Flin Flon, Manitoba

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Flin Flon, Manitoba
Posted by Miningman on Friday, June 08, 2018 8:11 PM

Just got back from a week long Geology Field School in Flin Flon, Manitoba. Our good friend Mike sent along this via email to me. 















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Posted by Miningman on Friday, June 08, 2018 11:46 PM

Some added reading that will leave you speechless. Nothing but amazing.

We saw the Sons of Martha plaque at the museum, the last remaining one. 

http://www.thereminder.ca/news/local-news/it-took-blood-sweat-and-ambition-how-the-railroad-came-to-flin-flon-in-1928-1.1537126

If you do a simple web search for Harry Falconer McLean you will find more unbelievable feats including building a military airstrip in Alaska at his own expense because President Roosevelt asked him to help him out when the President was turned down by Congress. It was for the new 4 engined bombers and war clouds were looming. 

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, June 09, 2018 8:19 AM

Thought Flin Flon only produced hockey players!

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, June 09, 2018 12:14 PM

....and Copper, Zinc, Nickel, Cobalt, Selenium, Gold, Silver, very strong railroad town and of course hockey players. 

How about a pipe band...Firelock would like this!

Wish they could've done youtubes in 1943 ----from Mike 





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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, June 09, 2018 6:26 PM

Mike sent me an e-mail about that pipe band, and don't they look impressive!

And it sure is a shame there wasn't any You Tube back then, but who knows, there may be a recording somewhere. 

Everyone who lives in that part of Canada, check your attics!

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Posted by MidlandMike on Saturday, June 09, 2018 7:37 PM

Is the rail line to Flin Flon still operating, or did it get shut down like the Churchill line.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, June 09, 2018 8:03 PM

The rail line is very much in use into Flin Flon... they ship out a concentrate by rail from the big mill there ... the railyards at the smelter was full of various cars. Lots of boxcars, gons, tank cars and flats. 

The Keewatin Railway runs passenger service from The Pas but does not go into Flin Flon, you can get close with a stop at Sherrit Junction. 

Hudson Bay Railway ( Omnitrax) has their operations in Flin Flon and all of Northern Manitoba for sale. Native groups are negotiating to purchase. The Keewatin Rwy is 100% Native owned. 

Last regular scheduled steam into Flin Flon was train #76 from The Pas, Apr 25, 1960 powered by CNR mountain 6043. Pretty late in the game! 

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Posted by SD70Dude on Saturday, June 09, 2018 8:41 PM

Very late indeed, 6043's return trip to Winnipeg was the last revenue steam passenger run on CN.  Today 6043 resides in a Winnipeg park.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by MidlandMike on Saturday, June 09, 2018 9:46 PM

Miningman

The rail line is very much in use into Flin Flon... they ship out a concentrate by rail from the big mill there ... the railyards at the smelter was full of various cars. Lots of boxcars, gons, tank cars and flats. 

... 

 

Do they ship out some concentrates, and smelt others on-site?

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, June 09, 2018 10:05 PM

No smelter operations since Canada signed on with Kyoto. It has now expired but the smelter needs modernization to meet new environmental regulations. It is on care and maintenance and is kept in extremely good shape. There is lots of talk from HBM&S of revitalizing it  to handle the ore coming from their new Flagship mine in Snow Lake. The Triple 7 Mine in Flin Flon is closing down in 2020 having been mined out after 60+ years of production. They are mining out the last stopes and pillar recovery. They also have the Reed Mine not to far away from town but it is small production and there are several other properties that could go into production but all are smaller in tonnage produced. The key is the Snow Lake Mine, ramping up to full production. 

So at this time the smelter is well cared for but not operating ...only a concentrate is being shipped out. 

Of course a concentrate does not get the current metal prices as it must be smelted and refined into ingots. 

I think Hudsons Bay Mining and Smelting will upgrade and update the smelter In time. 

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Posted by MidlandMike on Sunday, June 10, 2018 10:12 PM

Topo map shows a rail line to Snow Lake, but the Canadian Rail Atlas site does not so an active line there.  Is it rail-banked?

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, June 10, 2018 10:43 PM
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Posted by MidlandMike on Monday, June 11, 2018 8:22 PM

The site says you need to drive or taxi to Snow Lake. 

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, June 11, 2018 9:13 PM

No it dosen't... scroll down to Train/Taxi .. 2nd from bottom!

There are 8 ways to get from Winnipeg to Snow Lake by plane, car, bus, train or taxi

Select an option below to see step-by-step directions and to compare ticket prices and travel times in Rome2rio's travel planner.

RECOMMENDED OPTION

Fly to Flin Flon, drive  •  6 h 2 min

  1. Fly from Winnipeg (YWG) to Flin Flon (YFO) YWG - YFO
 
  • Drive from Flin Flon to Snow Lake

$462 - $781 

CHEAPEST OPTION

Fly to Norway House, drive  •  6 h 22 min

  1. Fly from Winnipeg (YWG) to Norway House (YNE) YWG - YNE
 
  • Drive from Norway House to Snow Lake

$98 - $553 

6 ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS

Fly to Cross Lake, bus, drive  •  6 h 57 min

  1. Fly from Winnipeg (YWG) to Cross Lake (YCR) YWG - YCR
 
  • Take the bus from Cross Lake to Sipiwesk Jct, MB
 
  • Drive from Sipiwesk Jct, MB to Snow Lake

$103 - $618 

Fly to The Pas, train, taxi  •  7 h 50 min

  1. Fly from Winnipeg (YWG) to The Pas (YQD) YWG - YQD
 
  • Take the train from Orok to Wekusko
 
  • Take a taxi from Wekusko to Snow Lake

$367 - $944 

Fly to Thompson, bus, taxi  •  8 h 54 min

  1. Fly from Winnipeg (YWG) to Thompson (YTH) YWG - YTH
 
  • Take the bus from Thompson, MB to Ponton, MB
 
  • Take a taxi from Ponton, MB to Snow Lake

$439 - $1,499 

Bustaxi  •  9 h 58 min

  1. Take the bus from Winnipeg, MB to Ponton, MB 5441 / 5442
 
  • Take a taxi from Ponton, MB to Snow Lake

$228 - $343 

Traintaxi  •  18 h 43 min

  1. Take the train from Winnipeg to Wekusko VIA Rail
 
  • Take a taxi from Wekusko to Snow Lake

$162 - $407 

Drive  •  10 h 1 min

  1. Drive from Winnipeg to Snow Lake 703.5 km

$75 - $110 

Questions & Answers

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Posted by MidlandMike on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 9:50 PM

You take the train to Wekusko (apparently on the Churchill line), and then take a taxi 37 miles to Snow Lake.  The old branch thru Snow Lake (does it still exist?) comes off the Lynn Lake line, not far from the junction of the Flin Flon branch.

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 9:14 AM
Yes there were rails from Flin Flon to Snow Lake - HBM&S Co. Ltd owned the line and operated the trains - ore was hauled from Snow Lake to FLin Flon crusher/mill/smelter and slag from the smelter waste was hauled back from Flin FLon to Snow Lake to use as backfill in the cut&fill stopes.
 
Once the mill opened in Snow Lake, the rail was abandoned and the concentrate was trucked to Flin Flon. This practice is still going on with concentrate from the Reed Mine and Lalor Mine being trucked to Flin Flon. Not sure if the rail is still in place. I'd be a bit surprised if they didn't lift it out for metal value.
 
On the other hand, HBM&S favours keeping their assets in care and maintenance for a very long time. Will be going there this fall with my classes so I can get some definitive answers. 

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