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Cassiar Asbestos Corporation Ltd. fonds Natural Resources
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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 - Bench Mining, North West View

Photograph depicts mine area at Cassiar, crushing plant visible on left. Various mine buildings visible midground. Blasthole drills, shovels, dozers, and dump trucks can be seen on bench in foreground at 6430 elevation. Handwritten annotations on recto of photograph: "6"; "View looking NW from top of S. peak 6790 elev. on 6430 stripping bench on it and 6050 ore bench further down on left."; "July 1961".

1961 - Drillmaster on North Ridge

Photograph depicts an Atlas Copco Drillmaster (blasthole drill) near the mine road, mountainside in background. This is a precision hammer drill which had its own power source. It is believed that this photo was taken on the North ridge, near the cirque dump. Handwritten annotation on verso of photograph: "1961".

1961 - Drillmasters on North Ridge

Photograph depicts men standing near two Atlas Copco Drillmasters (blasthole drills). These are precision hammer drills which had their own power source. Large bags of ammonium nitrate in foreground, mountaintops in background. The men depicted here were likely members of the explosive crew. It is believed that this photo was taken on the North ridge, near the cirque dump. Handwritten annotation on verso of photograph: "1961".

1961 - Drillmasters on North Ridge

Photograph depicts men standing near two Atlas Copco Drillmasters (blasthole drills). These are precision hammer drills which had their own power source. Large bags of ammonium nitrate in foreground, mountainside in background. The men depicted here were likely members of the explosive crew. It is believed that this photo was taken on the North ridge, near the cirque dump. Handwritten annotation on verso of photograph: "1961".

1961 - Explosive Preparation

Photograph depicts a man wearing a hard hat preparing long narrow bags of explosive material. Large bags of ammonium nitrate in right foreground, mountains in background. Handwritten annotation on verso of photograph: "1961".

1961 - Explosive Preparation

Photograph depicts a man wearing a hard hat preparing long narrow bags of explosive material. Large bags of ammonium nitrate in right foreground, mountains in background. Handwritten annotation on verso of photograph: "1961".

1961 - Explosive Preparation

Photograph depicts a man wearing a hard hat preparing explosive material, mountains in background. Dog stands near edge in midground, large bags of Ammonium Nitrate in right foreground. Handwritten annotation on verso of photograph: "1961".

1961 - Mine Buildings

Photograph depicts buildings at various locations in mine: crushing plant (centre?) and what is believed to be the original tramline loading station on left. Mine road featured in center, blasthole drill visible near dump truck in midground. Mine valley in background. Photo believed to have been taken from mine's South Peak. Handwritten annotation on verso of photograph: "1961".

1961 - Mine Garage

Photograph depicts a car and two dump trucks near a small garage by road in mine. One man stands at garage site among tires and miscellaneous tools. Blasthole drills, shovels, and dump trucks visible in distance. Rocks in foreground, mountains 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."

1961 - Tramline & Plantsite

Photograph depicts tower and bucket tram in left foreground, plantsite in midground, mountains across valley in background. Dry rock storage building, mill, tailings pile, and many other buildings visible in plantsite. Handwritten annotation on verso of photograph: "1961".

1961 - Tramline Crossing in Plantsite

Photograph depicts a gravel road passing under crossing. Sign posted to pole reads "CAUTION TRAMLINE CROSSING CAUTION AVIOD PASSING UNDER MOVING BUCKETS". Garage stands in left midground, mountains in background. Handwritten annotation on verso of photograph: "1961".

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.

5810 Bench Plan for 1972

This map depicts the generalized pit layout and estimated waste extraction areas for 5810 bench. Annotated details include numerical bench markers, extraction dates and approximate ore extraction amounts. The hand drawn plan consists of solid and dotted lines drawn with green, orange and lead pencil.

5840 & 5870 Bench Plan for 1972

This map depicts the generalized pit layout and estimated waste extraction areas for benches 5840 and 5870. Annotated details include numerical bench markers as well as extraction dates. The hand drawn plan consists of solid and dotted lines drawn with green and red pencil.

5840 Bench Plan for October 1972

This map depicts the pit layout and estimated waste extraction areas for 5840 bench for the end of September to November. Extraction dates, approximate extraction tonnages and ore, waste and talus locations are included throughout the plan. Annotated details include numerical bench markers, extraction dates, approximate total tonnages as well as waste and ore tonnage calculations for October. The hand drawn plan consists of solid and broken lines drawn with red, blue, orange and lead pencils as well as black ink.

5870 Bench Plan for October 1972

This map depicts the pit layout and estimated waste extraction areas for 5870 bench for the end of August to November. Extraction dates, approximate extraction tonnages and ore, waste and talus locations are included throughout the plan. Annotated details include numerical bench markers, extraction dates, approximate extraction tonnages, ore, waste and talus locations as well as waste, ore, talus and total tonnage calculations for October. The hand drawn plan consists of solid and broken lines drawn with red, blue, orange and lead pencils as well as black ink.

