Amethyst Mine Panorama with the largest deposit of amethyst found in North America continues to be one of most popular attractions in the Thunder Bay area.
Operated by the Lukinuk family for close to 40 years, many visitors make the 45 minute drive east of Thunder Bay to the mine site located off the Trans Canada Highway at Loon Lake to experience the joy and excitement of digging for their very own chunk of purple rock.
Amethyst, by the way, is Ontario's official gemstone.
Pails, digging tools, and running water are provided for you to collect beautiful pieces of this semi-precious stone from the spacious rock hounding quarry.
Locally Owned & Operated
Local entrepreneur and businessman, Steve Lukinuk purchased the mine and the mining claims in 1981 and a year later established his unique family-run gift shop, the Amethyst Gift Centre located on East Victoria Avenue in Thunder Bay. Lukinuk brought the mine to the city along with his lapidary workshop refining the raw rock from the mine into unique gift items that have been sold around the world.
First Discovered in 1950s
The Mine was discovered in the early 1950s when an access road was being constructed by the then Ontario Lands & Forest Department to build a forest fire lookout tower. The fire tower is still visbile from the mine site today.
The beautiful amethyst crystals and specimens became popular for use as landscaping stones and ornamental stones for fireplaces. In the 1960s and 1970s, big slabs of amethyst were being trucked from the mine site and loaded on box cars at the railway siding at Loon Lake to be shipped all over Canada and North America.
Establishing Site as Tourist Attraction
The owner at the time, Rudy Hartviksen, also saw the opportunity to attract visitors to site establishing the dig-your-own-area along with a jewellery and lapidary business.
The Lukinuk family with their purcase of the site turned the mining of Amethyst in a signature Thunder Bay experience and to this day, Thunder Bay amethyst is cut and polished at the mine site to be made into jewellry, clocks, bookends and many other unique gift items.
$8 Per person (HST included) - children ages 5 and under are free.