The Marquette range, on which are situated the iron mines of Marquette County, together with a few in Baraga County, Mich., extends from a point 10 miles southwest of Marquette westward for 30 miles. The tracts are usually a multiple of the standard 40-acre parcel, which is the smallest government subdivision of a square mile or section.
About half of the mines are held in fee, these being owned by the older mining companies. Some of them date back to about 1880, and a few are as early as 1850. During the past 40 years most of the mines opened have been on leased lands, the royalty being either for a stated amount per ton or a percentage of the selling price of the ore at the lower lake ports, or the selling price on board of cars at the mine.
The first merchantable body of ore discovered in the Lake Superior district was found, in 1845, at what is known as the Jackson mine, near Negaunee. This ore was hard hematite. After unprofitable attempts had been made, in 1848, to smelt it in forges, shipments were begun to lower lake ports, which increased rapidly upon the completion of the locks at Sault Ste. Marie, in 1855, and the railroad from the mines to Marquette, in 1857.
Beginning with the Pioneer, in 1858, a number of small charcoal furnaces were built to smelt a part of the product. At various points in the upper and lower peninsulas, large charcoal furnaces are still making iron from the ores of the Marquette range. In connection with these furnaces are byproduct plants.
As the deposits were opened up, soft ore was encountered, but for a few years this was disregarded, as only the hard ore was used. Underground mining was begun about 1880 and during the next few years the open-pit mines producing high-grade ore were exhausted.
The first mines in the district were owned by the Jackson, Cleveland, Lake Superior, Lake Angeline, Champion, Iron Cliffs, Humboldt, Republic, and Michigamme companies. Many of these companies have been merged in the holdings of The Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Co., which controls most of the tonnage of the district.
Ore shipments are made from Marquette through the docks of the Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic railway, constructed in 1857, and from the Lake Superior & Ishpeming railway, constructed in 1896. A portion of the tonnage is also shipped over Chicago & North Western to Escanaba. Since the above dates, larger and more modern docks have been built.
The average number of men employed in the district for 25 years is 4215. The average annual shipments from 1902 to 1920, inclusive, have been 3,827,659 tons; the total shipment to the end of 1921 is 137,237,513 tons.
Geology of District
The geology of the Marquette range is described, in Monograph 52 of the U. S. Geological Survey, by Van Hise and Leith. The iron formations occur in the Huronian series of the Algonquin group of pre- Cambrian rocks. The sedimentaries, in which occur the principal mines, stretch from Marquette through Negaunee, Ishpeming, and Champion to Michigamme and Republic, with a separate area at Gwinn. The series consists mostly of quartzites and slates, interbedded with them being the jaspers of the iron formations. All of these rocks are faulted and folded and are crossed by dikes of greenstone or diorite. The Negaunee iron formation, or jasper, in which most of the mines occur, is a combination of iron oxide and silica containing, according to the U. S. Geological Survey, about 29 per cent. iron. No commercial use has been made of this material. Its greatest thickness, where proved by drilling at Negaunee, is over 2000 ft. It rests upon slates belonging to the formation, which is locally known as the Siamo, and is overlaid by quartzites or slates of the Goodrich formation. The soft ores occur as secondary concentrates either near the base or near the top of the jasper, the latter resting upon interbedded diorite intrusions. These orebodies are often limited in depth by dikes or faulted portions of diorite or slate, which serve as impervious bases on which concentration has taken place.
The hard ores occur only at the top of the Negaunee formation, being underlaid by a few hundred feet of hard-ore jasper, which again lies on the jasper of the soft-ore formation. The hanging wall of the hard ores is quartzite or slate.
The Michigamme slate formation, which overlies the upper quartzite and the Negaunee formation, contains interbedded iron formations, which in places produce limonite ores.
The Gwinn, or Swanzy, subdistrict of Marquette range is placed, by the U. S. Geological Survey, in the Michigamme formation. Here the ore is a soft hematite, found at the base of a jasper 100 ft. or more in thickness, and resting on comparatively thin beds of black slate and quartzite or arkos overlying the granite. The iron formation is overlaid by the slates of the Michigamme formation.
