Sunday, 30 September 2012

At the Open House and official opening of New Gold Mine, Kamloops

Once upon a time, there was an open pit copper mine near Kamloops called Afton Mine. The mine, owned by Teck Corporation, operated from 1977 to 1997, and shut down due to economic times and lack of ore deposits.












Abacus acquired the holdings from Teck in 2002 and continued explorations. They determined the ore body was large enough and profitable enough to open a new mine - thus New Gold (or as some people refer to it, New Afton) was born. However, this is not an open pit mine - rather an underground operation. To get an idea of scale of the previous open pit mine workings, the little dots in the white at the bottom are full sized dump and work trucks.
 
Actual processing of the ore began in spring of 2012. New Gold now employs over 400, and held an Open House to allow the public onto the property to see what has been done to date, and what they plan to accomplish over the next 15 or so years.

There were speeches, free pizza, bannock, hamburgers, hot dogs, beef on a bun, veggie and fruit plates, and CUPCAKES!

Then, instead of a traditional ribbon cutting to declare the mine officially open, New Gold did this -
A HUGE EXPLOSION!











Lots of demonstrations and information booths all around the grounds.
 
The inevitable - my husband meeting with a student whom he taught in elementary school - now very much enjoying his new career with New Gold as a heavy duty mechanic.

Employees of New Gold.




The busiest people in the food area - the bannock booth.





Thank you, New Gold, for this great family day and allowing us to see what this undergound mine is all about.

The final gift - a fireworks display for the city of Kamloops.