There are several open-pit mines, expansive gravel pits, and mining sites along mountain walls within the Thompson-Nicola region that are accessible and film-friendly.
- Some mines have pits that are dormant and unutilized
- Most roads and walls inside the pits are intact and safe
- Most mines offer interiors as well, depending the script needs and timing
- Some have mine and office buildings that are no longer being used
- Some have guard huts and gates
Mine roads, pits and surrounding properties are typically rugged and barren, and have been utilized for locations in commercials, and feature films, as actual mine settings, or as doubles for alien landscapes, and/or backdrops for Aztec stairs and deep canyons. The Thompson-Nicola’s mines provided for the feature films “Lost Treasures of the Grand Canyon”, “Heart Like A Wheel”, “An Unfinished Life”, and “Augusta, Gone” movie of the week, and the 2008 Nissan Titan Trucks campaign.
Highland Valley Copper Mine, the District of Logan Lake
Highland Valley Copper Mine is an open-pit mine that mines by conventional shovel and truck method and operates 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. It mines Copper and Molybdenum. It boasts being the largest and safest mine in Canada, and one of the largest in the world. It is active in sustainability best practices.
Highland Valley Copper Mine is located along Highway 97C between Logan Lake and Ashcroft, and is an approximate 45-minute drive SW from the City of Kamloops or NW from the City of Merritt.
As a film location, the mine is enormous and offers many looks. There are several open pits that are no longer being mined and sit dormant. The enormity of this site is mind-boggling and due to its elevation, boasts lots of snow in the winter. Moreover, when planning to scout or scheduling a survey, allow for plenty of time. Cast and crews have typically stayed in Logan Lake, as well as Kamloops, Ashcroft or Merritt.
New Gold - Ajax Mine (formerly Afton), Kamloops
Afton Mine is located 10 minutes west of Kamloops off the Trans Canada Highway #1. Afton Mine is in a period of growth and transition and comprises many stakeholder and companies, all film-friendly. Some buildings are vacant while others are vibrant. Abacus Mining operates out of Afton and boasts several buildings and unique looking mines, particularly the Ajax wall and Ajax pits near Jacko Lake and grasslands. Also, New Gold, mostly situated on the western side of “New Afton” has open-pit and below ground mining.
Afton Mine has both old and new infrastructure and old and new pits, plus a ranch and back roads, a bridge over a main road and access to grasslands, forests and desert landscapes.
Craigmont Mine, Merritt
Craigmont Mine, located about 10 minutes west of Merritt off Nicola Highway #8, mines magnetite for the coal industry. It has a large tailings pond area, and several vacant buildings above from when Craigmont mined copper.
Mines, Quarries and Gravel Pits
There are several other types of industrial amenities such as quarries and gravel pits. Cache Creek boasts one of the largest landfills.
Lafarge Cement Plant & Slag Grinding, Kamloops
Lafarge Buse Lake Pit, Kamloops
Minnova Retired Mine near Barriere
Westwold Gravel Pit
Cache Creek Landfill and Gravel Pit
Ashcroft Gravel Pit location in "An Unfinished Life"