Long Lac Looms Up in 1934 – Part 2 of 3

Original headframe No. 1 of Hard Rock Gold Mine. Greenstone History Collection.


Hydro a Favorable Factor

Another favorable factor which is bound to contribute to the success of Little L.ong Lac as a real mining camp is the practically unlimited supply of hydro-electric power that is available from the Hydro Commission’s plant situated at Cameron Falls, a few miles north of Nipigon station. From this plant a transmission line is built to· the Northern Empire Mines, some 50 miles to the east. An agreement has already been entered into by the Little Long Lac Mines with the Hydro authorities, whereby this line is to be extended an additional 48 miles to the  Little Long Lac mine; 800 horse-power is to be delivered upon completion of the line and provision is being made to increase this to 1,500 horse-power as soon as the demand warrants. As it is expected that numerous other properties adjacent to this transmission line will soon require power for their operations the line is being so constructed that much higher voltage can be added as required.

Hardrock Station is the jumpingoff place for most of the mines in the district. It is about sixteen miles west of Long Lac Station on an inlet or bay on the westerly side of Little Long Lac3. To this place the small power-boats and kickers4 of the various mining concerns which surround the lake come for their supplies and passengers. The Oro Plata have claims which embrace a good portion of the land south of the tracks and extending south to include most of the bay and small peninsula to the east. The southern portion of this peninsula is owned by Roche Long Lac.

Where the Mines Are

Little Long Lac itself is a very tangled body of water with many bays, narrows and islands. It is about 12 miles long in a straight line running in a north-east south-westerly direction. The main property of the Little Long Lac Gold Mines surround the western end of the lake, and extend westward several miles. Long Lac Lagoon, Mosher and MacLeod-Cockshutt properties are to the south and extend eastward from Little Long Lac mine. On the north, towards the eastern portion of Little Long Lac, are the Lafayette and T. A. Johnston claims. West of Little Long Lac and clustering around Magnet Lake are the properties of Longacre Long Lac, Lake Maron, J ellicoe, Wells Long Lac, Bankfield, Algoma, Magnet Lake and Oro Plata. On the east side of the Little Long Lac itself are the properties of Long Lac Lagoon, Roche Long Lac, Novack, Gascon, Gagnon, Mat-A-L􀅗c, and Lac Development.

The claims of individual stakers surround these properties on all sides like a fringe or apron.

Sketch map of properties in Little Long Lac Gold Camp in Gold magazine, August 1934.

How the Work is Progressing

At Little Long Lac Gold Mines, the original operation in the district, exploration and drilling were so encouraging that at the present time a 200-ton mill is being erected which will probably be in operation by the autumn. To the east and south of this development the MacLeod-Cockshutt company is sinking a three-compartment shaft to a proposed depth of 700 feet. Ten other companies are diamond drilling and every week sees some other organization enthused with the results of the surface work that arrangements for a drilling program are immediately made.

Long Lac Lagoon has three drill crews at work, while on both the Bankfield and the Jellicoe properties two drills are probing for’ wealth. Seven other properties have each their own drill crews and, in most cases, the results seem to justify their efforts. Drilling is being done by single crews at Big Long Lac, Hardrock Gold, Longacre Long Lac, Long Lac Adair, Magnet Lake, Mosher Long Lac and Lafayette Long [Lac.?]

In addition to these advanced activities exploratory work is being done on eight other properties. The sound of blasting shatters the hush of the north as men strip and trench and pit the surface5, and it is expected that before long these developments will also pass into the drilling stage which precedes the more intensive operations of milling. The companies at this step in the game are: Algoma Mining and Finance, Hollinger Exploration, Lake Maron, Little Long Lac Extension, Mat-A-Lac, Wells Long Lac, Lac Development and Novack Gold. The following newly-organized concerns have been looking over their surface showings with a view to initiating further development: Rand Long Lac, International Mining, Minefinders Limited, Little Long Lac Exploration Syndicate, Oro Plata, Central Long Lac, Kenty Exploration and Karl Springer Exploration.

Swarms of Prospectors

Prospectors by the dozens are swarming over the countryside, on foot, in canoe or power-boat, and a few in a more luxurious fashion by aeroplane. Some of them are the real old-timer type and others are mere youths lured on to days of fatigue and black flies by dreams of sudden wealth. The real prospector usually knows what is is all about and knows what he is looking for. Fellows like Rennie Maloney, C. W. Taylor, A. Milroy, Arthur Cockshutt and “Hardrock” Bill Smith, one of the original stakers of the area, are not likely to pass up any promising showing.

With power and transportation readily available, and backed by a group of well-financed and enthusiastic miners, there is no limit to the possibilities of this district. All that is necessary is to find “pay rock” in goodly quantities, and apparently it is there.

Little Long Lac mine, according to the Northern Miner, “appears to have one of the richest gold veins found in Ontario to date.” “One of the most remarkable things about the Little Long Lac ore-body is its consistency. Day by day sampling shows little variation.”

At MacLeod-Cockshutt in the north vein drilling indicated a lense of commercial grade over 225 feet long. At various places values indicated the presence of gold running from $3.20 to $11.206. Five out of ten holes put down in the southerly zone showed stringers7 carrying gold visible to the eye. On the Lafayette assays of chip samples gave values ranging from $1.80 to $30 per ton, while recent grab samples8 ran from $2.40 to $84.80. Long Lac Lagoon assays from .35c to $12.39, while at Roche Long Lac average assays taken at intervals from a vein seven feet in width and over 2,000 feet in length show values up to $17 per ton figured at $34 an ounce. Bankfield has found values up to $16.50 per ton and on the Lac Development property channel samples show gold values ranging from .08 to 3.2 oz. per ton. One sample gave an assay of $115.20 across 15 inches and averaging in the mineralized wall rock gave a value of $51.67 across 35 inches. Many other properties whose development work has not yet advanced to where assays can be given report the appearance of free gold in drill cores.

(continued in Part 3)


3 Little Long Lac is also known as Kenogamisis Lake.

4 An old-time kicker is an outboard motor of 9.9 or fewer horsepower. In this case, kicker designates a small motorboat powered by a kicker. Nowadays a kicker is an auxiliary motor attached to a boat and typically used for trolling.

5 A trench is a narrow strip of terrain which has been exposed by bulldozer or backhoe down to bedrock. It may even be excavated in bedrock to a shallow depth by blasting. A pit is just that, a pit or hole of shallow depth, created by a backhoe and/or blasting. The aim is to find mineralized veins.

6 In 1934, the price of gold per ounce shot up to around $35. For years the price had hovered around $20.

7 A stringer is a very narrow mineralized vein.

8 A grab sample is a small piece of rock from a trench or pit.

Photo montage in Maclean’s magazine article, Sep. 15, 1934, The Trails of ’34, by Leslie McFarlane.
Section of Map No. 44d, Little Long Lac Gold Area, in 1935. Ontario Department of Mines.


01d Original headframe No. 1 of Hard Rock Gold Mine. Greenstone History Collection.

Masthead of Gold Magazine

01e Sketch map of properties in Little Long Lac Gold Camp in Gold magazine, August 1034.

01f Photo montage in Maclean’s magazine article, Sep. 15, 1934, The Trails of ’34, by Leslie McFarlane.

01g Section of Map No. 44d, Little Long Lac Gold Area, in 1935. Ontario Department of Mines.

About EJ Lavoie

Writer and independent publisher with website www.WhiskyJackPublishing.ca
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