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Archival description
Cassiar Asbestos Corporation Ltd. Environment
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1970 Labour Strike

File contains photographs depicting individuals at Cassiar on strike in the winter time, marching down roads, holding picket signs, carrying small children who hold signs, and driving cars covered with strike slogans. Many of the signs read "U.S.W.A. LOCAL 6536" (United Steel Workers of America).

  • Two photographs depict a man with a video recorder. Some photos feature plant buildings, two were taken at night. One photograph depicts a note that reads: "THERE WILL BE NO AFTERNOON SHIFT THURSDAY NOVEMBER 5th 1970."
  • Many photos depict areas in the mine showing snow impacts, fissures in the mountain, asbestos evidence and other environmental activity. The picket signs contain protests regarding contracts, safety, environment, and ethics.
  • Handwritten annotation on original envelope containing photographs: "Pictures 1970 Strike."
  • Integrated into file are fourteen photos from file marked "Mr. B. Pewsey" that depict an area where a large rock fell, measuring tape, and protest sign.

Work Crew Eating Outside in Cold Weather

Handwritten caption beside this photo reads: "Work crew eating in open at 10˚ below zero, evicted from Lunchroom, due to damage to, from falling rock." Men are shown sitting in snow. Various metal materials in foreground, snow-covered mountainside in background. It is believed that power lines are also visible in background.

Propane Tank & Completed Conveyor "B"

Conveyor sits on tall steel framework, encased in steel sheeting, and stands to right of snow-covered slope. Propane tank sits on log structure below conveyor. Snowy mountains in background. See also item 2000.1.1.2.373. Handwritten caption below this photo reads: "Project completed - at 52˚ temp."

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.

Trailer Service

File contains 20 slides date stamped between July and August 1976 and annotated “TRAILER SERVICE SUMMER 1976", depicting the construction and renovation of a mobile home, excavations, and structures believed to be wells or water boxes. File also contains 9 additional slides with no annotations, depicting mobile home and houses in winter. These 9 images are associated with materials dated Nov. – Dec. 1976 and it is likely that these photographs were taken in the winter of 1975-1976.

Cassiar Aerial Photographs

Photographs depict aerial views of the Cassiar townsite, plantsite, tailings pile, mine road, bench and pit mine, mine buildings (tramline loading station, crusher, shop, and garage), and surrounding mountain range. Here "aerial" refers to photos depicting a large area and taken from the air or from a high point of elevation.

Townsite, Mill, & Ore Storage 1958

Photograph depicts the Cassiar valley. Handwritten annotation on verso of photograph: "1958 [1961 crossed through]", on recto: "Cassiar Asbestos Corporation Limited. Cassiar B.C. Townsite in foreground mill and ore storage in left middle ground," "Toronto set". It is believed that this photograph was made into a post card.

Waste in Mine Valley

Photograph depicts large swath of dark waste down mountainside to right of valley. The waste dump is believed to be visible at top of swath on right of image. Bench mining visible on the North and South peak in background. Handwritten annotation on recto of photograph: "Oct. 25 / 65 4:25 PM."

Mine, North View from Airplane

Photograph depicts the Cassiar mine above valley, north mountain range in background. Tramline station and crushing plant visible to west of pit. Photograph was taken from the air, portion of plane visible in top left of image.

Men & Bulldozer on Mining Bench

Photograph depicts two men standing on mining bench in mountainside, three boxes and what appears to be a long hose to the left. Third man and tractor plow can be seen in distance at end of bench. Photo caption next to printed copy of image in 1953 Annual Report: "Benches being prepared for mining."

Two Men in Mine

Photograph depicts two unidentified men at high elevation on mountain. Trucks and tanks visible in background, hose (possibly of air track drill) in right foreground. Mountain range in background.

Waste Stripping Operations

Photograph depicts benches of Cassiar's open mine. Men can be seen standing near machinery speculated to be blasthole drills in bottom left of image. Handwritten annotation on recto of photograph: "Waste Stripping Operations on McDame Mt. Ore Mining in lower right Corner.", on verso: "1961".

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".

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.

