Craigmont Mines Ltd. was a very successful copper producer in south central British Columbia (10 kilometers west of Merritt, BC) over the period 1962 – 1982. Copper production was ceased in 1982 as a result of low copper prices, and the shares of Craigmont Mines Ltd. were acquired by the Craigmont Mines Joint Ventures (Craigmont Mines) in 1985. The mine grossed over $450 million in sales. Production costs included almost $112 million paid in wages to employees. Craigmont had net earnings over its two decade lifetime of $115 million and it paid shareholders $104 million in dividends. The federal and provincial governments received $74 million in direct taxes and royalties. Approximately 5,000 people were employed by Craigmont over the years.
During the period 1985 to 1992, Craigmont Mines extracted media grade magnetite for the western Canadian coal industry from stockpiles left over from Craigmont Mines Ltd. In 1993 Craigmont Mines commenced the recovery of magnetite from the mill tailings. Since the commencement of that operation, Craigmont Mines has produced in excess of 600,000 tonnes of media grade magnetite product. Approximately 450,000 tonnes of proven reserves are present in the remaining unmined tailings deposit.
(Magnetite (Fe3O4) products are used in the coal mining industry, the fertilizer industry, specialty paints, and as an abrasive in the sand blasting industry).