Southern Ontario mining history

Monday, May 24, 1993
E.B. Freeman, Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
7,500 BC: Sheguiandah quartzite quarry, Manitoulin Island.
Pre 1650: Porte de l’Enfer, red ochre mine, Mattawa River.
1800    Ontario’s first blast furnace for iron a Lyndhurst (Furnace Falls), Leeds County. Soon abandoned, the ore came from the nearby Bastard Township.
1813    Second blast furnace erected in Charlotteville Township, Norfolk County. Unsuccessful.
1818    First locally made bricks produced in Toronto.
1819    Blast furnace erected in Marmora Township, Hastings County. Ore obtained from the Blairton Mine, Belmont township, Peterborough County. This furnace was unsuccessfully operated on several occasions until closure in 1847. Ontario’s first gypsum mine opened on the banks of the Grand River at Paris (this was only the second discovery of gypsum in North America and the first in Canada).
1825    A brick factory was established in Peterborough.
1826    First mention of a graveled street in Ontario, King Street, Toronto.
1831    A flast furnace erected in Olinda (Gosfield), South Township, Essex County. Local bog iron ore from Colchester Township was used.
1841    A limestone quarry opened at Thorold for the first natural hydraulic cement manufactured in Ontario.
1848    Wallace copper "mine" discovered at White Fish River on the north shore of Lake Huron. First discovery of nickel in Ontario occurred here. No production.
1851    First well dug for petroleum near Oil Springs, Lambton County.
1855    Canada’s first phosphate (apatite) mine, North Burgess Township, Lanark County.
1858    North America’s first commercial oil well drilled near Oil Springs.
1859    Oil extracted by distillation from bituminous shales near Craigleith.
1860    Ontario’s first phlogopite mica mine (Pike Lake Mine), North Burgess Township, Lanark County.
1863    Molybdenite mined at Harvey Hill, Leeds County.
1866    Frontenac Lead Mine opened, Loughborough Township, Frontenac County. First discovery of gold in Ontario (Richardson Mine) at EldoradoFirst production of salt in Ontario, from a well drilled at Goderich in search of oil.
1869    Salt produced at Seaforth from a brine well.
1870    Globe Graphite Co. produced from North Elmsley Township, Lanark County. First recorded commercial shipment of apatite (phosphate) in Canada, from North Burgess Township, Lanark County. Ontario’s first arsenic producer, near Deloro.
1875    First made-in-Canada clay-working auger machine for brick manufacture; London.
1880    Lacey Mine, Loughborough Township, Frontenac County begins production of phlogopite mica. Became one of the world’s largest producers of this mica. Crystals were found to 9 feet in diameter.
1883    Actinolite mining begins in Hastings County.
1884    Discovery of the Kingdon Lead Mine, Fitzroy Township, Carleton County, Ontario’s largest lead producer until superseded by Texasgulf Inc.’s Ecstall Mine in 1970.
1885    Mining of marl for the manufacture of portland cement, first quarry at Strathcona, Lennox and Addlington County.
1889    First commercial natural gas wells discovered in Ontario; near Port Colborne and Gosfield Township, Essex County.
Graphite discovered on the shore of Whitefish Lake, Renfrew County (this later became Ontario’s richest graphite mine, the Black Donald mine).
1890    Ontario Bureau of mines organized.
1896    Graphite mining begins on the orebody that later becomes the Black Donald mine.
1897    Long Lake zinc mine begins production, Olden Township, Frontenac County.