It was somewhere around the years 1894 and 1897 that a prospector named Dan O'Connor was out prospecting in the Temagami area of Ontario Canada. During these years O'Connor staked his claims in the Iron Lake and Vermilion Lake areas. By 1899, Dan O'Connor had dug out some test pits at an area that would be later as known as Big Dan.
Dan was looking for anything precious namely gold and after several tests in different areas he found a spot that was testing pretty good. It was in 1900 then that mining got started on the claims that later became known as the Big Dan mine. The mine was named after Dan himself who was a big man in stature.
The mine consists of two shafts and an adit. There was also an open cut drift. Then in 1905 the railway was finished through the area and this allowed for easier transport of goods and ore. In 1906 the Temagami Milling and Mining Company installed a first class mill with hoisting and crushing. Finished ore was shipped out by rail and the ore was of fair value. ore averaged 0.358 oz (10.1 g) of gold per ton and up to 4 oz (110 g) of silver per ton.
In 1907 an additional portion was added to the milling end and more ore was mined from another adit. This adit was proving to produce good ore and everything was going along fine. Later though in the summer there was a forest fire that went through the area and the mill house and crusher plant and buildings were burn to the ground. The mine closed down and soon the tunnels became flooded over time.
The mine and the claims sat idle till 1949 when it became known as Big Dan Mines Ltd. The mine owners wanted to explore the area more and built a new road into the claims. Then they brought in a drill and drilled 11 holes but the results were not as they had hoped. All work stopped once again and then in 1965 another company came in and did some sampling but little else.
Exploration at Big Dan remained idle from the early 1970s to the early 1990s because there was land claim issues with local natives. Big Dan was not explored until 1993 when mining giant Falconbridge came in to do some sampling work and additional mapping, however that work showed that there was little reason to continue on. Today the mine sits waiting for maybe higher mineral prices or another prospector with newer technology to find some hidden ore that might remain.