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Ryan Lake Mine
 

Matachewan is a spot very few people will ever seen, given it's location off the main trunk highways of Northern Ontario. Outside of some cottages, the town predominantly supports the massive Young-Davidson Gold Mine. But hidden a couple of kilometres outside of the town limits are the ruins of the Ryan Lake Mine and it's associated facilities, the last of which was the Barite Plant that was operated by Pacific Comox Resources that finally shuttered sometime after 2008. With numerous buildings still visible on satellite imagery, a visit to the site was in order.

Location attributes for Ryan Lake Mine
Location   Timiskaming District, Ontario
Built :: Closed   1948 :: Unknown
Status   Abandoned
Difficulty   ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Hazards Risk   ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Security Risk   ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
AUE Rating   ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

The first works at the Ryan Lake Mine occurred in 1948, but the site itself didn't swing into full action until the 1950's. An open pit mine was started and a two compartment shaft was sunk in 1950 to the 480' level, with 8563' of lateral workings across 4 levels mined out from the shaft. A 98' raise from the 90' level was also driven during production. To supplant the workings, a 75 ton mill was installed. These workings lasted until 1957, at which time the site was shuttered. In 1962, Pax International Mines reactivated the open pit portion of the site for further work, but this too was abandoned in 1964, and no subsequent working of the mine has been performed.

In 1970, Extender Minerals of Canada acquired the property, converting the existing mill to a 250 ton barite mill. Other than Pacific Comox Resources acquiring the site from Extender in 2006, very few details of the recent history of the site are available.

Today, the shaft is still open, surrounded by a large fence with numerous warnings of open mine workings. The facilities sit, decaying away but relatively intact. But no activity exists, and nature is beginning to encroach on the old site again. After quickly poking around the site and documenting the ruins of the processing facilities, we hit the road again; continuing on in search of other mining sites to explore.

 
 
The Barite Plant - August 2019
   
 
 
 
 
 
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