History of Swastika Mine

Mining Operation 1911

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Swastika was originally a railway siding for the Temiskaming & Northern Ontario Railway in 1906-07. The town blossomed in 1911 with the discovery of gold in and around Swastika and in a far off place known as Kirkland Lake. Unfortunately for Swastika the Kirkland Lake goldfields grew while the gold mines in Swastika stagnated and closed after only a few short years. Swastika remained a transportation centre serving the Kirkland Lake until a branch line was laid through Kirkland Lake to Rouyn-Noranda in the mid twenties. Today it is a bedroom community within the Town of Kirkland Lake.

Swastika Mining Company was formed 1908 by James and William Dusty and survived in one form or another until 1940 when the property was consolidated with other properties around Swastika into a company named Golden Gate Mining Company. Golden Gate struggled until 1947 at which time the property became idle. It has remained so through the rest of the century.

   Robin Ormerod, Director/Curator
   Museum of Northern History
   Kirkland Lake Ontario Canada


Swastika Area - Swastika Gold Mine
The Swastika Gold Mining Company hold nine claims near Swastika station, Temiskaming and Northern Ontario railway. The three original claims are situated on the shore of Otto Lake, two adjoining on the south in Otto township, two to the north in unsurveyed territory, and two in lot 9 in the fourth concession of Otto.
The main shaft has been sunk 100 feet below the adit level. The adit level is at a depth of 40 feet, and some 400 feet of drifting has been done on this level. On the 100-foot level considerable drifting and cross-cutting have been done. From this level a winze has been sunk on the vein a depth of 90 feet. In all over 1,000 feet of development work has been done.
The plant consists of a 60-h.p. boiler, compressor and hoist. A 5-stamp mill has been erected and is being run steadily.
Mr. A. T. Bell, of Tavistock, is president of the company, and Mr. J. W. Vandergrift superintendent, employing a force of 32 men.

by E. L. Bruce
The Swastika gold area centres about the town of Swastika at mileage 164 on the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario railway. The area examined comprises the southern half of the township of Teck and the northern half of the township of Otto. This area was first described by Mr. W. J. Wilson, who made a reconnaissance survey of the Blanche river for the Canadian Geological Survey, and later by Mr. L. L. Bolton, who accompanied Speight's survey party in 1904 and reported on the geology of the country from Round lake to Abitibi for the Ontario Bureau of Mines.
At the time of the gold rush to Larder Lake a number of claims were staked in the Swastika area, and some work was done upon them. The claims now held by the Lucky Cross Mining Company and those of the Swastika Mining Company were located at that time. In the depression which followed operations were continued only on the latter group. The first development was done of the big quartz vein on the west side of Otto Lake. A shaft was put down about sixty feet and some drifting done. Surface prospecting on the north side of the lake uncovered No. 1 vein, containing visible gold, and with the discovery of other veins near this one the work on the north side abandoned. A shaft was sunk and a five-stamp mill was installed on the north side. This mill turned out several small bricks before being dismantled in 1911 to make room for the present plant.
The discovery of gold at Porcupine led to renewed interest being taken in the old area, and the summer of 1911 saw most of the old claims restaked and development work started on many properties.

Topography and Drainage
The area lies just south of the height of land between James Bay and the Otto river, and while the difference of elevation is seldom more than two hundred feet the country is rather rugged and broken. Rock outcrops are numerous, and the areas of swamp are neither large nor continuous. The hills are arranged in roughly parallel east and west ridges in conformity with the strike of the formations. East of the Blanche river, however, the regularity is not so pronounced, and the hills are more or less isolated.
The Blanche river, which flows through this area, turns sharply east about a mile below Kenogami station and runs between two of these ridges until it breaks across the southern one in a series of rapids at Swastika. Just south of these rapids it is joined by Amikougami creek, which forms the outlet of Amikougami lake north of Swastika, and which flows ina fairly straight north and south course. Below the junction of the two streams is a broad valley, in which the river meanders considerably before entering Otto lake. Leaving the lake, the river again forms a series of rapids, below which there is a long stretch of quiet water broken only where it crosses the syenite ridge in concession IV. In concession V, the Blanche receives another tributary from the north, known as Murdock creek. This stream, like Amikougami creek, flows south in a fairly straight course. The lower part is shallow and rapid, but the upper reaches are rather sluggish. The Amikougami is broken by a few rapids, but forms a good canoe route to the lakes lying to the north.

