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Cassiar Asbestos Corporation Ltd. fonds Labour
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Accidents and Incidents

File contains images relating to Incident & Accident Investigations and Occurrences. The photographs are grouped into sets relating to separate incidents.

File contains photographs related primarily to the following subject areas: personnel vehicle accidents, mine vehicle accidents, workplace accidents, fires, and rock falls in the pit mine.

Identified objects include Euclid ore hauling trucks, Wabco ore haulage trucks, drill rigs, derailed train car, Clark forklift, dump trucks, twisted steel girder, and cat machine.

Locations identified include the townsite, mill building, pit mine, tramline, railroad, the powerhouse, the plantsite, and the underground mine.

The following is abbreviated description of the incidents documented in this file:

  • Photos and negatives of a rock slide in the pit mine, a flooding creek, a house severely damaged by fire, a parking lot in Cassiar, and what are speculated to be oil drums.
  • Various of Finning Tractor and equipment damage incidents, one occurred on 2 July 1981 because of HOS blade, another in Nov, 1987, and another in Oct. 1986. Also Euclid accidents, of which one occurred 29 May 1987
  • Photos of split fibre bags in snow, a damaged brown car in Cassiar parking lot, various Blast Hole Drill accidents, of which one occurred in pit in September 1985, and another planned blast that failed to detonate - powergel 'A' slurry failure on 10 June 1985.
  • a derailed train, and a young woman measuring damaged steel trellis.
  • Photos of Drill #707 fallen over in bank, a broken haulage truck, a fire damaged truck, and of Drill and Wzbco accident, #650 Haulage Truck accident on Oct. 24, 1990, and another accident near gas pump area involving truck on 5 Feb. 1987.
  • Photos of damaged tramline after avalanche with annotated envelope "Bill Zemenchick", a set of photos showing tramline trackrope incident in 1986, and a derailed tramline carts in discharge area on 6 October 1986.
  • Photos of Pressure Packer Accumulator Failure from the Plantsite in 1986, incident neraby Fibre Storage building involving #872 Forklift during 80s, another incident involving the #489 Hydraulic Shovel in the Mine during 80s.
  • Photos of broken windshield and overloaded bucket on 30 April 1985, a screw gun malfunction caused by outlet having 600v power source in 1985, incident caused injury.
  • Photos of "G" conveyor accident in April 1988, equipment damage in Underground mine in 1990, damaged screens in Mill, malfunctioning blade incident 11 Jan. 1992.
  • Photos of Cat Engine cracking, damaged garbage truck, Haulage Truck engine failure on 27 Oct. 1986, Truck #84 backed into trench on 17 Oct. 1990, a loader that caught fire 21 June 1989, a grader accident on 21 Nov. 1985, and Haul track #59 broken tie rod that caused significant equipment damage.
  • Photos of a fuel oil spill on 11 June 1990 in the Cassiar valley around plantsite.
  • Photos of ground failure in Cassiar open pit 22 June 1988, 5 May 1987, and 2 Sept. 1987.
  • Photos of damaged tires and damaged cart, a panfeeder accident in trench, shovel accidents on 6 March 1986 and 15 November 1986, Cylinder rod accident on 7 March 1986, manhole incident 9 April 1984, snow damage to building 29 March 1982, another loader engine fire on 3 Sept. 1987, and a broken tail light on 6 April 1988.
  • Photos of accident in Underground mine when drilling piece of shotcrete fell on 20 June 1991, incident of disconnecting sling from chute causing damage on 4 July 1990, and accident in open pit of machinery going off road on 14 January 1988.
  • Photos of Mine Garage Parts-room fire collection; 18 January 1986, also included are two photographs of a Euclid truck - kept with collection of context. Truck could have been used to transport debris.
  • Important collection of three photographs of scoop tram sabotage incident - "foul play" on 15 June 1990. The Scoop tram was used in the underground mine.

Some of the above accidents involved personnel and therefore access is restricted - See Archivist for accessibility.

Underground Mine Structural Inspection, Rock Mechanics Dept. Foto Documentation

File contains images depicting the underground mine at Cassiar, showing structural damages, repaired damage ground support, and mining and repair processes.

