This post will be of particular interest to Yellowknifers and those who have involvement in mining. This is Giant Mine in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. It’s one of Canada’s most historic mines, for both good and bad reasons. Yellowknife was built from the industry surrounding Giant Mine and Con Mine, a second, cross-town mine. Both gold mines, they both operated for decades before finally shuttering their doors and giving way to the newfound wave of diamond mines.
Ever since I moved to Yellowknife I’ve been interested in Giant Mine. It’s hard not to be. It’s the home of one of the worst mass murders in Canadian history, when nine men were killed by a bomb during a labour dispute in 1992. More recently, it’s often in the media due to being a contaminated site: its home to over 200,000 tonnes of arsenic trioxide, and the site of a massive remediation project by the Federal Government. This is not a place that escapes unnoticed, and every time I drive past its famous headframe, I’ve often wondered, just what is it like under there? This week I had the opportunity to satisfy that curiosity, as I spent a morning exploring and photographing its secrets.