On the gemstone trail: A tour of Antwerp’s diamond district – by John Malathronas (CNN – June 12, 2018)


(CNN) — With its flat-fronted 1960s buildings and plain color scheme, Hoveniersstraat might be dismissed as one of the most drab streets in the pretty baroque Belgian city of Antwerp.

In fact, it’s one of the most fascinating, and there are several high security clues that give the game away. The street is protected by a police station, dozens of CCTV cameras and several armed soldiers. The reason: Hoveniersstraat is the center of Antwerp’s — and the world’s — diamond industry.

About 84% of all rough diamonds and 50% of all cut diamonds on the planet are traded in this destination today. Located less than an hour from Brussels by train, the Belgian city, has been a major diamond center since medieval times.

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Cape Breton Miners’ Museum to install simulator to recreate mining experience (CBC News Nova Scotia – March 14, 2018)


Museum will receive $1.5M from federal government for upgrades

The Cape Breton Miners’ Museum has received just over $1.5 million for upgrades to recreate the mining experience. “This is like a dream come true,” said museum executive director Mary Pat Mombourquette.

“This is going to help us create a vital, dynamic museum that will immerse our visitors in the coal-mining experience. I can’t wait to start making it happen.”

The money from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Heritage Canada will pay for the construction of a briefing room and a lamp house, recreating a miner’s daily trip to and from the mine. The museum in Glace Bay, N.S., already famously features a guided tour of an actual underground coal mine.

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A visit to B.C.’s Cariboo region may have you catching gold fever – by Tim Johnson (Toronto Star – January 5, 2018)


This interior district in B.C. is known for its gold, and the picturesque mining town of Wells is still home to a full-scale hard-rock operation.

WELLS, B.C—There’s still gold in them hills — and some of it happens to be on the table, right here, right now, at breakfast. A few ounces, both dust and nuggets, drawn from one of the richest mining claims ever staked in North America. Worth a few thousand dollars, and just sitting on the table here at the Wells Hotel, between our omelettes and coffees and huevos rancheros.

“All through the region here, people still work every creek, and you can’t step out of your car without setting foot on someone’s claim,” says Robin Sharpe, the mayor of this picturesque mountain town, which is still home to a full-scale hard-rock operation.

As snow falls lightly outside, I weigh up the heavy, valuable stuff currently selling for about $1,600 an ounce — in my hand. Noting a certain glitter in my eye, Sharpe feels it’s about time to issue a warning. “Gold fever, you know, it’s an addiction,” he says, with a knowing smile. “People really go nuts.”

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As coal jobs fade, Appalachia taps history, culture and ecotourism veins (Japan Times – December 27, 2017)


AP – PERRY COUNTY, OHIO – Two-thirds of Appalachia’s coal industry jobs have disappeared since the 1990s. Now the region is hoping tourism will help rebuild its economy by tapping into history and its rugged natural beauty.

A Shawnee, Ohio, event re-enacted a Prohibition rally outside the real-life former speakeasy. In Corbin, Kentucky, they’re constructing an elk-viewing area on a former mountaintop mine. Virginia’s Crooked Road traces country music history. Ohio’s Winding Road takes visitors back to the birth of the U.S. labor movement.

“We’d like to promote Appalachia as an exotic, interesting place, not the Godforsaken place that we usually get in the national press,” said Todd Christensen, executive director of the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation.

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The Museum of Mining WA: $100 million plan unveiled – by Kent Acott (Perth Now – November 13, 2017)


A BOLD plan to create the world’s biggest and most interactive mining museum — including an actual mine shaft — has been unveiled. It is former State architect Steve Woodland’s $100 million vision to attract international and interstate tourists to WA and help build on Perth’s personality and uniqueness.

Mr Woodland, who has been an architect for more than 40 years, believes the museum could be built from public and private funds, be housed in the old East Perth power station or on the Burswood Peninsula and be built in time for WA’s bicentenary in 2029.

“The Museum of Mining WA could offer experiences like no other in the world,” Mr Woodland said. “Immersive technologies can transport the visitor into the mining arena, where they can witness the sounds and shocks of a mining explosion, ride a subterranean train into the depths of the earth, be submersed below an oil rig rich in marine life and drive a Haulpak truck by remote control.

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Circle Mining District reunion relives gold rush history – by Kris Capps (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner – October 22, 2017)


FAIRBANKS — When the price of gold went up in the early 1970s, a new generation of gold miners jumped on the opportunity to strike it rich. That renewed interest in mining created the second gold rush in the Circle Mining District of Interior Alaska.

