Galetta Community Association

The Village of Galetta since 1873



The Morris Island area has a long history of mineral deposits. It was believed that the First Nations knew of copper in the area and early French explorers identified minerals possibly as early as 1743. Several attempts were made to work these deposits and a mine operated briefly in the mid-1880s. Operations ceased shortly thereafter when all buildings and equipment were destroyed by fire.

The mine was not operated on any large scale until it was re-activated in 1914 to meet the demand for lead during WW/ I. The mine then operated continually and the lead ore was smelted on-site until it was closed in 1931. During its 47 years of operation, Kingdon Mine became the largest lead mine and smelter in Canada. It is estimated that 60 million pounds of lead was extracted. At its peak, the mine employed 600 people and 250 families lived in the Village of Kingdon Mines.

Today, other than the foundations of the mine buildings, the only immediate evidence of the former mine is the massive tailings just north of the hydro transmission lines. These tailings were used locally for some time as an aggregate until the elevated levels of lead caused health concerns.