The History of the Abitibi Gold Belt
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The History of the Abitibi Gold Belt

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The following content is sponsored by the Clarity Gold

The Abitibi: Canada’s Golden Powerhouse

At the heart of Canada lies a greenstone belt that has provided the nation with more than 90% of its gold production. With more than 100 years of gold discovery in the Abitibi region located between Québec and Ontario, this area was the kiln that helped forge the Canadian mining industry.

Ever since the discovery of gold at Lac Fortune in 1906, the Abitibi has grown to become one of the world’s most prolific gold mining regions, and has produced over 190 million ounces of gold.

This graphic sponsored by Clarity Gold maps the history of gold discovery in the Abitibi and showcases the region’s overburden thickness. With a history of prolific discovery and production, there’s still plenty to explore under the Abitibi’s areas of thick overburden.

A Timeline of Gold Discovery in the Abitibi

Canada, known more for beaver pelts and timber, did not reveal its riches immediately. There were only a handful of gold discoveries in its early history. Gold was first discovered in 1823, on the shores of Rivière Chaudière in Québec, further east of the region known as the Abitibi today.

But as settlers spread west, gold surfaced in British Columbia and the Yukon in the late 1800s, kicking off the Cariboo and Klondike gold rushes. It wasn’t until the 1900s that gold was found in the Abitibi greenstone belt, marking the beginning of the modern era for the Canadian mining industry.

First Discovery and the Porcupine Gold Rush

Gold within the Abitibi was first discovered on the shores of Lac Fortune in 1906, by Alphonse Olier and Auguste Renault. This first discovery was notable, but didn’t result in an immediate gold rush and mine development in the region.

Instead, it was a gold discovery in 1909 further west that kicked off what would be known as the Porcupine Gold Rush in Northern Ontario. The dome-shaped rock where the gold vein was discovered was developed into the Dome mine, which grew to become one of the three historic mines in the Timmins area.

Along with the establishment of the Dome mine, this gold rush also saw the development of the Hollinger and McIntyre mines which were both producing gold by 1912. These three mines have served as powerhouses of Canadian gold production for decades, delivering more than 45 million ounces of gold collectively.

MineGold Produced
Dome Mine17M oz
Hollinger Mine19.5M oz
McIntyre Mine10.8M oz

Source: Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry

This first gold rush was just the beginning of the Abitibi region’s mining boom, with other discoveries on the Quebec side of the region also being developed around the same time.

The Mining Boom on the Cadillac Fault

As the Dome, Hollinger, and McIntyre mines were being developed and started producing gold, another key gold discovery occurred in the Malartic-Val d’Or region. This discovery by J.J. Sullivan and Hertel Authier wasn’t quite enough for mine development to begin right away, but further discoveries in the surrounding areas were highlighting the golden exploration potential of the Abitibi region.

In 1922, Edmund Horne discovered a gold deposit near Osisko Lake, not far from the first gold discovery by Lac Fortune with Tom Powel discovering a rich gold vein nearby the same year. A third gold discovery in 1923 in the Malartic area by the Gouldie brothers marked the beginning of a mining development boom all along the Cadillac fault where these discoveries were occurring.

Over the next two decades, the fault saw hundreds of mining claims every year, with the towns of Rouyn, Noranda, Cadillac, and Malartic all growing alongside mine development and production. By 1931, Rouyn and Noranda had become the second and third most cosmopolitan cities in Quebec after Montreal, with gold mines bringing waves of workers and explorers.

Leaps in Gold Exploration Technology

Over the following decades, technological advances in transportation and deposit detection have allowed gold discovery and development to flourish in the Abitibi region. Aerial detection methods helped identify new deposits, and the development of Canada’s sprawling railway systems allowed for easier access and transportation of materials and people.

These advances resulted in the discovery of the Detour Lake deposit along with discoveries that would go on to become the Ansil, Doyon, and Louvicourt mines. Today, historic mines born from decade-old discoveries like Detour Lake and the Malartic mine are still producing gold.

Across the many different mining camps, the Abitibi region has produced more than 190 million ounces of gold and counting today.

Mining CampGold Produced
Timmins76.6M oz
Kirkland Lake46.8M oz
Doyon-Bousquet-LaRonde25M oz
Rouyn-Noranda19.5M oz
Val D'Or18.4M oz
Malartic10.5M oz
Holloway-McDermott3.8M oz
Chibougamau3.2M oz
Detour Lake3M oz
Casa Berardi3M oz
Beattie and Donchester1.5M oz

Sources: MNDM Statistics, Kirkland Lake Gold, CBay Minerals, Agnico Eagle, Hecla Mining Company, Midland Exploration

The Abitibi’s Golden Geology and Undiscovered Future

The Abitibi’s storied history of gold discovery and production stems from its 2.6 billion year old greenstone belt, the defining geological factor of the region. Greenstone belts are ancient terrain formed by volcanic flows alongside sedimentary rocks that often contain orebodies of gold, copper, silver, lead, and zinc.

Formed over millions of years, greenstone belts begin with the rising of lava and magma through crustal faults that fill a variety of basins across the region. Over extended time, erosion and plate tectonics resulted in high amounts of pressure and heat compressing layers of greenstone rock and gold-bearing volcanic flows to form orebodies of gold and other minerals.

Covering the greenstone belt and its golden deposits is a layer of overburden, topsoil that can range from 1-20 meters of depth. Many of the early discoveries were located near to the surface, leaving further gold potential at depth to future generations.

While many of the areas with thin overburden have been heavily explored and developed, explorers in the region like Clarity Gold are working to discover the gold deposits that lie further underneath thick layers of overburden.

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A Breakdown of Americans’ Monthly Credit Card Spending

Do you know where your money goes? From travel to gas, we break down Americans’ monthly credit card spending by category.

