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Timeline for the Discovery and Development of the Mines


* = Atikokan Progress article
** = from Exit with Excellence / Caland shutdown




1897


Geological Survey of Canada indicated that Steep Rock Lake held the potential of a "hematite of good quality [which] appears to be generally covered by the waters of the lake".


1920's


Interest was increasing in the viability of mining iron ore in Ontario. Steep Rock Lake potential was reviewed by Julian Cross, a prospector and former professor of mineralogy.


1929-1930


Winter. Dip needle survey done. Julian Cross . Showed magnetic anomalies.


1937


Julian Cross met Joe Errington, already a wealthy, established mine developer. Errington provided a diamond drill from his Sudbury Drilling Company. (Errington was 68 years old.)


1938


January 6. Steerola Exploration Co. Ltd. (Steerola = Steep Rock Lake)

General D.M. Hogarth and a number of Errington's friends came in as investors. Test drilling began through the ice of Steep Rock Lake where Cross' original dip needle survey indicated anomalies. The first drill hole showed barren volcanic rock.



1938


March-April. The sixth hole struck high grade ore. It showed an orebody of 700 ft. in length and 150 ft. in width. It was called the "A" orebody, later to be called the "Hogarth" orebody.

(Another publication cites the orebody as 4500 ft. in length and 125-250 ft. in width.)

The ore was very high-grade, of the type that could be fed directly into a blast furnace without any preparation or concentration, apart from screening.

On the evening of March 29, 1938, Frank H. Spence, MLA for Fort William crossed the floor of the legislature to present Ontario Premier Mitchell Hepburn with a 12-pound sample of the float ore that had led to the discovery.



1938-1939

1939-1940



Winters. University of Toronto sponsored a geophysical surveyto outline the extent of the orebodies.


1938


November-December Two more large orezones, "B" and "C" zones established by test drilling. The "B" orezone was the closest to the surface of all of the discovered bodies of ore.


1939


February 27. Steep Rock Iron Mines established.

President and Managing Director: Joseph Errington:

Vice-President: Julian Cross

Consulting Engineer: Watkin Samuel

Directors: General D. Hogarth,

W. S. Morlock,

R.D. Bradshaw

(Julian Cross served as a Director of Steep Rock Iron Mines from its incorporation in 1939 until 1967. He died in Port Arthur on Dec. 29, 1972 at 83 years old.)



1939


July. Shaft sunk




1939




October 18. SRIM listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. 375,000 shares at $1.00/share.




From: "Fortune in iron ore fished out of Canadian Lake Bed" August 3, 1953. Christian Science Monitor. P. 142

Mrs. M. S. Fotheringham.



"I was a University of Toronto graduate who had never had my feet off the pavement when I came up. It was my first wedding anniversary when I came here. I began cooking on a two-burner oil stove. Indians used to paddle round and watch our bonfire on the lovely shore of the lake that is now a mine. We've had to move three times since, because the blasting started and the construction pushed us out. One time we loaded our one-room shack onto a trailer and just hauled it through the woods to a new site.



Sometimes I look at what is left of the lake now, just a deep hole, and I say "Look at what they've done to my lake. Then I think, "But this is progress."



1940


January. Shaft was 400 ft. deep and began encountering heavy flows of ground water, ultimately resulting in abandoning this first shaft.


1940


Preliminary planning for the diversion of the Seine River and the draining of Steep Rock Lake.


1941


Consulting Geologist Hugh Roberts and Mining Engineer William Crago wrote a report verifying the ore reserves and supporting the plans for mining the ore.


"Desirable as it might be in the national interest to have a new Canadian source of iron ore, such development could not be thoroughly economic unless the Canadian raw material was marketable in the United States and elsewhere. To be marketable, it had to be of better grade than the average of current U.S. supplies and, preferably, to have exceptional characteristics....

.... the urgency from the United Nations viewpoint of pushing this particular development in the face of the materials and manpower shortages which were inevitably ahead for the balance of 1943. At the time that the negotiations were in progress in Washington, Ottawa and Toronto, the visible supplies of scrap were sufficiently low to be labeled critical. There was no relief in sight and informed opinion at the time leaned to the view that the situation called for either heroic measures or a miracle. Engineers estimated that Steep Rock could begin to deliver ore late in 1944 at the two million ton per annum rate and that this would cut scrap requirements by nine million tons for each years output. ...

Regardless of the war's duration, the whole output of Steep Rock would in any case be needed. But actual launching of development in early 1943 constituted a security measure for the iron and steel industry which had value months before the first ton reached a furnace.



