Safety of Old Mines
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  1. #1
    us
    Jan 2004
    Oregon
    MXT Pro, CZ-21, Teknetics G2+
    363
    53 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Safety of Old Mines

    Hi,

    Does anyone have any stories, experience or advice for nuggetshooting in old mineshafts? I read this BLM site and they really try tthe scare tactics. http://www.blm.gov/aml/safetymenu.htm I would appreciate any words of advice or stories.... Thanks!

  2. #2
    us
    Mar 2003
    Redding,Calif.
    5,854
    6713 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Safety of Old Mines

    That BLM site is very accurate,them old mines are so frigging dangerous you would not believe,and don't seem to want to.Pay up your life insurance so ya don't leave a poor widow and go play.Takes bookoo gear,buddie system,much research,and tons a knowledge to crawl around hundreds of feet underground in the bowels of the earth.John :shock:

  3. #3
    Cptbil

    Mar 2003
    Az/NM/Ca/Nv/Tx
    1,402
    65 times

    Old mines

    Smokey:
    It takes an experienced eye and a lot of luck to crawl around in old mines!
    Although, I have found the Old Spanish mines to be among the safest!
    I have worked at the 4800-5000 foot level, in my younger/college days, at Magma Copper Company!
    So ! I consider my self to have a half way "Experienced Eye"!
    But!
    Even so, I have had some close, very close!, calls in old mines!
    If you don't need to be in/there, "STAY OUT" of them!
    It is very seldom that those old timers would abandon a paying mine!
    AND! To crawl around in them just out of " Wonder what's in here"!
    It's not worth the price you may have to pay!
    CptBil & Bugs

  4. #4
    goldpanco

    Safety of Old Mines

    i found dynamite caps and fuses above the enterance had some teenagers
    go into a mine the lack of oxygen killed 3 of them 1 decided he couldn't breathe and turned around

  5. #5

    Mar 2003
    So. Cal.
    1,666
    491 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)

    Safety of Old Mines

    When I was a kid growingup in the bay area there were some mines near Mt. Diablo called the "Black Diamond Mines". Apparantly they were old coal mines. There were signs around, but as kids you tend to ignore these. I can remember that there were a few teenagers that went down too far and ran into a pocket in the mine with no air. They all died trying to get out. These dyas, I have had friends go into old mines, but I won't do it and always feel a sense of duty that at least one person should stay outside in case they may require help or they don't show back up at the exit/entrance. I also remember going to search in an old mine dump recently for Pink and Green Tourmaline. The entrance doors to the mine were right there and the owner decided to open the doors for some reason. Sitting on the ground on the inside of this tunnel was a big fat 4' rattlesnake rattling up a storm. Best to follow the advice of others and stay out theres plenty of gold around. If this mine had that much gold around, then get a dry washer and start shoveling through the tailings pile. You'll probably do alot better here anyway. 8)

  6. #6

    Mar 2003
    So. Cal.
    1,666
    491 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)

    Safety of Old Mines

    dbsmokey, did you see this part of the BLM website?

    http://www.blm.gov/aml/accidents_articles.htm#decay

  7. #7

    Mar 2003
    So. Cal.
    1,666
    491 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)

    Safety of Old Mines

    EACH SITE POSES ITS OWN UNIQUE SET OF ADDITIONAL RISKS THAT MAY VARY OVER TIME, including:
    Abandoned mines can serve as natural dens or havens for bears and mountain lions, but especially rattlesnakes.


    Abandoned surface structures, buildings, and equipment also provide shelter and concealment for rattlesnakes and other creatures, in addition to being unstable and prone to collapse.


    Mines can also house bats and other rodents. Although they are physically harmless and ecologically valuable, they can startle and create a panic response, and their droppings can carry disease. Deer mice droppings in the Southwest are known to carry the often deadly hantavirus.


    Radon gas can accumulate in high concentrations in mines; It is a natural radioactive decay product that is known to be a factor in some lung cancers.


    High levels of hazardous alpha and gamma radiation occur in and around uranium mines and uranium ore tailings (waste rock) (see photo, below).


    High levels of alpha and gamma radiation can also be found in association with many other types of mines as well. A variety of radioactive elements occur naturally in highly mineralized areas and can become concentrated in mines.


    Chemicals and stockpiled waste rock may contaminate soils and water with cyanide, lead, arsenic, mercury, and other elements highly toxic to humans. Within a mine, such heavy metals may be incorporated in the dust and particulates you are breathing.


    Impounded water may appear attractive to drink or swim in; however, such water is likely to be highly acidic or highly alkaline, as well as very deep and cold. Many people have drowned in abandoned open pits that have filled with water. Their systems go into shock before they can respond to the cold or other conditions. Steep walls may also hinder their escape. Imagine similar conditions deep within a mine.


    Unfortuanately, due to vandalism, even mines with a known history of safety hazards cannot easily be isolated from the public. Warning signs are commonly removed, fenced enclosures are torn down, and even steel gratings are torn away to gain access. There may be little left to alert the next visitor to the waiting danger.

    Finally, as one would expect, mines deteriorate and hazards increase with time. It is not unusual for an abandoned mine that has been entered many times to suddenly and unexpectedly turn deadly.

    Still thinking about that gold?

 

 

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