A Dark Shape on the Horizon (2016)
One of the oldest metals known to civilization, copper’s malleability and ductility allowed for its adoption by early humans, and its highly conductive electrical and thermal properties have ensured its continued use in contemporary industry.
Situated near the northern tip of the Guichon Creek batholith—a broad belt of copper mineralization stretching from Washington State to Cache Creek—Highland Valley Copper Mine is an open-pit mine that operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. One of the largest mines in the world, with a pit approximately one kilometre deep, the copper mined at HVC, along with molybdenum (used in steel alloys), is transported to Port Metro Vancouver before it is shipped to China and Japan for copper and steel production.
Ten kilometres west of Merritt, the Craigmont Mine site was an open-pit copper mine that was active from 1962 to 1982. Since then the site has been used for the recovery of magnetite, a material used in the coal mining and fertilizer industries, from the tailings pond. Above the now derelict buildings that were used when the mine was active are overgrown steps of the old pit, which mirror the steps carved into the sides of the Nicola Valley when a glacier formed it.