The Historic Craigmont Open Pit and Underground Mine Gallery, Merritt, BC – A Short Pictorial Tour Then and Today

Aerial view of Craigmont Mine in 1967. (Taken from the Merritt Herold newspaper: Merritt’s Long History with the Mining Industry, May 11, 2022: https://www.merrittherald.com/merritts-long-history-with-the-mining-industry/)
Craigmont open pit circa 1966.
Criagmont open pit in summer 2021 taken from same angle as previous two historic photos.
Looking NE across the pit in summer 2021.
Satellite view of the Craigmont mine site.
Historic waste dumps in 2021.
Historic waste dumps in 2021.
Historic waste dumps in 2021.
Historic waste dumps in 2021.
Historic waste dumps in 2021.
2400 Portal during active mining, circa 1970.
Outside Portal3060. (Photo: Dewey Shackelly, 1975)
3060 Portal. (Photo: Dewey Shackelly, 1975)
A production drift, typically up to 200-300’ long is drilled and blasted into the ore body. (Photo taken 1975)
Entrance of the underground 3060 Level Mechanics Shop. (Photo: Dewey Shackelly, 1975)
Mechanic outside the 3060 Level Mechanics Shop. (Photo: Dewey Shackelly, 1975)
3060 Level Mechanics Machine Shop was equipped to handle most of the daily repair activities of the mine’s underground operation. (Photo: Dewey Shackelly, 1975)
3060 Level Mechanics Machine Shop was equipped to handle most of the daily repair activities of the mine’s underground operation. (Photo: Dewey Shackelly, 1975)
An underground mechanic standing the in the 3060 Level Mechanics Shop. The walls are reinforced with concrete up to 6’ thick, then secured with wire mesh and rock bolts. (Photo: Dewey Shackelly, 1975)
Underground main heading. (Photo: Dewey Shackelly, 1975)
Looking out from the 3060 Portal. (Photo: Dewey Shackelly, 1975)
(Source: Merritt Herold, Gearing-Edge: The Craigmont Mine — More than 20 years of prosperity, March 24, 2016: https://www.merrittherald.com/gearing-edge-the-craigmont-mine-more-than-20-years-of-prosperity/)

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).

Sources:

https://www.merrittherald.com/gearing-edge-the-craigmont-mine-more-than-20-years-of-prosperity/

https://www.exploregoldcountry.com/pdf/caches/Craigmont%20Mine.pdf

https://wikimapia.org/13449077/Craigmont-Mine

https://www.merrittherald.com/merritts-long-history-with-the-mining-industry/