New York article ‘glowed’ in reports of nickel and copper mining in area – Gary Peck

The following account from New York published in the last century glowingly sketches the activities of the mining industry in this area. This article concludes the two part series.
 
“The uses to which this newly-found wealth of ore is to be applied may be grouped under two heads. In the first place, it has been proved by a series of experiments that nickel steel, a material made of four parts of nickel to ninety-six of steel, is superior to the plain steel used at present.
 
Breaking and hoisting tests have been applied to the new combination, and it is found that the strength of the metal is largely increased: two pounds weight of nickel steel will effect the purposes of four pounds of the old substance. Continue Reading →

19th century New York account saw Sudbury area as the second El Dorado – Gary Peck

The discovery of nickel in this area quickly gained international recognition for the village of Sudbury. The following account from New York published in the last century glowingly sketches the activities of what was viewed as a “second El Dorado”.

Part One
 
Only recently the eyes, not only of the mining, but also of the commercial world have been fixed upon one little town in Canada. This town is Sudbury, a junction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, which the westward traveler but a short time ago would have passed with nothing but a sigh of boredom. It has now been discovered to be the centre of nickel and copper mines larger than the world has hitherto seen. Continue Reading →

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. Continue Reading →

Ontario’s Mining Sins of the Father are being Repeated by the Son – Stan Sudol

Stan Sudol - Executive Speech Writer and Mining ColumnistIn last November’s Ontario Speech from the Throne, the Liberals highlighted their commitment, “to improve the quality of life and expand economic opportunities for all Aboriginal peoples in our province, both on- and off-reserve.”

A majority of people in Ontario desperately hope these words are not empty rhetoric however this Government’s current mineral policies seem to indicate that the “mining sins of the father are being repeated by the sons.”

In 1950, my Polish immigrant parents moved to Sudbury due to the many jobs in the nickel mines. At that time, Northern Ontario was experiencing an enormous resource boom, supplying the metals and forest products desperately needed by North American and European economies that were rebuilding after the Second World War. Continue Reading →

Assembly of First Nations Chief Phil Fontaine – Speech to the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada

I would like to thank the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada for your kind invitation to speak here today. In particular, I want to thank Don Bubar, the Chair of the Aboriginal Affairs Committee for his vision and efforts in bringing our communities together.

Before I start though, I want to congratulate PDAC on your 75th anniversary…….your diamond anniversary.

Speaking of diamonds, the newest diamond mine in Canada – which just happens to be located on Attawapiskat First Nation territory – has inspired this speech to you today. This is because the development model being used there is exactly the model we would like to see all mining companies in Canada embrace. 

DeBeers Canada is investing more than $980 Million to develop the mine. This could eventually pump more than $6 Billion dollars into Ontario’s economy … $6 Billion dollars!

The project will earn money for DeBeers and generate royalties for Canada. However, the most important aspect of the development from our standpoint, will be the hundreds of jobs it will create for residents in local First Nations communities as well as sustainable education, training, and business opportunities for our people for decades to come. Continue Reading →

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine – An Introduction

National Chief Phil Fontaine - Assembly of First NationsPhil Fontaine has devoted his life to improving the quality of life for First Nations citizens.  He was born in 1944 at Sagkeeng First Nation, 150 kilometres north of Winnipeg.  He attended residential schools in Sagkeeng and Assiniboia, later emerging as a leading critic of abuse in that system.

In the 1970s, Phil Fontaine served two terms as chief of his own Sagkeeng First Nation, promoting autonomy and treaty rights. In 1982, he was elected Manitoba’s Vice-Chief for the newly formed Assembly of First Nations.
 
Following the defeat of the Meech Lake Accord, Fontaine was elected Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, serving three consecutive terms from 1991 to 1997.  In 1997, he was first elected National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations.  As National Chief from 1997 to 2000, Fontaine fought to protect the rights, treaty obligations and land claims of First Nations people.  He became the first aboriginal leader to address the Organization of American States.
 
In 2002, he was appointed Chief Commissioner of the Indian Claims Commission, where he helped resolve several significant land claims.  In July 2003, he was elected to his second term as National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. He is currently serving is third term as National Chief (2006-2009). 

