Located in the copper-rich Lake Superior Mid Continental Rift just north of Batchawana Bay, are the remains of Teck Resources' Tribag Mine. The site, which hasn't been used since the mid 1970's, is rather extensive, featuring the ruins of the processing site, an extensive tailings pond, several horizontal adits, at least one uncapped shaft, and several capped shafts. It's also not particularly easy to even get to the site, however; the trip requires some serious off-roading and even then serious washouts are not unheard of.
|Location||Algoma District, Ontario|
|Built :: Closed||1965 :: 1972|
|Difficulty||★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆|
|Hazards Risk||★ ★ ★ ★ ☆|
|Security Risk||★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆|
|AUE Rating||★ ★ ★ ★ ☆|
The site was first discovered in 1959 after local prospector Aime Breton staked his claim, having found copper at the site. It eventually expanded to feature 135 individual claims, and the Tribag Mine Corporation was formed to begin production. The production facilities were located on top of a hill overlooking Mine Lake, at an elevation of 1800 feet above sea level, and featured a full-sized headframe, a working camp for 40 men, a crusher, milling facilities, offices, and shops. This was no small production site, although that was obvious after exploring the area and discovering the numerous shafts. We never did make it over to the horizontal adits; we simply ran out of time. Something for a future trip.
Our first encounter as we drove up to the site was the remains of a crankhouse, sitting next to a capped shaft. Continuing down the road to the GPS coordinates we had, we stumbled across the extensive tailings pond, at this point consisting of white and orange sand, with small creeks running along the north and south flanks. We had hit a jackpot.
I was the first of our group to find the production site ruins, as the others were still in the woods looking for adits and shafts. It was like walking out to a war zone. Collapsed, rusted buildings abound, surrounded by burned timbers and concrete foundations. Not knowing anything about the Tribag site prior to the visit, I was in awe at the size of the site. My previous mining experiences had been at locations such as Ranwick Mine, which were much, much smaller in comparison.
While we didn't get into the mines proper at Tribag (the closest we got was to a plateau just inside the shaft we did find, at which point loose quartz stopped us as it would have sent us straight down the shaft if it shifted), it was still an awesome location. And having seen photos from the horizontal adits as well as the shaft we found, I know I'll be returning in the near future for a second attempt.