Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Return to Robson’s

Robson’s Mining World is located at the site of the Nella-Meda mine.  The mine is privately owned and still in (intermittent) operation.  It is accessible via a short walking path toward the notch in the background.


The mine is basically a deep narrow hole in the ground.  The far wall is a rock fault line.  There are a few lateral shafts branching off in the other three directions.  The shaft is located next to a narrow wash about 6’ deep.  


Mineral bearing ore was chopped out in chunks and hauled to the surface in buckets like these.  Depending on how many partners worked the mine and how much money they had, these buckets were hauled out of the mine up a ladder by hand or by a “whim”, consisting of a rope wound around a vertical drum which was usually turned by a horse or a mule.  The whim would be used to lower and raise the miners also.


The one with the plant is hand-made out of tin.


Once on the surface the ore was dumped from the buckets into ore cars line these.


The ore cars were hauled to the ‘ball’ mill on top of this hill just opposite the shaft.


Inside the mill iron balls such as these would would be tumbled with the ore, breaking up the chunks to separate the dirt and rock from the minerals—gold, silver, copper, mica, etc.  Water and acids were added to further separate the grains, then the mix was run through separating troughs down the hill.  The valuable material was taken out, and the unusable material, or tailings, were dumped along the wash next to the mine.


Some mines used stamp mills like this one to break down the ore chunks.


Steam engines like these were used to run the separating mills.




Various pieces of mining equipment from different time periods are scattered around the grounds.





This huge flywheel and the giant bucket below would have been used in a large “corporately owned” mine.



Open end of the bucket


My shoe’s a size 7


Pulley system for dumping the bucket.


Next time we’ll explore some of the buildings.

Louise and Duane

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