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 Post subject: Brewster Mine Trip 2006
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:28 pm
Posts: 1764
Location: Winnemucca, NV
While the Brewster Mine is on our minds I figured I pulled out a little surprise from our archives. Definitely one of the more physically and mentally challenging mines, Brewster gives a good insight of stopes, drifts, and crosscuts. This is DEFINITELY not a mine to explore alone. The mine requires repelling over a cliff inside the mine. Basically you are repelling down from a tunnel high up in the hanging wall. Getting down is fairly easy but getting back up requires lots of strength to get over the cliff which bulges out and pins your rope against the rockface.

Photos here: http://www.ironminers.com/mineforum/viewtopic.php?p=108913

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:13 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 10:17 am
Posts: 755
Location: Monroe, CT
yes, quite a dangerous mine also bad air in one spot and very unstable false floors. The mine originally went much further under the village of brewster but is now inaccesable due to dirt blocking the drift that runs parallel with the stope it apears there was a shaft there that was filled. There is another access point from from the basement of the building that used to be a hotel, i think the building is the currently a flower shop across from the train station. I interviewed a construction worker who said that when the drainage tunnel was redone they intesected mine workings and that before the precast concrete tunnel sections were installed about 20 years ago the mine was accessable this way. I also interviewed someone who used to live in brewster who said a shaft opened up in his back yard. If any one has any information on the Brewster mine also known as the Cheever and Durant iron mines please feel free to share :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:15 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 3:43 pm
Posts: 925
Location: Western PA
no kidding, bad air in an old hard rock mine, eh?

so what made you aware of it and how did you know it was bad?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:13 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:28 pm
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Location: Winnemucca, NV
Yes, in fact Miner CT Mike and I experienced bad air in a small natural cave that is connected to one of the stopes. The cave is in fact a massive sized vug entered by crawling through a small passageway for about 12 feet from the stope floor. Once inside, you can stand up in it. As we were in the vug examining the crystals, we started to recognize the feeling of bad air. Basically the cave prevented air circulation by its very shape. Had we not experienced this feeling, logic told us that eventually air would run out as being in there was like having a massive but loose plastic bag over your head – allowing you to breathe the fresh air already in there, but for a limited time. As you exhale in the vug, the carbon dioxide levels build up displacing fresh oxygen.

Many of us have experienced bad air in coal mines and this is the reason we always carry oxygen sensors to these types of mines. This is usually never the case for hard rock mines except in very unique circumstances -- we were basically walled in with no way for air to circulate. For those who haven't been in such a situation, you will most likely not know you are in bad air until you feel winded, light-headed, and weak -- and at this point, it may be TOO LATE to backtrack (if you can still think coherently) and get out! We recognized the feeling well before we were in any danger, but that is only from past experience. The loss of fresh air is too gradual to realize until you are in danger.

As for false floors, that is another hazard albeit rare in our region. A false floor is one where there is either air space and/or water beneath the floor you are walking on, only because you can’t see through the floor, you don’t know it. In the same stope opposite the vug, is a false floor over a flooded portion of the stope. An understanding of mining methods and workings can help you avoid accidentally stepping on one but it doesn't guarantee you won't.

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