Cobalt Mining Legacy


This web site is dedicated to the people of Cobalt. Theirs is a proud history of triumph and perseverance in the face of tragedy - fires, disease and economic downturn have not dulled their spirit. Today, they keep alive the memories they have inherited, honouring those who have gone before. The Cobalt Mining Museum, the Heritage Silver Trail, the success of their efforts in having Cobalt designated as a National Historic Site - all are testament to their pride in the historic legacy of Cobalt.

Sadly, they have also inherited the environmental legacy of past mining practices. Some are aware of this legacy, some are not, some deny that there is a problem. For all, this legacy is a challenge.

Cobalt is used to challenges and adversity. Today it faces a new kind of challenge - to preserve the historic legacy of Cobalt, while dealing with the environmental legacy of past mining - to make Cobalt safer and cleaner for those who live there, and for visitors to “Ontario’s Most Historic Town.”

With dedication and commitment, Cobalt will overcome this challenge. But I think that this poem, written by Bryan Mason when he worked for the Ontario Ministry of the Environment in North Bay, captures in a dramatic way a sense of the challenge before Cobalt:

Blood on the Rocks

The great stope stands stripped of his might
Bearing Satin's blood - erythrite
For eons he did live in pleasure
Secure in possession of silver treasure.

The hunters came with weapons galore
To rob him of his ancient ore
They pounded it, grounded it and sent it away
Back for more to this very day.

But alas! It is the hunter being led to slaughter!
The ultimate weapon - poison in his water.