Mogollon News — Blasting


As most people in the Mogollon area are aware, there is lots more silver and gold in the ground here. However, several high tech, and no doubt high priced, tests have concluded that most of it is either spread too thin or too deep to be worth the cost of getting it out.

At least that’s what the big companies thought. Local folks figured there had to be a way to get some of that ore close enough to the surface to make it profitable.

One of the men working at the mine, Sam Jaramillo, is a veteran of the war in Vietnam, where he learned how to do things with explosives most people never heard of. However, the blasting had to be cheap. The ore was only good enough to mine if it came easy. After some figuring, it was concluded the least expensive approach was to blow the whole mass of overlying rock and dirt off with just one massive charge.

The only trouble was where to put it. The path of least resistance would land the whole mess right on the road. Shooting it over the top of the hill into Whitewater Canyon was ruled out too. This option was considered. With the Catwalk closed for repairs and hardly anyone going down there, some people believed no one would ever know where all the rock came from.

Sam nixed that idea though. "It’s going to be a big pile. I want to do things right." That would have meant filing an Environmental Impact Statement and public hearings. By the time the proposal was approved, if it ever was, the mine would be broke and out of business. Sam would probably be dead of old age.

With Federal land out and no place safe on the mine’s property, the next move was to turn to the County for a place to deposit the rock.

The Catron County officers understand what it takes to make it out here and know people need to keep expenses down. As well, it just happened they had a use for all that fill, and anything the County can get for free helps keep taxes reasonable.

A date was set. Sam’s precision blasting worked like a charm. Mining is underway on the newly accessible body of ore. And the old hole at the dump down in Pleasanton is now filled in smooth as a plate.

Appreciation is extended to the Catron County Sheriff’s Department for stationing a deputy at the dump entrance to make sure no one got too close to the impact area. Since the deputy was on duty anyhow, this did not cost the taxpayers a cent.

Read more samples from the Mogollon News

The Silver Creek Temperance Society
The Balloon
Halley’s Comet
The Libyan Invasion
A Case of Religion

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