Black Bear surprise

Black Bear surprise

A little surprise was discovered earlier this month in the upper reaches of the former Rossland Museum mine.

A little surprise was discovered earlier this month in the upper reaches of the former Rossland Museum mine.

When Teck Trail Operations was undertaking the engineered closure of the adit (entrance) to the Black Bear mine—once the top historical tour in the area—on the upper bench of the Rossland Historical Museum, crews discovered an additional mine working that needs to be investigated.

In late September the crew was investigating a known raise—a vertical or inclined excavation that leads from one level, or drift, to another—they had been aware of since 2004 and had remediated to some degree.

As the crew neared the end of that work in mid October, this additional, very small mine working became apparent that Teck did not know of, that it will now have to investigate.

As a result, the area in front of the original adit entrance has been fenced as a safety precaution, said Carol Vanelli Worosz, Teck community engagement leader.

“We need to do some additional work to determine what is going on there,” she said. “The area will remain fenced until a resolution is initiated. Our intention is to work toward a safe and final closure of this area.”

In and around World War II there were a lot of lease mining operations occurring in Rossland and across the country, allowing people to engage in mining but not requiring them to record the work they were doing.

That contrasts with today where all aspects of a mining operation are recorded.

“So you wouldn’t find this mine feature on a map or in any background documentation,” Vanelli Worosz said.

Teck is now looking to investigate what has been discovered, and develop a plan for final closure of this mine feature.

“The goal here is to ensure safety,” said Vanelli Worosz. “This is an area in which people are invited to come and experience our community and our history, so it has to be safe.”

Vanelli Worosz  said that the company will resume the investigation of this area in November once the work strategy is finalized.

Moss Giasson is the project coordinator for Teck’s lands group and is the technical expert on the site.

He also said the Museum trail is still closed after some additional investigations were conducted in the summer adjacent to the Kirkup Street intersection.

“We did some drilling in that area and are still waiting for the results to see how that trail will be affected,” he said.