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The Sullivan Mine

British Columbia is a land of rich resources. Mining, logging and fishing for years was the bill payer of this province. The money spent on wages alone from various companies kept thousands of families fed and paid billions into government coffers. One of these big players was the Sullivan mine located west of the rocky mountains near the town of Kimberly.

The Sullivan mine was discovered in 1892 by Pat Sullivan who was one of the four prospectors who located this large deposit of minerals. After a few years of prospecting the deposit they sold it in 1909 to the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company of Canada. This company eventually became known as Teck Cominco. Teck Cominco developed the mine and this mine ran for 92 years. The mine was responsible for the town of Kimberly where most miners lived with families. The mine saw many fathers and sons work as it provided stable employment for many years.

Of course when the mine first opened all mining was done by hand. There was little in the way of mechanization. The mine had it's own narrow guage rail system undergroung going in various directions where ore would be put into mine carts and then transported along this rail system to one of three crushing chambers where the ore would be crushed and separated. There was over 5000 feet of this railway underground. The mine had it's own steel foundry on site for some also where iron ore was turned into steel. Other ores were transported to Trail where there was another large smelter.

In 2001 the mine officially closed when the ore ran out. Over that time the mine produced ore containing over 17 million tons of zinc and lead and more than 285 million troy ounces of silver, which were together worth more than $20 billion at the time it closed. TThe mine produced enough zinc to supply the zinc content of over 160 million automobiles. People who were still young moved on but many who were retired stayed living in Kimberly. The town is now a tourist destination of outdoor activities and skiing in the near by Purcell Mountain ranges. There is also an underground rail road for tourist now too.