The physical structure of the ores on the Marquette range is excellent, none of them having a fine enough structure to be objectionable to furnace men. The hard ores are used in lump form in the open-hearth processes; they are crushed for use in the ordinary blast furnace.
Description and Topography
The district is about 800 ft. above Lake Superior, or 1400 ft. above the sea level. The surface is hilly and rocky. Lakes and swamps are bordered with terraces of glacial origin, above them rising rocky hills of iron formation, quartzite or diorite, the tops of which are from 50 to 200 ft. above the glacial terraces. Because of the proximity of Lake Superior the summer climate is cool. The prevailing northwest winds bring heavy snow falls from the beginning of November until the middle of April. The winter temperature is modified by the lake, which never freezes over entirely. The average yearly rain fall, which includes the equivalent in snow, is about 32 inches.
Mining timber is brought in by rail. Practically all the white pine of the Upper Peninsula has been removed, and in the neighborhood of the mines, most of the hardwood also has been cut. There still remain districts where there are large stands of hardwood, together with tamarack, hemlock, and cedar.
Labor conditions have been excellent. The mining population, derived chiefly from northwestern Europe, has been industrious and thrifty. Most of the men own their homes, the lands upon which they stand being either purchased or leased from the companies on easy terms, which induce building. However, since the war, many workmen have been attracted by high wages to the large cities, this movement being accelerated when the mines were shut down during the recent depression.
The ore is transported by rail from the mines to the docks in hopper- bottomed cars of 50-ton capacity. It is there dumped into pockets of 200-ton capacity. In loading vessels, the ore is delivered through spouts, which are lowered to the hatches. These spouts are 12 ft. from center to center, and the hatches on the boats are 12 ft., 24 ft., or a multiple of 12 ft. apart.
Pumping at the mines varies from a few hundred to about 3000 gal. per min. The overlying sand and gravel are often saturated with water, but owing to embedded clays and other courses, this is seldom drained until broken by the extraction of the ore, under the caving system.
The earliest explorations were for the purpose of finding the ledge or deposit from which had come the many broken masses of hard ore found lying upon the surface or in the glacial material. Succeeding explorations were conducted by test pitting through the overburden, drilling the same way from outcrops, or tunneling into the rocks themselves. In many cases, shallow shafts were sunk, from which drifts were driven.
The diamond drill was used, as early as 1869, for deep holes in hard orebodies, but its use was not customary until about 1878; since then it has become the usual method of exploring for both surface and underground work. The churn drill has not been used much for exploring, owing to the hardness of the rock capping to be penetrated.
As all explorations of orebodies at present are by diamond drilling, the only sampling is that of the core and sludge, from the drill holes. These are collected after each 5-ft, run and later analyzed; the weighted average of the two, figured on the proportion of each covered by the length of the run, is the analysis for that run. These analyses, combined for the entire hole, give the depth and grade of known ore encountered. Duplicate samples of core and sludge from each run are preserved for reference. If the presence of soluble sulfur is suspected, the amount of water pumped down the hole and the amount coming out are measured, and samples of this water taken at definite intervals, these samples being analyzed for sulfur. This is then combined with the analysis of insoluble sulfur in the core and sludge. When drilling through hard ore, almost complete recovery of core can be made; while in soft ore practically no core is obtained, and the only analysis is that of the sludge. The sludge is collected by causing the water from the drill holes to flow into boxes 4½ by 1½ ft., with two baffle boards, in which the particles of ore held in suspension settle out.
The methods of estimating are those customarily used in the Lake Superior district, both for ore found by diamond drilling and for developed ore underground. This is a comprehensive subject and should be treated in a separate paper. Plans and cross-sections are made both of explorations and mine workings to show the area and depth of the deposits as soon as ascertained. The limits of formation are shown on these drawings as a result of careful geologic examination. Considerable latitude for judgment must be permitted in the case of partly developed orebodies, which for the purpose of estimating the cost of development must be divided into ore in sight and prospective ore. The number of cubic feet per ton varies from 8 to 9 in hard ores and is about 12 in soft hematites, while for limonites it is as high as 13 or 14. The U. S. Geological Survey states that the soft ores of the Marquette range average 12 cu. ft. to the ton. This is borne out by a series of careful tests, which have recently been made in several mines.
