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28. Bancroft Area, Ontario, Canada: Radioactive Mineral Sites per Sabina

Last Updated: 2nd Jan 2017

By Frank Festa

Post Date: 01/01/2017

Bancroft Area, Ontario, Canada: Radioactive Mineral Sites per Sabina:

Certainly it would be beneficial to read my article 27, Radioactive Reality I: The Road to Discovery and Beyond, before beginning this presentation but it is not necessary. Article 27, dealt with the long road to the discovery of radioactivity and some of the high points along the way. Important names, experiments, breakthroughs, testing, production, many fool hardy products and even current day products that came out the radium – X-ray craze days. Read #27 first to get into the flow of radiation and the “chirps” of the Geiger counter.

My Search Area

In the province of Ontario, Canada lies a vast area that has, for many years, been a prolific area for lumbering, mining, minerals and mineral collecting. The area can be found between the towns of Quadeville and Gooderham. In the1880’s the mineral apatite, a phosphate, used in Europe as a fertilizer was dug from the earth there. In the 1890’s phlogopite mica was mined near Wilberforce and Tory Hill. In 1901 sodalite was being mined. In honor of the Princess of Wales the mine was named the Princess Sodalite Mine. Biotite was mined in 1927 from a spot near Cardiff. In later years, the Bancroft area was alive with mining activity. Several feldspar mines were in production. Ranking Bancroft as the third largest producer at the time. Other operations included, graphite, fluorite, molybdenite, mica, nepheline syenite, corundum, beryl, along with many others and radioactives.

During the early days of radium production and all the way through WWII into the Cold War Era, uranium and related radioactive minerals and ores were highly sought after and for highly different reasons. With the discovery of radium and the nationalization of the only source of uranium at the time, a worldwide search began across the globe to locate radioactive materials. Why? Obviously for experimental, medical, quackery and monetary gains. Numerous sites in Canada, the U.S as well as hundreds, thousands of sites across the globe were located and worked. This presentation will deal with several former mineral mining sites where radioactives were located in an area in the province of Ontario, Canada.

After the Boeheim government nationalized the pitchblend of the Joachimsthal area mines, the entire world went on a global search for radioactive materials. Radium manufacturing had become big business and as new medical cures were developing. The price of uranium and ore was skyrocketing. In order to encourage the discovery and the development of radium, the Ontario government passed the “Radium Act in 1914”. The Act offered a $25, 000 dollar reward to the first person who could prove that he had discovered radium in the province. Radium included all deposits of carnotite, pitchblende or other substances containing radium in sufficient quantity for commercial extraction. The Department of Mines even distributed samples of uranium ore, Joachimsthal pitchblende, to prospectors and were instructed as what to look for while prospecting for gold and silver.

In 1922, W. M. Richardson, a prospector with Yukon experience had heard of molybdenite being located in the Bancroft area near the town of Wilberforce. Richardson undertook prospecting in this area and having a sample of the pitchblende, did locate a heavy, black mineral in surface deposits. He opened several claims and proceeded to operate several exploratory pits and trenches. Sending ore samples to New York for testing, it was confirmed he had located uranium oxide. In 1923 a Toronto syndicate did farther testing. In 1927 the property was sold to the Ontario Radium Corporation. Richardson did in fact locate the first radioactive deposits in Ontario.

Did Richardson receive the $25,000? The Act was repealed at some point.

The Wilberforce Radium Occurrence, Hugh S. Spence and R. K. Carochan, (pages 1 to 23) is important reading…a must read concerning historical uranium discovery in Wilberforce, Ontario, Canada.

The Bancroft - Haliburton areas saw three distinct periods in which exploration for radioactive material was undertaken:

1. 1929 to 1936…the Ontario Radium Corporation conducted underground operations on the Richardson property in Wilberforce township and the Canadian Radium Mines did work in Cheddar. In a 2-3 year period, Ontario Radium conducted over 800 feet of underground exploration.

2. 1947 to 1951…The Richardson property was reopened by the Fission Mines. In Monmouth township, Cardiff Uranium Mines, Lead Ura Mines and Rare Earth Mining.

3. 1953 to 1954…saw a claims rush in parts of Cardiff, Faraday, Monmouth, Herschel, Monteagle, Anstruther, Burleigh, Harvey and Cavendish townships.

According to: Ontario Department of Mines, Volume LXV, Part 6, 1956, Radioactive Mineral Occurrences in the Bancroft Area, by J. Satterly. “In 1954-56 exploration of uranium was carried out on about 125 properties in the area between Bancroft, Haliburton, and Bobcaygeon in Hastings, Haliburton, and Peterborough counties”.

Several explorations were successful in the search for radioactives. The companies laying claims for land and successful production received contracts or letters of intent for purchase from the Eldorado Mining and Refining, Limited which was the Crown company for the purchase of uranium materials.

The success of five mining operations leading to major finds and received letters of intent to purchase as follows:

Bicroft Uranium Mines........1956.....35.8 million dollars
Faraday Uranium Mines......1956.....29.7 million dollars
Cavendish Uranium............1956.....24.1 million dollars
Canadian Dyno...................1956.....34.8 million dollars
Greyhawk Uranium.............1956.....20.3 million dollars.

Researching the Canadian Bureau of Mines documents and their annual report volumes, I was able to locate references to a large number of named radioactive mining operations throughout several townships in Ontario. Those townships are: Cardiff, Faraday, Monmouth, Herschel, Monteagle, Anstruther, Burleigh, Harvey and Cavendish. Listed below, by name only, are some of those operations. Also, the Bureau of Mines has on record unnamed mining sites. These unnamed sites are listed in Bureau's records by township, lot and concession numbers,but are not listed here. You are welcome to count the number of operations. That’s a lotta sites.

