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Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Mineral Explanation on the Hudson Bay Lowlands

My friend Denis, as I have mentioned before works as a driller in mineral exploation sites. He get to travel to and live in the real wilderness areas of Canada. Last year he was in Labrador but currently he is in northern Ontario on the Hudson Bay Lowland. This vast region of wilderness sparsely populated, a vast glaciated landscape on the fringe of the forested land. It is more water than land with virtually too many lakes to count and many very large rivers which most Canadians never see as they flow north into Hudson and James Bay. In the Winter it is frozen over with many days of -40C or colder days; short days and long nights in this northern Region. In the summer it is water and muskeg with enough biting bugs to drive you to distraction if not madness. They even torment the vast herds of caribou and other critters.

Into to this land exploration companies search for the mother load of minerals: gold, nickel, platinum, paladium, silver, to name a few. There are no roads so everything is flown in or Winter roads are built over the ice and snow.

There are some small First Nation's communities scattered across the land, settled on reserves within their trtaditional territory, in which they were once nomads, following the herds and fishing opportunities.

There is curently much excitement about exploration is a swath of territory of promising exploration affectionately called "Ring of Fire". Noront Exploration caused the excitement by locating some potential mine sites .

Denis's drilling site is near the First Nations's Community of Webequie. It is a community of 650. They are Ojibway of the Nishnawbe-Aski People. and speak Oji-cree as well as English. Visit their website and read about their life and culture.

Below are a few pictures.

This is Denis, aka Bin Laden, and his helper. They both have sun burns from the sun and snow. They both are as rough looking as the tough region they are working in. Denis always works the night shift where their are fewer distractions.

This is the exploration camp. They live in these insulted tents quite comfortably with all the comforts of home. (Not many years ago su h a camp would be very primativeand uncomfortable) Their camp has housing tents, a utility tent (with new washer and dryer and a shower),a dining tent, with TV, computer Internet, a cook. and there is a tent to examine the core brought up by the drills. This camp of rough necked men has one young attractive woman. She is the geolgist. I am sure she is very hearty too to work and travel in this environment.

Such a camp costs $50,000 a month to operate and there is in barrel $400,000 worth of fuel for the helicopter, drills, stoves, float planes etc. Lots of money is spent in the quest for minerals. At times it seems "money is no object." to chase the dreams for riches. My friend Denis makes several times as much money as I ever made in a year.

I am sure some would say "You couldn't pay me enough to live and work in this rough wilderness." If I were younger I would love to see this part of our wild country while it is still a little bit wild.

This is the lunch room lounge tent.

This is the shack that protects the driller and drill against the elements. All structures, tents, drilling shack helicopter pad and fuel drums are built on logs . When the land thaws it becomes

swanp, more accurate fen. One can step in the wrong place and find oneself in water over one's head in a instant.

I am not sure what they are exploring for. Maybe gold as Pickle Lake, the furthest north community you can drive to 250 km to the south of is a gold mining area. Or they are looking for diamond pipes of Kimberlite. DeBeer's is putting in a diamond mine not far from here, by northern distances. More likely they are looking for nickel and will be joyful over any number of minerals that are found with nickel.

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At 8:43 p.m., Blogger KGMom said...

Oh my--and all that for minerals? Humanity's never ending quest to pull from the earth all manner of things.

At 1:49 a.m., Blogger Loretta said...

I think that sounds like a very interesting place to work! If young,and without husband and babies I would love to see if I could live that life.


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