Accuracy of Method
Due to the irregular shape of the various orebodies, large discrepancies have often been found between careful estimates based on exploration and the tonnage eventually recovered. Drill holes in some cases follow chimneys, the formation proving barren except for a small cross-section in the vicinity of the hole. On the other hand, some deposits have proved to be much greater than estimated by drill holes. Reasonably correct estimates can be made in shallow deposits from a number of short holes at close intervals, but the difficulty increases for depths over a few hundred feet, due to the deviation of the diamond-drill holes and the lack of knowledge of the geology of the formation.
In the case of shallow regular orebodies, as on the Mesaba range, the tonnage can be accurately estimated and the percentage of extraction determined. This is not the case on the Marquette range, where the ore deposits, as a rule, are deep and extremely irregular.
History of Principal Mining Methods
The early shipments of iron ore previous to 1860 were made largely from loose masses found scattered on the surface. After this source was exhausted, open pits were developed, some of which continued to operate until about 1880. Drilling by hand, blasting with black powder, loading into carts drawn by horses or mules, and again loading into 7-ton cars on the railroad constituted the usual method. Shafts were started for collecting the water in the pits, so that it could be pumped. As the pits grew deeper and available ore seams were followed, winzes or stopes were sunk, the ore being raised by horse whims. Most of the early appliances were introduced from Cornwall, whence the first miners came. Details of the mining methods, including cost, are given in Volume 1, Geological Survey of Michigan, published in 1873.
As the open pits were continued, they increased in depth until a point was reached, on account of the ore dipping under the rocks, where it was not profitable to remove the overburden. It was then necessary to sink inclines and provide mechanical means of hoisting. The hard ore was then mined in open stopes, pillars being left to support the capping.
From 1875 to 1880, much of the mechanical equipment was introduced, including rock drills, electric lights, and electric signals. At this time dynamite replaced black powder as the chief explosive. Hard-ore mining continued in about the same manner at depth. The breast stoping method of room and pillar was used, in which only enough ore was left in pillars to support the hanging.
The first soft ore was found near hard ore deposits. The demand for this class of ore was limited, previous to 1880. It was mined in open pits, but when it became unprofitable (on account of the increased depth and the dipping of the ore under the rock, to remove the overburden) underground mining was started. This soft ore could not be mined by the open stope and pillar method; timber was necessary to keep the places open. The principal method of mining soft ore was, in the middle eighties, almost entirely by the square-set system of rooms and pillars. The rooms were usually three sets, or 21 ft., wide and as long as the orebody. As a rule, the pillars were of the same width as the rooms. In many instances the rooms were carried to a height of ten or twelve sets, or 70 or 84 ft. After the ore had been mined in the rooms, an attempt was made to get what was left in the pillars by raising and running them. This system was extremely wasteful, as the ore soon became mixed with rock and the grade lowered so that work had to be stopped.
The caving system was introduced by miners from the north of England, where it originated. The method there was to mine from a sub-level immediately below a mat of timber, which was kept propped up until the retreat of mining began. Every effort was made to maintain this timber mat, for when it was destroyed a new mat had to be made at great cost. Modifications of this caving system were introduced during the early eighties, until it became the accepted method about 1887 to 1890 (see J. P. Channing in the Lake Superior Mining Institute, Volume 19); the introduction of the caving system was hastened by the decreasing local supply of large timber.
Permanent shafts in the foot wall were rare before 1895. Timber was used exclusively for shafts, shaft houses, and trestles. About 1900, steel replaced wood in shaft houses and, about 1910, concrete and steel were used for shaft lining. The most recent practice, inaugurated in 1919, is to build enclosed shaft houses of reinforced concrete. Electric haulage was introduced in 1892, since which time its use has become general.