1941-1942


Negotiations for funding the undertaking. Wartime demands for iron ore in combination with the depletion of domestic supply and the inconsistent import supply fueled the push to develop SRIM. Both Canadian and American governments viewed the project with enthusiasm.


1942


From "Pay Dirt at Steep Rock" The Beaver, Spring 1957

In 1942, Washington was shocked by a report showing that the United States might not have enough high-grade iron ore to last through World War !!. Eighty-five percent of the ore boats that tried to reach the U.S. from South America were being sunk by Nazi submarines. Imported ore was no longer considered dependable.

Steep Rock Iron Mine is today a great rusty canyon in the wilderness of Northwestern Ontario. Coming upon it from the air is a startling experience. Suddenly, in the vastness of clear-water lakes and rivers and patches of dense green forest, you see a huge orange crater. On its floor mechanical shovels fill trucks which, like little bugs, crawl up a pattern of tortuous and dusty roads. ....

Atikokan has turned into a boom town. Red dust - pay dirt - covers every window sill. Mingling here are sons and grandsons of the Cornish miners who came to Canada in the Yukon gold rush of the '90's, Gaspe French-Canadians, Americans with the twang of the Midwest, Scottish-Canadians, Italians, Ukrainians. A trim modern community, Atikokan's new roofs of red and green stare into the northern sky, Cars move about the streets, linked by dirt road to the Lakehead.



1942


June. Negotiations for financing the project fell through with Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company.

June. Negotiations began with another American group headed by Cyrus S. Eaton.



Passing Comments by Cyrus Eaton. Reprinted from The Steep Rock Echo, Nov. Dec. 1957



"Atikokan and Steep Rock are fortunate to be located in surroundings of surpassing natural beauty. There is no part of the world where sparkling lakes and rivers combine more gracefully with majestic forests to display nature at her best.

The opening of new mines, with the consequent building of roads and towns, necessarily results in some temporary defacement of the landscape. Where man is forced for the time being to disfigure nature in order to forge ahead on the industrial front, he later has an obligation not merely to restore nature. We can go on to supplement nature by bringing his artistic sense to bear in sowing lawns and planting flowers, and in beautifying both his mines and his buildings, whether home, office machine shop, warehouse, garage or store."



1942


July 27. The Ontario Legislature passed "An Act respecting The Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario, Steep Rock Iron Mines Ltd., and the Ontario-Minnesota Pulp and Paper Company Ltd."

The agreement covered the pumping of Steep Rock Lake, the diversion of the river above the lake, and the generation of power for the project.



1942


Cyrus Eaton approached Washington for funding.

Cyrus S. Eaton became associated with the undertaking, bringing with him an intimate and most detailed knowledge of the American iron and steel industry. Eaton was also a born Canadian which meant he also understood the Canadian viewpoint.





1942


October. Eaton visits Steep Rock Lake with, among others, the President of the Canadian National Railway.


1943

1943



January. Work started on access road construction.



Simultaneously:

-- building 22 miles of access roads through rough and heavily timbered terrain

- moving $2,000,000.00 in construction equipment to the job site

- building of six camps to house an estimated 1500 workers



1943


February. Access road reached the southern tip of Finlayson Lake. Two bridges had to be constructed: one about 500 ft. long, the other 200 ft. long. The roads were constructed to handle heavy traffic of 100 to 150 15-ton capacity trucks. The roads were 18-30 ft. wide. Average cost per mile $7500.00.

1943



March: Construction of the North Narrows and South Narrows bridges

North Narrows Bridge completed March 22, 1943

South Narrows Bridge completed April 1943



1943


March 1: Commencement of Finlayson Lake tunnel construction

Work began on the Esker Cut at the southern end of Finlayson Lake. The water level of Finlayson was 33' higher than the level at Marmion Lake, so it had to lowered by 40' in order to reverse the flow of water.

A tunnel 10' x 12' x 1200' was to be cut through the rock to lower the lake level.

... dewatering Steep Rock Lake was the largest pumping operation ever mounted on floating equipment in Canada.

Esker cut involved the removal of 1 1/4 million cu yds of gravel and 60,000 cu yds of rock. A channel was cleared of trees and brush 300 ft wide for 4 miles. The floodwaters followed this channel.



Simultaneously

-- Isolating 3/4 of Steep Rock Lake by concrete dams across the narrow Channel Island, thus blocking the outlet and stopping the flow into Steep Rock from Marmion by a steel and wood superstructure on the power dam at the north end of the east arm.

-- Reversing the flow of Finlayson Lake 12 sq. mi. in area and 35 feet about Marmion by a 1300 ft rock tunnel penetrating the lake bottom 57 below surface and permitting preliminary drainage under control followed by a channel through the glacial moraine of sand and gravel.