The file contains a photo inventory entitled “Underground Mine Structural Inspection, Rock Mechanics Dept. Foto Documentation” with a complete file inventory linking the picture number to a location, title, and dated film. This photographic documentation was assembled for the purposes of liaising with a underground mining consultant located in South Africa.

  • Images document structural ground support including steel cables, support arches, metal mesh, shotcrete, rockbolts, wooden beams.
  • Images show ground support damaged through ground movement, but some depict newly installed or repaired support.
  • Images depict ventilation ducting that was crushed or torn.
  • Mining processes depicted include miners installing a rock breaker, miners paving the adit floor with concrete, miners inspecting a damaged section of mine, miner loading drill or blastholes with ANFO (ammonium nitrate / fuel oil mixture) explosives, and long hole drilling.
  • Technical elements of the underground mine depicted include a mining device and ore in a chute (annotated ‘1290 crusher’), the conveyor, ‘LH drill’, ore processing machine annotated ‘1350 breaker’, and an electrical box titled ‘Weighometer’.
  • Specific locations shown include ore draw points, ore passes, access drifts, a hatch and door titled “Fuel station 1415”, and a dead end drift with a stack of equipment and an orange cable annotated “1335 access electrical stations”.

McDame Project - construction progress reports

This file includes two major photographic collections concerning the construction and development of the underground mine at Cassiar, title the McDame Project.

The first collection includes fifteen monthly progress reports documenting the development from July 1988 to December 1989. The progress reports are authored by G. Verret, and were distributed to the executives of Cassiar Asbestos in Vancouver as well officials of the B.C. Government and other creditors of the Corporation. Most images are annotated and dated. Many of the loose photographs are accompanied by an inventory sheet.

Subjects depicted include: the staging area prior to mine development, the initial development of the “Vent Portal”, a jumbo drill working on the mine face, the working face marked for drilling and wired with fuses, a Caterpillar dozer clearing snow after an avalanche, scene of a fire in winter time, complete conveyor sump decline, mining vehicle parked on the “Lay-Down Area” presumably near the portal, the working face of the mine at various stages of development, 1563 portal being slashed, the removal of the overburden for the tramline loading station site, the construction of the transfer tower(s), construction of the stockpile area, the construction of a sedimentation pond, a presumed cave in, construction of footings for the conveyor, construction of the tramline loading terminal station, construction of the crusher building, a slash titled “Breakthrough in Access Ramp”, storage of powder and fuses, a washout in conveyor decline, fog at the portal in -30 degrees Celsius, the 1290 junction flooded, a slab of shotcrete which fell on and injured a miner while shotcreting, shotcrete blasted off walls for repairs, images of the “Hilti-test”, shots showing grade of drift, and structural failures in the 1350 adit.

Locations and structure within the underground mine depicted include: yellow ventilation ducting, ground support including steel screen and shotcrete, steel cables bolted unto ground support, puddles in the adits, the access road to the lay-down area, the exhaust drift, “Fans and Heaters in the 1415 adit”, the 1350 sump, the access ramp to the 1320, the exhaust ramp safety bay, the conveyor decline, the ventilation adit, the 1563 portal, the temporary repair shop at the 1415 portal, junctions of various drifts, the ”Fresh Water Pump & Pumphouse on lower Creek”, the “Ventilation Raise/1563 Platform”, a “Diamond Drill Station” at 6066 North in the underground mine, the “Bridge to the Gravel Pit”, the “Crushing and Screening Plant” in the gravel pit, the ventilation bulkhead in the conveyor decline, and the “Powder Magazine”.

People depicted include Rose Gay and R. Tyne on a tour of the underground mine, a geologist with a rockhammer, a miner identified as A. Jacobs working, contract miners Bruno and Marbel from Canadian Mine Development, and unidentified miners rockbolting, shotcreting, and drilling using jackleg drills.

