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Bob Hembree November 04, 2010 03:40AM
The Elmwood mine is back in operation. Nyrstar an international zinc smelting and mining company is reopening the zinc mines in the Carthage, Tennessee area which includes the Elmwood, Gordonsville and Cumberland mines. The Elmwood is being operated through the Gordonsville #3 shaft and incline. The first ore from the Elmwood was hoisted this week.
Uwe Kolitsch November 11, 2010 07:38PM
Thanks for info - all 3 mines updated.
Ed Godsey November 13, 2010 09:21PM
Do you (or others) have any idea whether the new management will have a 'contract collector' as before?

Easy Goin'
Bob Hembree November 13, 2010 09:58PM
Based on my discussions with mine management when I was there I would say it is unlikely.
elmwood miner March 31, 2011 09:22PM
Bob Hembree Wrote:
> Based on my discussions with mine management when
> I was there I would say it is unlikely.

They instead have decided to start sticking slurry in the vug holes and destroying the specimens. They had lied to all of us in stating they were to be sold for the kids of the community, however upon discovery of some major vugs in 2078#14, 3780#4 along with others, current management destroyed nearly a half million dollars in each vug after extracting a total of 2 or 3 specimens for their personal collections.
Anonymous User March 31, 2011 11:19PM
Thats very sad. Hopefully they come to their senses sooner rather than later...
Bob Hembree April 01, 2011 01:13AM
Actually a fairly large amount of specimens were salvaged before the area was mined through. Currently the company is putting together a program to give the specimens to local schools or museums. Also a system is in the process of being established where the minerals that are salvaged will be sold at auction by lot and the money will go to the employee communication network for use in community projects.

Concerning the blasting of pockets this was instituted as a result of some of the employees spending more time collecting minerals than doing their jobs. This has included working in unsafe conditions for which the company would be held liable by federal mine law and others if someone was injured or killed while collecting. The reason the mines were reopened was not for the minerals, but the zinc ore. Unfortunately the best minerals occur in high grade ore zones and that is what is mined. If minerals can be salvaged during the mining process without disrupting the operation then it can happen otherwise it won't. I am an avid mineral collector and hate to see nice specimens destroyed, but I also understand the economics of mining and the money and effort that it would take to mine specimens doesn't add enough value to pay the bills.
elmwood miner April 01, 2011 10:47PM
I call BS. Unless you are sitting in on our safety meetings and personally see miners "taking unneccessary risks" then you don't know. Those vugs listed were covered with brattice bag and recovered with muck for the mine to come and take what they wanted to sell for their BS program. Two members of management came down on that Saturday, took a handful and then had crew A's blaster blast them prior to any other work in the headings. It is the politics of it that is sickening.
Jake Harper April 02, 2011 07:21AM
Holy sincere prayers are with this precious, hallowed U.S. locality --- may its beautiful treasures be secured and protected by caring individuals...


