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THE NORTHERN POST

"GROWING WITH THE NORTH"

THE GRACE DARWIN GOLD MINE -by Donald E. Pugh

The history of Wawa is that of

mining enterprises. From the initial discovery of placer gold in 1898 to the present, Wawa has been the hub or focus of activities of many widely scattered mining camps.

One of the contributors to Wawa's prosperity has been the Grace Mine whose .rich surface ore yielded between 1900 & 1910, some five to ten bricks a month, then valued at $5,000. to $10,000. The Grace was one of the few mines to operate following the collapse of the Wawa mining boom in 1906, and the return of the town to the domain of the wolf & the moose. Nevertheless, as the shaft sank deeper, the ,Grace too became

quiet, leaving the stark headframe silent, beneath a sombre

sky.

The increasing price of gold

& development of more efficient mining methods revived interest in the mine in the 1920's. An entrepreneur, Mr. Richard Jacobson raised capital & in 1926 the regular throb of water pumps & the roar of compressors and drills spoke of new hopes. Five hundred feet below the surface a new lode was located, but costs continued their upward spiral.

The mine closed in 1928 to permit the construction of a more effective flotation mill to separate the rusty or waste ridden gold from the surrounding rock. Disaster plagued the investors. The inefficiency of the new flotation

system spelled the death of many an investor's dream with the closing of the mine in 1930.

By 1934 ten million dollars had been raised by a Montreal syndicate for the purchase & 'installation of a more efficient cyanide mill. The mine's name became the Darwin. New cookeries and bunk houses symbolized the renewed optomism and revival of old hopes. The shaft sank deeper, crossing the 900 foot mark, but the ore was rich with the glitter of gold. From the average forty tons of ore removed per day, five

hundred dollars was extracted, while one unusual vein yielded

$20,000 in gold per ton. Some months the wagon to Ottawa c,k~rried sixty to seventy pounds of gold insured at $20,000. to $25,000.

In spite of the exceptional yields, mining was a speculative and costly operation. The clouds of war loomed over Europe during the late 1930's. Wise investors were led to place their money in steel & ammunition factories. While.operatipns such as Algoma Steel expanded, capital for the Grace

Today, a rotting headframe, water filled shaft, and ugly concrete piers are all that remain of the Grace. Yet, below the surface, the rich veins of gold ore remain, perhaps to once again entice future interest.

-....Information Courtesy

Mr. R. Berdusco

NEXT WEEK: MR. R. BERDUSCO-A WAWA PIONEER -by D.E. Pugh


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