NAME: Cantung
COUNTY: Western North West Territories
CLIMATE: Cold and snowy in the winter and warm and sunny in the summer.

COMMENTS: Cantung is at the end of the Nahanni Range Road.For more on the town go to:

Accessible by road from the Yukon Territory. The site is private property and was back to a functioning mining operation two years ago, but may again be shutdown. Caretakers look after the abandoned buildings.
REMAINS: Unknown

The CanTung Tungsten deposit was originally discovered in 1954 by Axel Berglund while prospecting for copper. Unfortunately, the amount of copper present was insufficient to mine economically, so he permitted his claim to lapse. Several years later, prospectors panning in the Flat River discovered scheelite. This new find led the Mackenzie Syndicate, a mineral exploration group, to re-stake the deposit, and ultimately create the Canada Tungsten Mining Corporation to mine the property. CanTung initially operated as an open pit mine between 1962 and 1973, although it was closed temporarily during 1963 due to low tungsten prices. In 1974 mining moved underground and continued operations until 1986 when CanTung was finally closed once again due to low tungsten prices. At one point, CanTung and nearby MacTung were calculated to contain 15% of the world's supply of Tungsten, one of the world's hardest metals. North American Tungsten Corporation purchased the CanTung mine from Canada Tungsten Corporation in 1997, and re-commenced operations in 2001. There was estimated to be an additional 3 years of viable production of Tungsten concentrate. The company exceeded its anticipated production by a third, and in December 2003, shut down the mine indefinitely. Currently, a mine reclamation project is under way with the ultimate goal of rehabilitating the area to its original condition. Submitted by: Shane Slater

Cantung was the town built for the tungsten mine. It was originally occupied between 1962 and 1987 when it closed. Throughout the 1990s the townsite was largely abandoned but the mining company that owned the property maintained caretakers to keep watch. They had plans to reopen once the tungsten market improved. This happened in 2001, but the reactivation of the mine was short lived and the mine was again closed at the end of 2002. At that time the operation was of camp-life nature and no families were living on site, unlike the earlier years in which Cantung was home to over 150 people. It is assumed that a few of the obsolete buildings have been demolished by the company, with plans to bulldoze the entire site if the mine does not prove economic as per federal rules and regulations regarding mine clean up.

Submitted by: Ryan A. Silke, 2004