Archive | Kirkland Lake

Family story provides literary gold [Kirkland Lake history] -by Laura Stricker (Sudbury Star – November 3, 2011)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

A man takes his wife on a cruise around the world. A month later, she discovers his mistress on board and gets revenge on her husband the best way she can think of — by beating him and giving him a black eye.

The man in question was Ernie Martin, a prospector who came to Canada from England hoping to strike it rich. Ernie, who was worth $13 million in 1936, is rarely mentioned in history books and his story has never been told. Until now.

Brian Martin, a London Free Press journalist and author, penned Ernie’s Gold: A Prospect Tale, a book about the o r’s prospector’s life and how he made his money. He was in Sudbury on Wednesday for two public events at the Mackenzie Street branch of the Greater Sudbury Public Library.

“Ernie’s Gold is a story about Ernie Martin, who is my great uncle, my grandfather’s brother. Continue Reading →

Rails to the Ring of Fire – Stan Sudol (Toronto Star – May 30, 2011)

The Toronto Star, has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on federal and Ontario politics as well as shaping public opinion.

For the web’s largest database of articles on the Ring of Fire mining camp, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

“The Ring of Fire railroad should be subsidized by
governments as the huge economic impact will benefit
the economy for decades to come, help balance budgets
and alleviate aboriginal poverty in the surrounding
First Nations communities.” (Stan Sudol)

Notwithstanding the recent correction in commodity prices, near-record highs for gold, silver and a host of base metals essential for industry confirm that the commodity “supercycle” is back and with a vengeance.

China, India, Brazil and many other developing economies are continuing their rapid pace of growth. In 2010, China overtook Japan to become the world’s second largest economy and surpassed the United States to become the biggest producer of cars.

In March, Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney remarked: “Commodity markets are in the midst of a supercycle. . . . Rapid urbanization underpins this growth. . . . Even though history teaches that all booms are finite, this one could go on for some time.”

Quebec’s visionary 25-year “Plan Nord” will see billions invested in northern resource development and infrastructure to take advantage of the tsunami in global metal demand and generate much needed revenue for government programs.

In Ontario, the isolated Ring of Fire mining camp in the James Bay lowlands is one of the most exciting and possibly the richest new Canadian mineral discovery in more than a generation. It has been compared with both the Sudbury Basin and the Abitibi Greenstone belt that includes Timmins, Kirkland Lake, Noranda and Val d’Or. Continue Reading →

Ontario Gold Mining – by Stan Sudol

Stan Sudol is a Toronto-based communications consultant and mining columnist. [email protected]

Historically, Ontario’s gold mining industry has played a major role in the settlement of the province’s northern regions and along with the Cobalt silver boom and further gold and base metal discoveries in northwestern Quebec were primarily responsible for the establishment of Toronto as today’s mine financing capital of the world.

The many gold mines that came into production during the Depression of the 1930s made a vital contribution to keeping the province solvent and with over a century of experience building many underground mines helped solidify Ontario’s hard-rock mining expertise that is well respected globally.

However, northern Ontario’s gold rushes have always seemed to play second-fiddle to the legendary Klondike in the Yukon, aided by famous writers like Jack London, Robert W. Service – of the Cremation of Sam McGee fame – and Canadian literary icon, Pierre Berton. At it’s peak, the Klondike gold rush only lasted for a few years – 1896-99 – and produced a miserly 12.5 million ounces of gold. “Chump change” compared to northern Ontario’s four major gold rushes and a number of smaller gold districts, most of which are still producing the precious metal today. Continue Reading →

HISTORICAL: The stuff of dreams in Kirkland Lake – Bill Twatio (Toronto Star – January 16, 1998)

The Toronto Star, has the largest circulation in Canada, primarily in the Greater Toronto Area and Ontario. The paper has an enormous impact on federal and Ontario politics as well as shaping public opinion.

The Tech-Hughes ore conveyor used to pass over the road into town proudly bearing the slogan, “Welcome To Kirkland Lake – On The Mile of Gold.”

