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Want to buy an amethyst mine? Thunder Bay-area highway tourist attraction up for sale.

North America's largest commercial amethyst operation is up for sale.

Amethyst Mine Panorama, an iconic tourist attraction on the north shore of Lake Superior, is on the block for $2.5 million.

The quarry is located on Highway 17, 60 kilometres east of Thunder Bay.

It is owned by the family of Steve and Loma Lukinuk, who purchased the property in 1981.

As an attraction, the site is open to the public from May to mid-October.

Since the 1960s, thousands of tourists have flocked to the 80-acre site to pick their own semi-precious gemstones from a large digging area or buy stones and souvenirs from the on-site gift shop.

The site provides for self-guided interpretive displays, a boardwalk along the quarry, an observation platform, and geological and mining displays.

The assets include ownership of the mine, the abutting mine claims, and a Thunder Bay retail store on East Victoria Avenue. The quarry has an 85-year supply of amethyst.

The mine was discovered in 1949 when an Ontario Department of Lands & Forest crew carved out a bush road to bring supplies to a fire tower and cabin.

During the 1950s, ownership changed hands several times until Rudy Hartviksen purchased interest in the claims and incorporated the Thunder Bay Amethyst Mining Company in 1960. Amethyst crystals were shipped by truck and railway box car all over North America for use as landscape and fireplace stone. Eventually tourists were allowed in to pick their own stones.

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Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1CONT
Date:Mar 1, 2018
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