Strathcona – Boliden Westmin Mine

Did you know that Strathcona Provincial Park is home to mining operations that  produce zinc, copper, gold and silver?  The road into Strathcona-Westmin Provincial Park goes right beside the mine operation.

Boliden Westmin Mine,Strathcona Provincial Park,mining,Myra Falls

The Boliden Westmin Mine is relatively unique in that it is surrounded by a Class A park and the boundary of its mineral claims fall entirely within the Strathcona-Westmin Class B Park. All mining activities, and the eventual reclamation and rehabilitation of the site, fall under a park-use permit.

Boliden Westmin Mine,Strathcona Provincial Park,mining,Myra Falls

Prospecting in  the volcanic rocks of the Sicker Group has taken place at the south end of Buttle Lake since 1917.  Sporadic exploration continued until 1961 when Western Mines instituted a program of trenching, tunnelling and diamond drilling that led to the development of the Lynx Mine open-pit in 1966. Underground production began at the Lynx Mine in 1968, and then at the Myra Mine in 1972.  The Lynx open pit and the Myra and Lynx underground mines are now closed.

Boliden Westmin Mine,Strathcona Provincial Park,mining,Myra Falls

In 1979 an ore deposit was located in a different rock horizon 350 metres below the bottom of Myra Creek valley. In 1985 the HW mine and the Battle-Gap mine started production, and is currently the main source of ore.  Both current mines produce polymetallic ore and are serviced from a single production shaft at the 700m level. The two operations are linked by a 1.8km-long adit.

Boliden Westmin Mine,Strathcona Provincial Park,mining,Myra Falls

The main production method in the H-W mine is sub-level stoping with longhole drilling, while sub-level stoping and drift-and-fill are used at Battle-Gap. Mined ore is hauled to an underground crusher and hoisted crushed ore is taken to the mill about 1km from the shaft.

Boliden Westmin Mine,Strathcona Provincial Park,mining,Myra Falls

Myra Falls uses conventional flotation technology to recover sulphide concentrates. The current mill was commissioned in 1985 and has been progressively modernised since then. In 1990, the copper and zinc flotation circuit was streamlined by adding column flotation cells and reducing the recirculation load to improve zinc recovery. In 1992, a Knelson gravity concentrator was added to each grinding circuit to improve gold recovery.

Boliden Westmin Mine,Strathcona Provincial Park,mining,Myra Falls

Ore concentrates are processed on site in a mill, transported to  Campbell River,  and then shipped to overseas smelters, typically in Japan and Korea.

and now you know…

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2 Responses to Strathcona – Boliden Westmin Mine

  1. Katherine says:

    In 1939 mining and logging became permitted in the park and in 1959 the Westmin Mine was opened. This mine continues to operate in a section of the park called Strathcona-Westmin Provincial Park. This area is entirely within the larger park and comprises 1.5% of the total area. As a Class B park, it is intended to cease its existence and return to the main park when the mine eventually ceases operations.

  2. Albert paton says:

    In 1992i worked for Pirelli cables as tech sales a I was instrumental in supplying the fan cable which took the fan from the surface to the shaft thereby reducing noise on the suface.
    This was at the Myra mine and I found the drive very interesting and of course a visit to the mine face cold and wet like many other hard rock mins I had visited across western Canada
    This has brought memories back for. Me

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