This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on March 19, 1955.
The Hunch that’ll pay off in Billions
They scoffed at Franc Joubin when he insisted Algoma was rich in uranium. But, after a secret staking rush that reads like fiction, his colossal finds are now sparking the world’s biggest uranium mines and his theories have started a stampede from coast to coast
IN MID-MAY 1953 a mysterious expedition took off from South Porcupine in northern Ontario. Its members were a dozen geologists and mining engineers, eighty prospectors and, of all people, several young lawyers. The planes carried more than fifty tents, as many geiger counters, a hundred axes and other bush gear and several tons of food.
The planes took off at irregular intervals and headed north—a touch of cloak-and-dagger designed to confuse the curious. Most of them made several flights. As soon as settled areas were left behind, they turned southwest on compass bearings that carried them two hundred and fifty miles into the Algoma country, midway between Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury, just north of Lake Huron. Some of the parties landed on lakes within an outfielder’s throw of the CPR Soo Line and the hard-surfaced Trans-Canada highway.