-- Draining Marmion Lake into Finlayson in future through a rock cut which passes through what used to be Raft Lake, a bowl-shaped lake, a half mi in diameter and containing 600 million gallons of water but now pumped out.

-- The Esker cut 1900 feet long and 200 feet wide at the bottom, involved the excavation of 1,200,000 cu yards of gravel and nearly 60,000 yards of rock. The tunnel immediately below it, completed in July 1943 would be used as a control



1943


March 17. The financial arrangements were complete. Loan from Reconstruction Finance Corp. $5,000,000.00 plus $2,025,000.00 debenture issue for a total of $7,025,000.00 US.

The project was classified as a war industry, thus permitting special tax concessions.

  • •Cdn. Government would construct a CNR spur line to the minesite, an ore dock at the Lakehead. CNR provides a freight rate subsidy. The Ministry of Munitions and Supply in Ottawa granted the Steep Rock project war industry status which gave it priority status in acquiring equipment.
  • •Ontario Government would construct a power line from Port Arthur to Steep Rock and would waive the customary deposit.


1943


March 20: It was reported in The Fort William Times-Journal that permission to divert the waters of the Seine River and drain Steep Rock Lake had been granted under an Order-in-Council tabled March 20th. The judge was authorized to ascertain damage from floodwaters and to determine compensation to be paid to injured parties.


1943


March 25. Discussions underway to obtain full telephone service between Steep Rock. A party line service existed between Shebandowan and the Lakehead but would not have provided the degree of privacy the mine officials wanted.


1943


April: Premier Conant (of Ontario?) announced the imminent construction of a power transmission line from Port Arthur to Steep Rock.


1943


June: Work on Raft Lake / Marmion Lake cut

Raft Lake Cut.



600,000 cu yds of excavation 560,000 was in rock. 1,000 feet in length, 100 feet wide and sheer walls up to 70 feet. It was an open cut operation using 6 in. churn drills. Both horizontal and vertical holes were drilled, and simultaneously blasted together breaking apart 2500 yards of rock. This left the walls relatively straight and stable.





1943


July 16: From The Toronto Globe and Mail: The Fisheries Departments of both the Federal and Provincial Governments insist that prior to the lakes being drained and the waterflow diverted, they be fished out. Steep Rock Lake and Finlayson yielded between twelve and forty 100 lb. boxes of fish daily, delivered to Montreal where the best price was obtained.


1943


July 23. The rock plug was blown. 1700 lb of explosives was used. The lake began to lower at a rate of 6"/day. "A river which for centuries has flowed incessantly along a single channel, had, by the hand of man, been diverted from that route and brought into the service of mankind." From Canada's Iron Ore Bonanza.


1943


July: The political party, the C.C.F. was in the newspapers for their position against the involvement of American financiers in the Steep Rock project.


1943


July: Raft Lake pumping began

Work on the Raft Lake /Finlayson Lake cut



1943


September 4: Article in the St. Thomas Times-Journal called Atikokan the "hottest night life spot in Ontario"....."Every man and woman, boy and girl who is able and willing to work has some kind of job at Steep Rock, while from the free-spending construction workers the village merchants, of whom there are not more than a half dozen, are reaping a golden reward.

Chief beneficiary of the new prosperity is the Atikokan Hotel proprietor, whose two-story weatherbeaten hostelry has 12 sleeping rooms and three bar-rooms. Only beer is sold, but nightly this oasis for the thirsty is filled to overflowing with Steep Rock workers. Girls from the town and waitresses from the six construction camps back in the woods mingle with men from the mine, staging a frontier bar-room scene that tests anything the movies have produced."



1943


Council of Fort William urges processing of Steep Rock iron ore in the Lakehead.


1943


October 23: Final blast of Raft Lake / Marmion Lake cut


1943


November. The flow into the lake was dammed. Construction on the 1000' spillway to hold the waters of Marmion Lake.


1943


November 28. Power line (at a cost of $1,500,000.00) to Steep Rock becomes operational. Western cedar poles were used instead of the usual steel poles because of wartime shortages.


1943


December 3: Final blast of Raft Lake / Finlayson cut



1943


December 15. The pumps were put into operation. The portion of the lake to be dewatered contained approx. one hundred billion imperial gallons, covered an area of approx. 5 sq mi with depths up to 300 ft.


Spur Line Atikokan Steep Rock, 1944.

Atikokan numbered about 300 residents at the time.

To accommodate the spur line, a bridge had to built across the Atikokan River. By June 9, 1944, the bridge was at the half-way mark across the river and at June 17, 1944, the bridge was completed. The spur line totaled a distance of 4 miles from Atikokan to Steep Rock.