Acmac Uranium
Acmac (Radioactives)
Ambis Uranium
Ambis (Radioactives)
Atlin - Ruffner (Radioactives)
Aubelle Mines, Limited
Aumacho River (Radioactives)
Bancroft Feldspar (Radioactives)
Bancroft Uranium
Bartlett Feldspar-Uranium
Bartlett (Radioactives)
Baumhour (Radioactives)
Bennett Lake (Radioactives)
Bentley-Siddon Lakes (Radio)
Bibis Yukon Mines, Limited
Bicroft Uranium
Blott, W.
Blue Rock Rare Earth
Bogan E. T. (Radioactives)
BonVille Uranium
Bonville (Radioactives)
Brascan Uranium
Brascan (Radioactives)
Brown D.A. (Radioactives)
Brunsman Mines, Limited
Buckskin Uranium
Buckskin (Radioactives)
Burgess Corundum
Burgess Mine (Radioactives)
Burma Shore (Radioactives)
Burroughs Lot Uranium
Cadesky, L.
Cairns Feldspar
Cairns Mine (Radioactives)
Cakday (Radioactives)
Cam Uranium
Cam-Lower Dungannon (Radio)
Campbell Uranium
Campbell J.R. (Radioactives)
Canada Radium Mine
Canada Radium
Canadian All Metals
Canadian Dyno Mines
Canadium Dyno (Radioactives)
Canorama Uranium
Canorama (Radioactives)
Canuc Uranium
Canuc Mines (Radioactives)
Carbrew Uranium-Molybdenum
Carbrew (Radioactives)
Card G. Uranium
Card G. (Radioactives)
Carday (Radioactives)
Cardiff Uranium S Zone
Cardiff Uranium N Zone
Cardiff Uranium
Cardiff Pyrochlore Niobium
Carday Uranium
Carr S.J. (Radioactives)
Carr, Quirk, Mellish (Radio)
Carr, Quirk, Robson (Radio)
Cassiar Rainbow Uranium
Cassiar Rainbow (Radioactives)
Centre Lake Uranium
Chukuni Uranium
Clark Mine
Topspar (Radioactives)
Clark, A.H. Uranium
Clark A. H.
Climax Molybden (Radioactives)
Consol-Thor (Radioactives)
Consolidated Uranium Corporation
Cordell Uranium
Cottrill J. C. (Radioactives)
Croft Mine
Croft (Radioactives)
Cromwell Uranium
Crowe Uranium
Cudney, T. Uranium
Cudney T. (Radioactives)
Denfield, G.H. Uranium
Denfield G. H. (Radioactives)
Denree Magnetite-Uranium
Desmont Uranium-Molybdenum
Doubt, R.W. Uranium
Doubt R. W. (Radioactives)
Drude Uranium Mines, Limited
Dubblestein E. (Radioactives)
Dwyer P.J. (Radioactives)
Eagle Nest Uranium
Eagles Nest (Radioactives)
Earle C. (Radioactives)
Edgewood (Radioactives)
Eels Uranium
Eels (Radioactives)
Eels Lake (Radioactives)
Elliott, W. Uranium
Elmridge Uranium
Elmridge (Radioactives)
Empire (Radioactives)
Empire B Zone Uranium-Fluorite
Empire A, G, D (Radioactives)
Empire B Prospect (Radioactives)
Empire-Acd Uranium
Enertex (Radioactives)
Essential Uranium-Fluorite
Essential Minerals (Radioactives)
Fab Metals Uranium
Fab Metal (Radioactives)
Fairley Red Lake Uranium
Fairley Red Lake (Radioactives)
Ferrill, J.F. Feldspar-Uranium
Ferrill J.F. (Radioactives)
Foster, D.E. Uranium
Foster D. E. (Radioactives)
Frazer Prospect Uranium-Feldspar
Ganymede Uranium Mines, Limited
Genesee #2 Feldspar-Uranium
Genesee #2 Mine (Radioactives)
Gilbert, J. Uranium
Gilbert J. (Radioactives)
Giles C. (Radioactives)
Goddard (Radioactives)
Golden Goose Uranium
Goldhawk Uranium East
Goldhawk - North (Radioactives)
Gould B. (Radioactives)
Greyhawk Uranium
Greyhawk Mine (Radioactives)
Griffith Uranium
Griffith J.W. (Radioactives)
Halo Uranium (Pyroxenite Zone)
Halo Uranium (South Zone)
Halo #1 Adit NW Zone
Halo #2 Adit (Hall Lk Zone)
Halo Occurrence (Pyroxenite, South and Bald Mountain Zones)
Halo Prospect (Northwest and Lake Zones)
Halo-Hogan Uranium
Hazeur Chibougamau Uranium
Hercules Uranium
Higgins Uranium
Highland Mercury (Radioactives)
Hogan, G.A. Uranium
Hylight Uranium
Imperial Uranium
International Uranium
Irondale South Group Uranium
Irondale (Radioactives)
JEM Uranium
Jem (Radioactives)
Jesko (Radioactives)
Jet Uranium
Jet (Radioactives)
Jorex (Radioactives)
Jowsey Uranium
Kemp Uranium
Kemp (Radioactives)
Kenmac Chibougamau Uranium
Kenmac Chibougamau (Radio)
Kerr Addison Uranium
Kerr Addison Uranium Group A
Kerr Addison Uranium Group E
Kerr Addison Uranium Group H
Kerr Addison - Group E (Radio)
Kerr Addison - Group F (Radio)
Kerr Addison - Group H (Radio)
Kerr Addison - Group I (Radio)
Kerr Addison - Group J (Radio)
Kerr, Howard Uranium
Lanark Uranium Mines, Limited
Landair Uranium-Fluorite
Leesa Uranium
Lockwood Uranium
Lockwood (Radioactives)
Long Ridge Uranium
Long Ridge (Radioactives)
Macassa Gold (Radioactives)
MacDonald Feldspar Mine
MacDonald Mine (Radioactives)
Maclan Uranium
MaClan (Radioactives)
Madawaska-Faraday Uranium
Madawaska/Faraday Mine
Makkonen Uranium
Mandarin (Radioactives)
McCormack South FelD-Uran
McCormack (Radioactives)
Mclean - Hogan (Radioactives)
McLean Uranium-Molybdenum
McLean P.J. (Radioactives)
McManus Corundum
Mell-Quirk Uranium
Mell-Quirke (Radioactives)
Mentor Uranium
Mentor (Radioactives)
Mercier Uranium
Michie, T.C.
Mid-North Engineering (Radio)
Milhol (Radioactives)
Milhol-Fab Metals Uranium
Mindus Uranium
Mindus (Radioactives)
Molybdenium Corp Uranium
Molybdenum Corp. (Radio)
Monck Lake (Radioactives)
Montgomery F. K. (Radioactives)
New Far North Uranium-Molybd
New Insco (Radioactives)
Norlode Rare Earths
Normingo Uranium
Normingo (Radioactives)
North Lake Uranium
North Lake (Radioactives)
Northern Nuclear Uranium
Northern Uranium
Nu Age Montgomery
Nu Age Uranium
Tripp (Radioactives)
Nu Cycle Uranium
Nu World Uranium
Nu - World (Radioactives)
Old Smokey (Radioactives)
Old Smokie (Radioactives)
Patterson W.A. (Radioactives)
Paudash Uranium
Paudash Lake (Radioactives)
Pegg Uranium
Peter Rock Uranium
Peter-Rock Uranium
Peter-Rock West (Radioactives)
Peter-Rock East (Radioactives)
Plunkett Feldspar-Uranium
Plunkett North (Radioactives)
Plunkett South (Radioactives)
Quirk, H. Uranium
Ranrouyn Uranium
Ranrouyn (Radioactives)
Rare Earth 1
Rare Earth #1 (Radioactives)
Rare Earth 2- Blue Rock
Rare Earth #2 (Radioactives)
Reasor (Radioactives)
Reasor G.L. (Radioactives)
Red Bark Uranium
Red Bark - Monmouty (Radio)
Reid Uranium
Reid L. (Radioactives)
Renzo A.D. (Radioactives)
Ricban Uranium
Ricban (Radioactives)
Richardson Fission Uranium
Richardson Uranium
Rinaldi Uranium
Robson, Bruce C. Uranium
Robson B. (Radioactives)
Rockwell C. (Radioactives)
Roford East Uranium
Roford Uranium
Roford - Southwest (Radio)
Rofors (Radioactives)
San Rafael (Radioactives)
Sandstrom South (Radioactives)
Sarnac Pegmatite Zircon,Uranium
Saranac - East (Radioactives)
Saranac Uranium Pegmatite
Saranac - Zircon (Radioactives)
Silanco Uranium
Silanco (Radioactives)
Silver Crater (Basin Property)
Silver Crater - Basin Occurrence
Silver Crater (Baumhour-Campbell)
South Essonville Uranium
South State Uranium
South State North (Radioactives)
South State South (Radioactives)
St. Joseph (Radioactives)
Standard Uranium
Standard Ore (Radioactives)
Stratmat Uranium
Sundstrom South Uranium
Sundstrom North Uranium
Thomas A.C. (Radioactives)
Thompson Feldspar
Thompson Mine (Radioactives)
Thor Uranium
Tomlinason (Radioactives)
Tomlinson-Mulliette Uranium
Tomlinson - Mulliette (Radioactives)
Triton Uranium
Triton (Radioactives)
Trout Creek Uranium
Trout Creek (Radioactives)
Tyson Uranium
Uranex Fluorite-Uranium
Urban Quebec Uranium
Urban Quebec
Urotomic Uranium
Urotomic (Radioactives)
Walsh Uranium
Welsh Farm Thorium
Welsh Farm (Radioactives)
West Lake (Radioactives)
Western Uranium
Wilson Uranium
Wilson West Uranium
Winch L. S. (Radioactives)
Woodcox Feldspar-Uranium
Wright R. (Radioactives)
York River (Radioactives)

