Timmins Underground Gold Mine Tour


Useful Information

Location: Timmins. Entrance through the Shania Twain Visitor Center. (48°28'10.62"N, 81°19'1.09"W)
Open: closed.
[2013]
Fee: closed.
[2013]
Classification: MineGold Mine
Light: electric.
Dimension: T=3°C
Guided tours:
Photography:
Accessibility:
Bibliography:
Address: Timmins Underground Gold Mine Tour, 220 Algonquin Blvd E., Timmins, ON, Tel: +1-705-360-2619. E-mail: contact
Tourism Timmins, 54 Spruce Street South Timmins, ON P4N 2M5, Tel: 1-705-360-8500, Toll Free: 1-800-387-TIMM (8466), Fax: 1-705-360-8509. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1909 Hollinger Gold Mine discovered by Benny Hollinger.
1984 show mine first opened at the McIntyre Mine.
1990 show mine relocated to the Hollinger Mine.
2002 Alimak elevator lift to transport visitors to and from the underground mine installed
2007 Timmins Museum National Exhibition Centre temporarily located at the mine.
2010 a 1940s locomotive that operated at Pamour Mine relocated and restored for the underground tour.
2010 Timmins Museum National Exhibition Centre relocated to Spruce Street South.
2013 show mine and Shania Twain Center closed.

Geology


Description

The Timmins Underground Gold Mine Tour (TUGMT) is a touristic overview on historic and contemporary gold mining in the area of Timmins and Porcupine. The tour starts at the Shania Twain Visitor Center, but the only connection between country music and gold mining is, that Shania Twain was born at Timmins. The mine tour is pretty strenuous for the visitor, which have to change clothes. Provided with hard hat, lamp, belt, coveralls and boots they look like real miners. The mine itself is pretty cold, only 3°C, so a sweater and warm socks are advisable.

The underground tour visits Hollinger Mine. Among other things it demonstrates the operation of a scaling bar, a slusher, a muck machine and an operating jack-leg drill. If don't even know the names, you will learn them on the tour. There is an underground ride on a mine train and a drilling and blasting display. Exhibits include the largest gold nugget and glass sculptures.

The underground tour takes place various times a day and is guided. While waiting for the tour or afterwards many other sights may be visited. Hollinger House is an old wooden building which contains an exhibition of mining memorabilia. Jupiter Headframe is an abandoned headframe which now contains two exhibit rooms. An observation deck overlooks Timmins and the open cast mine. A miners trail shows mineral outcrops on the surface. The Gold Pour is a working replica of a gold furnace, where true gold is smelted several times a day.

The mine was donated in 1990 by Goldcorp, owner of Porcupine Gold Mines, to the city of Timmins to operate an Underground Gold Mine Tour. In 2000 GoldCorp donated an adjacent parcel of property to build the Shania Twain Centre. The whole operation, mine and center, was operated with the financial support of the city and Goldcorp. However, both operations were not profitable. The estimated number of 50,000 visitors for the Shania Twain Center was never reached, it was below 15,000 visitors per year, and so the town was spending $233,000 per year subsidizing its operations. As a result the center was closed in 2013 and the land sold to Goldcorp for $5 million, who planned to create an open-pit gold mine on the site. The mine tour also lost its home and was closed too.