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Canadaka Mill

Just south of the town of Cobalt, nestled among the old ruins of the Silver rush, is a distinctly newer building. Sitting on the grounds of the old Kerr Lake claim is a newer mill building, used by mining operations far more recently then most of the mines. In fact, crush samples found within the buildings indicate that the property was used as recently as 2018, albeit it appears more as a storage facility than as a mill proper.

Location attributes for Canadaka Mill
Kerr Lake
(Timiskaming District, Ontario, Canada)
Built :: Closed   Status   Difficulty
1977 :: Unknown   Abandoned   ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Hazards Risk   Security Risk   AUE Rating
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆   ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Hazard Observations   Security Observations
None Specified   None Specified

Since my first trip to Cobalt, the Canadaka Mill has stood next to the Silver Sidewalk historical site, surrounded by fencing. I never saw any activity on the property, and in more recent years it became apparent why that was the case, watching as wall panels slowly fell off, revealing holes to the interior. No signage was ever posted on the property, save for a single sign on a gate advising people of private property, so it was never apparent who owned the mill.

Information regarding the mill, and the site in general, are hard to come by... even the name eluded me until I found a report from 1993 taking an inventory of all the tailings in the Cobalt area which identified the mill. Built in 1977 by St. Joseph Exploration Ltd, the mill was only used for three years before being shuttered. It has since been reactivated for brief periods, often to re-treat tailings in an effort to extract more metal from them.

The mill sits on what is now the 94 acre Duncan Kerr property, along with the surrounding mine ruins. The property itself has changed hands numerous times over the years; at one point it belonged to Trio Resources, who then sold it to CobalTech. CobalTech then merged with First Cobalt, who appears to be the current owner of the property.

Minimal equipment remains in the mill; most of it likely salvaged for use elsewhere. And operations don't look set to resume anytime soon. Even the security hut on the property has been disconnected from electricity. The grounds will likely serve as a storage property going forward, as the passage of time slowly attacks the buildings themselves, bringing them to the ground.

Ground Down - July 2021
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