The conveyor and the mine are gone now, along with the Lake Shore Mine, Wright-Hargreaves, Sylvanite, Toburn, Tough-Oaks, and most of the gold. Hard times have come to this once-flourishing mining town 600 km north of Toronto. Recently, the town has been reduced to promoting a plan that would see millions of tones of Toronto garbage dumped into an abandoned mine pit. The old-timers would weep.

They were a feisty lot with a common contempt for things southern. Toronto-bashing was endemic. There was Harry Oaks, who arrived broke after prospecting around the world, struck gold, and brought in the Lake Shore Mine which made him the richest man in Canada. As Sir Harry, the most taxed, he moved on to the Bahamas, where he was spectacularly murdered in 1943. Continue Reading →

Northern Ontario: A Golden Klondike – 192 million ounces of gold and counting – by Stan Sudol

(Wiki Photo)

Stan Sudol is a Toronto-based communications consultant and mining columnist. [email protected]

A much shorter version of this article appears in the September, 2011 issue of the Northern Miner’s Mining Markets: A Resource for Investors magazine.

A fever is spreading throughout northern Ontario, from the eastern districts adjacent Quebec to the far reaches of the northwest right up to the Manitoba border. This raging malaise is caused by a metal that has captured mankind’s attention from the dawn of time. I am referring to “gold fever” and many in northern Ontario – a vast northern territory, which is almost equal to Germany, United Kingdon, Greece and Ireland combined – are thoroughly infected or obsessed over this beautiful precious metal.

Historically, Ontario’s gold mining industry has played a major role in the settlement of the province’s northern regions and along with the Cobalt silver boom and further gold and base metal discoveries in northwestern Quebec were primarily responsible for the establishment of Toronto as today’s mine financing capital of the world.

The many gold mines that came into production during the Depression of the 1930s made a vital contribution to keeping the province solvent and with over a century of experience building many underground mines helped solidify Ontario’s hard-rock mining expertise that is well respected globally.

However, northern Ontario’s gold rushes have always seemed to play second-fiddle to the legendary Klondike in the Yukon, aided by famous writers like Jack London, Robert W. Service – of the Cremation of Sam McGee fame – and Canadian literary icon, Pierre Berton. At it’s peak, the Klondike gold rush only lasted for a few years – 1896-99 – and produced a miserly 12.5 million ounces of gold. “Chump change” compared to northern Ontario’s four major gold rushes and a number of smaller gold districts, most of which are still producing the precious metal today.

Considering the record setting price of gold, moving upwards almost daily, the political stability of northern Ontario and its strong world-class mining infrastructure versus lesser developed countries like Tanzania, Guatemala or Papua New Guinea, exploration in all current and former gold mining camps is booming. Continue Reading →

Along the Blacktop of Riches: The Abitibi-Greenstone Belt – by Charlie Angus (1999)

Excerpt from Industrial Cathedrals of the North written by Charlie Angus and photographed by Louie Palu (1999)

To order a copy of Industrial Cathedrals of the North, please go to Between the Lines press.

Take a drive along the blacktop as Highway 66 turns into 117 and you’ll be taking a drive over one of the richest geological treasures in the world. The highway forms the lower part of a belt of riches known as the Abitibi-Greenstone belt. Over 140 million ounces of gold have been mined from the belt, a feat unparalleled anywhere except in the gold fields of South Africa. The belt is made up of two parallel fault lines running east-west from Ontario into Quebec. The northern edge of the belt – the Porcupine-Destor Fault – runs from the Porcupine along Highway 101 to Destor, Quebec, while the lower fault – the Larder-Cadillac Break – runs from Matachewan, Ontario along 66 towards Val d’Or, Quebec. The fault lines have been the source of some of Canada’s biggest gold mines. The ground between the faults is host to numerous base metal deposits.

