So far, we’ve stayed underground to explore north Idaho metal mines. Today, we’re taking a break from the underground and coming back to the surface to see what mines look like from the outside!
Mines cannot operate just anywhere – they must be located where minerals are highly concentrated, making it lucrative to set up a mine there. Before a mine can even begin extracting, miners must explore where to mine and then develop the facilities and machinery to do so.
Mine exploration is an involved process that “involves advanced scientific techniques, including geochemical analysis of soils, or airborne surveys to measure magnetic, gravitational and electromagnetic fields, all of which help to determine if there’s a sufficient mineral deposit in that location to warrant mining. Once this preliminary investigation is carried out, rock samples are drilled and sent to a laboratory for testing.”1
Photos courtesy of George W. Tabor Photographs, University of Idaho Library, Special Collections and Archives