The crowning achievement of his career to date is leading the successful resolution and settlement of claims arising out of the 150 year Indian residential school tragedy. The Final Settlement Agreement now being implemented and is worth over $5.2 billion in individual compensation. The settlement also includes a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, an education fund, healing resources and commemoration funding.

The next posting is a speech that Fontaine gave to the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada discussing Aboriginal participation in the mining sector.

Mine Rehabilitation in Ontario – By Chris Hodgson

Ed Cocchiarella, Manager Environment Ontario Operations, Vale Inco; Michael Gravelle, MNDM Minister; Gordon Miller, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario; and Chris Hodgson, OMA President
 The Ontario Mining Association represents companies for which environmental stewardship is a cornerstone value. Our members realize that their success depends largely on their ability to help establish healthy communities and sustainable environments in the areas where they operate.

The economic sustainability that mining engenders is often the first thing that comes to mind. Indeed, in northern Ontario in particular, there is little need to explain that mining operations play a vital role in the local economy and community life, often bringing in the investment that leads to the development of essential infrastructure and job creation. A recent University of Toronto study brought this home to a wider audience.

It concluded that the contribution of a single representative mine can have an impressive effect on employment and economic output, and that a large proportion of the benefits stay in the local area. Continue Reading →

Chris Hodgson and the Ontario Mining Association (OMA) – An Introduction

Chris Hodgson - President of the Ontario Mining Association
The mission of the Ontario Mining Association (OMA) is to support and improve the competitiveness of the mining sector in the province while representing companies engaged in the environmentally responsible exploration, production and processing of minerals in Ontario.

Established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province, the OMA has 57 member companies. These companies are engaged in mineral exploration, mining, smelting, refining and providing services to the mining industry. Most of the metal mines operate in Northern Ontario and produce nickel, copper, gold and a variety of other metals. The majority of non-metal mines (industrial minerals) operate in Southern Ontario and produce salt, nepheline syenite, calcite, gypsum, talc, silica, and other industrial minerals.

Chris Hodgson was appointed as the new President of the OMA in late October 2004. He joined the OMA following a distinguished career in provincial politics. He entered the Ontario Legislature following a by-election in 1994 and won general elections in 1995 and 1999, representing the riding of Haliburton-Victoria-Brock. While in government, Hodgson served in several cabinet positions including Northern Development and Mines, Natural Resources, Municipal Affairs and Housing and Chairman of Management Board. Previously, he was involved in municipal politics and real estate development.

Northern Ontario Settlers Mining on Indian Land in the 1840s – Michael Barnes

Across the North American continent there are many stories from earlier times of conflict when the interests of First Nations people came up against commercial greed.

One such incident took place at Bruce Mines in 1847 and fortunately for all concerned the situation was defused and settled amicably.

The rush to obtain copper and other minerals at Bruce Mines was the first instance of commercial mining operations in the northern Ontario. Continue Reading →

Sudbury Looks to the Future – By Leslie Roberts (MacLean’s March 15, 1931) Part 2

A Vast Corporation

Smelter expansion is perhaps the key to the developments which have taken place in post-war years and of the company’s plans for even greater expansion in the days to come. When Mond merged with International Nickel, it was reported falsely, as it turned out that Coniston’s fires would be drawn and that all future smelting operations would be transferred to the mammoth new plant than projected for Copper Cliff and since built.

Wiseacres in brokers’ board rooms declared that there would be nothing left for Coniston to do, but instead it has been enlarged into a more important production unit than before, despite the construction of the new Copper Cliff plant, plans for which were greatly enlarged during the construction stage. The two smelters combined have the capacity for treating more than 8,000 tons of ore a day, though running well below capacity at the present time as the result of low prices prevailing for nickel and copper.

In addition to its operations in mines and smelters, this vast corporation that is Sudbury owns refineries at Port Colbourne, at Clydach in Wales and at Acton in England, and is par owner of the immense new plant of Ontario Refineries, recently completed in Copper Cliff. Continue Reading →

Samuel J. Ritchie: A Tower in Early Sudbury Mining – Gary Peck

There are many tales yet untold pertaining to the formative years of the area’s mining industry. Numerous prospectors, the names of some unrecorded, are part of the history. The various workers who toiled with the rock are also an important facet of the story.

