We took a day trip yesterday up the Maskwa River to the first set of rapids/falls. It was an exploratory and fishing expedition. We had driven by for a look on the August long weekend and it took until yesterday for us to get back on the water since that August weekend. It has been a poor year for us and paddling, this being only our 4th time out. However, with the Maskwa being within 2 hours of home we plan to explore it further next year. We caught one pickerel in the pool below the falls but saw plenty on the sonar during our float back downstream. We also saw channel cat and perch caught as well.
The water was very high, 2-3 feet above normal according to people we spoke to along the route. A one foot high waterfall was non-existant. Regardless, it was a lovely day out and we intend to explore it much further upstream next year.
There is a site about 4 km from where we put in called "The Maskwa Project". It is a place one can rent a room or yurt or just some space for under $20 a night and is right on the river. There is a very large derrick on the site that begged the question as to why something that large and new was that close to the river and googling revealed they have been test drilling for minerals in the area.
From the Lac Du Bonnet paper...
"Maskwa project unveiled
Posted 2 years ago
An open-pit mine expected to begin production in North Eastman in 2011 will employ 150 people for at least seven years, the Leader has learned.
Mustang Minerals held an open house at the Lac du Bonnet Community Centre on Monday, where the detailed plan for the open-pit nickel mine was unveiled.
The Maskwa Nickel Project -- located in Nopiming Provincial Park and the surrounding area-- has been in development since Mustang Minerals purchased the site in 2004. The company's proposal is to develop a processing mill on Crown land just outside Nopiming Park.
The mine will produce an estimated 2,750 tonnes of ore per day, and will produce an average of 9.2 million lbs. of nickel per year as well as other metals like copper, cobalt, platinum, and palladium.
A lot of work has gone into this, Mustang Minerals investor relations manager David Black told the Leader. That whole area has a lot of potential for mining. We're hoping this is just the beginning.
The Maskwa property was developed into an open-pit mine in the 1960s, but was shut down in the 70s and left mostly dormant until Mustang purchased it in May 2004.
A subsequent evaluation of the property revealed a 6.5 million tonne mineral resource, composed primarily of nickel.
Nickel is used in many industries, but specifically for the production of stainless steel. It is currently a very lucrative mineral, going for an impressive $8 per pound.
Black said the estimated seven-year lifespan of the mine is just a preliminary estimate.
We're doing further exploration and we hope to maybe increase that number in the future.
So far, Mustang has developed an exhaustive plan with the help of Wardrop Engineering. The Maskwa project will involve two waste rock sites, processing facilities, and infrastructure like offices and roads, for as estimated cost of $125 million.
An elaborate environmental assessment is underway, VP of exploration Carey Galeschuk said.
We want to be good corporate citizens, Galeschuk said. He noted that, once the mine is up and running, workers will use the nearby TANCO mine road to do their work, so residents of the area won't face increased traffic due to the new mine.
We've even had people go out into the woods with sound recorders listening to the wildlife, to get an idea of what species are there. People assume that you just apply for a (mining license), but it's not that simple. There's a lot of work involved.
The complete environmental assessment study is expected to be completed by the fall, with the full project feasibility study completed next year.
Construction could begin as early as 2010, with initial production starting the following year, Galeschuk said." End of story.
Since we know that the funds the provincial government will receive from this pit and employment will come before the environment, we will use the river system and keep fishing until the river system becomes too polluted to do so. Unforetunately, the Maskwa flows into the Winnipeg River so it will all be harmed by this new project.
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