Certain changes in mining conditions were brought about by legal restrictions, though in justice to the mining companies it should be said that much of the beneficial legislation enacted was prompted by the managers. The election of the mine inspector in each county, provided for in 1887, assured a greater degree of care for the safety of the workmen, which was increased after the passage of Michigan’s workmen’s compensation law in 1912. All large companies now have a department for safety inspection and first-aid training, although these are not required by law.
Early operations were wasteful, because of the lack of system and the necessity of marketing only the higher grades of ore. As the number of leased properties increased, it became necessary that all ores should be taken out in a workmanlike manner and unnecessary waste prevented. The principal causes of loss in the early years of the district were: (1) the lack of preliminary exploration and the beginning of caving before the limits of the orebodies had been determined; (2) the fact that softer material could be mined more cheaply than hard, which consequently was left in place; (3) in attempting to reduce the cost too great a vertical distance was taken between sublevels; (4) the lack of proper maps and systematic method of laying out the work.
The larger and more progressive mining companies, realizing these mistakes, inaugurated geological investigation, systematic development and close supervision, which resulted in the present methods by which losses have been reduced to a minimum.
The demand for crushed soft ores for charcoal furnaces necessitated the introduction of crushers in shaft houses.
Attempts have been made to concentrate some of the lean ores but, principally because of the intimate association of silica with the iron oxide, these have failed. The first concentrating plant in the district was built at the Jackson mine in about 1880. It failed because jaw crushers and rolls could not be made hard enough to withstand the wear and tear (manganese and other alloys of steel were not then in general use) and because, regardless of how fine the crushing might be, the particles of iron oxide and silica were too closely associated to be separated. Magnetic concentration was attempted, about 1890, by Thomas A. Edison at Humboldt and Michigamme by means of machinery introduced from Sweden for the magnetic treatment of magnetites. These attempts failed, owing to the small amount of ore available for concentration. At the American-Boston, a concentrator for soft ores was used until the mine was shut down. This method depended on a special structure of low-grade ore. Crowell & Murray’s “Iron Ores of Lake Superior” gives valuable information on the various ores of this range.
Mining Methods in Use
There are no rich ores close enough to the surface to permit open pit mining. Doubtless many deposits, now exhausted, that were-opened underground could have been stripped with modern equipment and the ore mined at a profit. Only the lean ores are now mined in open pits. The factor deciding the question of open pit or underground mining is the cost of stripping the overburden as compared with underground cost. Climatic conditions do not interfere, as shipments are made only in the summer. In open-pit mining, the systems used are: steam shoveling directly into standard railway or narrow-gage cars; milling into raises to underground drifts, then tramming the ore to a shaft, where it is dumped, hoisted, and run into ore cars.
Varying conditions necessitate a number of minor differences in mining methods, because hardly any two orebodies in the district are of the same size, shape, or physical structure. Underground mining may be separated into hard- and soft-ore mining. The hard ores are comparatively unimportant, as only a few mines on this range contain this grade. The systems used are either breast stoping into rooms and pillars, or shrinkage stoping if the vein is narrow, steeply dipping and has firm hanging and foot walls.
Most of the soft ore mined on the Marquette range is won by the top-slicing method. The typical orebody is a large mass with width exceeding thickness, lying in a basin of slate or diorite, or both, with a flat pitch and with the overlying jasper for a hanging wall or capping. The width may be as great as 1200 ft., the thickness 200 ft., and the length indefinite. In orebodies of such shape and dimension, top slicing is the only system by which great loss of ore can be avoided and the ore obtained without the grade being seriously affected by its being mixed with rock. The top-slicing system is flexible, in that any horses of jasper or large dikes can be left. By daily sampling from the breast of the working places, the ore can be hoisted and shipped, or stocked, according to grade. In large orebodies, slicing is carried on at different elevations, as extremely large sublevels are practically impossible to keep open. A large product can soon be obtained by starting work in a number of different places, each of which must be immediately below the hanging jasper. The disadvantage of this system is the amount of timber required and the heat generated by the decay of the timber. However, as practically all of the mines have two openings to the surface, good ventilation can be obtained by natural or mechanical means and the temperature kept within reasonable limits.
