This past weekend a team of students and alumni from Missouri University of Science and Technology competed in seven traditional mining tasks as part of the 35th International Intercollegiate Mining Games and managed to earn a top-three position in several team categories, with the women’s team tying for first place.
The mining games were held Wednesday, March 13, through Sunday, March 17, at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo. Missouri S&T’s teams competed with 41 collegiate teams representing 16 different schools from around the world, with schools coming from as far away as Canada, England and Australia, in addition to teams from schools across the United States.
The Lady Miners tied for first place with hosts Colorado School of Mines, but lost the tie-breaker to place second overall. The Men’s A team placed third. The Alumni teams placed first and third in their respective divisions. The Coed team placed tenth out of thirteen teams. The groups brought home several trophies while representing S&T.
The “mucking” competition contained seven main events: track stand, when teams lay ore cart rail; ore mucking, where teams race to push a 2-ton ore cart a specified distance; swede sawing, where a team of five alternates cutting through a 6-inch-by-6-inch timber using 36-inch bow saws; gold panning, where participants search for flattened lead ball bearings in a dirt-filled gold pan; hand steel, where teams drill the earth; jackleg, where two competitors use a pneumatic drill and have three minutes to advance the deepest hole in a 6-foot-by-6-foot concrete block; and surveying.
The games celebrate traditional mining practices and serve to create a world-wide community of mining students. The games were first held in 1978. They were designed to honor the 91 miners who perished in a fire in 1972 at Sunshine Mine, located between Kellogg and Wallace, Idaho.
Mining colleges and universities around the world rotate hosting the International Intercollegiate Mining Games. Last year’s games were held in Cornwall, England.