Heritage Silver Trail
Site 4: The Little Silver Vein
The Little Silver Vein site offers a spectacular view of an open "stope" or cut which remains after a vein is mined out. The narrow widths provide some idea of the conditions that early miners worked under. A cliff face at the site offers a view of what a 2.2-billion-year-old sand and gravel pit might have looked like. A trail leads from here to a tunnel or "adit" which can be entered to experience the sensation of being "underground. A blast of icy air greets the visitor throughout the summer.
This vein was discovered by a young lumberjack turned prospector in the autumn of 1903. Tom Hébert was a member of a prospecting syndicate formed by Arthur Ferland of Haileybury, and this vein was his third discovery. A few weeks later the Ontario Provincial Geologist, Dr. Willet Green Miller, examined this showing and descibed it as "a vein such as one reads of in textbooks, but which is rarely seen, being so clearly defined and so rich in contents." The vein averaged eight inches wide with vugs and branches in the wall rock and native silver lying on the rock ledges.
The Ferland Syndicate sold this claim and several adjoining claims to the Nipissing Mining Company of New York. The Little Silver Vein produced 700,000 ounces of silver. All of Nipissing Mining operations in the area ceased in 1932.
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