1944


January 4. All fourteen 24" centrifugal pumps each with a capacity of 23,000 gallons / minute were in service. The lake level started to drop by 7" / day. By Jan. 15, 1944, it was down by 13 ft; by March 10, it was down by 45 ft. and by April 13, it was down by 70 ft.

Re: pumping the lake. Covering it now was a layer of silt from 20 to 310 feet thick. It looks like the purest and finest of white clay, but 360 Steep Rock employees currently call it and curse it by the name of loon manure. The mining engineers also curse it under the euphemism of rock flour. It was the dust deposited eons ago when the glacier pulverized the country rocks.



Steep Rock was fished pretty thoroughly of its whitefish and brown trout before the pumps began. However, in the pool to the east of B ore body, there are still some fish. Pretty well tamed too. Engineers stuck their hands in the stream and caught four whitefish one evening.



1944


January 26: Final blast of Marmion Lake / Raft Lake cut


1944


Area flooded was 1750.94 acres. The area is swampy, with no buildings or no visible developments. For the most part, it is Crown land, though several groups of recorded claims and patented mining locations are also involved. The entire area included in a timber limit held by the Ontario-Minnesota Pulp and Paper Co.


1944


Construction of the ore dock began in Port Arthur.

started April 1944

concrete pouring June 1, 1944

Dredging of the two slip completed by Nov. 1944.

Estimated cost $2,500,000. This includes the dock and approach at Port Arthur and the spur from Atikokan to the mine.

July 21, 1945: First shipment of ore through the ore dock in Port Arthur.



1944


May. Water level down by 75 ft.

(Because the "B" Errington, orebody surfaced at a higher elevation than the others, it was developed first. Silt coverage ranged from a few feet to over a hundred feet. High-pressure water jets were used to disintegrate the overburden and the slurry was pumped "by means of hydraulic suction dredges to disposal points in the middle arm of Steep Rock Lake". From The Story of Steep Rock / K.L.McRorie, Mine Engineer.



1944


May 17: In an article in the Fort William Times-Journal, Watkin Samuel, Chief Engineer for SRIM, expressed the opinion that "Steep Rock Iron Mine would be operational for at least 100 years after its commencement. Open pit mining would last from 10 to 15 years after which thousands of miners would be used underground to get our the ore. "


1944


June: Hydraulic stripping operation commenced. From the Mining Reporter, May 19, 1944: "The orebody is to be cleared of silt and gravel and should be in production by the first of August....the pumps have been at work for months, a battery of huge machines capable of handling about 300,000 gallons per minute. Stripping of the orebody will be done by giant monitors [high pressure water jets] which will cut up the overburden and wash it into the lower parts of the lake." The dredging and hydraulicking operation was a year round job....mosquitoes and black flies in the summer, minus forty degree temperatures in the winter.

June, in Port Arthur: concrete pouring on the oredock began

June 29: Ontario Premier George Drew visited Steep Rock site. He was greatly impressed with the magnitude of the development and what it would mean not only to the province as a whole, but also to the people of the Lakehead district.



1944


July: Road constructed across the bed of the lake.

Mechanical stripping began.

Clay slide took out the road near Mosher Point.

Dredge #1 in place to begin operations on the "B" orebody



1944







1944



August: Ore sighted for the first time. Record amount of rain fell in the area washing silt into the workings. First load of ore delayed by one month.

Ore dock in Port Arthur not yet completed. CNR guaranteed that they would make up the difference in freight rates if SRIM were required to ship the ore through U.S. ports.



August: Construction began on the crusher and loading bins; completed May 31,1945

Public meeting held in Atikokan to organize and incorporate the community as an improvement district.



1944


September 30: Loading bins and tail track ready for operation.



1944


October 3. First load of ore taken to Fort Frances on the way to Superior, WI. Celebrations in Fort Frances, but not in Atikokan. This marked the first time iron ore mined in N.W. Ontario crossed an international border.

October 4: Clay slide into the open pit



1944


November A second dredge was ordered. It began operating early in 1945.


1945


Ore dock in Port Arthur was completed and ore began to be directed to the Canadian port. Estimated cost: $2,500,000.00

.



1945


July 21: first shipment of ore through the ore dock in Port Arthur.


1946


In Minnesota, Dr. E.W. Davis, at the University of Minnesota, develops the first of many processes for concentrating taconite rock into commercial iron ore. The ramifications of this academic work will be felt in Atikokan almost forty years later in the closure of the mines.


1948


June Steep Rock Echo. Calls for a road from the Lakehead to Atikokan.