6290 Bench Plan for November 1972

This map depicts the generalized pit layout and estimated waste extraction areas for 6290 bench for the month of November. Annotated details include numerical bench markers and waste extraction dates. The hand drawn plan consists of solid and dotted lines drawn with green, orange, red, blue and lead pencil.

6290 Bench Plan for October 1972

This map depicts the generalized pit layout and estimated waste extraction areas for 6290 bench for the month of October and November. Extraction dates as well as total unbroken tonnages are included within certain portions of the plan. Annotated details include numerical bench markers, extraction dates, total tonnages to be extracted and approximate waste tonnage calculations for October. The hand drawn plan consists of solid and broken lines drawn with red, green, orange and lead pencils as well as black ink.

6320 Bench Plan for 1972

This map depicts the pit layout and estimated waste extraction areas for 6320 bench. Extraction dates accompanied by its total tonnages are located within each planned area. Certain extraction dates are labeled with bench numbers. Annotated details include extraction dates, approximate total tonnages per area accompanied by extraction dates, total planned tonnages, total tonnages from December 31, 1971 as well as a rough colored legend depicting extraction month by color. The hand drawn plan consists of solid lines drawn with green, red, orange and lead pencils.

6320 Bench Plan for October 1972

This map depicts the pit layout and estimated waste extraction areas for 6320 bench for the end of September to October. Extraction dates are included within certain portions of the plan. Annotated details include numerical bench markers, extraction dates, and approximate waste tonnage calculation for October. The hand drawn plan consists of solid and broken lines drawn with red, orange and lead pencils as well as black ink.

6350 Bench Plan for 1972

This map depicts the pit layout and estimated waste extraction areas for 6350 bench. Extraction dates accompanied by its total tonnages are located within each planned area. Annotated details include extraction dates, approximate total tonnages per area as well as extraction dates, total planned and broken tonnages and total tonnages from December 31, 1970 from a survey done in September 30. The hand drawn plan consists of solid lines drawn with red, green and orange colored pencils.

6380 Bench Plan for 1972

This map depicts the pit layout and estimated waste extraction areas for 6380 bench. Extraction dates accompanied by its total tonnages are located within each planned area. Certain extraction dates are labeled with bench numbers. Annotated details include extraction dates, approximate total tonnages per area as well as extraction dates, total planned and broken tonnages, total tonnages from December 31, 1970 from a survey done in September 1, numerical bench markers as well as a rough colored legend depicting extraction month by color. The hand drawn plan consists of solid lines drawn with green, yellow, red and lead pencils.

6410 Bench Plan for 1972

This map depicts the pit layout and estimated waste extraction areas for 6410 bench. Extraction dates accompanied by its total tonnages are located within each planned area. Certain extraction dates are labeled with bench numbers. Annotated details include extraction dates, approximate total tonnages per area as well as extraction dates, total planned and broken tonnages, total tonnages from December 31, 1970 and numerical bench markers. The hand drawn plan consists of solid lines drawn with green, yellow, orange and lead pencils.

6440 Bench Plan for 1972

This map depicts a drawn bench plan for the estimated excavated waste for bench 6440 during the first quarter of 1972. Annotated details include the approximate excavated ore tonnages, broken and planned values for the first quarter and revised calculations from previous years values. Planned excavated areas are drawn with different colors.

A.C. Beguin Accepting Safety Award

Typed annotation on caption below photograph: "General Superintendent A.C. Beguin receiving 1965 Safety Award for Open Pits and Quarries in British Columbia from Mr. R.B. Bonar, Dept. of Mines and Petroleum Resources." Photograph depicts A.C. Beguin shaking hands with Mr. Bonar as he accepts a large plaque. Counter bar and curtains in background.

Awards

File contains photographs depicting superintendents accepting safety awards on behalf of Cassiar Asbestos Corporation ltd, and BCIT Scholarship Winners.

Bagging Machinery at Nordenham, Germany

File contains photographs annotated Nordenham, presumably indicating that these images were taken in the Asbestos Corporation's plant in Nordenham Germany. The images depict bagging machinery in the mill, including a palletizer, automatic sewing machine, packer, shrinkwrap machine, glue applicator and cement bags. Some of the images include detailed annotations.

Board of Directors

File contains photographs featuring members of the Board of Directors of Cassiar Asbestos Corporation Ltd., which was formed on the 17th of May, 1951. Cassiar's forerunner was a company named Conwest, formed in 1534, a consolidation of two companies owned by Fred Martin Connell and his brother W. Harold Connell. The first board of directors included the Connell brothers, George Armstrong, John E. Kennedy, Charles & Arthur Mortimer, and Charles Rainforth Elliot (chartered accountant and secretary-treasurer of Conwest & Cassiar). Directors depicted in this file include F.M Connell, Harold Connell, Charles Elliot, John E. Kennedy, George Armstrong, Ken A. Creery, John Drybrough, Tam Zimmermann, George Washington Smith (president of Bell Asbestos Mines), Nick Gritzuk, Jack Christian (general manager, president, and CEO). Other individuals depicted include Fred Murry, Andre Beguin, Plato Malozemoff from Newmont Mining (co-founder of Cassiar with F.M. Connell), Alfred Lloyd Penhale (founder and CEO of Asbestos Corporation of Canada Ltd.), C.B. Brown, Pierre Marcotte, Francis Parker Smith (brother of George Smith), Bill Oughtred, Bill Johnson, and a Mr. Janitsch. File also includes a portrait of an unidentified director of Cassiar from Turner and Newall in England, taken at the corporate club in Toronto. Group portraits were taken at the Cassiar Valley, the office building, "House 130," fishing outings, and at formal events in unidentified locations.

