Britannia Beach Mining and Smelting Company

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Britannia Beach Mining and Smelting Company

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Copper mining activities began at Britannia Beach, B.C. in 1898 under the auspices of the Britannia Syndicate. In 1908 control of the property passed to the Howe Sound Company of New York which operated the mine as a wholly-owned subsidiary, Britannia Beach Mining and Smelting Company Ltd.. The scale of operations expanded until, in the late 1920s, the mine produced the largest copper output in the British Empire. Mining continued on a reduced scale during the Depression while, by comparison, many other copper mines were forced to close entirely. The Britannia Beach Mining and Smelting Company was finally placed in voluntary liquidation in 1958 as a result of rising production costs and declining ore grades. Shortly thereafter, the Howe Sound Company reopened the mines and operated them as a division of the parent company until the property was sold to Anaconda Copper. Mining operations finally ceased at Britannia Beach in 1974.

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