An article from the Fort William Times Journal was quoted:

"Everybody connected with the Steep Rock enterprise, from the chairman of the board of directors, to the driver of the diesel trucks deserve all the help which people of Fort William and other municipalities in this part of Ontario can give to speed the opening up of that road. The men of Steep Rock and their families who are living with them are doing too big a job to be cut off from the rest of Canada, to be kept from the ownership of a car and the privilege of driving through the beauty of the country they are helping to develop. All that keeps them from driving to the Lakehead to visit friends, look around in the stores, attend a theatre, or have the fun of eating at a hotel or a restaurant for a change, is a short stretch of non-existent road."



1948


August

Steep Rock Echo: The Atikokan Chamber of Commerce is waging a vigorous campaign for a road into this district from Shebandowan, 85 miles east of Atikokan. From Shebandowan a good paved highway runs to the Lakehead. Between Atikokan and Shebandowan are a number of small communities which would benefit from a road.



1948


Sept.

Steep Rock Echo: Telephone service for Atikokan. Negotiations have been completed for a telephone service for Atikokan.

Street Lights: Atikokan is to have street lights installed on its streets very soon. Word has been received from the Hydro-Electric Power Commission on Ontario that specification and order to construct have been received from the Engineering Dept.



1949


January

Survey done to compare cost of living (food for a family of five for one month) between Steep Rock, the Lakehead, Atikokan and Fort Frances.



Steep Rock $117.21

Atikokan 115.27

Lakehead 101.48

Ft. Frances 102.47



1949


Caland Ore Co. Ltd. was formed in 1949 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Inland Steel Co of Chicago. In that year Caland obtained an option from Steep Rock Iron Mines to explore the orebody found under Falls Bay.


1949


A dredging contract was let to Construction Aggregates Corp. (CAC) of Chicago for the removal of an estimated 160 million cu yds of lake bottom material. This contract was the largest single dredging contract ever let.

"The two electric dredges, amongst the largest of their kind in the world, the one weighing 900 tons, and the other 850 tons, with a combined excavating capacity that at times reaches 3,000,000 cu yds every month. It was an amazing feat, transporting these two mammoths and all their supplies from Boston, Chicago and California in 160 railway cars and reassembling them in the bottom of a drained lake. " Syd Hancock



To prepare the site for the dredge, 25,000 yds of soft mud had to be excavated, and 14,000 yds of rock had to be drilled, blasted and hauled away.



Dredge #1 was the Nebraska, which was renamed the Steep Rock. It is said that this dredge handled weekly the same amount of material that was excavated in the Toronto subway excavation (ca 1950).



p. 85 the Men and the Mines. "The cutting head, driven by a 500 HP electric motor, rotated at 20 rpm in the mud in the bottom, and, in what could be described as an egg beater-vacuum cleaner operation, the overburden was mixed into a slurry and sucked through the 34" suction pipe into the pumping system on the dredge. The huge pumps, powered by 6000 HP motors, pumped the overburden through a 30" floating discharge line at the rate of 3000 cu yds per hour, depositing it in the west arm of the lake."







**1949


Caland Ore Co Ltd. formed as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Inland Steel Co of Chicago


1950


June. Death of Major-General D.M. Hogarth.

Record shipments of 1,216, 614 tons from the Errington pit. Net profit for the year $2,547,765.00



1950


Assembly of the dredge began in early May 1950, and it was floated on November 15.


1950


UFO sighting written up in Steep Rock Echo.


1951


Jan. 1 A 99 year lease was arranged to permit Caland to proceed with development and mining. The orebody was overlain by silt to an average depth of 300 feet, plus 100 feet of water.


* 1951


Jan. 18, 1951. Construction of a "safety" dam at Marmion Lake


1951


Spring. Silt problem in the Seine River. P. 85 the Men and the Mines. "All the way from Steep Rock to Rainy Lake, the water of the Seine River, instead of being a sparkling blue colour, was a ribbon of muddy grey, and the discoloration extended into the Rainy River near Fort Frances, a distance of ninety miles. Charges of pollution came fast and furious.

The solution ultimately reached was to construct a channel to carry the Seine River from a point above the Wagita Bay Dam to the west, bypassing the west arm, and re-entering the Seine River again below Tracey Rapids.



* 1951


March 29, 1951. All 600 employees have been given a pay boost.


1951


Oct. 11. The Ontario Dept of Highways announced that the highway to Atikokan would be built with Shebandowan being chosen as the point where the highway from Atikokan would join Trans-Canada no. 11. Two bridges had to be built, at Kashabowie and at French River. The $7,000,000.00 project employed more than 600 men and stretched 123 mi through rocky terrain and bordered lakes and swamps.

