Winter 2004

The NWT Mining Heritage Society has been quite busy in the pursuit of a mining museum at the Giant Mine site. Events focused around raising public awareness about the need to develop such a facility. Actual planning for what our museum will look like and how we should go about raising the money to achieve our goals has also been taking place. Meetings were held on February 19th, March 2nd, and March 25th.

Headframe Structural Analysis: Funds for the engineering assessment of the Giant Mine A-shaft Headframe have been obtained by our society through the City of Yellowknife and the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre. Phil Nolan of Structural Al Limited will again be hired to perform this work during the coming spring. Purpose of this work will be to evaluate the structural condition of this old timber framework, erected in September of 1945 and last used as a hoisting plant in the early 1980’s. The society has no plans to use the headframe as a hoisting plant in the future as the logistics of opening up the shaft as part of the underground tour are too great. But it would be nice to keep the original intact as a monument to mining heritage and as memory for the many that once dotted the Yellowknife landscape. Ensuring that the building is stable is the goal of the engineering assessment.

PDAC Conference: Several of our members were in attendance at the PDAC and made new heritage and museum contacts, sold most of the remaining 2004 calendars, and promoted the goals of the NWT Mining Heritage Society.

Conceptual Drawings: Wayne Guy, Yellowknife architect, has completed some conceptual drawings of what the interior layout of the Giant Mine Rec Hall will be, the envisioned building for the main museum exhibit. Conceptual drawings of the outdoor perspective, including all other buildings on the site and outdoor displays, were also completed. A technical evaluation of the building (estimate of costs to bring it up to code) is planned.

Historic Places Initiatives Conference: The society attended this conference and President Walt Humphries gave a speech about our future goals. The Historic Places Initiative is a federal program to allow groups or individuals to designate historic places anywhere in Canada. The information about this program may come in handy in the future if the society decides to designate the future mining museum site as such a historic place. A future avenue for federal funding for our project is also an important consideration.

Giant Mine Community Alliance: As members of this community group, our society attended a workshop at city hall called "Arsenic and Ice" on Feb 26th. The group is planning the future of the Giant Mine site including plans for a marina, boat launch, townsite, and the envisioned mining museum. We had a display as part of the public information session. Wayne Bryant, Diane Baldwin and Walt Humphries represented the society, by showing the museum concept to interested public, and also sold some memberships and calendars.

Designing a Logo: Although the society has been active for nearly two years, we do not have a logo. This may soon change. James Pugsley, Yellowknife graphics artist, has volunteered to design a logo based on member’s ideas. Drafts of the design should be up for Board approval in April or May.

Draft Business Plan: Of most importance is the new draft business plan that outlines our goals for the next year. A meeting in April will focus on the completion of the business plan.

Con Mine Cleanup: Outside groups and individuals have approached the society about their concerns over the future of the buildings at Con Mine, which Miramar Mining Corporation is in the process of cleaning up. Such issues include the Robertson headframe, long time skyline landmark, the Con Rec Hall, the old Masonic Theater, and the old Con cottage hospital. It has been agreed that the society’s position on any of these issues is that we support other individuals or groups in preserving and taking over Con Mine buildings, but we will keep our focus on the Giant Mine A-shaft site.