Totten Mine Headframe

The Totten mine is located about a half hour west of Sudbury, Ontario in the town of Worthington. Although it was shut down in 1970, Inco recently announced that it plans to return the site to production by 2010 for the extraction of nickel, copper and platinum group metals. A history of the town and mine can be found here.

The primary purpose of the headframe is to provide the hoisting ability to transport the workers, supplies and materials in and out of the shaft. Effectively, it's a large elevator and is typically built out of steel (like this one here) or concrete. Wooden headframes seem to be a thing of a past now, at least in North America.

Throughout the Sudbury area you can see headframes dotting the horizon in numerous places and they all seem to be somewhat unique in design. From what I remember, there were two general types — the A-frame steel headframes (as pictured here) and those that were a simple square tower with a rectangular room at the top.

And finally, more than you ever wanted to know about mining headframes can be found on this website.

Shameless self-promotion: This photo was used as the cover for the book Minetown, Milltown, Railtown by Rex Lucas and Lorne Tepperman (Oxford University Press).