Total shipments, a record volume of 1,326,726 tons. Net profit $2,174,514.00



* 1951


Dec. 13, 1951. Disclosure of plans to explore part of C orebody


1952


January. Work started on the Seine River diversion project to reduce the silt problem. Completed by May 1952.


1952


Dredge #2, the New York (850 tons) was acquired and ultimately renamed the Marmion.

October 10. Ceremony at which Mrs. M.S. Fotheringham smashed a bottle of champagne against the bow of the vessel.



Designs and location plans for the crushing and loading terminal, conveyors, railroad spurs, power lines, dams and roads required to service the Hogarth pit were completed during the year.





1952


* Nov. 6, 1952. Passed 1952 tonnage objectives.

December. 3200 people on the assessment roles of Atikokan.



Shipments: 1,274,536 tons from Errington open pit. Net profit $1,964,837.00



** 1953


* Feb. 12, 1953. Inland Steel announces possible joining up with SRIM

Caland exercises option on C Ore body under Steep Rock Lake



1953


Shipments: 1,301,688 tons. Net profit: $3,450,000.00

January 1: A 99 year lease was arranged to permit Caland to proceed with development of the Hogarth ore body.

* April 30, 1953. Plan thirty new homes in Dunbar Heights.



September 1: first railway car of ore left for Port Arthur. September 3: Ceremony to mark the loading of the ore on the vessel "Prindoc" at the Port Arthur ore dock.



1954


August 13. A 70 car motorcade traveled the length of the new Atikokan highway (designated Queens Highway no. 120) as its official opening which was attended by Premier Leslie Frost.

* Sept 30, 1953. Steel softness temporary

December. Four year dredging program on Hogarth open pit mine was completed.

* Dec. 16, 1954. It's settled, Strike threat passes



1955


February. Operation "Up and Over". The two dredges had to be moved a horizontal distance of two miles and a vertical lift of 250 ft. The dredges, stripped of their superstructure and reduced in weight by several hundred tons, were moved on crawler tracks.

Dredging of the Roberts ore zone continued from 1954 to 1962. In all over 120 million yards of overburden were pumped from Steep Rock deposits over a period of 18 years. Removal of lake bottom material resulted in the lake being lowered from elevation 1120 to 651.



** 1955


Two dredges are launched in Falls Bay and begin pumping


1955


* Sept. 8, 1955. Wildcat strike by ore-trucks

*Sept. 15, 1955. Strike settlement reached

Shipments: 2,265,555 tons. Net profit: $9,240,000.00



1955


Canadian Charleson Co built a concentrator near the Atikokan Municipal Airport to mine and concentrate the Steep Rock gravel deposits on a large scale. The production from the first season was 70,000 tons of ore concentrate.


1956


Site clearing and shaft sinking operations began during the year on the Hogarth underground mine which was scheduled to commence production in 1960.

* Feb. 2, 1956. 30 coal miners start underground operations.



P. 95 The men and the mines. "By 1956, the old 22-ton trucks were replaced by a fleet of new 34-ton Euclid trucks, a new 6 cu yd capacity electric shovel was bought to augment the older 4 cu yd shovels, and the old-style churn drills were replaced by the more modern and productive electric rotary drills.

Shipments: 3,317,073 tons. Net profit: $13,217,000.00



* Dec. 20, 1956. Contributes $15,000.00 to community



1957


Shipments: 2,348,538 tons. Net profit: $7,911,000.00

* Oct 24, 1957 Miner dies in underground mud slide

* Nov. 14, 1957. Layoff at Steep Rock, 200 employees affected.



* 1958


* Feb. 20, 1958. Mine layoff to affect 125 employees - reduction effective in March.

* Feb. 27, 1958 Men affected by layoff find new jobs.

* Mar 27, 1958. Forced to work a 4-day week because of steel industry conditions.

* Sept. 25, 1958. Road to Steep Rock to be paved in 1959.



* 1959


* Jan. 8, 1959 Future bright for SRIM

* Feb. 5, 1959. Work force to be increased

* Feb. 19, 1959. Net profit $1.5 million for 12 month period

* Feb. 19, 1959 About 300 to be added to work force

* April. 2, 1959 Conciliation talks between SRIM and Union

* June 24, 1959 Girard Roy escapes being a 'human torch' at CAC-SRIM

* June 25, 1959 Steep Rock and Union arrive at 3 year contract agreement calling for 18.5 cent boost

* July 9, 1959 Hard surfacing of SRIM road gets underway

* Sept. 24, 1959 Dredging stopped by land slide



1960


Caland came into production / open pit mining begins

Jan 28, 1960. Donation of $35,000.00 to hospital

Feb. 18, 1960 Nine million dollar profit for last year

June 16, 1960 Organized tours now in progress

July 14, 1960 19 hour walkout ends





1960


Quote from speech given by Joseph L. Block, Chairman, Inland Steel Co at the dedication of the new iron ore mine of Caland Ore Co. Ltd, at Steep Rock Lake, May 30, 1960.

