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Quiz about Rocks At A Cost Canadian Mining Disasters
Quiz about Rocks At A Cost Canadian Mining Disasters

Rocks At A Cost: Canadian Mining Disasters Quiz


Mining is a profession that often has implications that come at a cost. Canada is a country notable for their mining industry. Here are some Canadian mining incidents that have come at a heavy cost.

A multiple-choice quiz by apathy100. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
apathy100
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
388,524
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
184
- -
Question 1 of 10
1. The first asbestos mine in Canada opened in Quebec in 1879 and by the 1960s there were at least ten active asbestos mines in the province. By 2011 all but two of these mines were shutdown due to its link with what major form of cancer? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. In 1887, a buildup of gas in a coal mine caused the deaths of over a hundred coal miners in "The Harbour City". In what community located on Vancouver Island did this occur? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. The Springhill mine in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia was subject to not just one mining disaster, but three disasters between 1891 and 1958. The disaster in 1891 unfortunately saw the most casualties. What was the cause of the 1891 disaster? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. In the early days of Canadian mining, many mining camps were often set up at the base of mountainsides. On the morning of April 29, 1903, the community of Frank, Northwest Territories (present day Alberta) was devastated by a landslide that buried much of the town and trapped miners inside the mine. How many men were trapped inside the mine at the time of the incident? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. During a shift on February 10, 1928, thirty-nine miners were killed due to carbon monoxide poisoning at the Hollinger Mine in Timmins, Ontario. What element also mined in the communities of Red Lake and Hemlo Ontario was being extracted at the time of the disaster? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. During the 1950's, the city of Elliot Lake, Ontario was planned and designed specifically for mining. Following the closure of the mines in the 1990's, the Mining Monument and Memorial Park was built in remembrance of those that lost their lives from years of mining what radioactive element? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. The events of the Westray Mine disaster in 1992 were investigated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and eventually went to trial.


Question 8 of 10
8. On September 18, 1992 an ongoing strike at the Giant Mine in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories turned deadly after a striking miner set up a bomb that killed nine men. What miner was responsible for these deaths? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. The Faro Mine that closed and was abandoned in 1998 was once dubbed "an embarrassment to Canada". In what territory was this former mine located? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. In 2014, the Mount Polley mine in British Columbia became the site of one of the worst environmental disasters in Canadian history after what had been breached? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The first asbestos mine in Canada opened in Quebec in 1879 and by the 1960s there were at least ten active asbestos mines in the province. By 2011 all but two of these mines were shutdown due to its link with what major form of cancer?

Answer: Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that attacks the lungs, chest walls, and to a lesser extent the abdomen and the heart. In 2011, Canada's two remaining asbestos mines were halted indefinitely after the newly elected Parti Quebecois were elected and refused to grant a 58-million dollar grant to keep the mines in production. Studies regarding mortality rates of asbestos on miners began as early as the 1920's and these studies were predominantly negative.

By the 1970's, doctors were declaring that asbestos mining towns were among the most dangerous communities in the country.

While not necessarily a disaster by the traditional definition, the death rates surrounding mesothelioma are astounding in Canada and have risen since the 1980's due to a 20 to 50 year latency period.

Many workers that were once involved in the shipbuilding industry as well as asbestos mining have been subject to the disease. According to the Mesothelioma Center, there were 153 known mesothelioma diagnoses in Canada in 1984, over 400 diagnoses in 2003, and over 500 known deaths in 2010.
2. In 1887, a buildup of gas in a coal mine caused the deaths of over a hundred coal miners in "The Harbour City". In what community located on Vancouver Island did this occur?

Answer: Nanaimo

Due to the improper storage and laying of explosives within the coal mine, 150 of the 157 miners were killed in an explosion that burned for an entire day. Many of the deceased miners were Chinese immigrants that had come to Canada in search of work.

In a time period where both miners and wheat farmers were unaware of the dangers of dust, the most probable cause of the explosion that occurred roughly 250 meters below the surface was that coal dust had ignited and exploded. It was common practice for coal miners to use a technique in which they drilled into the rock, stuffed black powder into the the hole, and then a fuse would be placed using a moistened, crushed coal.

In many cases, this technique would fail at first with the initial fuse charges blowing out. Any dust remnants from this initial fuse were not known to be explosive at the time and a secondary blast, igniting the dust, caused the worst mining disaster in British Columbian history.
3. The Springhill mine in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia was subject to not just one mining disaster, but three disasters between 1891 and 1958. The disaster in 1891 unfortunately saw the most casualties. What was the cause of the 1891 disaster?

