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Research Project

Expansion of the Henry G. “Hank” Grundstedt San Xavier Underground Mining Laboratory

John R. Hill, Principal Investigator

PhotoThe San Xavier Mining Laboratory is located in the Pima Mining District, approximately 23 miles south of Tucson.  The facility is part of what was once the largest underground mine in the district.  Founded in 1880 by the San Xavier Mining and Smelting Company, the mine was operated until 1952, producing silver, copper, lead and zinc.  Beginning in November 1958, the mine workings surrounding the Number #6 Shaft were leased to the University of Arizona, College of Mines, for educational purposes.  In 1975, the Number #6 Shaft and related workings were donated to the University. An additional 3 mining claims encompassing over 50 acres were donated to the University in December 2007 bringing the total land position to 90 acres. The mine currently utilizes three underground levels (surface level, 100 feet deep level and 150 feet deep level), two of which are serviced by the primary shaft.  The mine is structured like an operating mine, where all supervisory positions are held by undergraduate students including mine manager, safety manager, and shift foremen.  We are planning a new training center building with classrooms and offices, installing the most sophisticated research hoisting system in the U.S., and upgrading the supporting infrastructure at the laboratory to expand its overall research and training capabilities.

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