Monday, October 24, 2016

Copper Mine

I have always known this mine as the Santa Rita Open Pit
Copper Mine. But it has changed names and owners many times over the years. The Native American Indians were working this mine when the Spanish Conquestors first came. Philps-Dodge were the owners when I was living in Silver City. No one in my family ever worked at this mine but my brother-in-law worked at the copper smelter near Playas, NM down in the far bootheel of New Mexico for a number of years until it closed. That smelter is now long gone and I don't know where the copper, gold, and other ores are hauled to for processing. I won't try to say more about the history as these signs came out good enough to read.

 This is the first thing you notice coming in from the east toward the mine and Silver City. I think these are some of the tailings or the part they can't use.

You can see the roads in the pit mine with the what look like small trucks. Those trucks are actually huge. At the overlook where you can look down into the big pit they have one of the large tires that are used on the trucks. My sister is in one photo, me in another and then Sis is inside of the tire. The mine is behind the tire.

Personally I don't think this chunk of rock looks like a kneeling nun in front of an alter but then I am not a Spanish catholic that had just crossed the ocean and then traveled thousands of miles across a unexplored country. You can see tailing underneath the lava rocks. At one time the mine wanted to dig out the lava for the copper that was under it but there was such a fuss that it wasn't done. I figure someday they will dig around it to the point it falls down. And that will be a shame. To me it's not a 'knelling nun' but it is a fantastic geologic formation that should be preserved.

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