Arco

Butte
11:25 am
Tue October 8, 2013

When your lab class is 100 feet underground

Montana Tech mining engineering junior Krystal Martin listens to instructions in Butte's Orphan Boy Mine
Dan Boyce

Montana Tech mining engineering junior Krystal Martin and the eight other students in her lab class were taking turns using a heavy, pneumatic, jack-leg drill to bore six foot holes into a solid rock wall last Friday. It’s definitely louder than the average college lab course, and rather than crisp, white lab coats, students wear mud-soaked work boots, dust streaked faces and hard hats.

About 22,000 men worked the underground mines of Butte at the city’s peak, hauling 20,000 tons of ore back to the surface every day.

But, that was almost 100 years ago.

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