Heritage Silver Trail
Site 6: Nipissing 96 Shaft SITE CLOSED
Update: Early in November 2017, the headframe on the 96 vein was removed. The site has been slated for closure for several years due to safety concerns. Agnico Eagle, the current owner of most of the mining property in Coleman Township, took steps to protect people from the hazards, as mandated by the Ontario Government.
Initially, Agnico erected a gate and berm at the road entrance and a fence at the site proper. These barriers, however, were subsequently removed by determined visitors. Late in 2016, drilling operations revealed subsidence underneath the parking lot at the visitor site. Agnico made plans to close the site completely by leveling all structures and removing all mining artifacts on the site, including a hoist.In a meeting with Agnico, the Cobalt Historical Society arranged for the hoist to be transferred to the Right of Way Mine site. The remaining relics will be stored at the headframe at the corner of Highway 11 and 11B.
Many people understandably regret the loss, including the representatives of Agnico and the board of the Cobalt Historical Society. However, public safety is top priority. The threat of collapse of the above ground structure, compounded by the threat of collapse of the ground immediately adjacent to the headframe, compelled the mining company to fully close the site.
In 1908 veins 96 and 102 were discovered by trenching on this hilltop. Tunnel 96, the adit at Site #4, was driven to access these veins for mining. The two veins were mined upwards to the surface and downwards by means of a winze (a downward vertical shaft). By 1932 the veins had produced over 3,000,000 ounces of silver.
In 1968 the property was acquired by Agnico-Eagle Mines who opened the 96 shaft to connect with the levels below. In 1972 all work at this site was discontinued.
The Nippissing 96 Mine Site provided visitors with a variety of interesting features including a lookout, a well-preserved hoist room with hoist, a headframe, a rock and mineral collectors dump, and the viewing platform offers a spectacular view down Into a 60 metre deep, ice-filled rock cut.
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