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Since the turn of the century, the mining prospector has been a romantic figure in Canadian folklore. Justifiably so, because it has usually been the prospector who has triggered the metamorphosis of idle wilderness ground into a wealth-producing production centre providing the necessities of life for many in the mining community and opportunity on a far-reaching scale, to industrial operations across Canada.
Alex Mosher fits this pattern perfectly. A prospector’s prospector, he was one of the founders and guiding lights of the Prospectors and Developers Association but also bringing into being a number of mines and mining communities.
Alex Mosher comes from a long line of Canadian miners and prospectors. Born at Eureka Gold Mine in Wine Harbour, Nova Scotia, he inherited an interest in mines and prospecting that has never waned. Although born in the Maritimes, he grew up in Cobalt where mining and silver inspired much of the conversation and commanded much of the attention. It was in the Cobalt area that he began his prospecting career, but he was soon driving his canoe to more remote areas such as Larder Lake, Temagami, Savant Lake, Porcupine, Rouyn and Chibougamau.
In 1927, with his brother Murdock, he staked the Central Patricia gold mines.
In 1930, Mosher was prospecting in the Matachewan area and played an important role in staking the Ashley Gold Mines. He and his brother Murdock were also in the vanguard of the Little Long Lac staking rush in 1931. Here they staked a large block of claims west of the McLeod-Cockshutt holdings that later became Mosher Long Lac Gold Mines. Later he worked in the Sioux Lookout area.
Alex Mosher put Yellowknife, N.W.T. on the gold-mining map with his discoveries there in 1938.
Gold and silver held the most appeal for Mosher until uranium became a hot subject in the 1940’s. He was part of a group staking a radioactive vein in 1947 at Otter Rapids on the Abitibi River. It was a history-making event, as this find was the first of its kind outside the Northwest Territories.
A magnetic deposit he staked later at Bruce Lake became the Griffith Mine that yielded annually 1.5 million tons of iron ore pellets for many years.
Chimo Gold Mines was another Mosher find in Vauquehn Township of Quebec. Under his direction gold was produced here from 1966 to 1968.
While Alex Mosher’s physical energy was devoted to finding and staking mineral deposits, much of his mental energy went into the formation of the Prospectors and Developers Association. He was president of this organization in 1967-68. Together with W.W. Dennis, he gave guidance and support to the Association in its early struggle to stay alive and effective. For his work on this project and in the field he was awarded the W.W. Dennis Prospector of the Year Award in 1979.