“Pontiac” Mine

The “Pontiac Mine” originally dates to the 1920’s, though it has a fairly extensive period of mining activity. Most recent work seems to date to the mid-1980’s when multiple stopes were worked and drifts drilled. With the price of gold increasing and mining companies claiming previously abandoned mines, we learned in mid-2008 that drilling was to begin around the “Pontiac” with future plans of an open pit mine on the horizon.

With the threat of the mine being destroyed by an open pit, we set off in late fall of 2008 to explore and record the underground workings of the “Pontiac Mine”.

For more photos, visit Guy Starbuck’s “Pontiac” Mine page.

Entering the 'Pontiac' Mine. Entering the 'P...
The majority of this mine has a more modern aspect. The majority of this...
Guy and Micah at an intersection. Guy and Micah at an ...
Boxcar and Micah check out what appears to be a work room. Boxcar and Micah che...
Looking back towards the entrance. Looking back towards...
Danger! Danger!
Empty boxes of blasting caps litter the fuse room. Empty boxes of blast...
Guy looking out a strangely built office above the main mine level. Guy looking out a st...
A relic from back in the day when Pepsi only had 7 ingredients! A relic from back in...
A miner noted proper fuse length by style (color) of fuse. A miner noted proper...
A fuse measuring table. A fuse measuring table.
Deeper in the mine we find some intact rail switches. Deeper in the mine w...
Micah and Boxcar at an intersection. Micah and Boxcar at ...
Forging ahead... Forging ahead...
A more modern steel ore chute. A more modern steel ...
A chunk of fuse with a blasting cap. A chunk of fuse with...
Heading deeper into the mine. Heading deeper into ...
Shock resistant huh? Something tells me a miner tested that theory! Shock resistant huh?...
An interesting skip car someone had pulled out of a shaft. An interesting skip ...
Guy checks that everything is MSHA approved! Guy checks that ever...
More modern mines are littered with signage to meet MSHA regulations. More modern mines ar...
We pass through a steel blast door. We pass through a st...
No fun at all! No fun at all!
This mine must have at one time had a medical/safety room. This mine must have ...
An interesting section of mine that the last operator blocked off. An interesting secti...
Safety first! Safety first!
We practice our mine rescue skills. We practice our mine...
The stopes in the new sections of the mine have huge stulls! The stopes in the ne...
Multiple escape-ways were found in the mine. Multiple escape-ways...
Looking up an escape-way. Looking up an escape...
A power junction station. A power junction sta...
Fencing was added to the lower stulls in the newer stopes to prevent rock from falling on workers below. Fencing was added to...
Another escape-way. Another escape-way.
An underground commode! An underground commode!
Some interesting timbering with a work floor in the stope above us. Some interesting tim...
When Not! When Not!
On a sublevel we discovered a cache of pneumatic slushers. On a sublevel we dis...
Slusher bucket. Slusher bucket.
A well used slusher! A well used slusher!
Hanging out on a sublevel. Hanging out on a sub...
Boxcar descends the inclined shaft. Boxcar descends the ...
Going down... Going down...
Hey Guy! Hey Guy!
Each level and sublevel had a lighted power station. Each level and suble...
The two most common signs we saw in the mine. The two most common ...
We find a TP stash! We find a TP stash!
Down on the fifth level we find the most recent workings of the mine. Down on the fifth le...
Assorted tools left behind. Assorted tools left ...
A large battery box off a trammer rest on the floor. A large battery box ...
Heading deeper into the mine on the 500 level. Heading deeper into ...
Looking back at the 500 level work room. Looking back at the ...
Each level had its own trash canisters. Each level had its o...
We found a large primer magazine. We found a large pri...
A fuse and blasting cap is all that remains in the magazine. A fuse and blasting ...
A friendly reminder of the fuse burn time. A friendly reminder ...
We find yet another stretcher. We find yet another ...
Rounding a corner we discover a mucker! Rounding a corner we...
Micah and Boxcar examine the mucker. Micah and Boxcar exa...
We find a second mucker! We find a second muc...
Micah shows how a miner would operate a mucker. Micah shows how a mi...
Guy with the second mucker. Guy with the second ...
A steel ore chute with water dripping out of it. A steel ore chute wi...
Time to head back up towards the surface. Time to head back up...
A miners pick and blasting cap/fuse combo. A miners pick and bl...
Working our way out of the mine we come across the top of a small stope. Working our way out ...
An older pressure tank. An older pressure tank.
Heading back out after a day of exploring... Heading back out aft...

One thought on ““Pontiac” Mine

  1. Erik

    I hope they didn’t open pit this area, that’s my main complaint in regards to open pit mining. The loss of historic mines and history.

    Reply

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