The Larder-Cadillac Break is as much a social line as it is a geological formation. The fault runs straight through the heart of many historic gold camps: Matachewan, Kirkland Lake, Larder Lake, V-Town, Rouyn-Noranda, McWatters, Cadillac, Malarctic and Val d’Or. The Abitibi-Greenstone belt has created a natural east-west link across the two provinces. Communities along the fault lines share common links of history, work and identity. Indeed the whole opening up of Northwestern Quebec to mining is a direct result of the movement of prospectors and miners along the lines of the Abitibi-Greenstone belt.

Prospector Ed Horne played a pivotal role in this early development. Before the first World War he was prospecting in Gowganda, Kirkland Lake and the Porcupine. He then moved along the westerly axis from the Kirkland-Larder camps into the Lake Osisko region of Rouyn Township, Quebec. Continue Reading →

Master Plan To Destroy Northern Ontario – by Gregory Reynolds (Highgrader Magazine – Summer 2011)

This column was originally published in the Late Summer, 2011 issue of Highgrader Magazine which is committed to serve the interests of northerners by bringing the issues, concerns and culture of the north to the world through the writings and art of award-winning journalists as well as talented freelance artists, writers and photographers.

The recent annual meeting of Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) heard a great deal of comment, and concern, expressed about the Ontario government’s love affair with Greater Sudbury and Thunder Bay. Speakers claimed these two cities appear to be favoured when the Liberal government of Dalton McGuinty doles out assistance to the North.

That the two largest centres are special, even privileged, should not have been a surprise to those in attendance.

Members of Timmins city council should have been least surprised since famous prospector, and equally famous outspoken advocate for Northern Ontario, Don McKinnon presented each of them with two documents in 2004: The Master Plan to Destroy Northern Ontario; and Addendum to The Master Plan to Destroy Northern Ontario. Continue Reading →

An Ontario gold rush – by Christina Blizzard (Toronto Sun – June 10, 2011)

Christina Blizzard is the Queen’s Park columnist for the Toronto Sun, the city’s daily tabloid newspaper.  [email protected]

Remember a couple of years ago, Premier Dalton McGuinty said this province
 could no longer count on “pulling stuff out of the ground” for jobs? All goes to
show just how wrong he was. And how out of touch, not just with northern Ontario,
but with the economy. (Christina Blizzard – June 10, 2011)

Mining companies spending billions here in search of riches. So why did Dalton McGuinty blow them off?

Skyrocketing world gold prices are providing a boost to this province’s northern economy, as mining companies look to old mines in search of the precious metal.

Detour Lake gold mine, near Cochrane, will be the largest gold mine in Canada when it starts production in 2013. Based on today’s spot gold price, it will generate more than $1 billion a year for 21 years, says Detour Gold President and CEO Gerald Panneton.

And while the price of gold, like all resources, fluctuates, he says gold’s been around for 6,000 years and it’s here to stay. “People have tried to push it away and then get rid of it, but it always came back,” Panneton said in an interview.

Gold is tough to replace and is the most versatile, malleable element you can find. “If you try to accumulate value in silver or copper or zinc, you’ll need a huge warehouse,” he said. Continue Reading →

A golden opportunity [Northern Ontario mining] – by Jasmine Budak (Maclean’s – November 1, 2010)

Maclean’s, the most influential current affairs magazine in Canada, covers national and international politics, business, social issues and culture on a weekly basis. This article was published November 1, 2010.

The sky-high price of gold has sparked a modern-day rush to Ontario’s mining towns

With the price of gold currently hovering around US$1,300 an ounce—up 45 per cent since early 2009—Ontario’s mining towns are exhibiting the classic symptoms of a boom: inflated house prices, overbooked hotels, frantic construction, labour shortages and a collective sense of optimism after decades in a slump. Across the province’s northern gold belt, defunct mines are being revived and exploration activity has taken an almost frenzied pace, the product of gold being an investment safe haven amid global economic uncertainty and a weak U.S. dollar.

