Amethyst Mine Panorama History
(Thunder Bay) Amethyst Mine Panorama was discovered in 1949 when an Ontario Department of Lands & Forest crew was building a forest access road north of Loon Lake. This road was made to bring in the supplies needed to build McTavish Fire Tower and the McTavish Towerman’s cabin. McTavish Tower is visible from the mine site. The Towerman’s cabin is located near the West end of the mine on the shore of Elbow Lake.
During the 1950’s ownership of the Thunder Bay Amethyst Mine changed hands several times as prospectors, the local lapidary club and finally by Rudy Hartviksen purchased interest in the mining claims.
In 1960 the Thunder Bay Amethyst Mining Company Ltd. was incorporated with Rudy Hartviksen as President. The company’s goal was to mine and sell the beautiful amethyst crystals and specimens found in this deposit. Amethyst was shipped by truck to the railway siding at Loon Lake loaded onto box cars and shipped all over Canada and the United States for use as landscape and fireplace stone. Tourists started to visit the mine to dig-their-own amethyst and view the mine. This lead to the establishment of the dig-your-own area and a jewellery and lapidary business catering to rock hounds, tourists and residents. Thunder Bay amethyst was soon being cut and polished at the mine site to be made into jewellery, clocks, bookends and many other items.
In 1981, local entrepreneur and businessman Steve Lukinuk purchased the mine and mining claims. The corporate name was changed to Thunder Bay Amethyst Mine Panorama now called Amethyst Mine Panorama.
In 1982, Steve opened Amethyst Gift Centre at 400 E. Victoria Ave. in Thunder Bay. The Thunder Bay location allowed for a year-round amethyst store which “brought the mine to the city” and a lapidary workshop.
The mine produces 40% useable amethyst by volume. A large digging area, open to the public, contains 20% useable amethyst and is the main source of “pick your own” amethysts.
Large amounts of amethyst are mined each year to replenish the digging area, provide landscape and garden stone and to supply the Amethyst Gift Centre, located in Thunder Bay. Amethyst Mine Panorama has 60-70 years of reserves and will be providing amethyst for years to come. The exceptional variety of amethyst crystals makes Amethyst Mine Panorama well worth visiting