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Credit Card Spending

Americans’ Monthly Credit Card Spending

If you were fortunate enough to keep your job during the pandemic, you probably noticed a financial benefit: you spent less. Amid restrictions, credit card spending on fun activities—like going out for dinner—became less frequent.

Looking ahead, the majority of Americans plan to continue at least one budget change post-pandemic, including eating out less (49%), buying fewer clothes and shoes (41%), and traveling less (37%). Of course, the first step in budgeting is tracking where your money is going.

In the above graphic from Personal Capital, we break down Americans’ monthly credit card spending by category. It’s the first in a three-part series that will explore the spending and saving of Americans.

Behind the Numbers

Credit card spending is based on anonymized data from Personal Capital users, who tend to have a higher-than-average net worth. For this particular subset of users, people had an average net worth of $1.3 million and a median net worth of $405,000. Therefore, the credit card spending amounts may be higher than those of the general U.S. population.

It’s also worth noting that the data reflects credit card spending only. It does not include expenses such as mortgage or rental payments, which are typically paid through other methods.

Credit Card Spending by Category

Here’s a breakdown of monthly credit card spending, based on averaged data from November 2020 to October 2021.

CategoryMonthly Spend% of Monthly Spend
Travel$82216.9%
General Merchandise$81516.7%
Restaurants$56711.6%
Groceries$56211.5%
Clothing/Shoes$52210.7%
Home Improvement$51910.7%
Healthcare$3587.4%
Online Services$3316.8%
Entertainment$2104.3%
Gas$1683.4%
Total$4,874100.0%

Users with no transactions in a particular category were excluded from the average spending amounts. Data is statistically weighted by age to ensure accurate and reliable representation of the total U.S. population, 20 years of age and older.

As border restrictions ease, Americans are spending the most on travel. In fact, 83% of Americans say they are excited to plan a trip in a post-pandemic world. The most popular merchant within travel is Airbnb, followed by airlines such as Delta and United as air travel recovers from its pandemic slump. However, this recovery could be in jeopardy amid fresh concerns over the Omicron variant.

Travel is closely followed by general merchandise, at places like Amazon, Costco, Walmart, and Target. Monthly spending in this category has averaged at $815 over the last year. Of course, this could climb even higher near year-end due to the holiday spending boom typically seen in the U.S. every year.

On the other hand, Americans spend the least on online services (such as Google and Facebook), entertainment, and gas. Though the average monthly spending on gas was the lowest of all categories, it increased by 60% from November 2020 to October 2021. This is likely due to gas being one of the categories hit hardest by inflation, along with increased travel.

Turning Reduced Spending Into Savings

With the swipe of a credit card, it can be easy to underestimate how quickly eating out and online shopping add up. However, by taking a closer look at your credit card spending, you can get a sense of where your money is going.

Like most Americans, you may also decide to carry over at least one budget change post-pandemic. What do Americans want to do with the extra cash? Over half plan to put it towards savings, and 16% aim to contribute more to retirement savings or investments.

In Part 2 of the Americans’ Spending and Saving series, we’ll break down Americans’ financial assets by age.

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Copper’s Essential Role in Protecting Public Health

Copper can kill up to 99.9% of bacteria on surfaces within two hours of exposure and slow the spread of diseases.

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Copper’s Essential Role in Protecting Public Health

Every day, high-touch surfaces present health risks to people in public spaces, and especially the most vulnerable in healthcare. In fact, of every 100 hospitalized patients at any given time, seven will get at least one healthcare-acquired or “hospital infection”.

With naturally antimicrobial properties, copper can kill up to 99.9% of bacteria on surfaces within two hours of exposure and slow the spread of diseases.

In this infographic from our sponsor Teck, we explore copper’s bacteria-fighting abilities and its crucial role in public health.

How Copper Kills Bacteria

Due to its powerful antimicrobial properties, copper kills bacteria in sequential steps:

  • First, copper ions on the surface are recognized by the bacteria as an essential nutrient and enter cell.
  • Then, a lethal dose of copper ions interferes with normal cell functions.
  • Finally, the copper binds to the enzymes, impeding the cell from breathing, eating, digesting, or creating energy.

This rapid killing mechanism prevents cells from replicating on copper surfaces and significantly reduces the amount of bacteria living on the surface.

Antimicrobial copper is effective against bacteria that causes common diseases like staph infections and E. coli that causes foodborne illness. The metal continuously kills bacteria and never wears out.

Besides bacteria, researchers are currently studying copper’s impacts on the virus that causes COVID-19. A previous study suggested that SARS-CoV-2 was completely destroyed within four hours on copper surfaces, as compared to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to three days on plastic and stainless steel. Pre-pandemic studies also demonstrated copper’s ability to kill other coronaviruses.

The Applications of Antimicrobial Copper

Institutions around the world have already deployed antimicrobial copper solutions relating to hospitals, fitness centers, mass transit systems, schools, professional sports teams, office buildings, restaurants, and more.

To date, antimicrobial copper has been installed in more than 300 healthcare facilities around the world. Taking the reduced costs of shorter patient stay and treatment into consideration, the payback time for installing copper fittings is only two months, according to an independent study by the University of York’s Health Economics Consortium.

In Canada, Teck has worked with its partners to install antimicrobial copper coatings on high-touch surfaces in hospitals, educational buildings and transit.

The Stanley Cup champions Los Angeles Kings have installed antimicrobial copper surfaces in their strength and training facility in California. Furthermore, over 50 water bottle filling stations made from antimicrobial copper can also be found throughout the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta.

Copper’s Role in Public Health

While many hospitals and other institutions are already using copper fittings, others are still not aware of its impactful properties.

As awareness increases, copper can become a simple but effective material to help control the spread of infections.

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