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Newsletter - February 2010

BHP Billiton Donates to Mining Heritage

BHP Billiton’s EKATI Diamond Mine Community Partnership Program was established to help the North and Northerners achieve their visions of resourceful communities of which we can all be proud.

The NWT Mining Heritage Society is very pleased to announce a $5,000 donation by BHP Billiton to the NWT Mining Heritage Trust Fund, administered by the Yellowknife Community Foundation. The Mining Heritage Trust Fund was established by the Society to help offset the operating expenses of our displays and future Museum and Interpretive Centre. The Society is committed to preserving the colourful mining, mineral exploration, geological history and heritage of the NWT for future generations. Our goal is to create a Museum and Interpretive Centre at the old Giant Mine town site centered in and around the recreation hall.

We welcome BHP Billiton’s contribution so that future generations can learn about and appreciate our past.

Thanks to these other folks for donating to the NWT Mining Heritage Trust and the Walter Gibbons Trust: Lou Covello, Edward Hoeve

Lorne Schollar (1937-2010)

The Society was very saddened to learn of the passing of Lorne Schollar recently in Yellowknife. Lorne was an active member of the Society and had sat on the Board of Directors since 2006.

Lorne was born in Craik, Saskatchewan and at the age of 18 he joined the RCMP with his first posting at Selkirk, Manitoba in 1957. From there, Lorne had many postings throughout Canada. He met his wife Joan and started a family, moving to Yellowknife in 1976, where he retired from the RCMP in 1982. He was an active community volunteer and had a special interest in northern history. On top of his work with our Society, he was a member of the Yellowknife Heritage Committee. Wife Joan predeceased him in 2006.

Cleaning up the Hidden Lake Mine

The NWT Mining Heritage Society advocates the preservation of the memory of mining in the Northwest Territories. Often, this conflicts with a government mandate to remediate abandoned mine sites. However, working with government, the Society has been documenting those old mines before they are cleaned up, and successfully salvaging old equipment, records, rock samples, and artifacts for the mining museum. Society members remain in dialogue with officials from the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, Remediation Directorate, and over the past few years have worked in partnership with them to visit old mines and identify what should be saved. We have documented them with photos, videotape, and what one might describe as archaeological investigations of the ruins.

The Hidden Lake Mine is next on the list of sites to be remediated. This is a small gold mine 50 kilometers northeast of Yellowknife. It was a high-grade mine where prospectors recovered some gold during the 1940s-1960s. A forest fire swept through the area in 1998, so there are no structures left. It was a very small site, but the area is littered with trash, ruins, un-sealed mine shafts, and old equipment. Work will begin this winter (2010) to remove the scrap and seal the shafts. Society member Ryan Silke visited the mine in the summer of 2009 and identified a large ore crusher for future salvage. INAC has agreed to remove it on behalf of us. We appreciate their help and look forward to future partnerships with government to save mining heritage.

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