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Wilderness Mine

First staked in 1958, the Wilderness Mine site rapidly went into production when major copper veins were uncovered during the exploration stages, becoming a bustling center of industry. Today, the only evidence of this operation is the large amount of waste rock and the nearby tailings pond, surrounded by pristine wilderness.

Location attributes for Wilderness Mine
Ontario, Canada
Built :: Closed   Status   Difficulty
1958 :: 1972   Partially Demolished   ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Hazards Risk   Security Risk   AUE Rating
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆   ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Hazard Observations   Security Observations
Difficult Egress   None Specified

First explored by the Andover Mining and Exploration Company Limited, it was quickly sold off after exploration. From there, it was sold off again to a third company, who did most of the production work on the site; including the driving of a 850 foot decline and 200 foot ventilation raise from the end of the decline. From there, a number of drifts and adits were driven in to the rapidly expanding workings. On the surface, a mill site was established, handling the ore coming from the workings here as well as surrounding sites.

By the time that we made it to the property, none of the surface features remained. A bulldozer had been taken to the site, levelling the facilities and spreading waste rock over it; only in a few places did a concrete foundations still peek out to the surface. The lower adit remained untouched, however, surrounded by a swampy area. To our dismay, though, we found that it was full of water to what appeared to be waist height in a large open area. Not equipped for underground swimming, we had to pass on examining further.

The aforementioned bulldozer had made an attempt to backfill the upper adit, and did a fairly good job of it; leaving only the smallest of openings at the top of fill pile. The approach was steep and ropes were required to ensure that we didn't end up trapped on the inside of the steep pile. With the rope assist securely in place, we made our entrance into not an adit, but a very large decline; large enough to have driven a vehicle into back in the day. We had never been in such a large working up to that point.

And then the mine crushed our hopes and dreams. As soon as we rounded the first bend, we found the water table. Flooded to the roof of the decline (and possibly collapsed; the murky water did not want to give up any secrets), our progress was halted. Dejected at this turn of events, we took some photos and made our way back out.

It won't be our last visit to the site; the lower adit still remains. The hope is that it will tell it's tales more readily when we do return.

Flooded Opportunity - July 2018
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