DELORO, VILLAGE OF
VILLAGE OF DELORO
Photos by Richard Hughes
From its beginning the Village was a “company town” reliant on mining and refining. In 1866 it was named Deloro or “Valley of Gold”. Shafts were sunk and the Canadian Consolidated Gold Mining Company spent $200,000.00 constructing a great complex of plants to reduce gold and arsenic.
Later, buildings were adapted to refine silver, cobalt and produce stellite. The boom days had begun. Deloro was incorporated in 1919 as a separate municipality and soon became the world’s largest cobalt producer. On March 25, 1920, “96 cars of silver weighing 8,540 pounds” were shipped to China via San Francisco and Vancouver.
Larger “manager’s” houses were built on the road leading to the mine. Smaller homes and duplexes were provided on O’Brien Street for workers. The Village boasted a hospital, 2 schools, an Ontario Championship baseball team, and even the Deloro Orchestra.
The plants finally closed in March, 1961. Now, in quieter times, Deloro, Ontario’s smallest incorporated municipality, proves that you do not have to be big to be a good place to call home.
GPS co-ordinates: 44° 30’ 36.32” N 77° 37’ 23.76” W 944.51000000, -77.62305556)°
Street address: O’Brien and Deloro streets
DELORO MINE SITE CLEAN-UP PROJECT
Another sign in Deloro tells a tale with a different tone. This one relates the expensive efforts made by the Ontario government to clean-up the environmental hazards of the Deloro mine site.
The Deloro Mine Site Cleanup Project is a multimillion dollar initiative of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment to clean up the abandoned mining, refining and manufacturing site at Deloro, Ontario.
The ministry assumed responsibility for this site in 1979 when the site owner failed to comply with ministry orders to stop pollution. The ministry has made significant progress in dealing with the complex and multi-faceted environmental issues at the site.
Deloro’s industrial history dates to about 1867 and includes gold mining and refining, production of arsenical pesticides, production of cobalt metal, silver, nickel and stellite.
When refining and manufacturing operations shut down in 1961, nearly a century’s worth of hazardous by-products and residues remained on the property.
These materials caused significant environmental impact at the site, including contamination of the site’s soil, sediment, surface water and groundwater. The site was also scattered with abandoned mine workings.
Ministry of the Environment Accomplishments:
More than $31 million has been spent on this project on actions resulting in significant reductions in the amount of arsenic going into the Moira River.
• Built an arsenic treatment plant to remove arsenic from groundwater.
• Located and sealed seven major abandoned mine shafts, and remediated all other mining-related hazards.
• Covered 8 hectares of tailings to a depth of 0.5 metres with approximately 76,0000 tons of crushed limestone to eliminate wind and surface water erosion.
The ministry is now finalizing engineering designs for the caps, covers and pumping stations that will be built on the site.
Statistics and details:
Area: 202 hectares (ha)Contaminants of concern: Arsenic, cobalt, copper, nickel; low-level radioactive material
Other material to be managed: refining slag, mine tailings, laboratory wastes, demolished materials
Volume of waste: About 750,000 cubic meters (m3)