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The Maskwa River
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Author:  Mihun09 [ September 26th, 2010, 5:48 pm ]
Post subject:  The Maskwa River

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.

Author:  Mihun09 [ September 26th, 2010, 5:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Maskwa River

more pics...

Author:  Ralph [ September 26th, 2010, 6:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Maskwa River

Looks like a beautiful place. I hope the politicians are including the cost to the environment in their assessment of the viability of this project. It seems that too many fiscally conservative politicians and business people are environmental spend-thrifts.

Author:  segosih [ September 26th, 2010, 10:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Maskwa River

This is a beautiful river with several tributary streams running into it. It was not very busy with boat traffic and we had a great day just being out there. The banks are lined with farmland/bush and only a couple of dwellings. With the leaves in their fall colours now, the scenery was awesome.

When we finally got to the first rapids/falls? I was overwhelmed by how perfect it all was. Thundering water, sunny blue skies, the fall colours. We sat and had lunch on some rocks alongside the flowing rapids, and just enjoyed being there. Karin even managed to catch a fairly nice pickerel in the edge of the current. ( She released it).

This is a gem that we will be sure to revisit and next year a trip to the headwaters will definitely be in store.

How I love Manitoba.


Author:  Paddle Power [ September 28th, 2010, 1:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Maskwa River

This is confusing.

First off, according to Mustang Mineral's site ( the Maskwa Project is now called the MAKWA PROJECT.

And this page
shows that the site is actually east of the Maskwa River, not north of Pine Falls-Powerview but north of Lac du Bonnet, in the area of the Bernic Lake road and the Tanco mine.

Also see maps at

Author:  Mihun09 [ September 28th, 2010, 5:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Maskwa River

I agree, it is confusing. New information gathered shows the original testing site on the Maskwa River itself has been dorment a number of years. On the maps you found, which I wasn't able to access for whatever reason when I was searching on sunday, it does show a deposit out towards the river proper.

Confusing to me as well is why the Maskwa property is all the way over at Bird River. The Mayville property on that map is just north of Maskwa Lake.

My apologies for the errors, but I still find it odd that they are permitted to mine so close to rivers and inside of parks.

Author:  burchil [ October 24th, 2016, 9:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Maskwa River

I have been looking at this set of posts for a while - ended up going this summer a few times.

Author:  Paddle Power [ October 25th, 2016, 2:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Maskwa River

Nice work Charles.
It is a river worth paddling.
Let me know next time you are heading that way...

Author:  crowmaster [ May 4th, 2017, 4:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Maskwa River

Hello all,

I hope to make a trip out to the Maskwa River and I have a few questions:

1) Is it ok to park at the Broadlands Road Bridge for the day or even overnight?

2) The Maskwa Project upstream looks good, but does anyone know if there is parking there? Since you can rent a room or yurt there I was thinking that we could; but I assume there would be a fee? Particularly if one leaves the car overnight?

3) Any good camping sites? I might want to go upstream as far as I can and maybe stay out a night or two.


Author:  Paddle Power [ May 4th, 2017, 5:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Maskwa River

I'd say yes to parking overnight near the bridge. Another idea would be to arrange to park at the Maskwa Project. Contact and ask.

I recall a nice camping site RR approximately halfway between the Translicence Road and Broadlands Road.

Author:  crowmaster [ May 5th, 2017, 7:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Maskwa River

Paddle Power wrote:
I'd say yes to parking overnight near the bridge. Another idea would be to arrange to park at the Maskwa Project. Contact and ask.

I recall a nice camping site RR approximately halfway between the Translicence Road and Broadlands Road.

Thanks for the response. Which one is the Translicence Road? I looked on Google Maps but can't find it.

Author:  Paddle Power [ May 6th, 2017, 11:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Maskwa River

The old paper company road from 304 to 314.
It can used to access the maskwa river.
The road is no longer maintained.

Author:  Mihun09 [ May 7th, 2017, 6:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Maskwa River

Christy was up there last weekend, posted a trip report on a different forum. The road is now just a quad trail past the Maskwa project and the project itself was empty when she was there so she just parked there near the water.

Water was up and the two rapids she went by had open portages so at least that far is should be easy.

We may take the 4 day July 1 weekend and go upstream for a couple days this year and keep exploring and documenting.


Author:  crowmaster [ May 7th, 2017, 11:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Maskwa River

Thanks for the replies and information. I did contact Maska Project about parking. If I get a response, I'll post.

Author:  Paddle Power [ May 7th, 2017, 9:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Maskwa River

To clarify.
There is an east to west/west to east gravel road, connecting highways 304 and 314 (Nopiming Provincial Park), called the Translicence Road, build and used by the pulp and paper company in Pine Falls, until the mill closed. It was passable a few years ago, even by a car. The all-weather Trans Licence Road was plowed until 2013.

There is an older road?, now a trail, that parallels the western side of the Maskwa River.

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