Robertson Headframe Threatened

Via 100.1 MooseFM News

On Monday, the City of Yellowknife revealed it cannot, legally, step in to save the threatened headframe of the old Con Mine. The city had previously been working to take on ownership of the red-topped headframe, which has been a Yellowknife icon since 1977. However, officials now say they have hit a legal roadblock.

Newmont Mining Corporation, the headframe’s owner since 2008, says it will only agree to transfer ownership if the city legally indemnifies it from all financial or environmental liabilities – in other words, absolving Newmont of blame should something go wrong in future. The territorial government has advised the city that, legally, a municipal government cannot make that guarantee. Officials now suggest the city will be forced to back down, with no legal alternative.

The news infuriated Walt Humphries, president of the NWT Mining Heritage Society, who has led a campaign to preserve the landmark.

Humphries told councillors: “Imagine a world where a visitor comes to town and they ask, ‘Where have all the headframes gone?' Are we really prepared to tell them that a company was willing to give the city a magnificent headframe … and the city was just so stupid, inept, incompetent and lazy that they couldn’t be bothered? Are you prepared to tell them that the people who live in this city actively go out of their way to destroy their own culture and heritage?

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