Labor Day Weekend!
With a promising forecast of temperatures in the low 60’s, we got an early start on Saturday, with the intent of biking up to Bornite, a copper mine founded in the late 1950’s located in the mountains approximately fifteen miles north of Kobuk.
With the discovery of copper in 1957, Kennecott Resources bought up the rights. This exploration shaft, built in 1964, extends 1,075 feet below the surface. It eventually flooded causing Kennecott to look elsewhere. Thirty-some years ago, we used to travel there by dogteam or snowmachine, where we’d visit and have tea with Homer, Sr., the winter caretaker.
In 2012, NovaCopper, in a joint venture with the NANA Corporation, explored deeper and discovered a vast and richer, high-grade ore deposit at 1,500 feet. Projections are that over 9 billion pounds of copper may be extracted from the site, so Bornite is a bustling, active, little boomtown during the summer months. The last workers wrapped it up and left this past week leaving just the winter supervisor, so there was no traffic on the road. Here’s a look at the temporary ghost town:
Down at the old site, they’ve done a nice job of preserving and displaying some of the old machinery. If this stuff could talk…