Plantsite

This file contains operations at the plantsite:
Below is synopsis of the item level descriptions (see each item for further description)

  • locations depicted at Plantsite: mill building, dry rock storage building, tailings pile, gravel pit, power house, and office.
  • delivery and installation of a Caterpillar engine, welding repairs underway on a Rustin Diesel Engine in the power house, staff portrait taken by the main office building, and fibre testing
    Not done to item level but integrated into subseries file:
  • Photographic negatives included depict milling and packaging machinery in the mill building.
  • 93 slides depicting various activities and equipment at the plantsite including: dry rock storage, screens, collectors, loading trucks, bagging, pallets, tailing pile, lab work by engineers, lab equipment, fibre testing, and fibre samples.
  • photographs of conveyor foundations, tailings equipment, Grizzly truck, containers from site mechanical inspection, and portable crushing plant in June 1991.
  • photos of fibre samples from lab - on display
  • collection of photos of 1970 Mill modification Program of April 1978
  • collection of photos from 1961 and 1962 of plantsite lab and asbestos samples. file labeled "Suter - Webb VU Graph Analysis" and "Suter - Webb and Turner Comb Analysis"
  • Pressure Packer modification photos done by Chapman Industries in 1986
  • Powerhouse equipment from 1979
  • additional 43 slides of inside the mill in June 1978. Slides were used at a board meeting.
  • negatives of inside of mill
  • A photo album of 162 photographs depicting various operations at the plantsite including: drill dust collector, outdoor surroundings, conveyors, and the mine site. (album was originally labelled "Cassiar Plantsite).

Dry Rock Storage, Dryer, and Mill Buildings - 1955

Photograph depicts large dry rock storage building in foreground on right, mill on left behind tailings pile, and dryer building in centre behind conveyor belt connecting mill to dry rock storage. A cloud can be seen rising from plantsite. Trees and Troutline Creek cross foreground, mine valley and mountains visible in background. Stamped annotation on recto of photograph: "ANSCO PRINTON Munshaw Colour Service Ltd. MAR 10 1955".

1961 - 6430 Ore Bench

Photograph depicts bench at 6430 elevation. Blasthole drills, shovels, dozers, and dump trucks can be seen on bench in midground. Mine valley in background. Handwritten annotation on verso of photograph: "1961".

1961 - Shovel on Peak

Photograph depicts a crawler cable shovel on right, and bulldozer partially visible on left. Rock face of mountainside in background. Handwritten annotation on verso of photograph: "1961", on recto: "Mining 80 D shovel on [?] 64/70 to 6560 saddle on peak."

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".

1971 - Troutline Creek, Cassiar, BC

Photograph depicts flowing water believed to be Troutline Creek which ran south of Cassiar, B.C. Tailings pile and plant buildings visible behind forest in midground, northern mountain range in background. Handwritten annotation on verso of photograph: "Cassiar June 15 71".

Shipping & Transportation

File contains photographs pertaining to the transportation of asbestos fibre.

  • These include portraits of Clinton trailer trucks, trucks from the Cassiar Transport Division at Mile 860 on the Alaskan Highway, the assembly of large freight trucks, an unidentified bridge, and ships and buildings at the Cassiar Shipping Facilities at Pier 94 on the Asbestos Warf in North Vancouver, B.C.
  • Twenty-three photographs dated 1982 depict asbestos fiber bales on pallets and inside shipping containers, with accompanying annotations commenting on the quality of the packing. Several images show fibre bales broken during shipment. An accompanying note reads: "SMD - please ensure this cannot reoccur.", and a photo caption reads: "pierced bags are resulting as an environmental problem as fibre is beginning to build up in certain containers." One of the photographs depicting the Cassiar Transport Division was used for promotional posters with the following commentary: "The Cassiar Transport Division operates out of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory and is responsible for delivering the asbestos to the White Pass and Yukon Route terminal in Whitehorse. Fuel oil and supplies are backhauled to the mines. By the end of 1967, the fleet will consist of 65 tractor-trailer units, each of which will carry 23 tons of asbestos. The distance from Whitehorse to Cassiar is 357 miles and Clinton is 403 miles. During the past year, the Division's trucks traveled 2,213,534 miles and handled 75,100 tons, and the mileage to 3.5 million miles. This is a year-round operation and convoys arrive at the mine daily in spite of the long difficult haul. The Division currently employs 43 drivers and 35 mechanics and operates its own maintenance and rebuild facilities in Whitehorse. Over the years these men have established and enviable record of safety, cost and performance."
  • Additional photographs that have been integrated depict the Asbestos wharf and its condition, 31 slides of wharf, maps of shipping routes, storage, forklifts, shipping trucks, and packaged asbestos.
  • Also included in this file are two copies of a "Photo Survey - Cassiar Ton Units - "Amstelveld & Trojoland" on arrival to Brisbane & Sidney - August 1967." This collection of photographs is a part of an assessment of the efficiency of shipping and transport to Australia from Cassiar. Pictures include: loading, forklifts, storage, ripped bags, broken straps, wharfs, trucks, slings. There are accompanied annotations with each of the photos explaining the safety hazards or inefficiency of the situation. This report was found inside a box linked to James Hardie Industries Ltd. This company is not mentioned in the photograph annotations, but could be related to the report since James Hardie Industries Ltd. was a key player in asbestos mining and manufacturing in Australia.
  • Collection of photos of roadside spill of Asbestos, depicting a man with shovel cleaning up on 5 June 1985
  • Photos from Eternit Societe Anonyme (a European company that Cassiar shipped to) of packaged Asbestos in storage in 1967
  • Collection of photos of James Hardie Coy. Pty. Ltd. shipment of asbestos that was not stored or transported effectively. Many photos depict broken bags as a result of inadequate storage and forklift punctures.
  • Collection of photos of Cassiar/Stewart Road Proposal. Photos depict tests of the various stages of shipping and transportation process including forklift tests, Marineo Sling tests, stacking tests, durability tests, container loading tests, problems with current units etc. Also included is a marketing drawing if proposed shipping plan - drawn by "Stewart 1977."
  • Photos of shipping process of Turners Asbestos Fibres Lmt. Photos depict lowering asbestos pallets onto barge with swing, and storage on barge.
  • Collection of photos of a shipment of asbestos, but the bags of fibre are not identified as a Cassiar shipment therefore the location is unknown.

