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The city is named after the flint that was mined there. Flin Flon's history began in the late 1920s, when prospectors discovered copper and zinc deposits at nearby Lake Athapapuskow (Athabasca). In 1928, a mining company called Noranda Mines Limited started exploration work on land which was later to become Flin Flon. The original townsite of "McLean" was located about south of present-day downtown along Highway 10; it had been established by Donald McLean in 1925 as a trading post for prospectors and trappers. By 1930, this community had grown substantially due to an influx of prospectors seeking employment with Noranda Mines Limited's expanding operations around what would soon become known as "Flin Flon". A new townsite closer to the mines became necessary; it officially opened on September 1, 1931 and took its name from an early promotional pamphlet describing one particular mine site: ""The Big Strike at Little Bear"" or more commonly referred to today as simply ""the big flake.