s, Skookum Jim stands out as one of the most famous, but also perhaps the most enigmatic. The basics of Jim’s life story, and his role in the gold rush, are well-known. He was born among the Tagish people near Bennett Lake in 1854 (perhaps 1855), and his real name was Keish.

By 1885, the first small groups of prospectors had arrived in Dyea, Alaska, and Keish and his nephew Kaa Goox (also knowns as Dawson or Tagish Charlie) found work as packers and guides, ferrying supplies up over the notorious steep and rocky slope of the Chilkoot Pass. It was there that Keish first met a 24-year-old prospector from California, George Carmack, who eventually married Jim’s sister, Shaaw Tlaa (or Kate Carmack).

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Springhill mining disaster remains a horrific memory – by Patrick Kennedy (Kingston Whig Standard – October 28,2023)

https://www.thewhig.com/

Dave Cochrane leans forward and unpacks a memory from more than a half-century ago, back to a winter’s day in Sudbury at the Inco employment office. He had ventured to the Nickel City to land a mining job and go to work in the bowels of Mother Earth, much like his father and his grandfathers had done before him back home in Nova Scotia.

At the time, Cochrane weighed maybe a buck-forty, well under the company’s 160-pound minimum weight requirement for underground workers. “Sorry, son, you’re 20 pounds too light,” the Inco man at the employment centre said.

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A deadly Canadian mining disaster: exactly 65 years later, there are still lessons for us – by Ken Cuthbertson (Toronto Star – October 28, 2023)

https://www.thestar.com/

The warning signs were all there. Yet economics dictated that the residents of Springhill, N.S., continue their blind reliance on coal — the ultimate fossil fuel.

One hundred and seventy-four men were working deep within the Dominion Steel and Coal Corporation (DOSCO) colliery at Springhill, N.S., on the evening of Oct. 23, 1958. That’s when death came calling. “At the surface (in Springhill), people … felt a bump,” a Nova Scotia Energy and Mines senior geologist would say many years later. “That wouldn’t explain what the miners felt deep underground. It was much more violent.”

It has been guesstimated that the force of what locals ever after came to refer to as “the Bump” was the equivalent of about 1,000 tonnes of dynamite being exploded underground. That may well have been so, for the grim consequences of the upheaval still stand as one of Canada’s worst workplace disasters. the hard-luck town of Springhill had a long, painful history of such misfortunes.

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A deadly Canadian mining disaster: exactly 65 years later, there are still lessons for us – by Ken Cuthbertson (Toronto Star – October 23, 2023)

https://www.thestar.com/

The warning signs were all there. Yet economics dictated that the residents of Springhill, N.S., continue their blind reliance on coal — the ultimate fossil fuel.

One hundred and seventy-four men were working deep within the Dominion Steel and Coal Corporation (DOSCO) colliery at Springhill, N.S., on the evening of Oct. 23, 1958. That’s when death came calling. “At the surface (in Springhill), people … felt a bump,” a Nova Scotia Energy and Mines senior geologist would say many years later. “That wouldn’t explain what the miners felt deep underground. It was much more violent.”

It has been guesstimated that the force of what locals ever after came to refer to as “the Bump” was the equivalent of about 1,000 tonnes of dynamite being exploded underground. That may well have been so, for the grim consequences of the upheaval still stand as one of Canada’s worst workplace disasters. the hard-luck town of Springhill had a long, painful history of such misfortunes.

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Kingston author looks back at one of the greatest disasters in Canadian history – by Peter Hendra (Kingston Whig Standard – October 2023)

https://www.thewhig.com/

Sixty-five years ago, in the tiny coal-mining town of Springhill, N.S., a mini-earthquake — what they called a “bump” — in the No. 2 mine took the lives of 75 people, making it one of the worst workplace disasters in Canadian history.

While he was born and lives in Kingston, Ken Cuthbertson, the author of the just-published “Blood on the Coal: The True Story of the Great Springhill Mine Disaster,” has roots in Nova Scotia and remembers his grandparents talking about the Halifax Explosion of 1917 and Springhill, a story that had captured the nation’s attention.

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