Answer: A fire

Like the coal mining disaster that occurred in 1887 in Nanaimo, British Columbia, a similar disaster occurred on the opposite coast of Canada near the small town of Springhill, Nova Scotia. At 12:00 pm February 21, 1891, accumulated coal dust on the 1300-foot level of the mine caught fire, exploded, and killed 125 miners. Seventeen of those killed were under the age of 16 (some as young as ten years of age).

Sadly, Springhill would be subject to two more major disasters before the mines closed for good in 1958. In 1956, coal dust was disturbed from a moving mine car was heading to the surface. Upon its descent, some of the mine cars derailed hitting an underground power line and exploded. In total, the mining community would lose another 39 lives.

The claw that broke the camels back was the mining disaster that occurred on October 23, 1958. A mining phenomena known as a "bump" took place around the 4000-foot level of the mine. A bump is an seismic event (underground earthquake) that can occur when underground pillars collapse and cause a severe explosion. In all, totals show that 75 miners were killed as a result of the explosion while another 99 were trapped and eventually rescued. In 1959, the mines were ultimately closed as they were deemed to be too dangerous and have been used to provide geothermal energy for industries in the region since their closure.
4. In the early days of Canadian mining, many mining camps were often set up at the base of mountainsides. On the morning of April 29, 1903, the community of Frank, Northwest Territories (present day Alberta) was devastated by a landslide that buried much of the town and trapped miners inside the mine. How many men were trapped inside the mine at the time of the incident?

Answer: 17

At the time of the incident, the District of Alberta was still a division within the Northwest Territories. At 4:10 am on that April day, it became very evident the dangers of mining near the base of a mountain range. Reports suggest that over 30 million cubic meters of limestone broke off of the Turtle Mountain peak and buried much of the town of Frank.

Initial reports in the community had estimated that 50 to 60 workers had been trapped inside the mine, but fortunately, the aftermath was less deadly than initially predicted. Only 20 miners were working the night shift and seventeen of them were underground. Those trapped in the mine were fortunately and survived after they were able to cut a new shaft to the surface.

The three miners working on the surface were all tragically buried alive.

The town itself was moved to a different location, but not without consequences. By 1903, Frank had reached a population of over 600 people. By the time the town was cleaned up after the disaster, it is believed that up to 90 people had died due to the landslide.
5. During a shift on February 10, 1928, thirty-nine miners were killed due to carbon monoxide poisoning at the Hollinger Mine in Timmins, Ontario. What element also mined in the communities of Red Lake and Hemlo Ontario was being extracted at the time of the disaster?

Answer: Gold

Both Northwestern and Northeastern Ontario heavily relied on the gold mining industry since the turn of the 20th Century. In 1928, the Hollinger Mine was the largest gold mine in North America. Unlike the coal mining industry, it was not believed in the early days of hard-rock mining that a fire could start underground.

At the 550-foot level of the Hollinger Mine, miners became trapped as the result of bursting flames. It was later discovered that unlike the traditional practice of backfilling tunnels with waste rock, many of the tunnels had been filled with wooden crates, sawdust, and old powder boxes and caught fire. 39 miners died being smothered by the smoke. An inquest and investigation into the cause of the fire resulted in the establishment of the first Mine Rescue Station ever set up in the province of Ontario.
6. During the 1950's, the city of Elliot Lake, Ontario was planned and designed specifically for mining. Following the closure of the mines in the 1990's, the Mining Monument and Memorial Park was built in remembrance of those that lost their lives from years of mining what radioactive element?

Answer: Uranium

Between 1956 and 1997, no fewer than twelve uranium mines had been established within the surrounding region of Elliot Lake. In 1974, it was slowly being discovered that many of those involved in the uranium mining industry in the region were becoming subject to high rates of cancer and silicosis.

As a result of these rates, over a thousand miners in the region went on strike for three weeks regarding the health and safety of the miners. On top of the alarming health issues, the mines in the area were subject to frequent cave-ins and rock falls that put the miners lives at risk every day. Call it tragedy or call it a disaster, in 1984 the British Columbia Medical Association released a study that claimed 274 uranium miners had died from the result of prolonged exposure to radiation from radon gas in the mined rock.
7. The events of the Westray Mine disaster in 1992 were investigated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and eventually went to trial.

