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A train Ride into History: a glimpse into the life of a miner at the phoenix mines

Welcome aboard our 30-minute train tour! Before we embark on this journey through history, mining technology, and geology, I want to ensure everyone's safety. Please remember to remain seated throughout the ride and always keep your arms and legs inside the car.

On May 24, we unveiled our brand-new train tour, offering a ride through history and mining technology unlike any other in the area. A few weeks later, we opened our Centurion Lantern Mine Tour. These tours aim to take you back in time and help you explore the fascinating world of prospecting, gold mining, and the innovations that drove it.

As we go, you'll discover some of the groundbreaking mining technology that prospectors used to find veins of ore and the equipment of the day-to-day operations of miners. One of the key technologies you'll learn is compressed air and all the things it was used for. This powerful tool was a game-changer for prospectors and miners alike and gave them a source of power in an era before electric and hydraulic powered tools.

Next, we'll ride past the Comstock mine. The Comstock is renowned by miners for being home to one of the area's richest gold veins, valued at millions for just one square meter of ore (10.7639 square feet). Despite the extensive network of underground openings, the mine still holds a substantial amount of rich ore.

Like a maze, the Comstock connects to the central Phoenix tunnel which connects to the Centurion level. While the Centurion may not boast the same riches as the Comstock, it is still abundant with ore and history. The current owner has dedicated the Centurion mine to Wilfred Roberts, the previous owner who worked the Centurion portion of the mine long before he purchased it. Roberts had a close relationship with Haans Mosch, the current owner's grandfather, thus highlighting a legacy of dedication and hard work.

Roberts was a kind man. Even during the Great Depression miners didn’t lose much work and Roberts and Mosch were no exception, continuing to mine and giving away much of what little he had to the less fortunate. Although this never came to fruition, Roberts wanted to find an even richer vein of ore in the Centurion level, which would have given him more money to share with everyone around him.

As you go through the Centurion, you will see the signs that Wilfred Roberts saw pointing him to a new treasure hidden deep under the ground. From the small veins of ore that dot the tunnel to the various ways that the rock formed 1.6 billion years ago, Roberts kept digging, believing that there was ore back there, ore that is untapped to this day.

As the train reverses course, Imagine the lives of these prospectors and miners, toiling away in search of gold. People like Wilfred Roberts wanted a fortune for selfless reasons, or others who sought to strike it rich for themselves. While you may not have the chance to mine for gold as they did, you can still gain a deep appreciation for the hard work the miners experienced and the history we see today.

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