This is quite a place! This is a huge and strange mine. The sound of underground rivers far below, 4 ft boreholes going hundreds of feet through the mountain into the unknown, elevators, hoists,
slushers, rusty ladders, pipes, stalactites, underground offices, workrooms, explosive lockers and strange experimental testing equipment, all spread across nine levels and miles and miles of drifts. A full day of exploring is just getting started in this place. We have visited this mine a few times and have still not seen all of it.
One of the more unusual things we came across here are some offices of the Dept of Defense ICBM Deep Basing program and experimental test equipment. The ICBM Deep Basing program was a project to test the feasibility of locating Peacekeeper (MX) Missiles deep underground to give them the ability to survive a nuclear attack and launch a counter-strike. The test equipment appears to be a series of steel pipes where pressurized freon 113 was injected into the rock and the temperature transfer was checked by thermal sensors drilled into the rock
nearby. What exactly they were doing is unknown, but I am guessing they were testing the character of the rock here for a possible deep basing missile site.
We visit the mine office building in 2012.
It has been trashed.
Looks like it is getting stripped by the scrapers.
Miner's changing baskets still hang in the changing room. Miner's would change their clothes in here and hang them up to dry.
Ed checks out the wire baskets.
"Attention all items left on top of lokers will be disposed of." Yea, so don't put anything on those "lokers."
Hanging wire basket and empty locker.
In the mine building is an office for the ICBM Deep Basing project. Note the logos for the MX (Peacekeeper) Missile, TRW, and Boeing.
I am able to get a good photo of the wire baskets in the dry room.
One of the many entry portals for the different levels.
A long way in. Note the check in board on the left.
Work area with break room.
Work station with nice steel table.
Parts room and...
6830 stope ore chute. One of many.
Hoist and car at the top of a winze.
On and on. This place goes for miles.
Mineralized deposits flowing out of an ore chute.
Explosives box. It is empty.
This exhaust fan was turning. The natural air flow in the mine was turning it.
A look inside the electrical panel for the fan.
Looking down a four foot borehole going down five hundred feet or so.
6800 level south runaround.
Dan swings on a roof bolt.
Manway to 6700.
Another bore hole with skip and ladder.
Hoist for skip.
Looking down the borehole. It is caved lower down.
Box of blasting caps. It was empty.
In a wet drift.
We come across another break room.
225 Volt Eveready batteries. I guess these were camera flash batteries. That is a serious flash!
Dan on the phone.
Keep it Clean.
Lake Palmer. I wasn't all that interested in crossing this bit of nastiness.
There is a submerged winze over there.
There is a stone cabin up above the mine.
Rail sidings lead to ore dumpers.
Old switch lies hidden in the brush.
These automatic ore dumpers are slowly falling down the hill.
A large piston would push an ore car over, dumping its contents into a truck below.
More portal doors.
And another long walk.
There are lots of areas in the mine that are sealed like this.
One of many.
We find an internal automatic ore dumping station. Be careful, there is a false floor under those blankets on the right.
On the 6700 level, we find a manway to the 6800, 6500 and 6400 levels.
Ed takes a look at the laddered incline.
The mine is full of long railed drifts.
Another station with borehole.
Borehole to the unknown.
Dan on the phone again.
Another break room.
Micah on the phone in the break room.
Ore chute and skip going up into a stope.
Micah at a large ore chute.
More explosive boxes.
You guessed it, another portal.
Automatic switchers for the ore cars.
Pull cord for the switcher.
In we go.
A long adit. There are no short ones here.
We come to the elevator.
The laddered shaft next to the elevator.
Lights and buzzers.
Looking down, we see the reflection of water far below.
The triple compartment elevator shaft is difficult to photograph.
Back to the inclined ladder. Those pipes are 8", BTW.
Parts and break room in 2012. Looks about the same.
Wheelbarrow and ladders.
Keep Closed. That is a good idea.
This is looking down.
A closer view of the slusher.
Work tables too.
Lots of little break stations in this mine.
The ground is covered in multiple layers of mineralized precipitate.
We find some stalactites forming on the roof.
Closer view of the stalactites.
Some very delicate formations.
These are wet and still forming.
Do Not Stand on Blanket. That is good advice. These are false floors covering winzes.
One of the freon 113 injectors.
Freon 113. The pipe is wrapped to help keep the cold in.
Another freon injector.
Another freon injector and temperature probes.
ICBM deep basing underground office.
Heat pipe system flow chart.
Preprototype Heatpipe Test Run.
Onward, we find an elevated walkway.
We find more minerized flowstone stalactites coming out of a ore chute.
At the elevator again.
6400 level lights and bells.
Very rotten metal.
No Smoking in Shaft or On Station.
Looking up the incline.
Some miner tied dynamite to a stick as a torch. Why?
Hoist on sublevel.
Some large diameter pipe in this mine.
This section caved.
Danger, Ding Dongs!
What is a smudge pot burner doing in a mine?
We find some work and storage rooms.
Lots of fuel containers.
It is a Hy-Lo Hard Hat Heater! I can't imagine this would be great for the air quality in here. The suggested fuel is kerosene, diesel or fuel oil.
We spot a flowstone deposit coming out of a drill hole. It is wet and active.
Looking down ladder.
Light on the rabbitbrush.
Another look at the automatic ore dumpers.
Hydraulic controls for the ore dumpers.
Rabbitbrush and mine doors.
Rails into the brush.
Alysia and Cat head into a haulage adit.
Jim at a control switch.
Rails in the tunnel.
Elevator cage. The metal is so rusty that is crumbles under your weight. Far below, we could hear the sound of rushing water.
On the 6200 level.
A look down the elevator shaft.
Jim outside the ICBM Deep Basing office.
Trying to stay dry along another long drift.
Freon injector and temperature sensors. The injector says "Freon 113" on it.
A dam holding back water.
Jim along some heavy rails.
Cat and Jim check out a parts and break room.
Mineralized flowstone seeps down an ore chute.
Alysia checks out the flowstone.
It is difficult to walk around this.
I got a good parking spot.
The mill is gutted of all the heavy equipment.
Checking the place out.
Kitchen area. The place had already been cleaned out in 2003.
Stairs in the mill.
The mill building.
In another building, we check out thousands of ore samples.
Now that's an ore bin.
"Erection by Sub-Standard Const. Co."
Check-in board on the 6400 level.
Inclined manway to other levels.
This probably supported a large fan.
Brad and Jim at one of the many portal doors in 2003.
Brad and Cat admire a wall of galena.
In another underground break room.
A look down the elevator shaft Water down below Natural air flow turns a ventilation fan in underground mine
Last Updated on August 2, 2020 by