“The Circle Mining District, in the 1980s, collectively with all the placer mines — a total of 92 — was the largest gold producer for placer gold mining in the United States,” according to Gail Ackels, who wrote a book about her family’s experiences on Gold Dust Creek in the Circle Mining District.

She should know. She and her husband, Del, were part of that group that also included Joe Vogler, Ernie Wolf, Ed Gelvin, Fred Wilkinson and many others. Many of those miners gathered for a special reunion earlier this month, hosted by fellow Gold Dust Creek miners Bernie and Connie Karl at Chena Hot Springs Resort.

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Minnesota mining’s place in American history: Soudan state park showcases mining’s impact on country – by Lisa Kaczke Duluth News Tribune – July 22, 2017)


SOUDAN — Imagine walking three-quarters of a mile through a mine tunnel in complete darkness to find iron ore, park interpreter James Juip tells the tour group. The lights click off to help people imagine that scenario and the 20 people stand in darkness at level 27 of the Soudan Underground Mine, unable to see each other or Juip at 2,341 feet below the surface of the Earth.

Standing on the last level to be mined before Minnesota’s first iron ore mine closed in 1962, Juip lights a candle in the darkness. Its flame only extends to a few faces near him, leaving the rest of the group still in the dark. He places the candle and sconce on his hard hat, similar to how miners would have placed a candle on their soft leather cap before electricity, freeing their hands to mine the ore.

“By the light of one candle, it would be the job of a crew of three men to find the iron that’s hidden here in the wall, drill it, blast it and get it out of here,” Juip told the tour group on July 13.

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Museum offers nuggets of mining history – by Staff (News Miner – June 16, 2017)



FAIRBANKS – Fairbanks has its roots in gold. When Felix Pedro found gold in Fish Creek in 1902, he and his fellow prospectors laid the groundwork for today’s lively community. Pedro, and the miners who followed him, including those active today, forged a rich history that is captured in the Alaska Mining Hall of Fame museum on First Avenue.

The museum, organized by the Alaska Mining Hall of Fame Foundation, opened in summer 2014 and is located in the Historic Bath House and Oddfellow’s Hall at 825 First Ave., on the corner of First Avenue and Cowles Street.

The two-story building was constructed in 1907. The Alaska Mining Hall of Fame Foundation was formed to honor outstanding individuals who have played important roles in the development of Alaska’s mineral industry.

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Mount Isa, a city of mining, huge distances and a close-knit community – by Oliver Lewis (Suff.co.nz/ – April 23, 2017)


Dressed in an orange jumpsuit, large white gumboots and a hard hat with a torch on the front we descend into the mine. I’m in Mount Isa, deep in the north-west of the Queensland Outback. It is a city built by mining, rising from the arid red dirt of the landscape in 1923, after prospector John Campbell Miles first discovered lead ore here.

From the air, the land surrounding Mount Isa, or The Isa as it is known by locals, looks like the scarred surface of an alien planet. From my window seat in the plane, the rocks below reflect back beams of light from the setting sun, hinting at the great seams of zinc, copper, lead and silver buried under the dirt.

We’re on the Hard Times Mine Underground Tour , just beside the Outback at Isa visitor centre, in the middle of the city of around 22,000. Because of health and safety precautions, tours into the actual mines closed a few decades ago, so the city built its own mock mine, with around 1.2 kilometre of tunnels. Our tour group is led by Alan Rackham, a miner of 49 years who over the course of the next two-and-a-half hours takes us through the history of mining in the area.

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Renewables roadshow: how Broken Hill went from mining to drag queens and solar farms – by Michael Slezak (The Guardian – April 12, 2017)


The home of BHP and Mad Max can now take credit for kickstarting the large-scale solar industry in Australia

Broken Hill is the birthplace of modern mining in Australia. It lends its initials “BH” to the mining giant BHP, and in January 2015 in an Australian first, the so-called Silver City was added to the National Heritage list in part due to its mining industry.

The city is cut in half by a mine, with a giant pile of waste material rising from its centre. It can be seen from every street in town, like a monument to the stuff the city was built from.

But over the years, mining in Broken Hill has declined. Even the titular hill, the one that appeared “broken”, has been mined away. As it disappeared, so did the jobs. Around 30,000 people once lived in Broken Hill, with 3,500 employed in the mines. Nowadays the population is around 18,000; approximately 500 of those work in mining.

