The Big Shot

The Big Shot (HM2B69)

Location: Leadville, CO 80461 Lake County
Country: United States of America

N 39° 22.043', W 106° 11.311'

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One of the most significant technological advances in Climax Mine history was the implementation of block-cave mining in 1927. It cut the production cost of molybdenum in half, keeping the mine open (and profitable) through the grim years of the Great Depression.

"Big Shots" were the key to block-cave mining. Explosives placed at carefully-calculated locations throughout the orebody were set off all at once. The resulting fractures in the rock caused it to gradually collapse ("cave") under its own weight.
The most memorable Big Shot at Climax occurred in 1964, when more than 2,000 tons of explosives were detonated in the largest underground blast in mining history. A festive atmosphere reigned on that warm spring day. Colorado 91 was closed, and Climax employees lined the highway, enjoying picnic lunches as they watched a section of Bartlett Mountain a quarter-mile wide and 1,000 feet high collapse into the Glory Hole.
Gathering ore from the surface with excavators and haulage trucks is the mining technique of the future now that most of the orebody has been exposed, although some underground ore still remains.
HM NumberHM2B69
Placed ByClimax Molybdenum Company & the Federal Highway Administration
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 5th, 2018 at 8:04pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13S E 397617 N 4358220
Decimal Degrees39.36738333, -106.18851667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 22.043', W 106° 11.311'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 22' 2.58" N, 106° 11' 18.66" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)719, 970
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 8494 CO-91, Leadville CO 80461, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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