Excursion USA 2004

From the 22th of September to the 9th of October 2004, 12 participants travelled to the USA on a field trip organized by the Institute of open pit mining and drilling technology (BBK III), led by Professor Niemann-Delius.

First, the visit of two hard coal open-cast mines in Wyoming owned by the Foundation Coal Company (previously RAG Coal International), namely Belle Ayr and Eagle Butte, was realized. Further, a hard coal open-cast mine of the Powder River Basin Coal Company, Black Thunder, was next on the agenda.

Subsequently, the trip led to Las Vegas, Nevada were the participants were given the chance to attend the 7th International Symposium in Surface Mining as well as the MinExpo, one of the world’s most biggest mining exhibitions. Besides the professional items, the visit of touristic attractions in Las Vegas and further the Hoover Dam on the state border of Nevada and Arizona were also on the agenda.

In Arizona itself, the Miami Mine, an abandoned open-cast copper mine and the Miami Copper Smelter, being one of the three last remaining copper smelters in the USA, were visited. Then, a visit to the Sierrita Copper Mine in Green Valley south of Tucson followed on the 30th of September.

Furthermore, the trip included a tour through Dallas and to the open-cast lignite mines Big Brown and Jewett owned by TXU and Northwestern Resources near Fairfield, setting the professional highlights of the Texas part of the excursion.

Once one of the richest coal fields in the USA, Pennsylvania’s Appalachian are still characterized by mining activities today. Thus, an Auger Mining Site together with a so called Mountain Top Removal open-cast mine were visited here.

Lake Lynn with its Lake Lynn Laboratory Experimental Mine is located near Morgantown. The laboratory is an old underground limestone mine, which is now used for explosion and fire research by the US administration.