|Abstract||Occurrences of minerals, rocks and fossils are described for locali- |
ties in the Timagami, Cobalt, Gowganda, Matachewan, Matheson and Timmins
regions in Ontario, and from the Ville-Marie and
Belleterre areas in Quebec.
The collecting area includes two of the greatest precious metal mining camps
in the world: the Cobalt silver camp that ranks third in the total cumulative
production of silver in the world, and the Porcupine
gold field whose all-time
production is exceeded only by the Witwatersrand gold mines in South Africa.
In addition, there are numerous collecting localities in the less celebrated
mining camps of Elk Lake, Gowganda, Matachewan and
The spectacular discoveries of the Cobalt silver deposits in 1903 and
1 904, following within a decade the world-captivating Klondike Rush shifted
the attention of prospectors and miners to this part of eastern Canada where
the initial discoverers engaged in building the T. & N. 0. railway were joined
by experienced prospectors from the West and from other points. Stimulated
by the successful developments at Cobalt and guided by geological reports
by the Ontario Bureau of Mines and by the Geological Survey of Canada,
the same band of prospectors extended their search into the then-remote
north country and were rapidly rewarded with further discoveries of silver
ore at Elk Lake and
at Gowganda, culminating in the sensational discoveries
of native gold in the Porcupine district in 1909. Thus, within a few years,
the area was the scene of the greatest silver rush and the greatest gold rush
ever experienced by Ontario.
With the establishment of these two mining
camps, the attention of the gold-seekers was focused on Kirkland Lake which
became the second greatest gold-producing camp in Canada, and the third-
ranking gold-producer in the world. About half
a century later, northeastern
Ontario was the scene of a modern-day prospecting rush generated by the
discovery of a colossal base metal orebody in the Timmins area; that discov-
ery became the largest silver-lead-cadmium producer in the
Other deposits in the area include those of copper, copper-zinc,
nickel, iron and asbestos. There are also occurrences of molybdenite,
barite, magnesite, and antimony minerals. Fossils occur in the only
Paleozoic rocks in the
area: those extending north from Lake Timiskaming.
Rocks suitable for ornamental purposes include porphyries, jaspery iron-
formation, conglomerate, granite, soapstone and chrome-mica rock.
Most of the collecting localities are the dumps
of inactive mines and
prospects. Road-cuts furnish a number of collecting sites. In general,
operating mines are not collecting areas but visits to the surface plants are,
in some cases, arranged for visitors. Some of the famous old
longer accessible, are described for historical interest.