This first level we found ourselves on was devoid of much detail. Mostly a flat concrete surface, it was dotted in places with round holes that seemed to drop into an opening below our feet. It was too dark inside this opening to see any detail and the hole was only large enough to place your arm. Besides the holes, we also found a few concrete bases that appeared to have support a bowl shaped container. These bases were about three feet square, and topped with a concave concrete form much like a bowl.
It was the ruin that sat at the far end of this level that was most intriguing. At first we thought it was a wall about waist high with a circular opening in its face. When we stepped up to it we saw that while a few feet high on our side, the opposite side dropped a good twelve feet into a building. The ceiling had collapsed at one point, or had been foreably removed. A frame of twisted and tangled rebar ran the inside edge of the walls. Noticing a doorway on the opposite side, we climbed down off the level to take a look.
Inside the building were a series of concrete pillars, walls, and columns. They weren’t symmetric and didn’t appear to have any order or reason to their placement Along with the large circular opening – now sitting above our heads – there were various other round holes and broken pipes protruding from the walls. We wondering if this was a pump room of sorts, used to bring the water up from the lake before mixing it with the copper rock. It’s position on this upper level would make sense, since mixing the water solution would be the first step in any stamping operation. To further make our case, we noticed a large circular opening on the outside wall opposite the stamp mill that cold be a water intake pipe.
Whatever the building was, it was quickly falling apart. The concrete was splitting and crumbling in many places, the steel mesh that supported it showing through in places. Then there were the white drippings all over. These dripping were along walls and under overhands and ceilings. At places they created a collection of short stalactites much like in a wet cave. It appeared as if the concrete itself was slowly melting away. Noticing this, we quickly made our exit.