History of Swastika
The Lemp Studio
THE HISTORY OF SWASTIKA GOLD MINE
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
MINES OF ONTARIO - 1911
Swastika Area - Swastika
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
THE SWASTIKA GOLD AREA - 1912
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,
Huronian: Conglomerate and greywacké.
Laurentian: Augite syenite.
Keewatin: Gray feldspar-porphyry, basic intrusives, iron
formation and epidotic rocks, greenstones and schist.
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
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
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.
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
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.