When the Tamarack Mine undertook the ambitious plan of mining the Calumet Conglomerate at depth, it was an incredibly risky and ambitious plan that had no contemporary counterpart. It was only blind faith that encouraged the investment in such a ludicrous scheme, faith in the experience and expertise of the old mine captain that had envisioned the possibility of mining the great C&H’s lode right out from under it.
The craziness wasn’t so much in the plan’s technological possibility as much as it was it’s apparent disregard of any financial discipline. Sinking shafts is the single most expensive undertaking any mine can perform, one that makes absolutely no money but spends plenty. And in the Tamarack’s case, that undertaking would require sinking through over 3200 feet of solid rock before a single ounce of copper could be recovered. To make matter’s worse, the endeavor would take three and a half years to complete. Three and a half years of nothing but massive spending and plenty of red ink. But when it was done and the great Calumet Conglomerate was pierced – and its massive riches just lying in wait for the picking – the plan suddenly made perfect sense. So much sense in fact that it was repeated four more times.”