Pine Point Mine

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Pine Point Mine
Pine Point Mine is located in Canada
Pine Point Mine
Pine Point Mine
Location in Canada
Location Great Slave Lake
Territory Northwest Territories
Country Canada
Coordinates 60°52′13″N 114°27′21″W / 60.87028°N 114.45583°W / 60.87028; -114.45583Coordinates: 60°52′13″N 114°27′21″W / 60.87028°N 114.45583°W / 60.87028; -114.45583
Products Lead, Zinc
Opened 1965
Closed 1988
Company Cominco

The Pine Point Mine is located west of Fort Resolution, and east of Hay River, on the south shore of Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories. Pine Point was a Mississippi Valley type deposit.[1] It produced lead and zinc ores from 1964 to 1988. The town of Pine Point was built by the mining company, and when the mine closed the town was abandoned and demolished.

The mine was first discovered in the late 19th Century by fur traders at Fort Resolution after hearing rumours of lead ores from the natives. A minor staking rush occurred to the location in 1898 when Klondike prospectors heard rumours of silver. There was no silver to be found here, and although the lead was very rich it was not feasible to mine the isolated deposit without good transportation to the south.

First major work was done in 1928-1930 when several short shafts or glory holes were sunk and a churn drill was brought to the area to drill into the rich ores. The Great Depression halted work. Geological investigation by Cominco after World War II led to new theories on how the lead and zinc deposits were hosted. By 1955 several thousand tons of ore were outlined in an extensive exploration program along a 20 kilometer belt.

The Government of Canada built the Great Slave Railway from Grimshaw, Alberta to the mine; construction started in 1962 and it was completed in 1964 where it was made part of the then-Crown corporation CN Rail. This railway line was sold by CN Rail to become a short line named the Mackenzie Northern Railway but has since been reacquired by CN Rail.

Official production at the mine commenced in 1965. Cominco built its own town site which became known as Pine Point. It became a territorial settlement with private businesses, and boasted a population of 1,200 at its peak. When the mine closed in 1988, the single-industry town was forced to close.

The mine produced and shipped 10,785,000 tons of lead and zinc concentrates/high-grade ores after mining and milling 69,416,000 tons of ore material. Contained metal was approximately 2 million tons of lead and 7 million tons of zinc.


  1. ^ Guilbert, John M. and Charles F. Park, The Geology of Ore Deposits, Freeman, 1986 ISBN 0-7167-1456-6
  • Bérubé, Y. (1972). An Engineering asse[s]sment of waste water handling procedures, at the Cominco Pine Point mine final report. Laval, Quebec: Centre de recherches sur l'eau, Universite Laval.
  • Deprez, P. (1973). The Pine Point Mine and the development of the area south of Great Slave Lake. Winnipeg: Center for Settlement Studies, University of Manitoba.
  • Evans, M. S., Klaverkamp, J. F., & Lockhart, L. (1998). Metal studies of water, sediments and fish from the Resolution Bay area of Great Slave Lake studies related to the decommissioned Pine Point Mine. Saskatoon, Sask: National Hydrology Research Institute.
  • Norris, A. W., & Uyeno, T. T. (1998). Middle Devonian brachiopods, conodonts, stratigraphy, and transgressive-regressive cycles, Pine Point area, south of Great Slave Lake, District of Mackenzie, Northwest Territories. Ottawa: Natural Resources Canada. ISBN 0-660-17133-3
  • Pine Point Mines Limited. (1978). Zinc/lead mining at Pine Point, N.W.T. Pine Point, N.W.T.: The Mines.
  • QING, H. (1998). Petrography and geochemistry of early-stage, fine- and medium-crystalline dolomites in the Middle Devonian Presqu'ile Barrier at Pine Point, Canada. SEDIMENTOLOGY. 45 (2), 433.
  • Wilson, J., & Petruk, W. (1985). Quantitative mineralogy of Pine Point tailings. [Ottawa?]: CANMET, Energy, Mines and Resources Canada.

External links[edit]

  • [1] A web documentary about the town of Pine Point was produced in 2011 by the National Film Board of Canada and The Goggles [2]
  • 1926 Ted Nagle and the Pine Point Discovery NWT Historical Timeline, Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre
  • Former residents of Pine Point have built a website to house photos of the town [3]
  • Tamerlane Ventures has purchased the former Pine Point property and adjacent land and seeks to develop a new mine at the property. [4]