Sunday, August 30, 2009


We took a tour of "La Cite de L'Or" mine where Mike's father had worked for a few years before going to the Sullivan mine. The gold mine is still in operation and we were able to explore 300 feet underground and the surface buildings which transformed the gold. The mine was shut down in the eighties as gold went down to under $300 per ounce and it cost $250-$300 per ounce to mine it. Now that gold is over $1000 per ounce, it has brought renewed prosperity to Val D'Or and surrounding areas. New gold mines are opening and the mines are investing millions in the communities. We dressed in mining gear in the "drying room" where miner's gear where hung from the ceiling and would be soaking wet at the end of their work day. Here they were also required to strip and be inspected to check that you were not smuggling out gold. Mike said his father had related that someone had smuggled out gold by hiding it in a bar of soap, but the culprit was eventually caught.
Mike is standing by a "mucker" which would hold 5,000 lbs of crushed rock - it took average of 5,000 lbs to mine 1 ounce of gold. At 300 ft beneath the ground, mine shaft was cold and very damp. When our group of 6 turned off our headlamps, it was COMPLETE blackness.
Maureen drilling holes for the explosives, which were drawn on rock and done one square at a time and then rock removed via the muckers.
Explosives were inserted in numbered sequence so that the rock would implode.
On the surface, they showed gold being heated in ovens at 2000 degrees F to separate it and poured into cups.

1 comment:

  1. Maureen you finally found a job that you meet the height requirments for....(just kidding)