As well, entrepreneurs and their companies have to be examined. Not surprising, more of the early companies met with failure than success. One company and one name towered above the others during the early years of mining – the Canadian Copper Company and Samuel J. Ritchie. Ritchie’s introduction to nickel and the events leading to formation of the Canadian Copper Company constitute an interesting story. Continue Reading →

Sudbury Looks to the Future – By Leslie Roberts (MacLean’s March 15, 1931) Part 1

Inco Advertising 1934With a veritable treasure store beneath its feet, Sudbury
is making ready for the morrow of an inevitable expansion

The city of Sudbury rates two separate paragraphs in any tome proclaiming the locations of World’s Biggest. In the mines and mills and smelters of International nickel, it houses the supplying source of the largest self-contained mining organization in the world. In the Frood, it possesses the greatest and richest mine developed by scientific mankind anywhere.

Thanks to the former, which owns the latter, the camp cannot be measured by the some yardsticks which prevail in other Canadian mining centres today. Sudbury is not a one mine town, as Noranda is; nor is it a group of independent enterprises such as one finds in the gold camps of Northern Ontario. Sudbury is the child of the Frood, the Creighton, the Garcon and other treasure troves; rich in nickel bearing ores and owned by the International Nickel with only one important exception, Falconbridge.

Sudbury’s prosperity is written on the time sheets of Coniston and its mate, the smelter in Copper Cliff, each a physical asset of Inco. Continue Reading →

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

More Than Free Gold - by Michael Barnes

Canada is one of the most productive areas on earth for the discovery of economic mineral deposits. Its large land mass covers the entire spectrum of geological formations. These have been laid down and formed over the past four billion years.

Man has supplemented the bounty of nature’s contribution. Canada is fortunate to have individuals who have developed an infrastructure of financial capacity, educational facilities and scientific expertise that is a rich mix of human expertise and resources equal to or better than anywhere else in the world. These people have created Canada’s wealth through the careful exploitation of her mineral resources.

Prior to the beginning of the twentieth century, large-scale, economic, producing mines were largely nonexistent in Canada. Continue Reading →

Sudbury: Melting Pot for Men and Ore – by Don Delaplante (Maclean’s April 15, 1951) Part 2

Bad Eggs From The East

Sudbury’s polyglot population keeps the police force busy on a wholesale basis. The crime rate is about double that of other communities of like size in Canada. Last year the police made 2,243 arrests, of which 893 were under the Criminal Code.

The cases to be heard in the old Sudbury courthouse, built in 1908, are so numerous that there’s sometimes a mad scramble between lawyers and prisoners to get seats. Herds of 30 and 40 men and women are shepherded in a side door, among them drunks, derelicts, shady ladies and thieves of every description. The lawyers advance from the rear of the courtroom. Unless they’re nimble the legal lights find themselves relegated to the spectators’ section. The courthouse also contains the headquarters of the Ontario Provincial Police District of Sudbury, an area of more than 30,000 square miles.

“Drifters from both Eastern Canada and the West stop over here and a lot of them are bad eggs,” says Police Chief Jack McLaren, a calm-eyed, efficient war veteran, in defense of the local population. Continue Reading →

Sudbury: Melting Pot for Men and Ore – By Don Delaplante (Maclean’s April 15, 1951) Part 1

Inco World War Two Poster

In its furnaces every day a mountain of ore becomes a river of vital metals; On its streets a colorful mixture of races and religions surges and blends into a unique Canadian scene. Sudbury’s got a right to thump its hairy chest

A fragile, albeit glamorous and hard-knuckled, creature is the mine town. Today, ebullient with life, optimism and grand schemes for the future; tomorrow, perhaps a ghost town populated by a bewildered few left to flounder in the backwash made by rugged individualists hastening to other fields of fortune.

But, by every token in the book, there’s one Canadian mine town now a full-scale city of 47,000 that’s not destined to become a haunted has-been of yesteryear. In its case the reverse seems likely. Many persons believe it’s slated to become the Canadian facsimile of Pittsburgh.

The city is Sudbury, the hustling, bustling hub of a rock-strewn territory which is not only the most richly mineralized area of Canada but of the entire western hemisphere. No spectre of ghostdom haunts blatantly prosperous Sudbury. Continue Reading →