Mine openings are entirely by shafts, all modern ones being vertical; the deepest in the district is about 2500 ft. The size regarded as standard is 10 ft. 10 in. by 14 ft. 10 in. inside. This is divided into four compartments, the arrangement of which is shown on Fig. 1. Modern shafts are constructed with concrete walls and steel sets; some are circular, others rectangular. Great care is taken to locate them in the solid foot wall at a point where they will not be disturbed by caving.
The arrangement of the loading and discharging pockets is shown in Fig. 2. There are usually three 60-ton storage pockets, from which the ore is drawn into two measuring pockets, each holding enough for one skip. In some cases, additional storage is gained by raises from one level
to another, thus avoiding the expense of installing pockets on each level. In some mines storage raises at the shafts, 200 ft. high, are satisfactory.
Underground Development Plans
In Fig. 3 are shown the main levels, sublevels, raises, and chutes, with their relative dimensions and intervals.
Drilling and Blasting.—In drifting through hard rock, water-feed hammer drills on cradles are used, while for drifting and raising in ore hand machines of the jackhamer type, fitted with auger bits, are employed. For rock raising, the stoper is in common use. For shaft-sinking, air or water-feed hand sinking machines are used. The size and shape of the steel and bits are shown in Fig. 4; Fig. 5 shows the arrangement and depth of holes for cuts in ore and rock drifts. For tamping,
paper bags filled with fine material are supplied. In most soft ores, the explosive is 40 and 50 per cent, low-freezing ammonia; while in some of the harder ores 50 and 60 per cent, gelatine is used, occasionally 80 per cent.
gelatine is necessary. The air pressure at the drill is usually between 70 and 80 pounds.
Drifting and Sloping.—In laying out the main haulage levels, parallel crosscuts at intervals of 150 ft. are driven. From these crosscuts, raises are put up at intervals of 40 to 60 ft.; these raises are carried through to the capping. At the top of the raises, immediately below the jasper, sublevels are started. Crosscuts are driven to the proper limit and slicing is commenced. As the ore is removed, the floors are well covered with either lagging or 5/8-in. covering down boards. Succeeding sub-levels are driven at intervals of from 10 to 12 ft. On each sublevel, during the process of slicing, the floors are well covered. Fig. 3 gives details for position of drifts and raises.
Timbering.—In the main and sublevel drifts, round hardwood, hemlock, and tamarack timber are used. On this range, timber has not been chemically treated, although preparations are being made to do this. It is thought that before long all of the timber for main levels will be chemically treated.
Timber that has been framed on the surface is delivered at the bottom of raises on timber cars. From these points it is hoisted to the working places by means of small air hoists. It is not the practice, on this range, to remove any timber during the process of working the caving system. The details of the timber framing are given in Fig. 6.
The legs of the standard level set are usually 8 ft. long, though 9-ft. legs are used at the bottom of raises and in some haulage drifts. Logs are delivered in 8-ft. and 16-ft. lengths, the 7-ft. stub from a 9-ft. leg being used as a short leg or cap in sublevels. For main-level sets, legs are 12 to 14 in. in diameter; for sublevels, 8 in. to 10 in. and 10 in. to 12 in. Sets are usually 5 ft. apart and are braced as shown. A longer brace, behind the lower one shown, is spiked to both legs. Lagging and, where necessary, blocking is placed above the caps.
Specifications for Timber
Stull Timber (Legs and Caps)
Hemlock, hard maple, soft maple, yellow birch, tamarack, and Norway pine. Must be sound, straight, and green. Ash, white birch, poplar and balm of gilead not accepted.
Tamarack in top diameters of 8 and 9 in. containing not more than ¼ in. sap rot in depth, accepted; in diameters of 10, 11, 12, and 13 in., containing not more than ½ in. sap rot in depth. Lengths, 8 and 16 ft.