Satterly – Hewitt stated that during exploration for uranium in 1954, at least 50 properties in the area between Bancroft, Haliburton, and Bobcaygeon contained radioactive minerals.

In 1986, a lady named Ann Sabina, had published a wonderful, small book titled, Rocks and Minerals for the Collector, Bancroft, Parry Sound area and Southern Ontario, Geological Survey of Canada Miscellaneous Report 39. This book is an extremely valuable work for rock collecting in the Bancroft areas. Free download, helpful for farther study of the sites.

Another valuable source of information: Some Radioactive Mineral Occurrences in the Bancroft Area, J. Satterly and D. F.
Hewitt, 1955.

There are many other publications, books and Internet information available.

The Sabina book being my primary resource, listed for the Bancroft area, in the first 95 pages or so, at least 34 sites as containing at least one radioactive mineral. The sites listed as containing radioactive mineral/s were not necessarily mined for radioactives. In fact many if not most were mined for minerals other than a radioactive mineral, feldspar being one of the largest commercial minerals. I explored or attempted to explore each of these sites over a four year period. The sites listed in the Sabina book (as well as a few not in the book) as having a radioactive mineral are as follows with the accompanying radioactive mineral/s supposedly located there:

Beryl Pit – euxenite, allanite

Bicroft - uranothorite, uraninite, allanite, betafite

Canada Radium - uranothorite, uraninite, betafite, uranophane

Canadian All Metals - uraninite, thorianite, betafite

Cardiff Uranium – uraninite

Carins - betafite

Clark – uranothorite

Croft – uraninite, uranothorite, allanite, betafite

Crystal Lake - thorite, allanite, uranothorite

Cudney – uranothorite

Davis Quarry – uraninite, allanite

Dyno - uranothorite, uraninite, uranophane, allanite

Eagles Nest – uraninite, uranothorite

Genesse #2 – betafite, euxenite

Greyhawk – uranothorite, uraninite, allanite

Halo - thorite, betafite, uranothorite, uraninite

Harcourt Graphite – allanite

Hickey – allanite

Kenmac – uranothorite, allanite

Kemp - uranothorite, thorite

MacDonald – allanite, uranothorite, betafite

Madawaska - uranothorite, uraninite, thorite, allanite, uranophane, beta-uraophane

McCormack – allanite, betafite

Millar’s – thorite, uranophane, thorianite

Nu World – uranothorite, allanite

Plunkett – betafite, euxenite

Rare Earth – uranothorite, uraninite, allanite

Richardson Fission - betafite, uranothorite, uraninite, euxenite, uranophane, allanite

Saranac Pegmatite – thorite, allanite, uranothorite, uranophane

Saranac Zircon – allanite, thorite

Silver Crater – betafite, euxenite

Thompson – allanite

Tripp New-Age – uraninite, uranothorite

Watson – betafite

West Lake – uranothorite

Woodcox – allanite

Mineral identification can sometimes be an “ify” subject. And, as the record shows, even those with training need more than their own personal skills to identify some specimens.

In: Ontario Department of Mines, Volume LXV, Part 6, 1956, Radioactive Mineral Occurrences in the Bancroft Area, by J. Satterly, it was stated

In the last three years many radioactive samples have been submitted by the author to D. A. Moddle, Provincial Assayer, and his staff. This work has involved over 100 identifications of radioactive minerals by X-ray powder pattern photographs, 100 radiometric and chemical uranium analyses, nearly 400 spectrographic analyses, and 50 chemical analyses. The author appreciates the painstaking work of this branch of the Department. It is a pleasure to record the author's debt to D. F. Hewitt”.

