Steep Rock Lake

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Steep Rock Lake was a body of water near the township of Atikokan, northern Ontario, Canada. It was originally fed by the Seine River.

During World War II, a program was implemented to drain the lake.[1] This diversion of the river allowed open-pit mining of hematite iron ore under the middle arm of the lake by the Inland Steel Company and its subsidiary Caland Ore Canada. By 1949, the site was producing a million tons of ore per year and had an estimated 500 million tons of ore deposits.[2]

This lake was the site of an elaborate UFO hoax in 1950.[3] In 1957, a caribou antler was discovered in the exposed silt. This specimen may have been deposited here by a barren-ground caribou at the end of the last ice age, demonstrating that the species once lived in this region. These caribou are now found much further to the north.[1][4]


  1. ^ a b Nelson, Jon (2009), Quetico: near to nature's heart, Dundurn Press Ltd., p. 62, ISBN 1-55488-396-2
  2. ^ Staff (Oct 24, 1949), "A great new supply of ore", Life: 89
  3. ^ Colombo, John Robert (1999), Mysteries of Ontario, Dundurn Press Ltd., p. 207, ISBN 0-88882-205-7
  4. ^ Bergerud, A. T.; Luttich, Stuart N.; Camps, Lodewijk (2008), The return of caribou to Ungava, McGill-Queen's native and northern series, 50, McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, p. 69, ISBN 0-7735-3233-1

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Coordinates: 48°47′N 91°40′W / 48.79°N 91.67°W / 48.79; -91.67