Pavement Ends
James Baughn

When mines collapse

Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014, at 10:00 AM


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  • The cement plant used horizontal mining techniques for years. Here's what the quarry's pillars looked like before they were blown up.


    The plant manager noted, "They had a feel for what size column to leave to support the roof, and, if they didn't, they didn't make that mistake twice."

    -- Posted by ksteinhoff on Tue, Apr 22, 2014, at 11:25 AM
  • Wow! Thanks for sharing your adventurous photos!

    -- Posted by scheuwlfz on Tue, Apr 22, 2014, at 12:39 PM
  • Yikes! I've made a bit of a hobby of exploring abandoned mines, both surface and underground. I only went into one silica mine, in Pacific, and get less than a hundred feet in before turning around due to the excessive danger. There were hundreds of tons of material that had clearly broken and fallen down from the back (roof), and that was only in the two drifts I examined. The material (St. Peter sandstone in that case) is extremely soft and crumbles very easily, and I doubt that it would take kindly to roof bolting. Shotcrete is probably your best bet at stabilizing it, but even that may not work.

    I strongly advise AGAINST entering an underground silica mine, and that's coming from someone who is generally all for exploring underground mines! Silica mines are unstable and dangerous- find yourself something safe, like a limestone, iron, or copper mine instead!

    -- Posted by Headframe Hunters on Sun, Mar 5, 2017, at 1:48 AM