Stated in: Some Radioactive Mineral Occurrences in the Bancroft Area, by J. Satterly and D.F. Hewitt, 1955, page 2.

The authors are greatly indebted to S. C. Robinson and his staff of the Radioactive Resources Division of the Geological Survey of Canada for the identification by X-ray powder-pattern photographs of over 100 radioactive minerals. The sections, "General Geology," "Types of Radioactive Mineral Deposits”.

On the subject of thorite from page 10; “Thorite is tetragonal and occurs in square prismatic crystals similar to zircon in habit. It is variable in colour, black, brown, or yellow, with vitreous to glassy lustre. Hardness is 4.5-5; specific gravity, 4.1-6.4. Thorite occurs in some of the non-segregated pegmatitic dikes in the Bancroft area but is difficult to identify in hand sample without an X-ray. It may be confused with zircon or uranothorite”.

Also from page 10: "It is often very difficult to distinguish uranothorite, euxenite, polycrase, pyrochlore and microlite from one another in hand specimen, and chemical or X-ray analysis may be necessary for identification of these minerals”.

And from: Robinson, S. C. and Sabina, A. P., Uraninite and Thorianite from Ontario and Quebec, Geo., Sur., of Canada, Ottawa.

This investigation is part of a continuing study of uranium minerals in Canada. Examinations of most of the deposits were made by one of the authors (S.C.R.) and X-ray data and computations were provided by the other (A.P.S.).W. are indebted to J. Satterly and D. F. Hewitt of the Ontario Department of Mines for some of the specimens and for descriptions of two of the deposits. The co-operation o f E. A. Brown and S. Kaiman of the Mines Branch, Ottawa, in supplying additional material.”

It seems not all hand samples are easily identifiable and the incorporation of chemical testing, X-ray technology and special laboratory techniques must be employed to arrive at an identification for a mineral specimen. From the above, Satterly, Hewitt, Sabina, and others, have relied on other identification means beside visualization alone.

“On Site” photos, in my opinion, are an extremely important resource. These types of photos allow viewers, regardless of who these viewers are, to visit fragments of these sites, as seen through the camera lens, and get some idea of what these sites look like. Especially those who may never have the opportunity to physically visit a particular site. Or those physically unable to visit a site. Most, if not all of these sites are obviously former mining sites or exploratory in nature, once void of trees and brush. Then came pits, trenches, waste rock piles in all directions, mining equipment, hoisting equipment, a rough rocky road leading into the forest, mining men. Some of the following sites are 50 to 75 years old.

When I explored the following sites they were no longer in production and had been idled for years and years. Some had already been rehabilitated, bull dosed over and wipe clean, some were in the process of being rehabilitated and still others were in the same state as when mining was ceased. Most have been reclaimed by nature, overgrown to some degree, as they originally were before any mining work began. At some, one can no longer see the rocky ground but instead a carpeted forest floor of moss, leaves and brush with large trees in all directions.

The sites which were actually mined for radioactives, with their tailings, mill wastes, rock piles are a huge and serious problem for the Ontario and Canadian governments. Clean up is moving ahead but many of these polluting sites may never be fully accomplished.

We may have returned to a site at different times, different days, and even different years. Which would explain inconsistencies in some photos (clothing and/or age of Adam, who is sometimes seen in a photo as I am usually operating the camera). Also, some of the photos may have been taken using a film camera, copied on a scanner and turned into a digital representation. Which may not be as crisp and clear as the more advanced DSLR cameras are. Some of the photos may be similar to those already in the Mindat database, as sometimes we collected with Mindat members.

We visited or attempted to visit most, but not all, the sites listed in the Sabina book for the Bancroft area only. When our planned course crossed clearly marked “No Trespassing” signage we were deterred from proceeding farther.

This presentation is an exhaustive account of the sites in the Sabina book as having listed at least one radioactive mineral was present at a particular site, plus several sites not in the Sabina book, and is not an account of general mineral collecting at these sites or any others. This presentation will not contain detailed site information. Details and historic information can be found in the MinDat database or in the references listed. All of the following sites are listed in the MinDat database and contain entries from several different MinDat members. We visited sites in which the Geiger counter never “chirped”, to sites where the counter would not stop “chirping”. Sites in which we found not a single trace of radioactives. To sites where one could fill a bucketful of radioactive material.

Every person has his or her own specific characteristics which make them who they are. Each site is an individual with its own personality and identity and its own iconic signature views i.e., an adit, shaft, tunnel, rock pile, pit. I am presenting only a small fraction of the total number of my photos here, attempting to capture the essence of individuality without reproducing views already in the MinDat database. This presentation will display photos from former mining sites mentioned in the Sabina book, as well as a few others, all in alphabetic order to easily locate a particular site and not necessarily run through the entire list. For additional “on site” photos of a particular site, again, check with the MinDat database.

Sabina states on page 1 of her book “localities were investigated by the author during the summer of 1975, with the assistance of Suzanne Costaschuk” and “identification of minerals was done by X-ray diffraction”. (40 years ago and used X-ray for identification) The book does not state all the minerals listed per site in her book were actually located during her and/or her assistant's "investigation". Nor does it state the size of any the minerals that were located, microscopic to cabinet sized. Sabina would have drawn, at least in part, information from previously written geological reports. Some of those reports could have been from Ellsworth, Hewitt, Satterly, or from any of the authors, and others, listed in the references, reports now 40, 50, 60 years old. Her book may have relied on these earlier reports when listing minerals per site. Many of the smaller operations produced limited amounts of commercial material and not necessarily radioactives. Non commercial material was discarded as waste products thus forming the dumps and waste rock piles. It would stand to reason, as a once productive mine become exhausted, so to, the waste rock piles also would also become exhausted (of collectable minerals) over enough time. Without additional workings, the existing waste piles may no longer produce specimens of radioactive minerals. That is not to say additional minerals do not exist at a particular site. Those particular minerals may lie beyond reach and undetectable.

Individual mineral specimen photos will be limited in this presentation. It would serve no purpose and only be repetition to display the same radioactive mineral/s from site to site, over and over. The MinDat database currently contains a beautiful collection of mineral photos per site already, from many different members.

