This is my account of my experience Posted in the Ruins of the White Pine Mine Michigan. Loved these. The Seventh Generation Principle-based on an ancient Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) philosophy that the decisions we make today should result in a sustainable world seven generations into the future-seems like a good place to start. Damon Merlyn Williams, he went by Merlyn. Quite the experience. This was one of many attempts to make mining the Nonesuch Shale pay -- a bed of sandstone with extremely fine copper embedded in it. My primary job was buyer He was a clerk in the Surface Shop, we married in 1962, he passed away June 25, 2019, my worst day ever here. Lots of stories of close calls! Very interesting slideshow . Thomas Hooper discovered copper mineralization in an outcrop of Copper Harbor Conglomerate along the Mineral River on land owned by the St. Mary's Mineral Land Company. It is in the Iron River syncline, just east of the Porcupine Mountains. As stated earlier, being a road grader operator endowed the operator wirh immense knowledge of every area of the mine. The White Pine mine produced copper until 1995. Press Esc to cancel. doi: https://doi.org/10.2113/gsecongeo.49.7.675. The ore at White Pine is in the Nonesuch Shale, and consists mainly of the copper sulfide mineral chalcocite (Cu 2 S). I caused a major days long shutdown and flood of 1/3 of the mine when I wrapped a barely seen chain around my grader wheel in a panic backing up trying to avoid an ore car barreling down a slope. Green Beret's Ultralight Bug Out Bag with Gear Recommendations - Duration: 18:54. To be sure, I hold no judgment over those miners & other staff who were doing the best they could to support their families. It was quite heavy and you can see it in the Ontonagon Museum. Copper, largely in the mineral chalcocite, is found in the lowermost beds of the Nonesuch shale over many square miles near White Pine, Ontonagon County, Mich. Met my wife Nancy who was a teacher at the high school. My grandfather, Walter Geist, worked in the White Pine smelter for as long as I can remember. The resulting rubble ("muck") is … I was amazed by a full service mechanics shop there. My dad worked there till it closed. My Sister and my Nephew are also certain it is him, but photo just to far away and too grainy to be sure. According to my recollections of the events of that day, we arrived at the main business office, which looked like a normal one story white ranch style home someone would live in, on flat land with nothing else in the general area to be seen. My father gary paul worked there for years till 1976 when he accepted a job with msha. Brian Kallioinen [Kalen] I worked there for 9 months Jan 74 to September when I started Soumi College. White Pine Copper Division, Copper Range Company, is the operator of a large underground copper mine in White Pine, Michigan. The mine is located in the copper range district of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. So sad to see all that history gone. several site visits, EPA visited Copper Range Company's White Pine mine in White Pine, Michigan, on May 5 and 6, 1992. We all saw a lot of change after reopening as an employee owned project until the approved EPA permits to proceed using solution mining vs conventional mining extraction were pulled in early mid 1996. My hats off to them. While it had been known for decades that a huge deposit of copper lay beneath Ontonagon County, Michigan, because of its metallurgical and chemical properties it could not be smelted. Are there any tailing piles to look through? The facility has the capacity to produce 3 million pounds of copper cathode annually from landfill-diverted products. Copperwood is currently owned by Highland Copper, a Canadian company. Mining is quite the amazing thing! The large machines, the darkness, the moisture, the noise, the activity, the constant breeze inside, the traffic lights and stop signs and peering down openings to dark tunnels made me understand why they told me to not wander off from those escorting me. http://prairieplant.com/biosecure-growth-chambers.html. He painted buildings, vehicles, and houses the mine owned. The sequence of beds is almost identical in the upper and parting shales, suggesting cyclic sedimentation. Linda Anderson,Nelson on August 2019 11am I was a child, but remember how impressively huge and bright it was down there. All site visits have been conducted pursuant to RCRA Sections 3001 and 3007 information collection authorities. I did not realize what my father did for us kids.thank you for telling us about the mine. The PEA released by the company provides