Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Geo 730: Feb. 4, Day 400: Open Pit

Looking up Nickle Mountain from the entry area to what is now the Green Diamond operation, you can see one of the enormous trenches where the garnierite nickle ore was excavated. As is the case with many mines, the Hanna Nickle Mine had its own unique engineering problems. In this case, the mountain is so steep that getting the ore down safely was difficult. This problem was overcome by building a tram to carry it down the mountainside. Generators converted the energy of descent into electricity that supplemented the smelting process. (This information comes from a Flickr photo set I browsed through a couple days ago, but I can't get it to load right now... perhaps the site is having problems. I'll try to link the set later.) Follow up: The photo set is here, but doesn't mention the power generation aspect of the tram. Not sure where I got that tidbit, or if it should be considered accurate.

Photo by Dana Hunter, unmodified. May 9, 2013. FlashEarth Location.

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