​Brief History

The ore body at the future Brenda Mines, was discovered by the Sandberg family while searching for gold and silver in the 1930's. There was little activity until 1954, when Bob Bechtel, a Penticton prospector, staked a claim. He contacted Noranda, but although there were showings of molybdenum, the low grade of copper found, and the lack of a market for molybdenum, made it impractical to proceed.

In 1967, Noranda assumed management control and undertook a feasibility study. By this time, technological advances had made the mine economically viable. Copper-molybdenum production began in early 1970, at a volume of 24,000 tons per day. Gradually, daily production increased to 33,000 tons.

Noranda Inc. assumed 100% ownership of Brenda in 1996. Falconbridge Limited and Noranda Inc. merged in June 2005, and the merged company continued under the name Falconbridge Limited. In August 2006, Xstrata PLC purchased all outstanding shares of Falconbridge Limited. Xstrata PLC merged with Glencore International in 2013. The new company, Glencore Canada Corporation is now the owner of the property.

Naming the Mine

The name Brenda was originally given to a small mountain lake by a surveyor, after the daughter of his supervisor. Later, mineral claims were given the same name due to their proximity to the lake; the mine was named Brenda after both the lake and the claims.

The Mining Process

Rock was drilled and blasted: ore-bearing rock hauled to crushers, and non ore-bearing placed in rock piles around the pit. After several crushings and screenings reduced the material to fine sand, reclaim/process water was added to make a 'slurry'. A floatation process extracted the copper and molybdenum in the form of concentrates. The copper was then shipped to Japan and the molybdenum was sent to Europe.

Quick Facts
Mine Opened 1970
Mine Closed 1990
Rock removed from pit 300 million tonnes
Ore processed 182 million tonnes
Avg. number of employees 330
Total number employed 2,200 (1970-1990)
Benefits Paid (Salary) $215 million
Construction costs $62.5 million
Taxes paid $79 million
Mine elevation 1,500 m  (5,000 ft)
Open pit diameter 914 m (3,000 ft)
Open pit depth 335 m (1,100 ft)
Water depth in pit 150 meters
Volume of water in pit 34 million m3
Tailings pond area 87 hectares
Tailings pond depth 3 to 4 meters
Vol. of water tailings pond 2.5 to 4 million m3
Tailings dam length 2 kilometers
Tailings dam height 140 meters


Metals Produced
278,000 tonnes Copper
66,000 tonnes Molybdenum
125 tonnes Silver
2 tonnes Gold