Iron Mining began in this Quebec community as early as 1872. This specific open-pit operation began in 1956, under Hilton Mines. It featured one of the first ore-pelletizing plants in Canada. Production apparently ended, for the most part, in 1976.
In 1979, it was rumoured that the mine may once again go into operation. According to an Ottawa Citizen article on July 27, 1979, both Les Industries Minieres de Hull and Sidbec were apparently interested in re-opening the mine, but it appears that nothing came of it.
In 1986, the Town of Bristol passed a zoning bylaw that would make it illegal for the property owner to begin using the mine as a landfill site.
Today, it appears there is still some limited use though many of the outer buildings have fallen completely into disrepair.
We were leaving Ottawa after a pleasant weekend, and decided to take an alternate route home. Crossing the river into Quebec, we followed the Ottawa River with the plan of crossing back into Ontario around Pembroke.
Near the town of Bristol, we detoured to check out this location, unsure of its current status or condition. The dirt roads were a little soft and slick and when we arrived, the surrounding area wasn't the best for walking.
Nevertheless, we began our exploration in earnest, ignoring the mud, the rain and the wind. After some time, we did spot the new building in the distance, and the lights around it that clearly indicated activity. At this point, an active property and the weather conditions finally convinced us to head back.
The main use of this mine these days is processing the leftovers for road aggregates. I get trucks of crushed stone for fill from here and the township uses the aggregate for road shoulders etc. It has a nice red tone to it, as you can see on most Pontiac roads