The Agile Fox Friday Foto – 08.31.2012
After a year and a half of including a ‘pic of the week’ at the end of my weekly training summary, I’ve decided to let it stand as a post of its own. I’m also implementing a rule that the Friday Foto needs to have been taken sometime in the last week. No recycling. I am doing this to keep me engaged in building my photography skills, and to make me work harder to get fresh shots. Click here to see my previous Friday Foto posts.
Abandoned railroad tracks from days gone by are overshadowed by new activity on the mountain.
Straddling the Continental Divide at 11,360′ Freemont Pass, the Climax, CO mine comes to life for the third time in a hundred years. A large outcropping of grey mineral material was first discovered in 1879 by Charles Senter. He placed mining claims in the area, and maintained those during the 16 years it took to identify the mineral as molybdenite.
The mine fully ramped up the first time in 1916, when molybdenum was used as a steel alloy and demand was high due to material needs created by World War I. The mine closed down after the war when the demand dried up, before opening again in 1924 and enjoying a continuous run into the 1980s.
It came to life for a third time in May of this year as an open-pit operation after nearly $800 million dollars was spent installing state-of-the-art equipment and cleaning up the site. That is a big investment to recover, but the mine owner states that this is “the largest, highest-grade and lowest-cost molybdenum ore body in the world.”
With a 20 year supply of ore already identified, it looks like another Leadville boom may be underway.