The Adams Mine was an open pit mine located 11 kilometres south of Kirkland Lake.
The mine began operations in 1963 and covered an area of 16 km. Six open-pits were in place; the largest pit standing at just over 1.6 km in length. The deepest pit was 600 feet deep which put it below the water table.
Blasting at the mine occured on a daily basis and led some geologists to claim that the result of which added natural fault lines to the rocks.
The Ontario Northland Railway (ONR) operated a spur line into the mine.
The Adams Mine mine closed in 1990.
Just before the mine's closure, waste management planners from the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto were looking at the mine's potential for massive landfill. The landfill site would replace the Keele Valley Landfill in Vaughan which was rapidly nearing its capacity. Under a proposed plan, waste would be shipped north to the mine by containers aboard CN and Ontario Northland railway cars.
Supporters of the landfill idea felt the site would lead to economic activity in the Kirkland Lake area. Opponents of the landfill felt that the contaminants in the pit would work their way into the underground water supply as a result of the fractured rocks caused by years of blasting.
It was estimated that 90-95% of the area residents were opposed to the idea.
In 1995, Metro Toronto began a formal assessment, however the project was rejected on financial and environmental grounds in December of that year.
In 1996, the mine's owner, Notre Development, announced plans to revive the "Rail Cycle North" plan through the private sector.
On August 3, 2000, Toronto City Council voted to approve the plan to ship waste up to the Adam's Mine. After community outrage, council reviewed the issue and voted down the proposal. Toronto solved the issue by finally shipping their waste to the Carleton Farms Landfill in Michigan.
From 2001 to 2003, the owner of the mine Notre Development and the Rail Cycle North consortium continued to pursue avenues to revive the landfill proposal.
The debate was finally put to rest on June 17th, 2004 when the Adams Mine Lake Act was passed by a vote of 63 to 18. The Act, signed into law by the Lieutenant Governor, made the mine property strictly off-limits for waste storage. The Act also revoked all existing approvals pertaining to the project. The agreement went a step further and prohbited any legal action to be taken against the Ontario Government as a result of the legislation.
This came as bad news to the owner of the Adams Mine property. He was to be compensated for the purchase of the property, associated studies and tests, legal services, property taxes and government approval costs.
Today the mine remains very much the way it was left. Equipment fills the buildings, manuals and books sit on shelves and office equipment is still in place.
If you visit this location please leave it in the same way that you found it.