The photos seen here are from collecting trips dating from 2009 to 2012. The availability to currently visit any of the following sites is unknown. Posted property is private property. It is always best to have permission to enter private property (posted or not) or simply not enter such property. Warning: this presentation is by no means or through any circumstances suggesting entering any of the sites mentioned here. You are responsible for your actions. I assume no liabilities! Use common sense…please!

Finally...and this is very important...should you carry radioactive mineral specimens from Canada into the United States EXPECT to be detained at the border crossing. Allow me to speak on this issue for several sentences. It is a very serious business to be ordered into a detention area, make no mistake. Remain in your vehicle. The officer/s are not there to make friends with you, not there to B.S with you. They have no concern who you are, who you represent, what you do for a living. You could be the dean of a college, CEO of a corporation, work for yourself or not have a job at all. These people are not concerned with anything but the security of the United States of America…..period. To make this experience less stressful, you could place all of your radioactive specimens in one labeled container with a secure fitting lid. At the crossing, you will trip every sensor they have, hiding these minerals would be fruitless. Inform the security officer you are carrying radioactive minerals when you hand them your passport as a show of good intentions. Should you have official paperwork to carry such material now would be the time to show that paperwork. It is completely legal to transport radioactive minerals across the border. Stay calm, follow the security officer’s directions and of the utmost importance …keep a level head. Remember at this point, Homeland Security owns is their ball, their bat, their field and their rules. It is so much easier to cooperate than sit in a holding cell waiting for an attorney. They will probably intimidate you, just remain calm, you are legal and have nothing to worry about. Unless you are carrying several cases of Canadian whiskey and did not declare it, then you may be in for big problems. I speak from experience, not about the whiskey, about the radioactives and being detained at the border crossing. These men and women are trained, usually armed, professionals, doing their jobs and if need be laying their lives on the line in defense of this country. Let them do their job. I am sincerely proud and grateful and I salute these men and women entrusted with the duty of protecting us – the people of the U.S.A and the nation at large.

Again, the MinDat database as well as the links provided and the references contain detailed historical and geological information.


Beryl Pit

Pay to dig site. Buy permit and information at Kauffeldt's General Store in the town of Quadeville. Parking is available at site, walk in, carry all of your gear in with you. Excellent site to visit and spend an entire day or two or three. Great for site specific collecting. Many different collectable minerals. Great family site, bring the kids. Exposed piles and piles of rock, can collect off the surface, locate beryl crystals in the pit. This site is not overgrown. We located a patch of radioactive euxenite in pit.

A complete historical and geological report can be found in…. Geology of the Brudenell- raglan area by D. F. Hewitt, start reading at Part 5, Page 35. The following link will take you there.

Kauffeldt's General Store

Gated Entry with Rules

Follow Road to Site

Rock Piles Abound

Very Large Rock Great for Cracking

The Back End of the Pit


Beryl Pit Floor

Looking Up and Out From Pit Floor



A former commercial producer of radioactive a rehabilitated site. There is nothing here. Area now overgrown with a large grassy field where mine buildings once stood, stainless steel vent pipes are visible. Worth a quick look if in the area. Have run into bear at this site. Deposit discovered in 1952, operations were terminated 11 years later in 1963. The Bicroft Mine, in its heyday, was the second largest uranium producer in the Bancroft area. The following link gives a great summary of the Bicroft Mine.

Across the street (Rt.118) from the Cardiff Store, turn onto Rt. 9

Part of the Former Mining Site Parking Lot

Subsurface Ventilation

Auger Lake Waterfalls

Former Bridge Supports

In the Tall Grass, We Never Saw This Bear Till It Stood Up - Far to Close

Satellite View of Bicroft Site


Canada Radium

Semi-overgrown, concrete structural ruins can be located. Very large rock filled pit area offers opportunities, possible radioactives. We located radioactive material on the trail. Site explored for feldspar, quartz and radioactives between 1932 – 1942. See: Some radioactive Mineral Occurrences in the Bancroft Area by Satterly and Hewitt. Use link below start on page 14.

Canada Radium Out Building

Forest and Ruins

Radioactive Discovery

More Ruins

Rock Filled Pit/Trench Area

Search Throughout the New Growth


Canadian All Metals

On the way to Gooderham, locate the turn to the site. If you locate the camping trailers the former mining area was directly behind them. We attempted to gain permission from property owners, no one answered our door knocking. We proceed ahead. The area is completely overgrown. Very few rocks are visible as years and years worth of leaves have covered the site. Excavation marks are obvious, humps or mounds, trenching can be seen. We turned up nothing as far as radioactives. Site opened in 1955.

Former Mine Road

Parked at Mine Road Walked In

Dense Undergrowth

Mounds, Humps, Trenching

One Pile of Boulders

A Radioactive Hot Spot


Cardiff Uranium

A rehabilitated site. The shaft was capped several years ago as seen in photo. Radioactives can be located in various areas on the property. Originally explored for fluorite, in 1943 and 1953 to 1955 for radioactives. Cross the stream follow dirt road to the right. Begin searching from here to past the former shaft on the hillside.

Stay to the Right

Former Shaft Area

Top of Shaft Looking Down

Shaft Has Been Capped

Large Concrete Shaft With Ventilation

Freshly dug Soil Offers Excellent Opportunities

Exploring Farther p the Hill



Parking difficult and dangerous, dirt road curvy and very narrow. Lots of rock scattered over a wide area. Some interesting specimens due to combination of minerals. Small pit at back of property where feldspar was mined. Opened sometime in 1920 by Messrs. Dillon and Mills, the Feldspar Mines Corporation and Mr. P. J. Dwyer. In the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines report it was stated that “2 cars of feldspar were shipped”. Operations ceased in 1924. You really have to get down on the ground and work your Geiger counter.

Park Where Ever Possible Exercise Caution

The Old Road is Visible

Locating Rock is Not a Problem

Waste Rock Was used As Fill In the Roadway

Hunting for Radioactives

Interesting Combinations of Feldspar, Quartz and Pyrite Found Here

The Mining Pit Lay Ahead

The Water Filled Pit



Park off road, follow dirt road through wooded area then up hill. At the top of the hill, on the left the remains of the old mine can be located. Walk around the top of the hill area in your search, you may turn up some unexpected items. Fluorite and other minerals can be located near cut area. Also, a fairly large hole can be found farther back beyond adit. Do not know if this hole was part of former mine. Caution advised.

