The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.
"Staying positive is the name of the game in this racket," says Snow Lake Prospector, Ken deGraff. However, it's hard to understand that line of thinking when you ask him about his recent foray to the Manitoba Mining and Mineral Conference in Winnipeg "Nobody is looking for grassroots stuff, they all want something more advanced," said the prospector upon his return from the recent mineral conference. "It's a hard sell anyway, but a prospector with a hand full of rocks is pretty well dead in the water. Any of the companies looking for properties to develop want technical reports by a geologist." Undeterred by the setback, deGraff realizes that he holds very few of the cards in this high stakes game, until he has a company's interest. And if that's what he has to do in order to build interest, then that's what he'll do. "I had a geologist up this past summer looking at my properties and developing geological reports for me," explained deGraff. "This guy was quite surprised at what he saw out there. I have one property, known as the Arse Claims (for Arsenopyrite), west of Niblock Lake. It is very large and has base metal and gold potential. He thought the base metal stuff I told him about was going to be barren phyrrhotite bodies. Of course they aren't. The geology there is right on the mark for this belt." "So that's what I'm getting done this year," added deGraff. "It just wasn't ready for the convention." Nonetheless, he is left to wonder how his trade booth would have faired, had he manned it armed with technical data on his claims. "I had my booth set up with diagrams of my properties, grades, samples, blowup photos, assays Ð and some pretty damn good ones too," he said with pride. "Most of the people who stopped by said it was nice looking stuff, but too grassroots for them." Originally from Winnipeg, deGraff has lived in the Flin Flon/Snow Lake area since 1980. He moved to Snow Lake permanently in 1994 and he and wife Mae Ð who is the Director of Nursing at the Snow Lake Health Centre Ð reside in the Anderson Bay cottage subdivision. The prospector holds three gold properties right now; the aforementioned Arse Claims, the Watts River property, and one other that is in the vicinity of Foran's Northstar property. See 'Potential' P.# Con't from P.# And deGraff feels that out of all his properties, the Arse Claims holds the most promise. However, he thinks that he'd have to get a large company involved in order for anyone to appreciate its full potential. "I optioned it once locally and there was some work done mainly on the south part, or gold bearing area," he said. "They liked the assays and the strike length of the property, but the limited work they did didn't prove up anything." He adds that there has been virtually nothing done on the base metal portion to the north. While deGraff is busy in the spring and fall with wild rice, and is a contract line cutter at other times of the year, every summer he says he spends close to a month working all of his claims. "I've held some of them since 1993," he notes. "I spend time on each one trenching, prospecting, and just trying to add to the showings of the property." This amiable rock hound started prospecting 23 years ago when he staked his first claim in Sherriden, Manitoba. He's still waiting for the big one to come along, but states that there isn't a doubt in his mind that it won't, and he thinks that he both lives and hunts for it in the place that has the highest probability of hosting the mother lode. "I've talked to a lot of mining people over the years," he said. "Most state that if they were going to get into the game on their own, Snow Lake would be the place to do it. Sixty percent of the rocks in the Flin Flon/Snow Lake greenstone belt are altered (which means it deviates by showing the beginnings of mineralization). This area is unique! It has enormous potential to host mineable ore." "Besides that, I like Snow Lake," deGraff adds emphatically.