 “I’ve been here a long time,” says Brock Greenwell, statistical analyst for Ontario’s Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry. “And 2010 is looking like a record year for gold exploration. It’s unprecedented.”

There are 12 gold mines operating in Ontario, with four more slated to start production by 2012. And, with exploration expenditures for precious metals—mostly gold—expected to exceed $620 million this year in the province (compared with $389 million in 2009), it’s a safe bet that more mines will follow. “It’s an absolute boom,” says Bill Greenway, economic development officer for the municipality of Red Lake. “There are 40-plus exploration companies here at any given time.” Continue Reading →

Unique partnership provides niche mine training in Kirkland Lake – by Adelle Lamour

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business  provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North. This column was published in the April 2011 issue.

Hard Rock Miner Training program helps address shortage of skilled miners.

With a hand from Kirkland Lake Gold Inc., Northern College is helping to address the industry’s shortage of skilled miners with its Underground Hard Rock Miner Common Core training program. Created through a partnership between the school and the mid-tier gold miner, the program has provided an opportunity for those returning to the North in search of permanent full-time employment.

“It is so gratifying to see those who are highly motivated and never had a chance of getting in…this is their big break,” said Rose-Lyne D’Aoust-Messier, training consultant of apprenticeship, workforce development and training at Northern College’s Kirkland Lake campus.

It is one of two institutions in northeastern Ontario that offers this type of training for people not privately employed by a mining company. In mid-February, 12 students graduated from the program, six of which have already been scooped up by Kirkland Lake Gold. Continue Reading →

OMA member profile: Kirkland Lake Gold-new mines for old sites

This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.

 

Ontario Mining Association member Kirkland Lake Gold is expanding its precious metals production not just at a former mine site but on the foundations of its name sake gold mining community.  Kirkland Lake Gold, which has more than 600 employees, is involved in a $56 million-plus capital expenditure program to increase its gold production from 50,000 ounces per year to 200,000 ounces per year by 2012.

Kirkland Lake Gold from its South Mine Complex is building on the legacy of the ground mined by five of the seven former gold operations that made Kirkland Lake famous and produced more than 24 million ounces of gold.  This is the first time properties in the Kirkland Lake area have been consolidated with a single owner.

The new gold miner controls the five westernmost mine sites in the Kirkland Lake mile of gold.  From west to east, the mines are Macassa, Kirkland Minerals, Tech-Hughes, Lake Shore and Wright-Hargreaves.  The distance from Macassa to Wright-Hargreaves is about seven kilometres.  The Sylvanite Mine, which operated from 1927 to 1961 and the Toburn Mine, which operated from 1913 to 1953, lay to the east of Kirkland Lake Gold’s consolidated property.   Continue Reading →

Life in Kirkland Lake during World War II – by Michael Barnes

The following is an excerpt from Michael Barnes’ new book: Gold in Kirkland Lake, published by General Store Publishing House, and available for $29.95. Contact the author at www.barnes4books.com.

After the war in Europe commenced, the bright spot in Ontario’s Kirkland Lake gold camp area was the Kerr Addison mine in Virginiatown, which by 1941 was able to ramp up milling to 1,200 tons per day.

Over at Larder Lake, the Omega mine payroll had not raised much over the past few years, with muckers and labourers earning $4.64 a day and track and lamp men $5.20, while the main official in charge underground, the mine captain, took top dollar at $8.70.

On the surface, Kirkland Lake was busy and in good economic health. The town’s population had now dropped to 21,500 and seen 1,600 men go to serve their country in the armed forces, and some miners had left to work in war-related industries.

In the patriotic fervour that gained strength after the declaration of war, there was a move by some southern-based citizens to change the name of Swastika to what they thought would be a more politically acceptable “Winston,” honouring the wartime British leader. Continue Reading →

Housing bonanza hits a snag in booming Kirkland Lake – by Nick Stewart

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business  provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North. This article is from the March, 2011 issue.

