Silver-Lead-Zinc Mining & Cominco (2 of 5)
At the same time as the CPR was opening its Crowsnest Pass Route, it acquired the Columbia & Western Railway and the smelter at Trail which were both controlled by F. Augustus Heinze. Although at first the CPR was not keen on acquiring a smelter, it soon realized the importance of this facility as a key to the development of the mining industry throughout the Southern Interior. Moreover, the smelter and mines generated enormous amounts of traffic for the railway.
The smelter and the mines that were soon acquired became the key to the development of the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company of Canada, controlled by the Canadian Pacific Railway. This company, later officially renamed Cominco, was incorporated in 1904. Resources were made available for research and development and new processes for purifying the lead-zinc ores (including the Betts electrolytic process) were installed at the Trail smelter. Originally, the smelter was built to handle copper and silver ores. However, the addition of lead-zinc smelting greatly expanded the operation and eventually its profitability and importance to the mining industry in southern British Columbia.
B-06598 Trail Smelter (by Chapman), 1895
G-07601 Construction of the O'Hara Furnace Building at the Trail Smelter, Maxwell Photo, c. 1895
B-05046 Trail Smelter, 1895
G-02221 Trail Smelter, 1896
E-00279 The Trail Smelter, 1896
E-00280 Interior of Trail Smelter, 1896
B-05042 Trail Smelter, 1897
B-04919 Trail Smelter, 1929
B-04922 Trail Smelter Showing Gate House, 1929
B-04921 Trail Smelter, 1932
B-05054 Trail Smelter from Warfield Road, July 14, 1939