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Trafigura’s Myra Falls mine on Vancouver Island idled indefinitely

Myra Falls said that despite significant investments to modernize the mining and milling operation of the same name on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, the project is no longer viable. The project was sold to Trafigura Mining in 2020 and operated until this week by its subsidiary Myra Falls Mining. Increased operating costs and depressed copper, lead, and zinc prices over a sustained period of time contributed to the decision, the company said.

The mine and mill were shut down and placed on long-term care and maintenance as of Dec. 18, 2023. Myra Falls Mine has sought creditor protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to enable the company to be restructured.

“We recognize that this decision will be difficult news for our employees and other stakeholders and is in no way a reflection of the hard work and commitment of our people in recent years,” said general manager Hein Frey in a statement. “Myra Falls Mine will now undergo a period of restructuring with the aim of returning to active operations in the future when market conditions allow.”

Prospecting at Myra Falls goes back to 1865 with the John Buttle expedition. The project sits on the rim of Buttle Lake in Strathcona provincial park. The first claims were staked in 1917 covering the outcrops of the Lynx, Myra, and Price deposits. Early work was conducted between 1919 and 1925 and again in the 1940s and 1950s. In 1959, the property was consolidated and sold to Western Mines in 1961.

Western Mines it began development of the Lynx open pit in 1966 followed shortly by underground mining. A road was built connecting the mine site to the town of Campbell River, 90 km away. Brascan acquired the company in 1976 and formed Westmin Resources.

In 1979, the large tonnage HW deposit was drilled, and Myra Falls was a financial success through the 1990s. The project changed hands to Boliden, then Breakwater Resources, who was forced to severely downsize the project during the financial meltdown of 2008, temporarily suspending operations.

Mining and milling resumed, and in 2011, Nyrstar successfully bought out Breakwater. Nyrstar once again shuttered the operation in 2015 but restarted it in 2017.

Source: MINING.COM – Read More