The May long weekend has finally arrived and so I guess I can safely put my parka away for another year (Knock on wood!). Although I remember one year, maybe about ten year or 12 years ago, there was still ice on some of the lakes around here.
In Timmins, the weekend is called the May Run and it is sort of a rite of passage for young people about to graduate high school to get out in the bush and have one last party with all your school chums. The other tradition is that we always seem to have rain on the May Run weekend. Sure enough, there was rain last night and early this morning.
I had another good week at work and one the stories I was writing was about the big mining show coming at the end of the month. Now for those in the know, there is a slump right now for mining exploration.
That’s the process where prospectors, claim stakers, geologists and other rock science people are out there looking for new mineral prospects.
The price of gold is in a slump and so the investment money is in a slump too. All across Canada. But not in Timmins; well not as bad as other places.
Yup, the prospectors here are still hard at work and a lot of diamond drills are still active. Now a diamond drill is a machine that bores deep into the earth and pulls up rock samples in the form of rock core. They’re called diamond drills because the drill bits that cut into the rock are actually hollow tubes crusted with diamonds that allow the bits to drill a nice circular hole in the rock. Imagine digging into wet sand with a paper towel tube and bringing up a sample of sand. That’s how it works. So there is still that optimism here that you don’t see in some other mining towns.
The other interesting thing is that the world famous Kidd Mine (famous for copper, zinc and silver) has only six years left before the mine is empty. Well, that’s not all true. There is still ore at the Kidd Mine, but it is too deep… more than 10,000 feet, to get at it and bring it to surface economically. So how deep is 10,000 feet. Imagine FIVE CN towers stacked one on top of the other… And it is still deeper than that.
So a lot of people are putting their hopes into gold again. By the time the Kidd mine is ready to close, the price of gold should be back up there close to $2,000 per ounce.