The Phoenix Gold Mine is located in Idaho Springs, Colorado. There are several gold mines that you can tour in this area, but K looked online and thought this one would be a good choice. There’s a lot written online about the history of the mine, so I won’t go into it other than to say that it’s impressive how long it’s been in operation, the cheap price some buyers got for it along the way, and the tenacity miners showed in continuing to work on the mine despite set-backs, because it definitely paid off.
It’s a pretty laid back tour. We were given helmets and were able to take as many pictures as we wanted. Below are pictures we took of the sign and at the mine entrance. The guide had a light and there was some lighting around the mine, but we also used flashlights on our cell phone which was nice to see things more clearly, especially if you weren’t right next to the guide or wanted to look at something a bit longer.
Along the way you could see where shafts were dug up and down to various levels in the mine. Apparently this one went for a looong ways. They did keep various sections of stone un-mined so it could continue to help support the walls provided greater stability.
Here’s a fun photo-op picture. Fire in the hole!
This machine is called the “Widow Maker.” The use of this drill killed miners because of the silicosis of the lungs it caused due to the dust it created. We were glad to hear of its eventual replacement with other methods.
The Resurrection Vein, found in a newer section of the mine, according to the Phoenix Gold Mine website is “a very rich gold vein, by mining standards, providing over 2 ounces of gold per ton and frequent small pockets of pure GOLD!” It was definitely neat to see these areas where the gold could be seen at the surface.
It was also neat to see the processing room, the ball mill, and the shaker table all used to process the mined rock and separate out the gold and other precious metals. Very interesting place!
Who: Anyone interested in getting a glimpse inside a gold mine.