BUTTE –There are many different types of summer camps out there, but in Butte, it involves putting on a hardhat and picking up a drill.

So why do they call it “What a Blast Mining Camp?” Oh, that’s why. Six junior high and high school age students from around the country learned about blasting, hammering and drilling at the mining camp at Montana tech.

“The purpose of the camp is to get mining students so that we can provide mine students to replace retiring mining engineers in our industry,” said Mining Professor,  Paul Conrad.

The students got to go down into an actual former mine to learn what it was like to work in the dark, confining spaces of an underground mine.

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“This is the old Orphan Boy Mine, it was a lead, zinc, silver mine, and it closed down in about 1948 after World War II was over,” said Conrad.

Students were given a chance to operate the heavy jackleg drill.

“The drill weighs about 125 pounds so you got to finesse it so you’re not manhandling that whole 125 pounds,” said Mining Instructor Scott Rosenthal.

Another tough day in the Orphan Boy mine. The kids down there get to experience what it’s like to do some underground mining, which is important if they want to go into mining engineering.

Students enjoyed learning all aspects of mining.
“All the different types of mining, all the variety of it. There’s like underground and multiple ways to do things, ” said 15-year-old student Casey Seale.


Reporter: John Emeigh