Recognition in 1999

The Government of Newfoundland recognizes Mattie's contribution as a prospector. The following article appeared in The Western Star Thursday, December 2, 1999, page 5. Also check out the Resource Room website from the Links Page.

Resource room recognizes man who discovered Buchans ore find.

by DAVE KEARSEY Star Staff Writer

The official opening of the Matthew (Matty) Mitchell Prospectors Resource Room was a proud moment for Marie Sparkes of Corner Brook.
Sparkes a granddaughter of the late Mr. Mitchell, and her husband Willougby, were on hand for the official opening of the room Nov. 5 in St. John's. The room is located in the Department of Energy and Mines Building on Elizabeth Avenue in the capital city.
The couple was invited to attend the annual meeting of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland (APEGN) at the DeIta Hotel where the Mi'kmaq prospector well known for discovering the Buchans ore fine in 1905 was recognized for his achievement.
Mines and Energy Minister Roger Grimes presented Sparkes with a plaque to commemorate the naming of the Matty Mitchell Prospectors Resource Room during a special banquet held in conjunction with the gathering of APEGN members and CIM


Marie Sparkes, granddaughter of Mr. Matthew (Matty) Mitchell received a plaque as a special momento of the opening of the Matthew Mitchell Prospectors Resource Room from Mines and Energy Minister, Roger Grimes.

delegates from across Canada.
"I have to tell you I feel just great because it's been a long time coming," Sparkes said of the recognition betowed on her grandfather. "He hasn't been given, in my opinion, the recognition for discovering such a mine. He was employed with the Anglo Newfoundland Development Company at the time and naturally whatever he discovered reverted back to thrm because the engineers from the company were with him and he was the guide and prospector with them."
While it was a special occasion for Sparkes, she believes it was also a happy time for all the grandsons and granddaughters of Mr. Mitchell living in Corner Brook, mainland Canada, and parts of the United States.
In 1905, Mr. Mitchell discovered
base metal mineralization on the the banks of the Buchans River while prospecting for AND. His find and subsequent development of the Buchans River ore body and nearby deposits led to the creation of a thriving community and thousands of person-years of employment in a previously uninhabited wllderness.
Over a period of almost 60 years, the Buchans ore bodies - one of the world's richest and most productive rnassive sulphide camps - yielded 16.2 million tonnes of high-grade zinc, lead, copper; gold and silver ore. By today's standards, the outut would be worth an estimated $3.6 billion (US]
Mr. Mitchell's discovery continues to have an important and lucrative impact on the economy of Newfoundland and Labrador. Most recently, this impact has been in the
form of mineral exploration expenditures in the Buchans geological belt. Exploration and Mining companies from this province and around the world continue to search for ore like that first uncovered by Mr. Mitchell almost a century ago.
Mr. Mitchell, who once lived in a home on the land where the J.R. Smallwood federaI building sits today, died in 1921 at the age of 77. Sadly, he did not live to see the fruits of his prospecting discovery - the Buchan mine started production in 1928.
In the meantime, Sparkes and her husband enjoyed a tour of the room during their visit to St .John's, and were very pleased with the manner in which Mr. Mitchell was portayed.
"I was so impressed just to see his name on the door to the room." Sparkes noted.

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