The Northern Miner 1995 “Mining Man of the Year” Albert Chislett and Christopher Verbiski – by Vivian Danielson

Since 1915, the Northern Miner weekly newspaper has chronicled Canada’s globally significant mining sector.

Much ado is made of the sophisticated technology that is available to help find mineral deposits. While these techniques are unquestionably valuable, they will never render obsolete “boot-and-hammer” prospecting of the type that led to the discovery of the Voisey’s Bay nickel-copper-cobalt discovery near Nain, Labrador.

The chain of events leading to the discovery began when two prospectors spotted a rust-colored outcrop covering the side of a hill near Voisey’s Bay while performing regional reconnaissance for Diamond Fields Resources (TSE).

After landing on the gossanous outcrop and breaking open fresh rock which revealed stringers of chalcopyrite, the prospectors realized they had found a prospect with real potential. They sat on the hill and started envisioning what the surrounding countryside was going to look like in 10 years, with a mine and a road.

That Voisey’s Bay went on to become the mining story of 1995, worldwide, comes as no surprise to the two prospectors who made the original discovery: Albert Chislett, 46, and Christopher Verbiski, 27. Both men live in St. John’s, Nfld., where their company, Archean Resources, is based. And both have extensive experience working on exploration projects in Labrador and Newfoundland.

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