View of Crushing Plant Construction from Below

Men can be seen working on site. Crusher building in midground, chutes can be seen crossing the different levels of foundation. Lumber is leaning against excavated dirt wall in foreground, as well as a ladder which reaches up to the base level. Large tank can be seen in top level above building construction. Mountaintop and sky in background.

Men By Excavator at Crusher Construction Site

Photograph depicts two construction workers in far right sitting on edge above of excavation area, and two construction workers behind them standing at a higher level with construction of lumber walls behind them. The boom and stick of the "Northwest" excavator are semi-visible on left.

Mine Valley

Switchback road, power lines and tramline towers are believed to be visible in the background valley. Construction of a long structure near the edge of the excavation area can be seen in midground; this is speculated to be the section of the crusher building which housed conveyor "B".

Pouring Ribs at Crusher Site

Handwritten annotation on recto of photograph: "POURING RIBS JUNE 29/64." Photograph depicts construction workers on large wooden framework structure extending from base of crusher building. Ladders stand parallel to structure against mountainside. The boom of a crane is visible in foreground. Miscellaneous construction equipment and materials throughout.

West Wall Footing at Crusher Site

Handwritten annotation on recto of photograph: "WEST WALL FOOTING AUG 8/64." Photograph depicts a construction worker standing on rebar in forms built for cement footings. A front end loader and backhoe tractor can be seen on wood platform above footings. Mountainside in background.

Landslides

File contains images depicting various landslides near Cassiar BC. Set of 20 photographs (with 9 corresponding negative strips) date stamped June 1987 depict landslide near creek and dirt road with a Cassiar company truck. Set of 5 black and white photographs found in envelope marked "D. Stewart" are likely from 1988-1989 and depict a rockslide on the south western side of the pit mine, near the tramline. Album entitled “6200 DUMP SLIDE / SPRING, 1979” contains 34 photographs depicting aerial shots of a massive rockslide on the eastern slope of McDame Mountain, originating from the mine waste dump. Several images from album show greenish water pooling in the toe of the slide.

Mine Valley, Plant & Town, 1961

Photograph depicts view of mine road in valley, from mountain above. Plant, tailings pile, and town visible in distance. South mountains in background. Handwritten annotation on verso of photograph: "1961", on recto: Townsite and Plantsite from mine."

Early North Peak Strip Mining

Photograph depicts the North peak of McDame mountain in the earlier stages of strip mining, South peak unmined in background. Quonset and other shops visible in left foreground, unknown building built into mountainside in right foreground.

Strip Mining & Cirque Dump

Photograph depicts the Cassiar mine. North peak featured in left background, South peak in right background, and West peak in right foreground. Area to left of the mining pit and West peak was called the "cirque waste dump." Location of new mine garage can be seen just above the "#7 switchback" road in bottom right foreground.

Strip Mining & Cirque Dump

Photograph depicts the Cassiar mine. North peak featured in left background, South peak in right background, and West peak in right foreground. Area to left of the mining pit and West peak was called the "cirque waste dump." Mountain range visible in distance.

Mine & Crusher Plant

Photograph depicts the Cassiar mine. North and South peak featured in background, and West peak in left foreground. Pit is being developed between South peak and West peak. Old mine garage is visible in lower centre of image, and crushing plant in right foreground. Mountain range in distance.

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