Vehicle and mining equipment depicted include jeeps, pickup trucks, a front end loader, an unidentified a small unmanned tracked machine with a long arm, scoop trams, a land cruiser, an ore truck with a flat tire, the cone crusher, a “scissor lift”, a mobile shotcrete machine, a new grout pump, a new Boart Jumbo Drill, and a detached bucket half of a 413 ore truck.

The second collection depicts the McDame Project construction in 1986 and 1987.
Content of these photographs includes: various machinery used for excavating and drilling, underground progress of tunneling, supports, wire meshing, rock formations in mine, and exposed asbestos. There are no annotations regarding this photographs.

Maintenance Projects

Photographs depict different construction projects at separate locations in Cassiar. Photographs were originally housed in envelopes with the following annotations: "POLICE STATION. July 15, 1977."; "Aggregates and Concrete (PERMASTEEL)"; "Fibre Storage and Handling"; "Powerhouse Expansion"; "Sewage Collection Plant."; "Sewage Treatment Plant"; "Single Person Accommodations - Site Work."; "Outside Work - Camp Nos. 1,2,3." Photos generally feature the work sites, supplies, vehicles, machinery, and work in progress at each location.

Additional photographs integrated into file include maintenance project on lining of tubes, lining of aspiration hood, and lining of willow fiberizer. Also five photographs of maintenance in the townsite to fix in ground piping.

Workplace Album - Group Planning Open Pit Operations

Photograph depicts group of seven men in the Engineering/Survey building (former location of old mine dry). Photo believed to have been taken during the weekly meeting in which strategies were discussed for open pit operations (blasting, haulroad, ore and waste zones). Left to right: Danny Demitri, Roger Borsato, Tim Carew, Don Loverin (behind), Tim Williams (seated), Paul Clarke, Paul McRae.

Community Album - Wheelabrator System in New Mill

Photograph depicts part of the vacuum dust control and removal system in the Cassiar mill building. Unidentified man can be seen at rotary air-lock, in which heavy blown dust would collect before dropping to plenum conveyor resting just above floor. From here, the dust would eventually be expelled at the tailings pile outside of the mill. Second unidentified man can be seen climbing steps in background. This section of the mill was located above the lab.

Workplace Album - Group Planning Open Pit Operations

Photograph depicts group of seven men in the Engineering/Survey building (former location of old mine dry). Photo believed to have been taken during the weekly meeting in which strategies were discussed for open pit operations (blasting, haulroad, ore and waste zones). See item 2000.1.1.3.19.217 for similar photo with individuals identified.

Community Album - Palletizer

Photograph depicts palletizer machinery, where bags of asbestos fibre were shrink-wrapped and made ready for shipping pallets. Palletizer was located near shipping (believed to be in mill building). Unidentified man visible in machinery on far left.

Community Album - Helen Joseph at Air Sampling Station

Photograph depicts Joseph wearing safety gear while standing at testing equipment on raised sampling station. Sign below Joseph reads "DO NOT DISTURB / SAMPLING IN PROGRESS / PROPERTY OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL DEPT. / CASSIAR ASBESTOS LTD." Helen Joseph took air quality tests in the working areas and town (see item 2000.1.1.3.19.135). Power lines, unidentified building, and mountain base visible in background. Photo was taken during winter.

Tramline

File contains photographs featuring the tramline at Cassiar which ran from the crushing plant at the mountain mine to the plantsite in the valley (a drop of 427 meters). The first ore was originally transported by truck to the plant until the gravity chute was built in 1953. This chute was replaced with the first aerial tramline model in 1956, which was succeeded by the second model in 1975. This file also includes one photo of the original gravity chute, and one photo depicting a tramline worker.

Additionally there is a collection of eighteen photographs of tramline cars that were being surveyed for damage and condition, and another collection of six photographs of tramline study. The results of this study determined that there was variances in load sizes of the buckets caused by extra material falling off the panfeeder.

1971 - Main Office Building

Photograph depicts two-story yellow and orange office building. Unidentified individual stands with garden hose in foreground near what appears to be a lawnmower. Warehouse semi-visible in left background; blue truck and new mill building visible in right background. Handwritten annotation on verso of photograph: "Cassiar Office June 15 71".

