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Queen Chrome/Red Mountain Mine

Last Modified: 28th August 2012

Summary

Mine shaft

Until prices tanked in the 1950s, Chrome was mined here.

The Queen Chrome Mine (often called "Red Mountain Mine") operated on Red Mountain near the town of Seldovia from 1942-1944 and again from 1952-1957.  The rich chrome deposits on Red Mountain are part of a large arc that runs from the end of the Kenai Peninsula to Sutton.  Geologists have interpreted these deposits as the root of ancient volcanoes wedged up between deep-ocean sediments.  In addition to the Queen Chrome Mine, small-scale surface mining of chrome was conducted nearby, and a small shaft was dug at the tip of the Kenai Peninsula at Chrome Bay. Commercial-scale mining didn't begin until demand for steel alloys shot up during WWII, though the Red Mountain area had been explored and prospected since the start of the 20th century. The post-war fashion for chrome on automobiles drove the second opening of the mine. 

Chrome Bay Mine

The geology of Red Mt. crops up in a string of deposits that includes Chrome Bay, where this small shaft gradually collapses.

Some of the more recent interest in the deposit has been focused not only on the chrome, but the possibility of manufacturing sand-blasting grit. There are no active leases on the mine and the last geophysical surveys of the area were performed in the 1980's.

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By David CoilElizabeth LesterBretwood HigmanGround Truth Trekking

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Date Created: 6th December 2010