a base case assessment of mining the mineral resources of the White Pine copper project. Did you see any evidence of that while you were there? Headings are advanced by drilling, loading and blasting the face with explosives. My father worked there and even worked at the Refinery until it closed in the 2000’s. The mine was one of the safest in the country, although there were a few fatalities, even one student. It had reached a depth of 2,700 feet and produced 4.2 billion pounds of coppery and 47 million ounces of silver. He was a bolter. The Nonesuch shale, of late Keweenawan age, is about 600 feet thick and is composed largely of gray siltstone. My mother’s family and my father’s family were part of this mine from the beginning until the end. I yanked a 10″ air, sump, and water pressure lines off the back [ceiling] to cause enough mayhem which to this day I would certainly remain named in the historic record….OH MY.. My travels in the mine on my road grader allowed me to experience the immense size of the mine itself. The Nonesuch Mine is an abandoned copper mine and small ghost town in the southeast corner of what is now the Porcipine Mountains State Park in Ontogagon County, near Silver City, Micgigan. The White Pine Mine is near White Pine, Michigan. Search for other works by this author on: This content is PDF only. White Pine mine in the late 50s. It went on for miles with historic machinery graveyards that went on for acres, dead ends filled with water, multiple drive thru air locks, stop signs, stop lights and mechanic shops. In the last sections Dick's identical brother bob is in the video. But the love and pride of White Pine Copper and the communities near will always remain. At White Pine, like so many other mines in the Upper Midwest and elsewhere, the Earth was stripped of a valuable mineral until it was no longer profitable, causing a town, a community of people, to rapidly form, and then just as rapidly disappear, leaving a polluted, degraded landscape and a broken community in it’s wake. Beautiful stock certificate from the White Pine Extension Copper Company issued in 1916. The project was scrapped shorty afterward, citing the delay as the cause. Next came the Bolters that would drill 20-40 holes 4ft deep to insert a ceiling bolt that held the layers above from crashing on your head. But the ore grades were too low, the ore mineral particles too small, and the copper was largely in sulfides instead of native copper. Copper Range spun off its wholly owned subsidiary White Pine Copper Co., which in 1955 opened the White Pine mine at the south end of the copper belt, at White Pine, Michigan, Ontonagon County. The crushers could be located up to a quarter mile away up and down grades. He worked swing shifts two weeks at a time. It does look like the place is somewhat maintained though, the grass is cut? 20+ years later and I still miss da UP!! Thanks for the interesting article. All these conditions made the shale deposits uneconomical, although repeated attempts were made to mine the shale at the Nonesuch Mine. We spent over two hours underground. I’ll never forget the air pressure blasts and reverb of the 8-12 other units being blown at shifts end. Zach Halkola, chief operating officer of PM Power Group, which owns the White Pine Copper Refinery, spoke at Wednesday’s Keweenaw Alliance Breakfast. The copper deposits of the White Pine mine are large stratiform deposits in the Nonesuch shale of upper Precambrian age. After years of construction and testing, workers began extracting ore in 1953, though full scale mining would wait until 1955. My dad worked there. I am almost positive the tall man in the heavy plaid shirt just at the rear of the pickup in that line of employees in the second photo from the top is my Brother-in-Law. By 1950, however, the technological barriers were gone, and the Copper Range Company began clearing land for a mine, mill, smelter, and even a townsite. The comradery was unique because we were one of the most productive units in the Mine. Traveled to the farthest reaches of the mine, 2700 feet below the surface. These photos are beautiful. high x 3/8 in. The belt lines would seemingly stretch forever into the slope. The site was first discovered in 1937. As a 3rd Generation Miner of White Pine Copper Your Story Needs to be Corrected Contact Me. No. Copper Range opens the White Pine Mine, which mines copper sulfide instead of native copper. Nowadays, with insurance liability and such, I’m sure that wouldn’t be allowed. To see it in ruins now is so sad and reminds me of all the lives affected by its closing. 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