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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Value in the Ground: Cartier Resources’ Chimo Mine Project

Cartier Resources (TSX-V: ECR) is advancing the Chimo Mine Gold Project in the Abitibi region of Quebec, showing its potential with past producing mines.

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Value in the Ground: Cartier Resources’ Chimo Mine Project

The sponsor of this graphic, Cartier Resources (TSX-V: ECR), has instigated an exploration strategy to increase ounces in the ground at the historic Chimo Mine in the heart of the Abitibi that continues to deliver increasing resources.

Cartier is deploying the strategy in the right region, with the right backers to find gold faster at a lower cost. This graphic provides an overview of the project’s massive potential.

Proven Endowment: The Abitibi Greenstone Belt

There are many prolific past-producing gold districts in Canada, but the Abitibi is one of the largest and well understood gold-bearing regions with readily available exploration infrastructure.

This region extends from Wawa in Northwestern Ontario to the East near Val-d’Or, Québec—a landscape that hosts some of the most productive gold mines in Canada.

Cartier’s Chimo Mine project located in the historic Abitibi Greenstone belt of Québec builds on a legacy of gold production with a project ready for investors.

Tried and Tested Exploration Strategy

The best place to find gold is where companies discovered and mined it before. Between 1964 and 1997, three companies produced 379,012 ounces of gold at the Chimo Mine.

This type of strategy is known as brownfield exploration. Brownfield exploration looks for gold in areas known to host gold mineralization. It offers investors less risk, reducing the amount of uncertainties a company faces.

Ounces in the Ground: Growing a Gold Resource

Cartier delivered its first-ever resource estimate within three years and proved the value at Chimo. In November 2019, the company published its first mineral resource estimate of the central gold corridor on the Chimo Mine property.

It reported Indicated resources of 481,280 ounces of gold and Inferred resources of 417,250 ounces of gold. This resource estimate came from only one-third of the property.

This was just the beginning for Cartier Resources and the Chimo Mine.

In 2021, Cartier upgraded its resource estimate with drilling from its North and South corridor. The company increased the indicated resources to 684,000 oz Au (6,616,000 tonnes at 3.21 g/t Au) and the inferred resources to 1,358,000 oz Au (15,240,000 tonnes at 2.77 g/t). This gives the property over 2 million ounces of gold in the heart of the Abitibi.

Why Invest in Chimo?

Cartier Resources has consistently applied an exploration strategy to develop and increase the known gold resources at the Chimo gold mine.

It built on the foundations of a proven past producer and continued exploration success to discover more gold. In the heart of a safe and established mining jurisdiction, Cartier has put the Chimo Mine back on the Abitibi gold map.

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Visualizing the Rise of Cryptocurrency Transactions

As cryptocurrency transactions rise, merchants are looking to position themselves to take advantage of this new wave of crypto spenders.

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daily crypto transactions

Visualizing the Rise of Cryptocurrency Transactions

After Bitcoin and cryptocurrency’s wild bull run in late 2020 and early 2021, many holders are now using cryptocurrencies for their intended purpose: payments.

Every day, approximately $12 billion are transferred across the Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin blockchains, with millions of people using cryptocurrency for payments daily.

This graphic sponsored by CoinPayments looks at the rising transactions of the Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin networks.

Cryptocurrency Transactions are Rising in Value and Number

While prices are often the focus when crypto is in the spotlight, transaction counts show how much a network is being used as a medium of exchange. In just over five years, daily transactions across the Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin networks increased sixfold, from just 250,000 to more than 1.5 million transactions a day.

In mid-2017, Ethereum overtook Bitcoin in daily transactions as ETH was necessary to participate in ICOs (initial coin offerings), which fueled much of the speculation in the 2017 price run. With Ethereum still hosting thousands of ERC-20 and ERC-721 tokens on its blockchain today, its transaction counts have grown to be much higher compared to Bitcoin and Litecoin’s.

Along with crypto’s rising transaction numbers, the average USD value per transaction has increased by a minimum of 4x over the past five years.

YearAverage Value per Bitcoin TransactionAverage Value per Ethereum TransactionAverage Value per Litecoin Transaction
2016$2,426$588$1,357
2021$32,943$19,139$5,458

Source: Coin Metric
2021 figures as of July 13th, 2021

Crypto Spenders are Searching for Merchants

As transaction counts and values rise, merchants play a vital part in pushing forward the adoption of digital currencies for payments.

Many cryptocurrency users consider merchant adoption as a key barometer of success for crypto adoption. While companies like AT&T, Namecheap, and Overstock already accept crypto payments, there are still many businesses around the world which don’t offer cryptocurrency as a method of payment.

In a survey of over 8,000 U.S. consumers, 66.7% of crypto owners and 54.2% of non-owners said that not enough merchants accept cryptocurrency. Along with this, 47% of crypto owners said they seek out merchants that accept crypto for purchases, indicating clear demand for more crypto-accepting businesses.

How Can Merchants Make the Most of the Crypto Boom?

As the world embraces crypto, merchants need the in-store and online tools to be part of this next wave of commerce. Accepting crypto opens merchants up to an untapped audience of new consumers, eager to spend their crypto.

CoinPayments makes it easy to start accepting crypto payments at online checkout and with POS systems, with features like auto-coin conversion and over 2,000 coins supported.

Find out more about how the crypto market is growing, adapting to consumer needs, and the opportunity it presents to merchants around the world.

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