Pine Point, Northwest Territories

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Pine Point, Northwest Territories, Canada.
A huge laydown of drillcore from 25 years work locating 50 lead-zinc deposits at Pine Point

Pine Point was the townsite built at the Pine Point Mine in the Northwest Territories, Canada, which was an open-pit lead and zinc mine.

The first buildings were erected in 1952 during the original exploration and development campaign, and even before that a number of log cabins had been built in the late 1920s. The modern town was surveyed in 1962 and became operational by 1963.

The town was a joint-venture between the Canadian Government and mine owner's Cominco. It became a territorial settlement in the 1970s with private businesses. As an unincorporated place, it recorded a population of 1,225 in the 1971 census.[1] Pine Point had an elementary school (kindergarten to grade 5)—Galena Heights—and a grade 6 to 12 school, called Matonabbee School. The last graduating class was in 1988 as the mine was closing.

More than 15 million tonnes grading over 7% zinc plus lead (about 5 years of normal production) was depleted from the 1985 and 1986 ore reserves.

Pine Point was served by Northwest Territories Highway 5 and by a railway line owned by Canadian National Railway. It also had an airport.

Cominco closed the mine in 1988, forcing the single-industry town to close. Pine Point houses were sold cheaply, and many of the buildings were then moved to Fort Resolution (including the hockey arena), Hay River and Northern Alberta. The remaining buildings were demolished, and today the site is completely abandoned, although there is still evidence of the street layout.[2]

Pine Point is the subject of a 2011 web documentary Welcome to Pine Point, created by Michael Simons and Paul Shoebridge and produced by the National Film Board of Canada. The web documentary includes audiovisual material and mementos compiled by ex-Pine Point resident Richard Cloutier for his own website, Pine Point Revisited.[3][4]

Further reading[edit]

  • Andersen Management Services Inc. (1987). Socio-economic impact assessment for the town of Pine Point, NWT. [s.l.]: Andersen Management Services.
  • 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.
  • Pine Point Mines Limited. (1978). Zinc/lead mining at Pine Point, N.W.T. Pine Point, N.W.T.: The Mines.
  • Wilson, J., & Petruk, W. (1985). Quantitative mineralogy of Pine Point tailings. [Ottawa?]: CANMET, Energy, Mines and Resources Canada.
  • Gibbins, W. (1988) Metallic mineral potential of the Western Interior Platform of the Northwest Territories. Geoscience Canada. Vol 15 NO. 2 pp 117–119


  1. ^ 1976 Census of Canada Supplementary Bulletin, Populations: Geographic and Demographic, Population of Unincorporated Places—Canada, Bulletin 8SG.1. Statistics Canada. May 1978. p. 86. 
  2. ^ Keeling, Arn; Sandlos, John (2012). "Claiming the New North: Development and Colonialism at the Pine Point Mine, Northwest Territories, Canada" (PDF). Faculty of Arts. Memorial University of Newfoundland. p. 18. ISSN 1752-7023. Lay summaryMemorial University Research Repository. 
  3. ^ Quenneville, Guy (31 January 2011). "Remembering a lost mining town". Northern News Services. Retrieved 1 February 2011. 
  4. ^ MacKie, John (14 April 2011). "Lost northern town is back, on the Net". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 14 April 2011. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 60°50′N 114°28′W / 60.833°N 114.467°W / 60.833; -114.467