THOMAS KERVIN PHOTO Port Hardy council donates to Island Copper reunion.

Port Hardy council donates to Island Copper Mine Reunion

Coun. Janet Dorward recommended the district donate $300 to the reunion.

The District of Port Hardy agreed to give some cash to the Island Copper reunion.

Port Hardy council received a letter from Debbie Klatt, who is a past employee of Island Copper and has resided in Port Hardy for the past 41 years, asking for a donation to the Island Copper reunion event, which is being held May 24-26.

“We are setting our expectations high and are anticipating 300 people,” wrote Klatt. “Island Copper was a huge presence in Port Hardy for many years. Our committee has decided that we will need the Civic Centre to host the wine and appetizers evening on May 24 and a dinner/dance on May 25. A golf tournament will be held at Seven Hills Golf and Country Club on the 26th of May.”

Klatt added “A large majority of the ex-employees are now seniors with a reduced income and we are trying to think of ways to make the cost affordable for those wishing to travel to Port Hardy. On behalf of the Island Copper Reunion Organizing Committee, I am requesting a donation to help with the costs of this event. The town will benefit from hotel rentals, restaurants and purchases from local businesses.”

Coun. Janet Dorward recommended the district donate $300 to the reunion, which was approved by council.

According to an online blog post from former Island Copper mine manager Brian Welchman, “Island Copper Mine was located near Port Hardy at the northern end of Vancouver Island, and at it’s peak, employed almost 1,000 people. The bottom of the pit was 1320 ft deep (below sea level) at the end of the mine’s life. At the time, this was the lowest point on earth replacing the former lowest point which was adjacent to the Dead Sea. The tailings from the mine were discharged into Rupert Inlet. The mine was particularly close to the ocean and this required the construction of a large wall to maintain the safety of the pit. The pit was flooded at the conclusion of mining in 1996. Environmental monitoring continues to this day, both in the pit and the adjacent Rupert Arm. Monitoring of the inlet has shown that within two years the life of the inlet had recovered to pre-mine conditions, including the crab and prawn populations.The mine produced approximately 30,000 ton vessel leaden monthly with 27% copper. Other minerals extracted included, molybdenum, gold, silver and rhenium, were transported by trucks to market.”

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