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Greg and John's fabulous adventure in and around Thunder Bay, Ontario, July 2002

Part Two: The Shuniah Mine

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Part One: The Ontario Gem Amethyst Mine

Beautiful Minerals Home Page
 


This is the road cut along the main highway. The mine is about a kilometer behind this. 
We originally were directed to it by a kindly geologist who stopped while we were collecting 
a little amethyst from the pockets in the basalt of the road cut. He told us there was an old 
silver mine back in the woods about half a mile.

Here we go! Up the hill just to the right of the car and into the woods to the trail we go.

Greg's on the trail of some good rocks!

Prettiness and wildlife along the trail to the mine!


All of a sudden, a ruffed grouse popped up and out of the brush, right onto the path. Then he 
flew up into a low tree on our left. Grouse nest right on the ground and are seldom visible.

Up in a tree!

And not just a grouse but a porqupine! This guy ambled out in front of us, then got a little 
nervous and climbed way up a birch tree.

What a wild place. Grouse, porqupines, rock collectors, even some mountain bikers in the trees
now and then.
 


Greg starts to dig in to the mine dump. This was a silver mine, shut down in the late 1800's. 
The shaft went down a thousand feet. The piles of rock from the shaft are full of interesting 
specimens, including fluorite, silver ore (acanthite), calcite, amethyst and sulfide minerals.
The dumps cover an area about 0.5 km long and 0.25 km wide. We've just begun to explore!


Greg finds some green botryoidal fluorite with a lot of iron staining, 
which takes a bit of cleaning. This fluorite REALLY lights up bright blue 
under the ultraviolet light.

Getting to the root of the problem.

Finished for the day. This night the temperature was 95 degrees F. at 8 PM! 
Pretty sweaty but very happy guys.

 


The Sleeping Giant - A long peninsula east of Thunder Bay. Off the end of this structure is Silver Isle,
site of the largest and most famous silver mine in the area. The mine is (and mostly was) underwater.
When it was in operation timber dams filled with rock kept the waters of Superior out... for a while. 
The battering of the winter storms tore them apart time after time.

A few of the beauties of the mine


 

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Links to my favorite on-line Rock Shops


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