Looking Into Cut

In Cut Looking Out

Several Different Scattered Minerals

Fluorite and Calcite


Machinery Can Be Found on Property



We parked before the beaver dam and walked in on the faintly visible trail on the left, through low brush. Eventually the trail widen out and become a rocky road. One really has to search to locate a radioactive. Search beyond the adit in the rocks in the woods, look for any waste piles, try the core samples, search the rocky road on the return trip. Explored for radioactives 1953 to 1955. See page 27:

More Iconic Than the Adit - Massive Beaver Dam

Non College Educated Beaver Built this 7-8 Foot Tall Structure

Croft Mine Adit

Looking Into Adit

Inside Adit Looking Out

Water Draining From Adit

Overview Adit and Hillside

No Radioactives at Adit

Core Samples


Crystal Lake

We did not attempted to located or visit the Crystal Lake site. Explored for radioactives between 1954 to 1957



Located the property and it was posted as seen from the driveway. The site would have been at the top of the hill. Located the second entryway, but with a gate like this it was ovious the owner does not want visitors. We did not enter property. Exploration for radioactives in 1955.

Road to Site with No Trespassing Sign on Left

Big Iron Gate


Davis Quarry

This quarry was worked for nepheline between 1940 and 1942. Named after the quarry superintendent, the quarry is 30, long 11m wide. Nepheline is a feldspathoid mineral. The name Nepheline comes from the Greek word nephele, which means “cloud,” when put in strong acid the mixture becomes strongly clouded. Almost never associated with quartz. Nepheline is mostly found in the rock nepheline syenite in nature. Used in the manufacture of glass (as a flux) increases the resistance to glass scratching and breaking. Also used in ceramics, roofing granules, insulation, building stone, toilet bowls and sinks. As far as rock collecting goes, hackmanite, a fluorescent variety of sodalite can be found here with use of UV lamp. We located no radioactives.

Old Road Now Part of a Beaver Dam

Walk Across Dam

Wooden Structural Ruins

Nepheline Scattered Rock

Opening to Quarry

The Pit is Now Water Filled

Back Wall of Quarry

Looking to Left Side Wall

On Top of Quarry Looking Down Into Mined Area

Man Searching For Radioactives



In its heyday, this site was a commercial producer of radioactive material. This is now a rehabilitated site. There is nothing here. Not even worth a look, maybe get a photo or two. Discovered in 1953, worked 1954 to 1960.

Green Hillside

This is Rehabilitation

Picture Perfect


Eagles Nest

The potential to locate radioactives here is/was great. My last trip to this site showed a newly gated road and excavations. I have no idea what is or was taking place. Exploratory work done in 1956 – 1957 and in 1967 - 1968 for radioactives

Eagle Nest Park Road

Left Turn Onto Old Road

An Excavated Area

Best to Walk In

On the Slope Use Your Counter

Radioactive Hot Spots

The Hillside is Very Steep

Loose Rock Will Indicate Digging From Above

A Small Pit

Road is Very Narrow

New Gated Entry

New Excavation of Old Road


Faraday Hill

I like this site, it is a good site to look over, convenient, park right at site, several different minerals can be located along with radioactives.

Faraday Hill

Perspective View

Look For the Poles

You Will Need a Hammer and Chisel

Several Different Minerals Can be Located

Small Uraninite

Have Your Counter Handy


Genesse #2

A beautiful cavern cut into the hillside. Worked in 1926 to 1931 and from 1948 to 1950 for feldspar. Total production was 2,581 tons. This is a great site to physically see, after getting permission. Owner lives at bottom of hill.

Overgrown Entrance


Inside Looking Out

The Colors Are Amazing

Searching For Radioactives

My Son And I



This site offers lots of rock piles, a few concrete ruins, trees abound but not overgrown, walk around the area, who knows what you may turn up. Discovered in 1955, produced uranium from 1957 to 1959.

Grassy Area

Plenty of Rocks Follow Road

Some Ruins

Formed Concrete Ruins

Looking Inside Structures

Major Structure Was on This Spot as Concrete Would Indicate



Four wheel drive a must, quad or dirt bike, long walk, numerous quad trails in area. Parking area is graveled and radioactives can fill a bucket, maybe overgrown now. Well worth scouting the area. There was a second adit we did not locate. Plan your route well, remote area. No explanation for the pipe seen coming out of adit. Could have possibly been steam or compressed air line used to operate machinery or drilling equipment. Discovered in 1953, worked during 1955 to 1956.

Site is off the Quad Trail

This is The Turn to Site

Halo Adit

Bracing in Adit With Pipe

Looking Into Adit

Viewing Adit Side Wall And Timbers

Inside Adit Looking Out

Radioactive Search

Moose Foot Print

Halls Lake is Above the Mine

Halls Lake


Harcourt Graphite

Completely overgrown, concrete ruins to left, tiered hillside, graphite can be located, no radioactive material located. Worked for graphite 1912 to 1915,

Entering the Parking Area

A Possible Adit

An Exploratory Hole

Mining Equipment Ruins

Trees and Concrete

Hand Stacked Rock Wall

Concrete Ruins



Attempted to visit this site, posted roped off, no replies in quest for permission to enter. Did not proceed. Worked in 1949 for feldspar producing 151 ton of the product.



A very productive visit, radioactives located in several spots. Search the hillside and the area left and right of trail. Worked for radioactives 1954 – 1955.

This is Where You Want to Be

Walk the Former Road Up the Hill

Search the Hillside

I Dug a Good Sized Hole

This Guy Hit the Jack Pot In the Middle of the Road

The Road We Came In On Continues to a Posted Gate



Located a number of radioactives. Search with patience. The road name used in the Sabina book is not the name being used now. Explored for radioactives in 1955.

Overgrown Road to Site

Excavation and Trenching

Excavated Area

This Guy Located Several Radioactives



Was the most iconic site in the entire area. A huge, massive cavity carved into the hillside. Very similar to the Genesee #2 only much larger. Locals and tourists alike would stop here just to visit this site. It was a tourist attraction like no other in size and construction. Unfortunately this site has been exterminated ... which is beyond rehabilitated. The reasoning used to close this site was sound but unfortunate. The site contained many radioactive hot spots. This site was first opened in 1919, changed hands and worked until 1928, changed hands again and worked from 1929 to 1935. Production amounted to almost 32,000 ton of feldspar. In 1955 – 1956 explored for radioactives.