All knowledge is vain, except where there be work
All work is empty except where there be love
gold buster April 21, 2011 03:03AM
lets see more minerals come out now thanks
Rowan Lytle April 23, 2011 02:20PM
Makes me very mad to hear that they are destroying most of the specimans. What a waste!
It's good to hear that they're sending some to museums though.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/23/2011 02:24PM by Rowan Lytle.
A Real Elmwood Miner May 06, 2011 01:36AM
Let me ask you this Mr. Elmwood Miner, How did you come up with your figure of a half million in each vug? Did you actually see inside of them to know what was in there? And your 2 or 3 specimens was more like 30 to 35 specimens. There was never a couple of members of management to come down. It happened to be one guy from safety that was actually already underground and he carried the specimens that were extracted to the surface. Before you start ranting and raving you need to get your facts straight. Don't get me wrong, I hate that they loaded and shot the pretties in those vugs, but you can't stop production to mine for a few minerals. If we did that we would all be without a job because the minerals aren't going to pay all of our salaries, the ore is. Sounds to me like your mad that you couldn't get in them to dig. Just be glad that some specimens do make it out for the world to see.
Evan Johnson (2) May 06, 2011 10:17AM
If the account given is true, this is a great shame in my opinion. There are plenty of zinc-producing places in the world, but not all of them produce world-class aesthetic specimens of other species as well. Why is Elmwood known? Not necessarily because of its zinc production, I assure you. Furthermore, large, attractive fluorite specimens are one of the species that nearly everyone can appreciate- even those with only a tangential interest in mineralogy- so something that could be of tremendous public-relations benefits and pedogogical value (one of the first minerals I personally collected was fluorite and it indeed got me interested in the hobby in general).
I understand that profits need to be made to keep people employed and produce resources, but to me something like this is a part of world natural say that something like this should be (or really even legally be allowed to be) destroyed to speed production is like saying that housing developments should be built without forethought to archaeological sites, or dams built without consideration to what is flooded. Some things have a monetary value, and some things have a value beyond money. I sincerely hope the mine management will think about whether tons of locally-sourced but universally available zinc or museum specimens preserved for posterity will serve long-term interests better.
Kristopher Dingfield May 06, 2011 03:48PM
Elmwood specimens are pretty valuable. I would think by weight it is worth more then then ore. I wonder if they would consider spending a day pulling out minerals. Hell I would buy several dozen lots right now.
Peter Andresen May 06, 2011 04:16PM
Taking the time extracting high quality minerals compared to time extracting ore wil never favour the minerals - that's the fact for all mines operating for ore and not specimens. The only exeptions are in third wourld countries where ore extracting is primitive and more time consuming, and where the miners can put a crystal aside now and then, and like in Dalen-Kjørholt - also famous for great calcites - a mineral interested worker have an agreement with the owners of the mine to extract crystals in his spare time, as long as it's not obstructing production. The last option could of course be a posibility for Elmwood too.
Rock Currier May 06, 2011 09:08PM
I hate to see good specimens blasted into gravel, as much as the next guy, but if it were not for the mining companies mining things, many fewer specimens would be available to us. So the first, most important part is not to impede the mining process to the point that it becomes onerous to the mining companies to preserve the specimens. Yes, the value of the specimens does far outweigh the value of the ore, but they almost certainly do not outweigh the cost to the company of law suits brought by individuals injured or killed while collecting specimens nor the problems caused by insurance companies threatening to raise premiums or cancel policies because of workers involved in unsafe and illegal actions. If we would like to free up the companies to allow more collecting, we need to support changes in the law that will allow waivers of responsibility to really mean something and to raise substantially the bar to initiate law suits and pursue litigation. I have been told that in Japan there are ten engineers for every lawyer. Here in the USA that ratio is apparently reversed.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Kristopher Dingfield May 07, 2011 02:01AM
You guys got me on that one. Both valid points and thanks for the education it does make sence I do consider myself to be somewhat of a newby to mining though I have been a collecter for 18 years I have never worked in the commercial mining industry.
I have been picking up both old and new Elmwood material lately and the combinations are just, well beautiful! I do hope the mine operators can come up with a solution that would bring more specimen material to the market. I would love to see a program that brought specimens to the surface while helping the local community too. What a thought. I would think it would even keep the value at a premium too.
Rowan Lytle June 28, 2011 02:24PM
If I could, I would pay THEM to let a group collect a few pockets, sell some of the contents and give them all the money earned, and keep the best pieces>:D< If only I had the money!
-Rowan Lytle
JohnVW September 23, 2011 12:30PM
Well..the realty for most commercial mining operations is that a lot of specimens are destroyed. Thank God some of the miners appreciate the specimens and bring some to the surface...the best survive for collectors who love them...most people don't care..just rocks. Having said that..looks like some new specimens will be on the market and I am buying...any suggestions on where I can spend my money.
Edward Scherf May 24, 2012 04:28PM
Does any one know if they are allowing the public in to collect?
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