Tamarack, spruce, pine, hemlock, maple, and yellow birch. Must be sound, straight and green. Top diameter, 6 to 8 in. Lengths, 5 ft. 4 in., 10 ft. 8 in., and 16 ft.
Straight sound cedar, tamarack, and spruce (10 per cent, jack pine permitted).
Round, 3- to 4½-in. top, larger than 4½ in. to be split.
Split, not less than 2½ by 4 nor greater than 3 by 6.
In 5-ft. lengths, 160 cu. ft. per cord.
In 7- and 8-ft. lengths, 128 cu. ft. per cord; not less than 125 pieces.
No. 3 maple and birch. To be resawed from 2-in. maple and birch hearts to 5/8 in. To be sound, green lumber.
Widths, 6 in. and wider.
Lengths, not under 6 ft. and not over 9 ft.
Underground Track Ties
4 ft. 6 in. long, in- thick, 4½-in. face.
10 ft. long, cut from 20- and 30-ft. lengths, 3 to 4½ in.
Underground Sampling.—All working places are sampled at intervals of about 5 ft.; these samples make it possible to grade the ore. In addition, the ore from each chute is sampled as the motor cars are filled; this gives a check sample on the grade. All cars, before they are dumped into pockets at the shaft, are sampled, the samples being kept separate, according to mine chutes. On the surface, during the shipping season, a sample is taken from each skip as the ore runs into the railroad car; during the stocking season, it is taken from each car before it is dumped on the stock pile. The samples taken on the surface are the ones reported for the grade, those taken underground are simply used as a check.
Loading Machines and Scrapers.—Two heavy types of loading machines (the Shuveloder and the Hoar) have been successfully used in main level drifts. These machines are not practical, except on main levels. For sublevels, the John Mayne sublevel loader, Fig. 7, has been successfully used for over two years; this machine will be on the market in a short time. It is simple in construction and has few moving parts. It stands up under continuous work and can be operated by any miner. Records for a year for a gang using this loader show an increase over hand shoveling of 93.6 per cent, in tons per man per day; a decrease in
price to contractors of 32.6 per cent., and an increase in monthly earnings of miners of 19.5 per cent. Scrapers operated by double-drum air hoists have been used successfully in a limited way in both hard and soft ores. They load rapidly in a straight drift up to 75 ft. from a raise.
Tramming and Haulage.—Electric haulage is used almost exclusively in the district. Direct current is generated from alternating by rotary converters, situated on the surface or underground. Locomotives are 6 tons in weight and the current is received from an overhead trolley. The ore cars are of steel, side dumping with saddle backs, of 64 cu. ft. capacity, or approximately 4 tons of ore. The gage of tracks is 30 in. and the weight of rail 30 to 40 lb. The grade is 0.5 per cent, with the load. The cars are usually equipped with roller-bearing wheels and are dumped by hand at the shaft though the most recent installations have been rotary dumps, using round bottom cars.
Hoisting.—At most of the mines electricity is used for hoisting, although some still use steam. These hoists vary in horsepower from 400 to 900, depending on the depth of the shaft and the size of the skips. As alternating-current hoists of this size throw a heavy variable load on the power line, the newer hoists are equipped with flywheel motor-generator sets following the Ilgner system. With the skip hoist operated by direct current, an approximately constant power load is
maintained. The drums are from 8 to 10 ft. in diameter and from 8- to 14-ft. face. Hoisting is usually done in balance, at a speed from 1000 to 2000 ft. a min. For a 4-ton skip, which is the average size, a 1¼-in. plow-steel rope is used, except in the deeper shafts, which use 1 3/8-in. ropes. At almost all mines, a separate hoist is provided for the men. The cages have a capacity of from 24 to 30 men, and the speed, when men are being handled, is about 800 ft. per min. The hoists are provided with Lillie overwind device and the cages are equipped with safety catches and are balanced by counterweights. The counterweights are cast-iron cylinders, operating in 12-in. iron pipe. Most of the head frames are of steel, though one mine has an enclosed concrete structure.