Strip Mining, 1970

Photograph depicts benches from strip mining operations at the Cassiar mine. Haul trucks and equipment believed to be used for explosive purposes can be seen in mine. Shop and mountain range visible in background. Handwritten annotation on recto of photograph: "Cassiar, BC / June 1970 / by Tom Kiefer". Image consists of three photographic prints adhered together to form one comprehensive panoramic.

1965 - Ross Duddy & Unknown Woman in Lab

Photograph depicts Ross Duddy with back to photographer, working at table in lab. Unidentified woman stands in right foreground operating unidentified machinery. Miscellaneous equipment and supplies throughout. Handwritten annotation on recto of photograph: "ROSS DUDDY / LAB SUPER".

1965 - Mine Bus parked at old Mine Dry Change House

Photograph depicts unknown men entering back of bus, second bus on left. Old Mine Dry Change House in right background; power lines, vehicles, and trees in left background. These buses transported workers from the plant to the mine. Small pickup trucks called "crummies" with cabin mounted in box were used when traveling on the steeper road to the South Peak.

1965 - Clark & Cario Working with Others in Lab

Photograph depicts man [possibly Paul Clark?] seated with two women at table in lab. Second man [possibly Lab Superintendent Ross Duddy?] seated at table in background. Miscellaneous equipment and supplies throughout. Handwritten annotation on recto of photograph: "Paul Clark / [Odett?] Cario".

1965 - Mine Crew

Photograph depicts group of ten men standing and kneeling in unknown location at the Cassiar mine. Handwritten annotation on recto of photograph: "APPROX 1965 / BACK L-R / 1.- / 2. Don Erwin [i.e Irwin] / 3. MAC MAcCLOUD DIED 1979 / 4. JIM MURDOCK MINE SUPER / 5. RUPERT McKENZIE CAPT / 6. DANNY DEMETRI / 7. VIC SARAKOSKI / FRONT. L-R / 1. DON HUDGEON / 2. MIKE CLARK / 3. - [Adrian VanHill Sr.]". Information in above annotation supplemented with insight from individuals who contributed to Northern BC Archives Facebook Photo ID Project, contact archivist for more information in research file pertaining to this photograph.

Dozer Near Mine Garage

Photograph depicts unknown man driving bulldozer in foreground. Shop area in background, numerous haul trucks and dozers throughout. Old mine garage can be seen in center behind dozer, and the mine's West Peak rises on right behind shop buildings. Mountain range in background. Handwritten annotations on recto of photograph: "Cassiar Asbestos Corporation Limited. Cassiar B.C. Mining asbestos ore elevation approx 6000 ft. above sea level. McDame mountain, Northern British Columbia"; "Toronto Set"; "D - 336"; "-4 1/2 -". What appears to be framing measurements are annotated on verso.

International Harvester Payhauler Dumping Waste

Photograph depicts ore haul truck at dump in mine, mountain range in background. Photo also features driver and a second unidentified man standing in front of truck. Handwritten annotation on recto of photograph: "Int. Harvester Payhauler Model 95 dumping stripping waste at 6565 Elevation", on verso: "1961".

Welding Ruston Diesel Engine in Power House

Photograph depicts an unidentified individual wearing a welding helmet, and kneeling behind large bearing cups of one of the Ruston Hornsby diesel engines that turned the generators in the power house on the Cassiar plant. Door, bulletin board, and miscellaneous supplies in background.

Dump Truck at Tailings Pile

Photograph depicts red truck dumping waste at what is believed to be the tailings pile at the Cassiar plant. Small building and unidentified individual in bottom left foreground, valley and mountains in background. Photo caption next to printed copy of image in 1953 Annual Report: "Stockpile of 80,000 tons of Ore at Mill."

1961 - Mill Wheelabrators

Photograph depicts a man wearing a hard hat standing at what is believed to be the dust collection system in the Cassiar mill. Sign on right reads "CAUTION NO WELDING, BURNING OR SMOKING IN THIS AREA." Handwritten annotation on verso of photograph: "1961".

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