Deep Earth Asset Depository

The worst thing you can do with a painting is hang it on a wall.

On December 20th, 2015, Arthur McDonald was awarded the Nobel Prize for work published in 2001 proving that subatomic particles called neutrinos have mass. Interestingly, McDonald’s lab wasn’t located on the leafy campus of a prestigious university, but deep underground in a functioning nickel mine in Northern Ontario. It turned out that the extreme isolation offered ideal experimental conditions that could not be found anywhere else on earth.

Around the same time, Mba Fabrications Inc. President Donald Ian McCaw was grappling with issues of market positioning. He feared the company’s early success would make it comfortable as a mere maker of paintings, whereas he wanted to take a total solution approach to client needs. “Fine art consumers,” he said, “have a wide range of objectives around their purchases, ranging from décor enhancement to asset appreciation. We want to address all of them.”

The year before, at a conference in the Netherlands, McCaw listened in horror as museum professionals recounted the challenges of preserving the masterpieces of western civilization. Their concerns revolved around one little-known fact: in spite of appearances, oil and acrylic paintings never completely dry. Laser displacement analysis (LDA) had proven that gravity is relentlessly tugging at the painted image, slowly drawing it toward the bottom of the canvas.

Soon after returning home, McCaw read about overlapping programs of incentives for entrepreneurs with ideas for repurposing abandoned mines in Northern Ontario. He wondered if the isolation that made Arthur McDonald’s experiments successful could play a role in sheltering irreplaceable works of art. He was excited to discover that the targeted region, part of the Laurentian Plateau, is one of the two most geologically stable places on earth. 

A proposal quickly took shape. Mba Fabrications Inc. would create an ISO Class 4 ‘cleanroom’ facility deep beneath the surface of the earth. Paintings purchased from the company would be stored there in copper lined drawers as they increased in value. After an extensive search, it was determined that the old Princess nickel mine near Lake Wanapitei would be the perfect location for what had come to be called the DEEP EARTH ASSET DEPOSITORY.

Phone Number

(647) 981-6470