Headframe Stories

The High Ore Mine

Pulling Up Pure Veins

High Ore Miners

During its operation, the High Ore mine was a strong producer of high quality ore pulling minerals like quartz-pyrite from its veins. It was during this time that Butte became known as “The Richest Hill on Earth.”

“The [High Ore] vein filling consists of quartz arid pyrite, with enriching bornite and glance, the richest
streaks being near the footwall,” writes the United States Department of the Interior. “The usual abundance of fault clays and slips of other veins is lacking, and the ore shoots end abruptly in lean quartz and pyrite.”

The high quality ore pulled from the ground had a purity rarely found in Butte mining history.

We know that high quality is hard to find, in the ground and in the glass – that’s why we chose to name our spirits High Ore Vodka. We want a high quality, pure distillation and just like those miners, we’ve found it.

Photos provided by the World Museum of Mining

Historically, the High Ore served another purpose too.

Working with the Kelley, both mines pumped ground water out of the mines at rates of around 5,000 gallons per minute. Because most of the underground workings were interconnected, not every mine needed to pump water out itself. Instead, they relied on larger mines like the Kelley and the High Ore to do the work. It was necessary work to allow miners to reach deeper veins.

Studies of the High Ore Mine found, “large high-grade ore as deep as 2,800 feet.”

These claims created hope for the miners. Digging down deeper and deeper, their efforts were rewarded with pure ore. A reminder of what is possible for hard workers everywhere.

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