Abiquiu, NM

Abiquiu, NM
36.228336 -106.395991

3.16.2014

Bisbee, Day Two

Before there was technology that made open pit mining profitable, miners drove shafts seeking high grade ore deposits. The Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum has an excellent exhibit covering this period of hard rock mining.



Machinery used in the mines.



When a man checked in for his shift, he took his brass medallion into the mine with him. In the event of an accident, the rescue crew could tell who was still in the mine. 


In the early days, miners used a small sledgehammer and drill to make holes for blasting.

After the dynamite pulverized the rock, a mucker would shovel it up and haul it away for processing.


Shortly after 1900 powerful pneumatic drills reduced fatigue and improved output. 

This is a sample of the amazingly beautiful ore they were mining. Azurite and Malachite on Goethite or copper carbonate hydroxides on iron oxide hydroxide. 


The Copper Queen Mine



My ticket to ride.


Everyone gets a yellow slicker, hard hat and light.

All aboard



Shift boss's office

This very large cavern was created when high grade copper ore, 23% copper, was removed. Our guide told us that the miner drilling in the upper right opening has not moved in years.


Ore from upper levels was dropped through shafts to a lower level. A miner opened the gate and the ore cart was filled with 3/4 ton of ore. He then pushed it to the mine entrance, dumped it and returned for another load. His shift was 10 hours. Later the men were replaced by mules who could pull 4 ore carts at a time.

When you have to go, this is where you go


Light at the end of the tunnel.

From 1877 to 1975 the mines around Bisbee produced 8,032,352,000 lbs of copper, 304,627,600 lbs of lead, 371,945,900 lbs of zinc, 4,822,686 lbs silver, and 179,486 lbs of gold.

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