The rocks of the area may be classified as follows: ­
Recent and Glacial: ­ Stratified clays, peat, sand and gravel.
Pre-Cambrian: ­ Post Huronian ­ Diabase, red feldspar-porphyry, augite-lamprophyre.
Igneous Contact.
Huronian: ­ Conglomerate and greywacké.
Laurentian: ­ Augite syenite.
Igneous Contact.
Keewatin: ­ Gray feldspar-porphyry, basic intrusives, iron formation and epidotic rocks, greenstones and schist.

Economic Geology
The rocky and broken character of the country makes it quite unsuitable for agriculture, excepting in the limited areas where streams have formed alluvial flats. Farther south, near Round lake, some farms have been taken up.
Fires have destroyed the original forest, but the part north of the Blanche river supports a considerable second growth, mostly of birch and poplar, This is rather light near the river, but becomes denser farther north.

Visible gold occurs in quartz veins in at least two parts of the district. One lies near Otto lake and includes Swastika mine and the Reeves claim. The other lies east of Amikougami creek, on the Lucky Cross Mining company's claims.
The veins are of the usual rather lenticular type, as a rule with steep dips. The quartz is of the white crystalline variety, with dark streaks showing in it. A slight fracturing follows the first quartz deposition, and tiny veinlets of a more transparent variety cut across the older quartz, like water lines on paper. Sulphides occur in the veins, as chalopyrite and pyrite. The gold is very often associated with the sulphides or with the dark lines in the quartz, but occasionally is found in the clear quartz. On the Swastika claims the veins cut greenstone and gray feldspar-porphyry and the rusty carbonate rock. The relationship on the Lucky Cross veins is similar to that on the Swastika. The porphyry is in small dikes and sometimes forms one wall, occasionally for a short distance both walls, of the vein, which does not seem to vary with change of country rock.
Veins of very similar physical characteristics are found in the conglomerate and greywacké, but, so far as known, no values have been found in them. It may be possible that they are of different age than the veins found in the Keewatin rock, or, if of the same age, the Keewatin rocks have favored precipitation of values where veins cut them. If the latter explanation is correct, it seems likely that the fracturing of the rock and deposition of the vein material and gold values is due to the post-Huronian intrusive rocks, and probably more to the acidic type than to the augite-lamprophyre.

Active Properties
The Swastika Mining Company has done most of its development work on three veins on the north side of Otto lake. The largest of these is eight to nine feet wide, striking north and south. This is interested by two other veins, the smaller having eight to nine inches of quartz. Most of the ore already stoped has come from the large vein above the thirty-five foot level. The mine now has a three-compartment shaft down to two hundred feet, the old shaft being used merely for ventilation. Considerable drifting has been done. A new equipment has been installed, consisting of two 125-horsepower Jenckes boilers, a 10 by 12 double drum hoist and a 12-drill Sullivan compressor.
On the Reeves claims north of Pike lake, two veins, eight and nine feet wide, have been stripped for a hundred feet or more. These veins strike N.E. and S.W. and are about fifty feet apart. In the larger of the two, visible gold occurs at its junction with the small quartz veins.
On the Lucky Cross claims visible gold was found first in a small vein that shows in the railway cut just east of Amikougami creek. North of the right-of-way this veining is about eight inches wide and carries visible gold in a band crossing the vein at an angle from wall to wall. Later prospecting has uncovered other veins north of this, one of which has a width of twelve feet. A plant including a 6-drill compressor has been installed.
The Homestead Mining Company has a vein in the rusty carbonate rock near the Huronian contact, on which they are driving an adit into the hill.

The observations of this area were made under the general supervision of Mr. A. G. Burrows, who spent a few days with the writer in the field. Mr. R. M. Smith acted as assistant during the season. Valuable advice and assistance in the petrographic determination were received from Prof. C. P. Berkey, while the data were being worked up in the Department of geology and Mineralogy at Columbia University.


© Photos from The Lemp Studio Collection 2002
Tavistock, Ontario, Canada

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