Answer: True

The Westray Mine in Plymouth, Nova Scotia was opened in 1991, but following the disaster that occurred on May 9, 1992, it was shut down just as quickly as it began. All 26 of the miners that went underground that day perished as the result of a methane gas explosion that investigations suggest could have been prevented. Prior to the opening of the mine on September 11, 1991, there were already questions as to the safety practices being used in the mine. One of the coal miners, Carl Guptill, had made complaints along with several other miners and he was fired as a result. Nova Scotia Labour Minister Leroy Legere stated that he was unaware that the mine was using dangerous practices three weeks after it had opened. Of the fifteen miners found, only thirteen could be visually identified. One miner was found but could not be recovered as his body was too trapped in machinery. The bodies of the ten others were never recovered.

In October 1992, four of the mine managers were charged by the RCMP with 52 non-criminal counts of operating an unsafe mine. Two of the managers, Gerald Phillips and Roger Parry were charged with 26 counts of manslaughter and criminal negligence. The initial trial which began in 1995 was stayed after it was suggested that the judge, Justice Anderson was biased. In 1998, the charges brought forth against the two mine managers were dropped as the Crown believed that it was unlikely that a conviction could be made.
8. On September 18, 1992 an ongoing strike at the Giant Mine in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories turned deadly after a striking miner set up a bomb that killed nine men. What miner was responsible for these deaths?

Answer: Roger Warren

In 1992, underground miner Roger Warren had the distinction of being the worst mass murderer in Canadian history. In 1990, the mine was purchased by Royal Oak Mines Inc and began demanding wage cuts for the miners. In addition to these wage cuts, the new ownership also began to cut "perks" from the miners as well as taking a stricter approach to discipline issues at the site. They claimed that the mine was no longer making a profit and in order to do so cutbacks needed to be put in place.

As a result of these cutbacks, the unionized miners went on strike in May 1992. The strike was violent at the best of times and included vandalism, rioting, and mine break-ins. Prior to a shift on September 18, 1992 striker Roger Warren set up a bomb alongside of a rail line at the 750-foot level of the mine. As one of the mine cars rode along the tracks, it triggered the bomb and nine miners (six scab workers and three replacement workers) were killed. After months of investigation, Warren was charged with second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. In March 2014, Warren was granted day parole at the age of 71.
9. The Faro Mine that closed and was abandoned in 1998 was once dubbed "an embarrassment to Canada". In what territory was this former mine located?

Answer: Yukon

The Faro Mine in the Yukon has often been classified as a disaster, not because any workers were killed as in previous disasters, but instead, because of the environmental cleanup required following the closure of the mine. The mine was one of the worlds largest open-pit zinc mines and left behind a legacy of toxic waste. According to the Faro Mine Remediation Project, there was over 70-million tonnes of waste rock that are leaching into the environment causing negative effects on water quality, animal habitats, plants, and recreational activity. Various indigenous nations and councils and their lands were impacted by the toxic waste.

In a 2012 "Yukon News" report by Roxanne Stasyszyn stated that up to $300 million per year will be spent over the course of thirty years to assist in the clean-up process. Justice Ron Veale of the Yukon Supreme Court referred to the disaster as "...an embarrassment to Canada, Yukon and the responsible mining community..." when preparing his decision regarding the abandoned mine in January 2017.
10. In 2014, the Mount Polley mine in British Columbia became the site of one of the worst environmental disasters in Canadian history after what had been breached?

Answer: Tailing pond dam

Following the collapse of a tailing pond, it has been estimated that over twenty-four million cubic meters of mine waste that included nickel, lead, copper, and arsenic compounds were exposed to the nearby lakes and rivers near the town of Likely, British Columbia on August 4, 2014.

In particular, Polley Lake and Quesnel Lake, some of the most pristine freshwater lakes in the world, were temporarily depriving people of their main water source. In the investigation that followed the disaster, it was revealed that mine engineers had failed to account for glacial silt found underneath the tailings pond and this additional material caused the dam to breach.

A reconstruction of the Hazeltine Creek and surrounding waterways were made as part of the cleanup process. Within weeks of the disaster, water testing showed to be clean and a water ban was lifted allowing local residents with access to drinking water.
Source: Author apathy100

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor bloomsby before going online.
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