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Welcome to FineMineralBlog. My name is Bram Hasler, I’m Canadian mineral dealer living in Thunder Bay, Ontario. I'm writing this blog to help inform people on beautiful minerals. Most photos seen, I find on google. Credit for the photos go out to there owners. Thank you for reading.

Friday, 8 January 2016

The Silver Islet Mine, Big Silver Wires from Canada

This super piece is believed to be the best silver from the Silver Islet Mine. It measures 11.5cm x 14cm x 11cm. It is on display in the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

This is another beautiful specimen being displayed at the Royal Ontario Museum. It measures 11cm x 10cm x 4cm.

This specimens is in the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, Ontario.

This is a photo of how the mine looks today. You can see the old timbers supporting the shafts.

The mine back in its production years. 

Nice galena specimen, now in the Robert B. Ferguson Museum of Mineralogy.

Ex. Gene and Sally LaBerge Mineral Collection. It measures 3.4cm x 3.1cm.

The calcite on the right hand side is from the Silver Islet mine and is also on display in the Robert B. Ferguson Museum of Mineralogy.


Nice matrix piece.

A quick review on the
Silver Islet Mine, Sibley Township, Ontario.

The town of Silver Islet is located an hour and a half east of the city of Thunder Bay, Ontario on the Sibley Peninsula. The island where the mine is located is about a mile and a half offshore from the small town. In 1868, the Montreal Mining Company discovered a vein of pure silver on the small island. At the time the island was only 50 metres squared and about two and a half metres above the water level of Lake Superior. In 1870, the site began to develop when the Silver Islet Mining Company built breakwaters all around the island to stop big waves from hitting it. By using crushed rock, the company was able to expand the island 10 times its original size. They built the town of Silver Islet to use as a home base for the miners. In 1878, a second vein was discovered in the mine which was lucky because most of the purest ore from the first vein had already been extracted. By 1833, the mines life was reaching a close, due to the fact that the second veins purest silver had already been collected and the price of silver was in a decline. When a shipment of coal that was suppose to be delivered before winter, failed to arrive, the mines future sealed. With no time to receive another shipment of coal, the mines water pumps would run out power shortly after the new year. Once 1884 arrived the pumps stopped just as it was estimated and the mine filled with water. In the 1900's there were some plans to restart the mine but it never reopened. In the 16 years between 1868 and 1884, the mine produced $3.25 million dollars worth of silver making it the most productive silver mine in the world at the time. It reached a depth of 384 metres. The silver wire specimens that were collecting inside the mine are big, beautiful and among the best in the world. Since the mine closed, silver specimens have been collected by scuba divers that search the tailing piles for calcite rocks. Once they get them out of the lake they examine the rock for silver. If it looks like there will be wires in it, they will dissolve the calcite away to try and get the specimen. But it is rare to find wire pieces this way and most pieces just get slabbed. Other minerals found in the mine are specimens of calcite and galena as well nice piece's on annabergite.


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