NLGenWeb Newspaper Records

Notre Dame Bay Region

Twillingate Sun and Northern Weekly Advertiser - 1882

Feb. 10, 1882

Indian Islands
The records were transcribed by GEORGE WHITE in May 2002. While I have endeavored to be as correct as humanly possible, there could be some typographical errors.

The Twillingate Sun:

Feb. 10, 1882. Indian Islands. From the Montreal Weekly Gazette, (Dec. 23). From our own Correspondent, St. John's, Nfld., Dec. 1.

In my letter of Nov. 3rd., I referred at some length, to an apparently very valuable deposit of copper, recently discovered at Baie Verte, on the part of the coast hitherto known as the "French Shore". Happily, the name is now no longer appropriate in any sense, as we can say the whole shore of the Island is our own.

I am now in a position to report another bonanza in two small islands of Notre Dame Bay, called respectively, Cann Island and Indian Island. Those Islands are suituated to the South of Fogo Islands, and not far from the harbor of Seldom Come By. All the copper mines, now open, are on the shores of Notre Dame Bay, or of one or other of its numerous arms. The bosom of the great bay is studded with numerous islands, and the partial exploration to which they had hitherto been subjected, has shown that some of them present very promising indications of being not less rich in mineral deposits than the mainland, in proportion to their extent.

In Sunday Cove Island, Pilley's Island, New World Island, and Twillingate Island, deposits more or less valuable, have been found. The copper ore in this region is found in lower silurian formations, and the peninsulas, lying between the various arms of Notre Dame Bay, have hitherto been found richest in mineral deposits. Doubtless, this bay, with its arms, has been scooped out by the denuding force of glacial action, and those peninsulas represent those portions of the lower silurian beds which have been able to resist the glacial denudation which has swept away from the surrounding region, this ancient formation. The Islands in the bay appear to correspond in character to the peninsulas, and may be regarded as relics of the old silurian beds, and consequently, as very promising fields for mineral explorers. Experience seems to confirm this view.

There are two Cann Islands, called Great and Little; the former is about three miles in circumference, the latter about three quarters of a mile. They are separated by a narrow tickle which is not more than a 100 feet in width. There is deep water close to the land on both sides, where the mineral has been discovered. The lode was first found more than two years since, in Little Cann Island, which it crosses completely, and reappears in Great Cann Island, where it has been traced for a considerable distance. During the past summer, a few experienced miners were set to work with a view of thoroughly testing the lode. The results are of the most satisfactory character, and seem to place it beyond a doubt that there is a large and valuable deposit of copper of excellent quality.

The miners found that the lode, which on the surface was six or eight inches, at the depth of four feet, widened to five or six feet in breadth. They were able to trace it for about a mile in length. Samples of the ore found at the surface, and at the depth of three or four feet, were forwarded for analysis, to Robt. H. Richards, Esq., Professor of Mining in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston. I have this assay before me, which shows that the ore contains 10% of copper and that its value is $3. per unit or $30. per ton. This is an unusually high percentage of copper in surface specimens. The rock, with which the ore is associated, is the usual chloritic slate, and is pronounced by the miners "very favourable!"

On each side of the dyke containing the lode, is a clearly defined wall, which seems to indicate that it is a true vein. Two miners who had 18 years experience in various parts of the world, have stated in writing that in all their experience in mining work, they never saw better prospects for copper, both in quality and quantity. The ore being both valuable and abundant, and facilities for shipping very good. They further say that at Great Cann Island, copper ore can be traced all around the island, and that no fear need be entertained of the success of mining operations properly conducted. In Little Cann Island, mineral indications are still more abundant, being traceable everywhere.

Indian Islands is about three miles from Cann Island and is seperated from Fogo Island by a tickle. It is four miles in length and about a mile in breadth. Here a mineral deposit has been discovered no less than 60 feet in width, and containing numerous copper veins intermixed. As yet, it has not been tested, only surface specimens having been obtained, which, however, are of a most promising character.

Good judges have given a highly favourable opinion of this claim. In the same island, at its North Eastern extremity, a vein of lead, yielding a large percentage of silver, has also been found and, judging by the analysis of the specimens, it bids fair to throw both the others into the shade. Professor Holloway, of St. John's, Nfld., has given the following certificate of analysis: - July 27, 1881, "Analysis of a sample of galena (sulphide of lead) submitted to me on behalf of the Company by W.T. Salter, Esq., - The lode lies between cuoits of iron pyrites on the one side, and calc spar on the other. Crystals of iron pyrites and quartz occur in small quantity throughout the sample. The ore contains 70.25 of metal (lead and silver). On cupellation 281 grains of metal gave 50 grains, ie., 59.100 of a grain of pure metallic silver. This result means that the ore will yield 48 oz. 3 dwts. 16 gr. Per ton - a very encouraging result." Signed Robert E. Holloway, B.A., F.C.S.

The vien from which this sample was taken, can be traced at intervals for nearly half a mile. Fourty eight ounces of silver, to a ton of ore, is a rich yield.

The whole of these mining claims on the Cann Island and Indian Island are held under mining license from Government, by a company of six persons, of whom J.O. Frazer, W.T. Salter and J.T. Nevillo, Esqrs., are the leading members, Mr. Salter having been the original organiser of the company. Negotiations for working them on an extensive scale, early next spring, have been concluded with a strong company of American Capitalists.

The miners who were sent to examine and report on Indian Island, have certified that the prospects for obtaining copper, lead and silver ore are excellent. I believe it is the first instant in which lead and silver have been found in proximity with copper in this country. Whether the lead is in a different formation from the copper is not stated, but I should expect to find that this is the case. These repeated discoveries of minerals all go to prove that our Island is rich in precious metals, and that if the slight explorations, now carried out, have given such remarkable results, the future is likely to bring with it far richer discoveries, when the country shall have been opened up by railways and thoroughly examined. Apart altogether from our fertile lands, there is enough in the mineral treasures, which beyond all doubt the Island contains, to warrant the construction of a trunk line of railway, such as that now under construction.

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