Copper Ore, Loosed by Detonation

May 29, 2017
Daily Prompt

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

Copper Ore, Loosed by Detonation

The Daily Prompt word for May 29, 2017, is Detonate. As soon as I saw that word I thought of the Fourth of July, and all the fireworks that are detonated all over the country to celebrate Independence Day. Millions are spent on pyrotechnics each year. $675 Million Expected total for consumer sales of fireworks in the U.S. in celebration of July 4 this year, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association That is a lot of money for the enjoyment of those who love to watch fireworks displays.

The next thing that came to my mind was the open pit copper mines in this country and the blasting that they do, they detonate large amounts of explosives to loosen the copper ore so it can be hauled in huge trucks from the mine to the crushers and smelters.

I drove an  8000-gallon tanker transport when I lived in Arizona, one of my jobs was to deliver diesel fuel to the bottom of some of these open pit mine. It was a thrilling experience, especially on days they were blasting. The one that I delivered to the most often was at Bisbee,  Arizona. It was owned by Phelps Dodge, they  owned the town too and everything in it.” I Owe My Soul to the Company Store”, was written from the heart!

Kennecott Copper had several copper mines in Arizona and Utah. To be around one of these open pit mines when they blasted was an earthshaking experience for sure. They used a combination of nitrates and diesel fuel for the explosives charges to blast a large area of ore lose all at one time. That is a long way from black powder charges used in hand drilled holes in Norwegian Copper Mines in the late 1700’s.

This ore blasting is being done in northern British Columbia. I’ve never been to this mine, but it looks like the open pit mines here in the USA.

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