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 Post subject: Rock Salt Mine
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 2:43 am 
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Location: Western PA
Hey boys, all this talk about salt reminded me of Cargill's Cayuga Rock Salt Mine in Lansing, NY, just down the road from Ithaca, where I used to live. This is a huge operational underground rock salt mine and is actually under Cayuga Lake. The salt from this mine is used for de-icing highways and industrial uses.

The salt lies in several fairly horizontal layers-the largest are very thick, 90-100 ft. Early mining methods consisted of open stopes because of the highly folded salt formation. More recently mining began on a much deeper level of the mine using the room and pillar mining method, sharing similarities with coal mining methods. The mine has been in operation for about 90 years and it looks like it will continue to be for some time.

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Served by the Lehigh Valley Railroad at one time, this rail line is now owned by Norfolk Southern. A coal-fired powerplant and the salt mine keep the line active.

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Aluminum is used in the railcars to prevent corrosion. The No. 1 (production) shaft is at center.

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The empty hoppers are stored on an inclined track and allowed to roll downhill to the structure where they are filled. Salt is also shipped via truck.

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When the skip comes up from below it dumps the salt onto the conveyor shown here.

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No. 1 shaft headframe. Used for transporting salt from the No. 4 level of the mine and as an exhaust airway. The shaft extends 1930 ft deep.

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The No. 3 shaft headframe is to the right of the No. 1 production shaft. It is used by the miners to access the workings below and as a fresh airway. It extends to the No. 6 level of the mine, 2300 ft below the surface.

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The conveyor-fed structure used to fill the railcars with salt is visible here just to the right of center.

More information:

http://www.cargilldeicing.com/about/dc_ ... ansing.pdf

http://www.lansing-community-news.com/1 ... 0528-1.pdf

http://www.lansing-community-news.com/1 ... 0528-9.pdf

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Last edited by John on Wed Mar 07, 2007 2:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 3:39 am 
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Location: Hopatcong, NJ
That was awesome. Thanks for posting!!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 4:45 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2007 3:48 am
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Location: Gouldsboro, PA
That is pretty wild. I give alot of credit to miners but damn to mine something under a lake and have your fan house in the middle of it. More balls then i got!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 4:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:33 pm
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Location: Above the Sterling Hill Mine
Very good shots. The salt mines are always interesting. They tend to be room and pilar operations which are always perfectly clean inside. I guess there really isn't much waste rock in it and the waste rock is still mined as it would help with traction on the roads. However they are generally huge operations which are miles and miles in size, all underground.

Plus, especially when working under a lake, roof control is very important. Roof failure could be very bad as you have a lake above you. No robbing down in those mines!

Miner Greg


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:56 pm 
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Location: Hamburg, NJ
Thso shots are very nice, and thanks for telling us about this little known mine!!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 1:40 pm 
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Location: Hard coal region, PA
Wow John..... I like the shaft headframes.... They look a lot like historic coal mine headframes...... thats really neat! Pretty wild that the fanhouse is in the middle of the lake.... :shock: I wonder how far below the lake bottem they are. Probably pretty far..

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 1:43 pm 
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Location: Hard coal region, PA
nevermind i found it: 2300 feet. 8)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 4:29 pm 
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thanks!

yeah, banks-they're really far beneath the lake. the lake is 400 ft deep at the deepest. 2300 is quite a ways below that... they give tours of the mine for families once a year. i was never able to talk with the right people to arrange something before i left.

i have a paper i can't seem to find, from Cargill, describing the history and working of the mine. it explains the need for the structure out in the lake. when i find it i'll add to this post.


john

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 2:05 am 
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Location: Above the Sterling Hill Mine
Too bad you never got a tour inside of that mine. It would be interesting to see the inside of a larger operation Salt Mine like this one. I wonder if they use mine trains inside or mobile machinery which is not tracked.

Miner Greg


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 2:29 am 
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allright, first off, i got some incorrect information regarding the structure in the lake. i was told it was a fanhouse but the following article doesn't support this contention, so, it's purpose will have to remain a mystery for now.

the following article gives an excellent overview of the geology, mining methods and overall operation of the Cayuga Salt Mine. have a look:

http://www2.ironminers.com/jjk54/images ... ltMine.PDF

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:21 am 
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Location: Above the Sterling Hill Mine
Very cool, great article. Looks like they use a lot of the same methods used in the Dirty Jobs episode. I'd love to get a tour of that mine, especially the older workings in the folded beds of salt, which were stoped out instead of mined with room and pilar.

Which structure are you referring to in the middle of the lake?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 2:59 am 
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the one visible to the left of the No 1 headframe in pictures 5 and 6 above.

nice article hunh? it was my consolation prize when i got turned away after asking about tours of the mine!

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:28 pm 
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Location: Fingerlakes region of Upstate NY
UGMiner Banks wrote:
Pretty wild that the fanhouse is in the middle of the lake....


It's not a fanhouse, I believe it has to do with NYSEG (NY State Elec & Gas).

Here is a picture of the old #1 hoist I was able to find online, circa 1960's.
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Rock Salt Mine
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:54 pm 
How many carloads a day do they output? In the first picture it looks like they have a switchback to get to the loading area. Does the company have it's own switcher, or does NS switch it?


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 Post subject: Re: Rock Salt Mine
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:31 pm 
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Location: Western PA
nice picture Bakes.

I've since heard that the structure in the lake is part of the lakewater cooling system up at Cornell. They pump cool lakewater up to the campus for cooling in the summer and I heard that its also used in conjunction with a heat pump in the winter to heat.

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