Pumping.—Both plunger and centrifugal pumps are used, the motive power usually being electricity. These have capacities from 500 to 1600 gal. per min. against heads from 500 to 2400 ft. The amount of water pumped varies, in the different mines, from 150,000 to 3,500,000 gal. per day.
Air Compression.—Most mines are equipped with two-stage inter-cooled compressors of a capacity of 2000 cu. ft. per min.
Ventilation.—Nearly all mines have two openings and sufficient ventilation is therefore provided by natural means. In a few cases, where there is only one shaft and the connecting drift with another mine does not furnish sufficient ventilation, fans are installed underground. These are multivane blowers, with a capacity of 40,000 cu. ft. per min. against 3 in. water-gage pressure, operated by 50-hp. 2200-voIt a.c. motors. Where such installation has been made, the fan is placed on the bottom level, the cage compartment being used as the intake and the skip compartments as the outlet on the upper level, the lathing between these compartments having been made tight. By means of doors on the various levels, the air is forced through all the working places and discharged into the skip compartment on the top level. In order not to interfere with haulage, these doors are opened and closed by pneumatic cylinders controlled, from a distance, by ropes, red and green lights indicating the position of the doors.
Lighting.—In the shaft houses and on the underground plats, 55-volt, a.c. lamps are used; while in the main haulage levels 250-volt d.c. lamps are installed, which obtain electricity from the trolley wire. These are placed at all switches and at intervals from 100 to 200 ft. along the drifts. All men in the mines use carbide lamps.
Telephones.—Telephones are installed at all main level plats, in pump rooms, at underground hoists, in the lander’s station in the head frame, in hoisting houses, and in the various surface buildings, such as office and shops. Signaling in the shaft is by means of a.c. electric bells, all mine plats being connected to the engine house on two lines. The repeating bell system is used for operating cages. The cage rider is not permitted to open the door of the cage until the stop bell has been received from the hoisting engineer. A wire-pull bell is always installed in the cage com¬partment for emergency signals. No method of signaling in the haulage ways is used except that, on large levels operating more than one electric motor, there are colored lights at the entrance to each crosscut, which are automatically lighted when the motor is in that crosscut.
Disposition of Ore after Reaching Surface
During the shipping season, which is from May 1 to Dec. 1, ore from the skips goes directly into standard railway cars and is hauled to the ore docks at Marquette or Escanaba, for shipment by boat to lower lake ports. During the winter months, ore is stockpiled from trestles about 40 ft. high, usually built with wooden bents. As wooden trestles must be torn down each shipping season and re-erected in the fall, permanent steel stocking trestles are used at mines of a long life where there is sufficient ore to warrant the larger initial expenditure.
Safety and Welfare Work
Most of the large mining companies employ safety inspectors, who make regular or periodical trips through the mines. A book of safety rules is given to each employee, who signs a receipt for it. Examinations are held on these rules by a special committee. Failure to pass is sufficient cause for dismissal. Once a year, a special committee of workmen visits other mines to compare the safety appliances with rules as enforced in the different properties. This committe makes a number of safety suggestions, which are considered by the officials and almost invariably are accepted. At regular intervals, a certain number of men in each mine are trained in first-aid and apparatus work. Once a year, teams are selec¬ted from the various mines and field meets are held to compete for prizes in first-aid work.
The amount of welfare work varies with the different conditions. Some of the companies have hospitals, attached to which is a staff of doctors. In these hospitals, not only the cases resulting from mine accidents are treated, but also cases of sickness in the community. Nurses are employed, who visit the houses of the workmen, give help, and advise in case of sickness. A small uniform charge is paid monthly by all employees to cover doctors’ fees for ordinary consultation and visits, while the amount paid by the company for compensation takes care of cases of accidents. Some companies also have a system of pensions. Most of the companies take an active interest in the community by providing in the mine locations, where there are no theaters and other means of recreation, club houses with reading rooms, gymnasiums, bowling alleys, moving-picture machines, etc.