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Thread: Accident Mine, Nevada (2009)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Default Accident Mine, Nevada (2009)

    As promised in an earlier thread, my Dad & I explored the Accident Mine yesterday. It is located in the Goodsprings Mining District, Clark County, Nevada. It as initially located sometime in the 1880s, and worked off & on well into the 20th Century. Primary minerals extracted were Gold, Silver, Copper, Lead, and Zinc; lead & zinc were the main minerals produced, and from what little I've found, the gold, silver, & copper were byproducts of the zinc & lead mining.

    It is somewhat isolated & located high up on a steep mountainside, not far from the Bullion Mine. An aerial tramway was used to haul ore from the mine to the base camp, and mining materials back up to the mine. The aerial tramway cable is still in place, but the tramway towers are all gone. The base camp has been picked clean; only a few pieces of wood & corrugated tin, as well as a few piles of cans, are left of the miners' living quarters. The mine is reached through a long, arduous climb.

    **NOTE: Please do NOT explore abandoned mines! They are EXTREMELY hazardous! The BLM has postings on these sites advising against entering for a reason! Many hazards await inside: vertical shafts, steep & deep dropoffs, possibilities of cave-ins & collapses, rotten wood, unstable rock, unfriendly animals & creatures (rattlesnakes seem to have a particular fondness for mine entrances), and worst of all BAD AIR & DEADLY GASES. Carbon Monoxide & other dangerous gases like to collect at the lower levels and remote nooks & crannies of mines; you will NEVER smell them before being overwhelmed & asphyxiated. So please STAY OUT AND STAY ALIVE!**

    Yes, I have a particular fondness for exploring old mines, and my Dad has also become interested in them for photographic purposes. We let our loved ones know exactly where we are going & how to contact authorities if necessary. We also carry SPOT-ME GPS locators that we use to send OK spot-checks upon arrival at the site, just before entering a mine, and immediately upon exiting a mine (they obviously won't work inside a mine)....these units also have Emergency & 911 notification features in case of emergency. We carry a Gas Meter that not only measures the content of oxygen, but detects dangerous gases (and sounds an alarm if detected) such as Methane and Carbon Monoxide. We use headlamps and carry extra flashlights & batteries, first aid kits, rescue ropes, plenty of water, and various rescue tools. We understand the risks involved and advise against anyone entering/exploring these old mines. With that said, I hope you enjoy our photos!

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    A view from the base of the aerial tramway; there are no roads headed up to the Accident Mine, so we'll have to hike it up this rugged canyon:


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    This is where we're headed; notice the aerial tramway cable in the center of the photo:


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    Getting closer; we've gained our necessary elevation, so now all we need to do is pick our way over to the mine:


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    Last edited by silverstate55; 10-10-2009 at 07:00 PM.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."
    --Sigmund Freud, General Introduction to Psychoa*alysis (1952)

  2. #2
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    Via the pack trail, we've reached a point just above the Accident Mine loading hopper/bin:


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    Looking down on the ore hopper:


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    Notice the tailings in the foreground photo above? They are from two mines just above the main workings of the Accident Mine; they are both stripped clean, so I assume that they were worked earlier & then had their equipment removed to be used in the Accident:


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    The only thing left in the mine adit above is this metal sheet covered work table, with some old sardine tins (and several can opening keys!), cans, and a newer 9V battery:
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."
    --Sigmund Freud, General Introduction to Psychoa*alysis (1952)

  3. #3
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    Now it's time to finally work our way down to the ore hopper:


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    Opposite side view of the ore hopper:


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    The ore hopper was constructed with square bolts & nuts, but none of the washers had any interesting detail so I didn't get any photos of them (sorry NJ, I tried!!). This photo shows the remains of a welded tubular steel item, dating some of the workings to at least the 1930s:
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."
    --Sigmund Freud, General Introduction to Psychoa*alysis (1952)

  4. #4
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    The base of the winch for the aerial tramway was made of wood, and from this base we are looking back down to the base of the aerial tramway (and if you look very very carefully, you can see our vehicle parked at the base):


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    Looking at the primary tailings pile, with rails & ties still left on it:


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    Opposite view, looking down at the rails still spiked/nailed to wooden ties (sleepers) on top of the primary tailings, and heading into the mine adit via a 90-degree turn (with my Dad looking up at me):


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    The tailings have spilled down into the canyon; just to the lower right of my Dad's feet is a cylindrical tank for what I assume is compressed air (for the drills & mining tools):
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."
    --Sigmund Freud, General Introduction to Psychoa*alysis (1952)

  5. #5
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    A view from the ore hopper; there used to be a wood trestle carrying rails to the top of the ore hopper, but it is now long gone:


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    The rails are amazingly intact considering how long they've sat up here; the rails are all 10-pound rails, questionably light for ore hauling but easy to bend & shape as needed:


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    Closeup of the rails spiked/nailed to the wooden ties (sleepers):
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."
    --Sigmund Freud, General Introduction to Psychoa*alysis (1952)

  6. #6
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    Notice that the method of securing the rails to the ties features a mixture of rail spikes and common round nails; this suggests to me that these ties & rails were recycled from another mine for use here at the Accident:


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    Closeup of the compressed air tank outside the mine entrance:


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    At long last, the mine entrance, blased out of solid rock:


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    The rails are still in place along the whole mine, something extremely rare to find these days; the air pipe is still in place alongside the rails & snake all over the inside of the mine adit:
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."
    --Sigmund Freud, General Introduction to Psychoa*alysis (1952)

  7. #7
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    A pleasant surprise awaited us after the first turn inside the mine - a winch! It is amazingly intact, and used for a slight incline haul at about a 30-degree angle:


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    Looking down the incline, with Dad's leg in the way:
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."
    --Sigmund Freud, General Introduction to Psychoa*alysis (1952)

  8. #8
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    Closeup view of the top wooden tie (sleeper) on the incline, showing the grooves from the winch cable:


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    Heading down the incline, we ran across several side adits, still complete with rails and loading trestles:


    Sorry for the fuzzy photos; I didn't have the proper setting on my camera and so most of the interior shots are fuzzy.
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    All throughout the mine, we kept finding dynamite wrappers:


    Thank God none of them had any explosives left inside! If they did, we would have high-tailed it right out of there!
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    Partway down the incline, an ore chute appears, ready to drop ore from the upper levels to the incline car:
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."
    --Sigmund Freud, General Introduction to Psychoa*alysis (1952)

  9. #9
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    One of many twists & turns followed by the mining rails:


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    Several air tanks were found throughout the mine, still connected to the air pipes, to power the drills & other implements:


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    Several shut-off valves were still in place amongst the extensive piping:


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    Another air tank, this time a vertical one, with a loading trestle in the background coming from a side adit:


    The air tanks were presumably used close to the drills & other implements to supply constant air pressure for the tools...this allows for a smaller air compressor to be used. Notice the flexible hose mounted to the tank, probably for use directly by the drill or other tool.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."
    --Sigmund Freud, General Introduction to Psychoa*alysis (1952)

  10. #10
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    Sin City, NV
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    Another flexible hose lying nearby with a piece of 10-pound rail lying on top of it (notice the bends for use in a switch):


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    A side adit at a slightly lower level, complete with two ore loading chutes; notice the pile of dirt in the foreground:


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    The pile of dirt in the foreground above is from this vertical shaft directly above; it keeps on going well past the wooden platform in the photo:


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    Looking up one of the ore chutes, we see another vertical shaft straight up & still going:
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."
    --Sigmund Freud, General Introduction to Psychoa*alysis (1952)

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