PINE CREEK MINE
The Pine Creek mine began its history in the early 1900s when tungsten was discovered high on the flank of Wheeler Ridge. It wasnt mined on a large scale until the 1910s. This tungsten mine was one of the major producers in the United States through WWII. The mine continued its operation through the 1990s and the mill ceased production in 2000. However, the mill is set and ready to go back into production should the need for tungsten or the prices rise.
A truly fascinating aspect of the Pine Creek Mill is that a process to extract an extremley high concentration of tungsten and molybdenum was developed here. This process changed the tungsten industry and put the Pine Creek Mine on the global map! It was also crucial to the United States stockpile of stragetic metals during World War II.
This round structure is an ore bin that held enough ore to keep the mill running for 5 days.
We got an underground tour via ore car! We were driven back 1/4 mile to where the mine is now plugged.
Pete gave us the underground tour, he has worked here at Pine Creek since he was in his 20s. He was VERY knowledgeable and VERY patient with all of our questions.
It was amazing to see so much mining equipment still on site and still in near perfect condition. Should the mine reopen they are ready to go!
The locker room was pretty cool. It was as if the miners were planning on returning the next day. Jackets were still on their hooks, baskets still hanging from the ceiling, self rescuers were still on a shelf ready for use!
The mine offices were amazing! The desks were covered with mine maps, miners time cards and other records were everywhere. The most amazing thing here is the mine model! In the middle of the photo below is the Empire State builing next to the mine workings to show scale.
Pete showed Cat how to use a Jack Leg drill! Her cheeks HURT she was smiling so much!
A WHOPPING HUGE THANK YOU to Pete, Doug and Dave for the chance to tour this historical property! Your warm welcome and kindness was very appreciated!