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USA Abandoned Fluorite Mine in Kentucky - March 2020

WesternKentuckyUrbex

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We explored this mine back in March when it was still quite cold and easy to traverse. The mine itself is really obscure and hard to get to, which has protected it from vandalism. All the decay has been natural and the place is still in good shape but parts are starting to collapse, especially the modular parts of the mine.

The shaft is still exposed and can be climbed into, but that would be dangerous as the mine shaft is over 700ft (210m) deep and most likely flooded.

Almost all the equipment is still here, and the place seems to have been abandoned the day after operation. There are plans for the place to be reopened but when we were there nothing looked different or new, and we think the place will probably rot away before anything is done.

Exploration

We had to take the long way in as the main way in was super open. So we went through probably the most difficult way in an overgrown cemetery full of thorn bushes, hawthrone trees (they have massive thrones on them), and uneven terrain. The cemetery was really cool, but it was so overgrown you could barely see any of the graves.

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This section has barbwire but it was knocked down and we easily crossed it and went further into the forest. We didn't take many pictures at this part as there was nothing that interesting other than some signs that hunters use the land.

We came across a really large abandoned modular home but the floor was so gone that we didn't go in.

The headframe was the first thing we saw as we entered the actual site. It was really imposing and stood out among all the other buildings on the property.

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To the right of this picture was a large tank called a Head Tank, which helps stabilize the pressure in pipe systems. It had this cool font that was used all over the property.

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The building to the left of this is a modular home, which still had furniture and food in it. Seems it was used for a person who had to stay on-site, though we are not sure if it was used for security or for a nightwatchman. We think after the mine closed it was used by hunters due to the camo furniture.

The style of cabinetry and wood paneling is common for hunting lodges in the area.

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We also found a newspaper dated around 2008 just 5 days before Leeman Brothers filed for bankruptcy.

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We left this building and headed towards a laboratory. The building was small and quite damaged. This is the only building we think vandalism has taken place on the property.

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We found cores outside the building and in the metallurgical lab in a small room attached to this building. There were still some chemicals inside the lab and we didn't know if they were toxic or not. We also found a working fire extinguisher and we had fun spraying it.

The building next to this was full of documents and schematics and catalogs related to the mine. The building had the word purchasing on it, and it seems where replacement equipment was bought. There was an entire room full of documents on the floor.

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After this, we took a short walk to a weight station. The station had a weight that went up to 100,000 lbs and was still a manual setup.

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After this, we discovered some really beautiful crystals (fluorite in its purple form is quite common). Ghost (who is one of our members) got a pictured taken holding a large rock with crystals on it. Beth kept finding many rocks on the ground including some pretty large rocks.

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After some rock hunting, we got a good view of the rest of the mine area.

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We then went into a workshop that had a massive cabinet for nuts and bolts.

workshop_interior_Dean.png


After this, we checked out the A-frame which seems to be where trucks would be loaded with the processed fluorite. There was lead and zinc samples in the room, and you can see cores on the ground.

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After this, we checked out an area with large filters and tanks on top of it.

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After this, we climbed up some ladders and got shots of the mine towards these large tanks. Not in the picture was large doors which were used for filters.

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We then went into the processing plant where they would crush and tumble all the fluorite to make it a fine powder. It had a lot of pipes and old computer panels in the room.

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We then went around and explored the DWP plant. The first floor was flooded and we had to put a board down so Beth and Ghost could get across.

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We found a control panel with all its button still intact but the computer components were strewn on the floor along with a small red hopper which still looked brand new.

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We also found a large screw grinder that still had rocks in it.

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On the third floor, we found a large opening with a small yellow chain keeping you from falling 30 or so feet. I feel like this would be an osha violation.

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We took a pic at the very top of the site from the interior and exterior.

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One of the last things we checked out was the actual shaft. My buddy Dean climbed up a fence and got a picture of the uncovered hole.

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We also got some pictures of the conveyor belts that cross over the property.

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This building was pretty rough due to a large hole in the roof.

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The last picture we got was this really cool control panel and chair. This was in the large pump house where giant motors would pull the water out of the mine.

We plan to go back soon with another urbex group but we don't know when that will happen.

Video


We also did a three-part video of this location if any of you are interested in seeing the place in a video:


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