"When I was in Canada as a vacationing tourist in 1947, I was delighted to get five cents back in change every time I exchanged one of my American dollars for one of your Canadian dollars. Today, as we all know, the shoe is on the other foot, and I have to send four pennies along with my American dollar in order to receive in return one of your more highly prized Canadian dollars.



In the United States, during the past decade, we have done our share of boasting about the gains we have achieved in industrial production, in gross national product, and in per capita personal income, and indeed, they have all been noteworthy. However, in all of these categories, the gains you have recorded here in Canada have been greater percentage-wise than ours.

Today, Canadians are producing more, earning more and exporting more than in any previous period of your history. Employment is greater than ever before, and so is your standard of living."



** 1961


Underground, completed three years earlier, is closed indefinitely. New U.S. taconite mines now on-stream produce ore more cheaply than underground mining.


* 1961


* CNR officials pay visit to Atikokan and confer with Steep Rock and Caland officials

* April 20, 1961 Work stopped by Union

* Aug 3, 1961. Ship first ore from the new Mine Point open pit mine

* Nov. 2, 1961 Three shifts for SRIM pit effective Nov. 6



** 1962


* Feb. 16, 1962. Net profit top $4 million in 1961

* May 10, 1962. Dredge Randall being shipped to California

* May 24, 1962 Caland selling houses

Caland supervisors start participating in early managerial training seminars at Quetico Centre.

* Sept. 13, 1962. Work force reduction announced



** 1963


*Jan 10, 1963. Staff reduction announced

Organization Effectiveness is introduced at Caland by Cliff McIntosh and the stage is set for a development of a long-tern strategy culminating in termination with excellence.



* June 20, 1963. Announcing pellet plant to be built



* 1964


* Feb. 6, 1964 "Miracle" rescue for miner following 17-hour entombment

* Feb. 6, 1964. Second cave-in fills tunnel after Gerd Eggers released

* Ore shipments began first loading operations

* Sept 10, 1964. Worker seriously injured falling 200 feet down shaft

* Dec 24, 1964 Construction of pelletizing plant



* 1965


* April 15, 1965. Steep Rock to build new pellet plant this spring

Steep Rock buys three portable crushers to provide CNR with rock ballast

* April 22, 1965. Historical plaque tp be erected of Steep Rock development

* May 20, 1965 Two workers lose life falling from scaffold on pelletizing plant



** 1965


Ore improvement plant (screening and pelletizing) begins operation but fails to meet specifications


** 1965


Caland was the first of the companies mining in the Steep Rock range to construct a pelletizing plant. The plant was completed in 1965 at a cost of $17.5 million. This was one of the first pellet plants in North America designed to process hematite ores of the type found at Steep Rock.


* 1966



* Feb. 3, 1966. 22-year pellet agreement reached by SRIM, Algoma

* Mar 24, 1966. Closing of the underground. Pellet Plant taking shape.

* Mar 24, 1966. Names Conciliation Officer

* July 14, 1966. Union settles contract signed for a three year collective agreement

* July 28, 1966. 27 tenants received eviction notices from Steep Rock houses in Don Park

* Dec. 8, 1966. New Pelletizing plant



* 1967


* Feb. 23, 1967. Ironworkers remove picket line

* Mar 16, 1967. Gerard Gagnon, aged 33, was crushed to death March 9

* Sept. 28, 1967. First shipment of ore pellets from new pelletizing plant

* Oct. 19, 1967. Neil Edmonstone named President of Steep Rock



** 1964-1970


`Managerial and interpersonal skills learned on the Managerial Styles seminar, which has become the first step of an organization effectiveness strategy, are developed in workteams and applied to specific problems. Under Quetico Centre's guidance, Caland's top staff begin to focus on organization culture after success of first inter-group activity between operating and maintenance crews in ore improvement plant. Organization effectiveness strategy takes shape with intergroup activities in the pit, warehouse and administrative offices.


* 1968


April 25 1968. Patterson named SRIM Chairman

Oct. 31, 1968 Rock slide at SRIM takes the life of a long time employee (Clifford Gashinski)



* 1969


* Jan 23, 1969. Steep Rock achieves improvement in production at pelletizing plant

* April 127, 1969 Fatal injuries from truck mishap to Leroy Hamel

* June 12, 1969. Contract negotiations break off without settlement reached.