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[Deadwood, South Dakota] Back to the wild, wild west – by Wayne Newton (Brantford Expositor – April 15, 2012)


There’s no sugar-coating history at the Adams Museum. Violence, gambling, prostitution, stuffed pet cocker spaniels left by a rich pillar of the community, a two-headed calf and a children’s play area. It’s all there for visitors to absorb at the too-often-overlooked Deadwood, South Dakota, institution.

While Eastern-style honesty might not have been a hallmark of Deadwood when it was set up as a rogue mining camp in the Dakota territory during the 1800s, integrity and frankness have become hallmarks at a museum, which should be the starting point for tourists who truly want to appreciate Deadwood and its colourful, controversial history.

First-time tourists arrive for the main street stroll, where historical re-enactors stage gunfights with quick storylines, check out where legendary Wild Bill Hickok held his dead man’s poker hand of black aces and eights, and maybe make the arduous trek to Mount Moriah Cemetery to view the graves of Wild Bill, his adoring Calamity Jane and sheriff Seth Bullock. Those without children in tow will find scores of casinos, where poker remains the big draw amid the enticing din of modern slot machines.

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Dawson City wants to designate worm-like piles of mine tailings as protected historical site – by Tristin Hopper (National Post – March 8, 2017)


In what appears to be a Canadian first, a community is hoping to inaugurate mining waste as a protected historic site. Dawson City, Yukon, the former capital of the Klondike Gold Rush, is aiming to preserve several hectares of unremediated dredge tailings.

“It does seems a little bit odd that you would want to set aside what looks like worm casings, but it’s part of our history,” said Mayor Wayne Potoroka, noting that several piles have already been flattened to make way for new developments.

In a letter to territorial officials requesting municipal heritage status, Dawson City noted it was seeking the “protection necessary to ensure its cultural value isn’t lost.” The tailings are all the result of dredge mining.

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First-ever mining tourism project gives a cutting edge to Vidarbha – by Vinita Chaturvedi (Times of India – December 17, 2016)


It all started in November 2015 when Western Coalfields Limited opened its mines for the tourists in Maharashtra, a concept that was visualised in March 2015. And now, a year down the line, it will be taken to the next level as WCL and Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation get ready to sign a memorandum of understanding tomorrow in the presence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and tourism minister Jaykumar Rawal. We track its far-reaching implications…

General manager of MTDC, Swati Kale shares, “Mining tourism that is popular in countries like Chile and Australia, is a novel concept for India. We are sure, along with a lot of Indian tourists, it would also attract several foreign tourists. This tie-up with WCL will put Vidarbha on world tourism map.”

This is the first ever eco-mining project in India, shares the managing director of WCL, Rajiv Ranjan Mishra. He goes on to add, “We have opened two mines for tourists — opencast mine at Gondegaon and underground mine at Saoner.

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Oppenheimers, De Beers polishing diamond tourism’s sparkle – by Martin Creamer (MiningWeekly.com – October 18, 2016)


JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The priceless value of diamond properties to South African ecotourism was highlighted on Tuesday when the outcomes of a range of research projects were revealed at the seventh Oppenheimer De Beers Group Research Conference.

Delivering a keynote address at the corporate headquarters of De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM), Inkatha Freedom Party president Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP, a lifelong conservationist, outlined the importance of conservation to South Africa beyond mining and spoke of being prepared to fight to preserve the country’s valuable natural heritage “so long as there’s breath in my lungs”.

Buthelezi described the audience of academics, students and environmental managers as the “nation’s diamonds” of today, for their role in protecting tomorrow’s inheritance.

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Save ‘breathtaking’ west Quebec mine from demolition, petition urges – by Trevor Pritchard (CBC News Ottawa – October 04, 2016)


Tourists have flocked to remote Wallingford-Back Mine over past year, annoying residents

A scenic, off-limits mine in western Quebec that’s seen an influx of visitors over the past year could end up being demolished if a campaign to save it is unsuccessful.

The Wallingford-Back Mine, located approximately 60 kilometres northeast of Ottawa, has become a popular spot for paddlers, ice skaters and explorers, all drawn to its pristine turquoise waters and imposing rock pillars. However, Quebec’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources has issued an ultimatum to the regional municipality of Papineau, Que.: either invest money to secure the mine from trespassers, or demolish it.

In response, supporters of the mine launched a petition this weekend calling upon the site to be protected for its “undeniable richness, not only for the Outaouais region, but also for all of Quebec.” The petition had about 1,800 signatures by Monday afternoon.

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