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Exploring Ouray Mines
 
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While climbing at the Pool Wall in Ouray, I stumbled upon some old mines and decided to check them out.
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Revenue Virginius Mine press conference, Nov. 17, 2013
 
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November 17, 2013, Ouray County and Star Mine Operations/Revenue-Virginius Mine press conference. Ouray, Colorado. Rory Williams, manager of Star Mine Operations and Ouray County Attorney Marti Whitmore answer questions related to that day's fatal accident at the Revenue-Virginius Mine, located just southwest of the city of Ouray. Video by Bill Tiedje, Ouray County Plaindealer and Ouraynews.com.
Views: 851 Alan Todd
Colorado Mining Accident Leaves 2 Dead, 20 Injured,Ouray
 
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OURAY, Colo. (AP) — Two workers were killed and 20 others were injured Sunday in a mining accident near the southwestern Colorado town of Ouray. The Ouray County sheriff's office was called to the Revenue-Virginius mine at about 7:20 a.m., county spokeswoman Marti Whitmore said. The miners were underground and were confirmed dead Sunday afternoon. "Anything that has been reported is speculative," Whitmore said. "We don't know what the cause is." Star Mine Operations, LLC, the owner of the mine, couldn't immediately be reached by the Associated Press for comment, but Whitmore said the company has accounted for all of the workers at the site. She said 20 people were taken to area hospitals, and all but two have been treated and released. The conditions of those two hospitalized workers haven't been released. Rory Williams, project manager for Star Mine Operations, told the Ouray Watch newspaper (http://bit.ly/1ajQLAs ) the accident was not related to a cave-in or mine collapse but was apparently a "powder-smoke incident," and that the release of chemicals in the smoke injured the miners. The Mine Safety and Health Administration is at the accident site, which is about 270 miles southwest of Denver. The last major mining disaster in Colorado occurred on April 15, 1981, when an explosion killed 15 people at the Mid-Continent Dutch Creek No. 1 Mine near Redstone. In 2000, a 37-year-old man was killed after being struck by a high-pressure hose that snapped off a piece of equipment in the Sanborn Creek Mine. And in 2011, a New Mexico contract worker died after being hurt at the West Elk Coal Mine in Somerset, in western Colorado. The U.S. Mine and Safety Administration found the 53-year-old slipped and fell from a beam at a tower construction site.
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Cripple Creek (3), Colorado, United States.
 
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Cripple Creek, Colorado 2005, gold mining camp For many years Cripple Creek's high valley, at an elevation of 9,494 feet (2,894 m), was considered no more important than a cattle pasture. Many prospectors avoided the area after the Mount Pisgah hoax, a mini gold rush caused by salting (adding gold to worthless rock). On the 20th of October, 1890, Robert Miller "Bob" Womack discovered a rich ore and the last great Colorado gold rush began. Thousands of prospectors flocked to the region, and before long Winfield Scott Stratton located the famous Independence lode, one of the largest gold strikes in history. In three years, the population increased from five hundred to ten thousand by 1893. Although $500 million worth of gold ore was dug from Cripple Creek, Womack died penniless on 10 August 1909. In 1896 Cripple Creek suffered two disastrous fires. The first occurred on April 25 destroying half of the city including much of the business district. Four days later another fire destroyed much of the remaining half. The city was rebuilt in a period of a few months, most historic buildings today date back to 1896. By 1900, Cripple Creek and its sister city, Victor, were substantial mining communities. During the 1890s, many of the miners in the Cripple Creek area joined a miners' union, the Western Federation of Miners (WFM). A significant strike took place in 1894, marking one of the few times in history that a sitting governor called out the national guard to protect miners from anti-union violence by forces under the control of the mine owners. By 1903, the allegiance of the state government had shifted and Governor James Peabody sent the Colorado National Guard into Cripple Creek with the goal of destroying union power in the gold camps.[citation needed] The WFM strike of 1903 and the governor's response precipitated the Colorado Labor Wars, a struggle that took many lives. Through 2005, the Cripple Creek district produced about 23.5 million troy ounces (979 1/6 troy tons; 731 metric tons) of gold. The underground mines are mostly idle, except for a few small operations. There are significant underground deposits remaining which may become feasible to mine in the future. Large scale open pit mining and cyanide heap leach extraction of near-surface ore material, left behind by the old time miners as low grade, has taken place since 1994 east of Cripple Creek, near its sister city of Victor, Colorado. The current mining operation is conducted by Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mining Company (CC&V). The mine operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Mine operations, maintenance, and processing departments work a rotating day/night schedule in 12-hour shifts. With many empty storefronts and picturesque homes, Cripple Creek once drew interest as a ghost town. At one point the population dropped to a few hundred, although Cripple Creek was never entirely deserted. In the 1970s and 1980s travelers on photo safari might find themselves in a beautiful decaying historic town. A few restaurants and bars catered to tourists who could pass weathered empty homes with lace curtains hanging in broken windows. Colorado voters allowed Cripple Creek to establish legalized gambling in 1991. Cripple Creek is currently more of a gambling and tourist town than a ghost town. Casinos now occupy many historic buildings. Casino gambling has been successful in bringing revenue and vitality back into the area. It also provides funding for the State Historical Fund, administered by the Colorado Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation. In 2012, Colorado casinos produced over $104 million in tax revenue for these programs https://youtu.be/D9Zf37YutQ4 Cripple Creek Colorado 2005
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