We will miss you MacDonald Mine.

The Sign

Front Opening with Radioactive Hot Spots

Numerous Radioactive Spots Were Located

50 uSv

More Hot Spots

In the Lowest Level Looking Up And Out

We Climbed to the Top

From the Top A View of the Opposite Side

Looking Out Over the Area

Back Side of the MacDonald

Two Openings at Back Side



A major radioactive mineral producer now a rehabilitated site. Did not locate anything collectable. This site may appear as a high security site but it is used by hunters, quad and dirt bike riders, hikers, snowmobile riders. Discovered in 1949, underground work 1954, production in 1957 to 1964. Production amounted to 2.5 million ton of ore. The mine again began production 1n 1975 to 1982.

The first two photos were taken by me of framed photographs owned by Andy Christie. Originally uploaded and copyrighted by a MinDat member with my permission. The photos should have had some photo editing work before upload.

Ariel View Of Mine Buildings

Ariel View of Lake and Housing Area- During My Last Visit Only One House Remained

Satellite View of Mining Area in 2009

The Original Course of the Stream Was Changed to its Current Position

Loop Road to Housing Area as Seen in Photo

A Hidden Adit

At the Cliff Side

Bow Lake From Mine Side

Very Few Structural Ruins Remain

Not Getting Close This Appears to be a Second Adit

A Hidden Elevator Cage



Walk down the railroad tracks less than half a mile, locate the trail on the right, walk straight in until you reach the hillside. This site has potential but you must search thoroughly. A cut into the hillside operated in 1920 and worked until 1926, producing 135 ton of feldspar. A similar cut to the north was opened in 1926 with no production. Located a very large specimen of peristerite here.

The Trail Began Here

North Cut

Rocky Road to Top

Loose Rock With Lots of Collectable Potential

The Waste Rock Spreads Into Wooded Area

Looking Up the South Cut

From the Top of the South Cut Looking Down



Former Millar's Phosphate Mine, opened about 1900. Phosphate was used as an agricultural fertilizer. The mineral apatite is a phosphate. Several different minerals can be located here. We did locate a number of larger, internally fractured, greenish apatite crystals in calcite and radioactives here. Search the entire area not necessarily the trench.

Limited Parking - the Trench is Right Here

Rock Outcrop in Front of Trench

Inside the Trench

We Have Moved Past the Trench to the Hillside

Radioactive Material

Meter is set on the X100 Scale

Another Find

And a Surprise Find


Nu World

We did not make an attempt to visit this site. Explored for radioactives in 1955


We did not make an attempt to visit this site. Comprised of two small pits yielding two car loads of feldspar.


Rare Earth 1

At the time of my visit the site had just recently been rehabilitated. Lots of loose rock everywhere, lots of potential for radioactives. The site may be overgrown now. Explored in 1948 with underground workings until 1956, no production

Was Not Driving Across This Bridge

Right From the Get GO New Excavation Was Apparent

The Site Was Destroyed

New Grass Already Sprouting on Old Rocks

A Ventilation Pipe is All That Marks the Site

Water Seeping From Bull Dozed Area Would Indicate the Location of the Former Adit


Rare Earth 2

This site was rehabilitated long before we arrived. It is now fairly well grown over, concrete pads can be seen, continue to follow road down grade,lots of radioactive gravel in lower parking area and a blocked up adit. Exploration from 1954 to 1956, no production.

Explored the Upper Area of Rare Earth 2

Possibly a Capped Shaft With Hoisting Rings Embedded in the Concrete

Concrete Floor Pads Possibly a Former Building

A Small Concrete Building in Ruins

The Iconic Adit Photo

This Guy Goes Right to Work Searching For Radioactives at the Adit

I located an Interesting Item at the Adit

A Geo Cashe

Peering Into the Adit

Water Seeping From Mine

This Gravel Parking Area is Radioactive


Richardson Fission

The Granddaddy of them all. Did not visit this site as the property was posted. Original openings in 1922.

The Gated Road to Site

Posted Property


Saranac Pegmatite

This area is heavily wooded. We did not proceed with enthusiasm due to the forest growth. We scouted the area without the Geiger counter, located excavations, rock piles and trench. This site has huge potential. Explored for radioactives 1954 to 1956.

Find the Big Pines and You Are There

Forest Covered Rocks Abound

Very Overgrown Area

Trench and Mound

Rock Piles

Human Remains


Saranac Zircon

The easiest way to this site is/was through the Monmouth landfill. Must have permission. Walk to the back of the debris staying to the left, you need to find the trail through the brush on the left to the site. Be advised, being a landfill, bears frequent this area. To say the very least, I was quite uneasy at this site due to the bruins, had no idea what time they had dinner. I didn't want to stay to long and end up being dinner. Radioactives, numerous zircon crystals can be located. Explored for radioactives 1954 to 1956.

Monmouth Landfill - The Bears Love This Place

Stop Here and Run Your Counter

If You Made it This Far Start an Intensive Search


Silver Crater

This is/was an excellent site to locate betafite crystals. At the top of the hill you will find the old mica pit. It is loaded with calcite. Search the entire area. Below the mica pit, walk down to the adit and search the waste rock. Opened in 1927 for the mineral mica. Explored for radioactives in 1953 to 1955 with adit and tunnels.

The Property Owner Where Donations Were Accepted

Turn at Road By Shed

Drive Into the Woods

Silver Crater Adit

First Look

Who Knows What May Be Inside

Turn On the Geiger Counter

We Proceeded Inside With Extreme Caution

The Old Ore Cart Rails Are Still in Place

Returning to the Adit

You Will Need Boots to Get Through the Water

Tried to Get Our Vehicle Closer to Load Gear

Drive Up to the Top and Old Mica Pit

In a Narrow Trench

We located Betafite

A Large Betafite Seen in the Host Rock


Thompson Mine

Deep, steep sided pit, lots of white quartz, trees growing in pit. Opened as a feldspar operation in 1925 and again in 1927, total production was 2,463 ton.

Walking Down into Feldspar Pit

This Site is Close to 90 Years Old

The Lowest Level is Water Filled

Climbing Up the Opposite Side Over Large Rock

Looking Down Into Overgrown Pit


Tripp NuAge

Did not locate radioactives at this site, large wooded search area, located no structural remains. Lots of potential.

