Quincy Reclamation Plant

As copper prices dropped and milling technology improved, mine companies began to take a second look at these copper bearing deposits in Torch Lake. It was now possible – and economically advantageous – for mines to retrieve those tailings and remove the copper that they still contained. The process was known as reclamation, and was first undertaken in earnest by C&H around 1920. Towards that end C&H built itself a dredge that could suck up those sands from the lake bottom and send them out to the reclamation plant on shore. This first dredge – known as C&H Dredge No. 1 – would be responsible for retrieving over 48 million tons of C&H sands in its lifetime, yielding over 423 million pounds of copper for the company.

The Quincy Mine got into the reclamation game several decades later – in 1943 – after failing to make a profit on its underground operation. In 1953 the C&H Dredge No. 1 was bought by Quincy to supplement its own dredge. It turned out to be exceptional foresight, as Quincy’s first dredge ended up sinking in Torch Lake in 1956. Its roof top can still be seen sticking up from the center of the lake. As for Quincy Dredge No. 2, it continued to mine Torch Lake for several more decades until it too sank in 1967.”


The Mining of Torch Lake

The archaic Quincy stamp mill Early stamp methodology was a very simple and archaic one – nothing more than a…

Crates in the Sand

Making our way from the sunken dredge we embarked on a long journey across the Quincy stamp sands towards the…

Rails On Water

After having been sucked up from the lake bottom by the dredge, stamp sands were then sent down along the…

The Shore Plant

The Quincy Reclamation Plant was in fact two plants in one. The main plant sat up on shore, and was…

The Reclamation Plant (p1)

While the machines and equipment used in copper mills may have changed and evolved over the decades, the process itself…

The Reclamation Plant (p2)

In addition to the leaching and floatation processes a typical reclamation plant utilized two other types of machines in its…