Box Inventory

The Cassiar Asbestos Corporation and townsite records encompass a massive archival holding of approximately 1,600 bankers boxes. A box level inventory was created by student employees of the archives over a 15-year period. This inventory is provided here for access purposes only and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed.

In 1952 the Cassiar Asbestos Mining Corporation constructed an asbestos open-pit mine and mill and created a town site for its workers that became the town of Cassiar, British Columbia, 50 miles south of the Yukon border, and 80 miles north of Dease Lake. For 40 years Cassiar was a thriving asbestos mining town with a population at its peak of about 2500, with production statistics for 1989, recording over 60 million tonnes of ore mined, producing a billion dollars of new wealth. In 1989 Cassiar added an underground mine to the site, and despite attempts to run it profitably, in 1992 the entire mine closed partially due to the global market decline in the demand for asbestos, resulting in the closure of the town, and the move of its workers and families out of Cassiar. An auction was held to sell off all the mining equipment, townsite infrastructure, its buildings, people’s residences and the site was bull-dozed, with many houses burned to the ground. Today little remains in this remote area of Northern British Columbia to mark Cassiar’s industrial, economic or social history.

In 1992 the University of Northern British Columbia acquired the holdings of CAMC and the Cassiar townsite recognizing its potential for academic research, as the records could provide insight into natural resource industry extraction operations in Northern BC from mid to late 20th century, illustrative of ‘boom & bust’ industries, and to provide context to the development of the Cassiar Asbestos Mining Corporation and the history of the ‘life’ of a one-industry company town. The holdings document mining operations by CAMC and of the town site of Cassiar, originally consisting of the equivalent of 1800+ bankers’ boxes, including records on construction, engineering, operations, administration of CAMC, tallies of extractions, labour and union activities, corporate events and visits by dignitaries (including Prime Minister Trudeau who visited CAMC’s northern operations unit in Clinton Creek in 1968 and M.P. Iona Campagnolo in 1978). As CAMC was owner of both the mine and the Cassiar town, the company provided municipal services (i.e. sewer, water, and electricity) for its workers and their families. The archived municipal records document townsite construction, including the creation of health, education and community services such as Cassiar’s private hospital, school, library, community centre, hockey arena, and retail store. The holdings also include extensive visual documentation of natural and man-man landscapes within this remote and scenic area of Northern British Columbia. The formats of the archival holdings are diverse consisting of textual, photographic, cartographic materials, electronic records, films, promotional video-recordings, and a near complete run of the Cassiar community’s print newspaper.

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.

Cassiar Asbestos Corporation 1972 Bench Plans

A set of 13 maps showing approximate waste extraction areas for different benches during certain months of 1972. Extraction dates are included accompanied by estimated total tonnages for each planned extraction area. All plans are hand drawn using colored pencils, lead and black ink. Approximate calculations of extraction tonnages are included within certain months. Numerical bench markers are included. Total tonnages from the previous year and previous surveys are included within certain plans.

Cassiar Asbestos Corporation Ltd. fonds

  • 2000.1
  • Fonds
  • 3 April 1952 - 15 March 1993

Fonds consists of textual, photographic, cartographic, electronic and promotional films/video recordings related to the mining operations of Cassiar Asbestos Mining Corporation (CAMC) and creation of Cassiar townsite. CAMC records primarily consist of records related to mining operations including construction, engineering, daily mining operations, administration of CAMC, tallies of extractions, labour and union activities, corporate events and visits by dignitaries. Townsite records are primarily visual representations of townsite construction, including the creation of health, education and community services including Cassiar's private hospital, school, library, as well as townsite images. Photographs include documentation of natural and man-made landscapes within the Cassiar region of Northern BC. Other holdings include a near complete run of Cassiar's community newspaper.

Cassiar Asbestos Corporation Ltd.

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 - Shovels, Haul Trucks, & Drills

Photograph depicts mine area. Switchback road and higher benches in background. Blasthole drills, track shovels, and ore haulage trucks can be seen on level in foreground and higher bench in background. Mountains visible in distance. Benches in background speculated to be located on the mine's West Peak.

Community Album - Tramline

Photograph depicts ore cars on cables running between tramline towers. Flowers in foreground, mine valley and McDame mountain in background. Tramline ran through mine valley, between loading station (2000.1.13.19.197) in mine and dump station at mill on plantsite (2000.1.1.3.19.124)

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