The Iconic Roadside Rock

A Rusted Fuel Container Used to Support Excavation Machinery

A Doorway To ???



Totally overgrown, rock piles on hillside up to adit. Rock piles are grown over below adit, highlight was locating adit. Worked in 1919 and 1926 for feldspar, production 455 ton.

Enter Between the Two White Birch

You Will Cross the Old Road

Climb the Hill

I am Down Inside the Adit Looking Up At a Huge Boulder

The Adit From Above

View of Mine Floor

View of Tunnel And Wall


West Lake Mine

Explored for radioactives in 1944 and 1951 with several trenches. We visited this site rather quickly, no Geiger, no photos. Though the loose rock are grown over with moss and such, it does offer enormous opportunities for locating radioactives.



The property owner lives directly in front of site, house can be seen from road. Long water filled trench, very overgrown area. At the time of my visit, property owner accompanied us and gave us limited visit time. I felt rushed but was grateful for permission to visit. There is a large gravelly debris pile worth a look. Did not use Geiger here. Deposit was worked for feldspar 1921 – 1923 and again in 1955 with limited radioactivity exploration.

The Trench is Water Filled With Nice Slimy Green Algea Growing

A Narrow Channel Connects Two Wider Areas

The Back Side of Trench

Did Not Want to Get to Close to Edge

Edge is Gravelly and Slippery Easy to Fall In

Pile of Gravelly Material Full of Numerous Different Minerals


Now, just a few photos of the radioactive minerals we did locate on some of the above mentioned sites:


Congratulations......You have reached the end! I realize this presentation may have been long for short for others, but you have just viewed parts of all the sites, with several others added, listed in the book (only the Bancroft area) by Ann p. Sabina titled Rocks and Minerals For the Collector, Bancroft - Parry Sound Area and Southern Ontario that listed a radioactive mineral as being present at a particular site. These views are small bits of the Sabina sites listed as containing radioactives, frozen in time from the years 2009 to 2012. Certainly things have changed from then to now.

Some of the sites listed as containing a radioactive did, in fact, produce radioactive specimens, some sites, on the other hand, produced no radioactive specimens - not necessarily because there were none to be found, but because we just did not locate them.

*** NOTE, Wouldn't it be great to view old photos of any of the sites seen here? (or any of former mining sites in the Bancroft area). There are probably hundreds of old black and white photos of these sites lovingly placed in long forgotten family albums. Maybe photos of great grand parents, grandpa, uncles, relatives working these sites. It would be a treasure to see those photos. They just have to be located.

If anyone has old photos and would be interested in presenting those photos, please contact me through this site with a private message or on Facebook. We can make arrangements to add your photos to this presentation. PLEASE....only interested parties, no B.S.

Thank you

The great finds are where no one else has looked



Fortier, Y. 0. , and Elson, J. A., Geiger-Mueller Counter Survey in the Wilberforce Area, Ontario, Geol. Surv., Canada, 1947

Hewitt, D. F., Uranium and Thorium Deposits in Southern Ontario, Ont. Dept. of Mines, Mineral Resources Circular No. 4, 1967

Lane, A. C., John Putnam Marble Committee on the Measurement of Geologic Time by Atomic Disintegration By National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on the Measurement of Geologic Time,

Miller, W. G., Uranium Minerals in Haliburton District, Ontario, Can. Mining J., vol. 45, p. ·44, 1924

Proulx, M., The Uranium Industry in Haliburton County, 1995

Robinson, S. C. and Sabina, A. P., Uraninite and Thorianite from Ontario and Quebec, Geo., Sur., of Canada, Ottawa

Rowe, R. B., Petrology of the Richardson Radioactive Deposit, Wilberforce, Ontario; Geol. Surv., Canada, Bull. 23,

Sabina, A. P., Rocks and Minerals For The Collector, Bancroft - Parry Sound and Southern Ontario, Geo. Sur. of Can., Mis. Report 39, 1986

Satterly, J., Mineral Occurrences in the Haliburton Area; Ont. Dept. Mines, Ann. Rept., vol. LII, pt. II, 1943

Satterly, J., and Hewitt, D. F.: Some radioactive Mineral Occurrences in the Bancroft Area; Ont. Dept. Mines, Geol. Circular No. 2, 1955.

Satterly, J. , Radioactive Mineral Occurrences in the Bancroft Area Ontario, Ont. Dept. Mines, Ann. Rept. volume LXV, Part VI, 1956

Spence, H. S., and Carnochan, R. K., The Wilberforce Radium Occurrence; Trans. Can. Inst. Min. Met., vol. XXXIII, pages 34-73, 1930

Thompson, J. E., Mineral Occurrences in the North Hastings Area; Ann. Rept. , Ont. Dept. Mines, vol. LII, pt. Ill, 1943.

Walker, T. L., Uraninite from Cardiff Township, Ontario; Contribution to Canadian Mineralogy, No. 17, pages 42-45, 1924.

Wolfe, S. E., and Hogg, N., Some Radioactive Mineral Occurrences in Cardiff and Monmouth Townships, Ont. Dept. Mines, Prelim. Rept. 1948-8

Geology of Canadian Sites

***Special Thanks to Google Earth for use of their satellite imagery***

Article has been viewed at least 2032 times.


Thanks Frank! Quite an undertaking. All Bancroft: area mineral collectors should be thankful for your efforts!
One small thing: Sarnac should be spelled Saranac.
I enjoyed the reading and the pics.
David K Joyce

David K. Joyce
2nd Jan 2017 2:11pm
Wow! Great job, Frank. I really enjoyed this article. Thanks for all your hard work. Gary

Gary Moldovany
2nd Jan 2017 3:59pm
Great work again Frank!
Wow this would be a lifetime job for an ambitious micromounter to collect all species from there ...

Christian Auer
3rd Jan 2017 6:58am
Great follow-up to your last article Frank. I have visited some of the heavily forested occurrences and mines in this part of Ontario and will have to give you credit for so much work researching and exploring the sites (or just how to get to them in the 1st place). I believe Ann Sabina would be impressed with this effort.

Matt Courville

Matt Courville
6th Jan 2017 4:37pm
Another great piece of work Frank!

Ralph Bottrill
7th Jan 2017 9:52pm
Frank, this is great work. Thank you for keeping this history alive.

Andrew Debnam
18th Jun 2017 3:25am

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