Goldcorp's Tour de Force

Jul 16, 2015 8:30 PM ET

Above Ground

There are double celebrations in Timmins this year as both the town and Porcupine Gold Mines (PGM) turn 105. Discovered in 1910, PGM is amongst the longest continually-operating gold mines in North America. It’s also one of Timmins’ most popular tourist attractions.

The PGM industrial tour takes visitors back in time and into the future, featuring exhibits and experiences from the past, present and next generation of one of the world’s great gold-producing mines. Every second week each summer for the past eight years, Goldcorp hosts free public tours through Tourism Timmins, giving guests a rare glimpse into every stage of the mining process – from exploration and development to full production and award-winning reclamation.

“It’s a great way to show people the complete mining cycle, from the Hollinger open pit operation to Dome – the above ground portion which has been mined out – and the historical Coniaurum mine, which is at the advanced stage of reclamation,” says PGM Mine General Manager Brendan Zuidema.

Often the tours operate at capacity, drawing local residents, Canadian citizens and international travelers alike. A highlight is the historical Coniaurum site, an abandoned mine which Goldcorp transformed into a urban oasis featuring hills, trees, wildflowers and habitat for thousands of species, including a bee-keeping project to help replenish North America’s dwindling bee population.

“That’s the part of the tour people are often most impressed with,” says Zuidema. “It really emphasizes that reclamation is part of the mining process.”

Even more complex is the planned reclamation of the Hollinger site, 250 acres of currently unusable space downtown. An ongoing project between the City of Timmins and PGM, the hazardous historical site will be reclaimed as public park space complete with a lake and walking trails once the remaining gold is recovered.

“Similar to the success of Coniaurum, a project of greater magnitude is Hollinger,” said William Russell, Chairman of the Porcupine Watchful Eye community group. “Once again PGM will turn deserted and neglected land into a lush, green, productive habitat.”

PGM tours are just one of many ways Goldcorp engages with communities and stakeholders across all operations. Here, the company collaborates with citizen groups such as The Hollinger Project Advisory Committee and the Porcupine Watchful Eye Committee, and hosts hundreds of local and regional community meetings and workshops, including with First Nations.


Bookings for the 2015 industrial tours is now open. Tour dates:

July 23 & 30; 10am – 2pm

August 6, 13, 20 & 27; 10am – 2pm 

To book a tour, contact Tourism Timmins at 705-360-2600 ext 3700.