* June 26, 1969 Three year wage contracts have been signed by Steep Rock and Caland



* 1970


* Feb. 12 1970 Steep Rock earnings at $4 million

* June 4, 1970. Unpegging of dollar bad news for SRIM



* 1971


April 29, 1971 Shows drop in earnings

Sept. 9, 1971 Pellet plant to shut Sept 13

* Sept 30, 1971 Caland official gives answers regarding layoff situation

* Oct. 7, 1971 Caland starting recall

* Oct 21, 1971 35 workers terminate employment



** 1971


Tradesmen are trained to become instructors for skills training programs to be launched within the year to reduce manpower shortages and turnover.


** 1972


Vice-President Peter Ribotto initiates actions which leads to the first Correction Without Punishment program

* July 27, 1972 Elmer Wayne Broomfield injured fatally in fall

* Sept 28, 1972 To close early 1978



**1972


Caland announces it will shut down in 1976. At Inland Steel headquarters, plans are made already well underway for the new (taconite) Minorca Mine in Virginia, Minn.


* 1973


* Mar 22, 1973. President of SRIM for 17 years M.S. (Pop) Fotheringham dies

* Oct. 11, 1973. Statement on Lake St. Joseph Project

* Nov. 1, 1973. Underground operations at SRIM to close down



* 1974


* April 11, 1974 Caland may extend operations to 1980

* July 4, 1974 Caland to hire women miners

* Aug. 15, 1974 Still pushing ahead on Lake St. Joseph



** 1974


Caland's life is extended for another three years due mainly to the delayed startup of the Minorca Mine, and also to high demand for steel.


* 1975


* May 22, 1975 Hit by strike for both mines involved are 850 workers.

* June 19, 1975. SRIM, Union fail to settle in talks in Thunder Bay

* July 3, 1975 Strike in seventh week

* July 24, 1975 10-week strike ends

* Nov. 20, 1975 SRIM future in Atikokan under study



** 1975


Caland starts losing key supervisory staff to the Minorca Mine now moving on-stream.


** 1975-77


Hiring and promotion to replace staff lost to Minorca is facilitated by extensive workteam development which paves the way for a new level of effectiveness in the top team.


** 1976


New Manager, Nat Scott, conceives Operating Philosophy for Caland's Terminal Phase and takes it to a fourth draft.

* Nov. 25, 1976 Work halted at Lake St. Joe



** 1977


Termination planning moves into high gear with the development of a shutdown strategy, based on involvement and participation, and formation of area teams.


** 1978


Pit termination activities start in November.

* April 26, 1978 Late 1978 to see SRIM layoffs

* July 19, 1978 A gradual "rebirth" for a lake

*Aug 30, 1978 Layoffs at SRIM hit 73

* Dec 6, 1978 Layoff notices sent out to 173 employees





** 1979


Open pit closes in November

* Jan 31, 1979 First major SRIM layoff

* Feb. 7, 1979 Employment centre attracts large turnout after layoffs / Caland's reduction schedule

* Mar. 14, 1979 20- ft of water in Hogarth pit

* Mar 28, 1979 19 employees of SRIm graduated from the Con College TIG welding course

*Aug. 22, 1979 Quarterly earnings show drop

* Sept 5, 1979 Final load of pellets last Friday. SRIM closes out its operations

*Sept 19, 1979 Steep Rock auction exceeds $2 million

* Sept 26, 1979 190 at Caland receive notices.

* Nov 21, 1979 Life of pellet plant shortened: Earlier closure for Caland



** 1980


Ore improvement plant shuts down in April.

* Jan 30, 1980 Contends further Caland mining not feasible

* April 30, 1980 Caland closes its pellet plant

* June 18, 1960 $750,000 building given to Township for $1.00



* 1981


Mar 4, 1981 It's really official now: Caland Ore's final day

April 15, 1981 Nat Scott retires after 28 years with Inland Steel



* 1983


Jan 12, 1983. SRIM shelves Bending Lake Project

Nov. 16, 1983. Steep Rock denied $ 6765.68 tax refund from Township

Nov 16, 1983 Caland shutdown: a model



* 1984


July 4, 1984. Township of Atikokan buys former Caland ore property from Steep Rock for a dollar


* 1985


Sept 5, 1985 MNR seeking input on how to use SRIM land


* 1988


Jan 20, 1988 MNR takeover of Steep Rock

Sept. 7, 1988 PCB's in our backyard. Final Steep Rock legacy?



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