Low assessments, high development costs pose major challenges

The explosive need for new homes in Kirkland Lake is being thwarted by low assessment values and expensive infrastructure improvements. After years of wishing for opportunities to grow its dwindling population, the City of Kirkland Lake is struggling to accommodate the thousands of people soon to be pounding on its doors.

With low assessment values and limited finances, the municipality largely lacks the resources it needs to build out the infrastructure that has suddenly become necessary to house a strong influx of mining workers. Estimates provided by the city indicate that 2,000 full-time production workers will be in place by 2013, with an additional 1,500 needed through development and construction of new projects.

“It’s really ironic, because 10 years ago, we were sitting at a table with the senior levels of government and saying, ‘We’re dying, we need your help,’ and we were told there were no programs in place to help us,” said Wilfred Hass, the city’s economic development officer. Continue Reading →

Kirkland Lake gold district seeing strong activity – by Nick Stewart

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business  provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North. This article is from the March, 2011 issue.

Gold adding a shine to exploration

As a camp which has lived and died on the back of gold, it’s perhaps no surprise that the Kirkland Lake district is thriving on the fortunes of the precious metal. Related exploration continues to shine in the region, as more and more drills are put into the ground to suss out the next major gold deposit or resource expansion.

“With the price of gold being between $1,300 and $1,400 an ounce, it makes it pretty easy to raise money on the market for gold projects,” said Gary Grabowski, resident regional ge­ologist for the Kirkland Lake district. “That’s what’s being looked at here, as you can imagine. Kirkland Lake is about gold.”

To put it into perspective, Grabowski says that the value of assessment work filed for the district in 2010 was $19 million; comparatively, it reached $27 million in 2009 and $17 million in 2008. “In previous years, we used to think if we got $8 million to $10 million that it was a really good year.” Continue Reading →

Governments should fund railroad to Ontario’s Ring of Fire mining camp – by Stan Sudol

Temiskaming & Northern Ontario Railway at the turn of the last century

This column was published in the March 17, 2011 issue of Northern Life.

Stan Sudol is a Toronto-based communications consultant who writes extensively on mining issues. [email protected]

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

“In the next 25 years, demand for metals could meet or exceed what we have used
since the beginning of the industrial revolution. By way of illustration, China needs to
build three cities larger than Sydney or Toronto every year until 2030 to accommodate
rural to urban growth.” (John McGagh, Rio Tinto – Head of Innovation)

Commodity Super Cycle is Back

The commodity super cycle is back, and with a vengeance. China, India, Brazil, Indonesia and many other developing economies are continuing their rapid pace of industrialization and urbanization. In 2010, China overtook Japan to become the world’s second largest economy and surpassed the United States to become the biggest producer of cars.

During a recent speech in Calgary, Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of Canada remarked, “Commodity markets are in the midst of a supercycle. …Rapid urbanization underpins this growth. Since 1990, the number of people living in cities in China and India has risen by nearly 500 million, the equivalent of housing the entire population of Canada 15 times over. …Even though history teaches that all booms are finite, this one could go on for some time.”

At the annual economics conference in Davos, Switzerland, held last January – where the most respected world leaders in politics, economics and academia gather – the consensus was one of enormous global prosperity predicting that, “For only the third time since the Industrial Revolution, the world may be entering a long-term growth cycle that will lift all economies simultaneously…”

John McGagh, head of innovation, at Rio Tinto – the world’s third largest mining company – has said, “In the next 25 years, demand for metals could meet or exceed what we have used since the beginning of the industrial revolution. By way of illustration, China needs to build three cities larger than Sydney or Toronto every year until 2030 to accommodate rural to urban growth. This equates to the largest migration of population from rural to urban living in the history of mankind.”

The isolated Ring of Fire mining camp, located in the James Bay lowlands of Ontario’s far north, is one of the most exciting and possibly the richest new Canadian mineral discovery made in over a generation. It has been compared to both the Sudbury Basin and the Abitibi Greenstone belt, which includes Timmins, Kirkland Lake, Noranda and Val d’Or.

Continue Reading →