The B.C. Mining School in Rossland was original an open pit program at the Molybdenum mine on Red Mountain which started in June 1971. It was a twelve-week course, and the students were chosen by Canadian manpower. The students were typically from the metropolitan Vancouver area with an average education level of grade eight. Due to its success, an underground program was suggested, with the site of the school moving to the base of Kootenay Columbia Mountain. The first sixteen-week course started in October 1943. The school was to later produce the first open pit, and underground female worker. On fifth August 1981 newly arrived students came to the school to find a padlock on the door. The school was abruptly closed with little warning. The last open pit and underground classes had their graduation take place on third July 1981 and nineteenth June 1981. Multiple letters and resolutions were sent to the Minister of Education (later Minister of Energy Mines, and Petroleum Resources), Brian Smith (1975-1983), and many other ministers and organizations to try and reopen the school. This included a considerable amount of action was taken by Harry Lefevre.
There are multiple different reasons that were given for the student closure of the school, two of which being that (1) according to Smith, that the Canadian Employment & Immigration Commission refused to sponsor any more students after September 1981, and that, (2) according to Gerald Bell of Western Industrial Relations, major mining companies no longer wanted to employ graduates from the school. This, apparently, had nothing to do with the standard of teaching but rather that Canada Manpower had not carried about sufficient screening of potential students, which resulted in an excess of poor-quality students. Harry Lefevre attributed the closure to a breakdown in the financial support agreement between the Ministry of Education and Canadian Manpower.