The 35th Annual International Intercollegiate Mining Games were held over the last weekend of spring break from March 13-17, 2013, in the Q parking lot at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden. The CSM Ladies did very well, earning the title of world champions in the women’s division. The Men’s A team also did well, placing seventh in the men’s division, and the men’s B team came in 13th place. The teams were made up of many people from many majors in the graduate and undergraduate programs.
The CSM ladies were composed of Paige Cybulski, Chelsea Pomeroy, Jordan Rutledge, Sarah Holmes, Patty Capistrant, and Cosima Theloy. Jordan Oxborrow, Devin Weekley, Mike Berger, Matt Wilson, Eric Levonas, and Wade O’Rourke made up the Men’s A team, while the Men’s B team included Charles Smith, Mason Kreidler, Marcell Silveira, Adam Murray, Doug Simpson, and Fausto Moraes.
Hosting the mining games is a huge undertaking, and with no official governing body, is completely a student-led venture. The mining games began in 1978 and originally served two purposes. One purpose was to honor the 91 miners that were killed in the Sunshine Mine Disaster in Kellogg, Idaho in 1972. The second was to foster a sense of fraternity and competition between the many schools with a heritage of mining and mining related majors, such as geology and extractive metallurgy. This year there were 42 teams that competed from four countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
Teams competed in seven events involving both skill and speed, including Track Stand, Ore Muck, Swede Saw, Gold Pan, single jack Hand Steel, Jackleg, and Survey. Track Stand is a timed event requiring a team to put a section of rail onto an existing rail. Ore Mucking involves quickly filling an ore cart and running it down a track for the best time. A team of five takes turns cutting through a 6″ x 6″ piece of timber in Swede Saw. Hand Steeling is composed of a team alternating in single jacking for 10 minutes in order to drill the deepest hole. The Jackleg competition involves using a pneumatic drill to advance the greatest number of holes in a concrete block in three minutes. Finally, the Survey event tests the knowledge and use of a theodolite in order to turn angles and determine the distance between different points.
Mines did not have a permanent field to host the games, so one had to be constructed from scratch in Lot Q during the week of spring break. After the games, it had to be completely torn down. Facilities Management was an integral part of the creation of the field. Wood Resources provided all the wood that was used in the games, and Ames Construction provided gravel.
Capistrant was a primary organizer of this year’s event and when asked about what goes into hosting the games she said, “An entire years worth of work. It stated all the way back at the 2012 games, getting information to anybody that wanted to compete this year. Then we got sponsors and organized the rules. We were the first to institute an online registration system. In the end the turnout was great, pretty much a success in every way.”
The games would not have been possible without the sponsors. The gold sponsors were S.M.E., Newmont, and Freeport. The largest support came from diamond level sponsor, Hecla Mining. As a permanent diamond sponsor, Hecla will insure that the games are completely facilitated. However, they want to make sure that the event is still student run and organized, an element of the games that keeps them so intriguing. Since it is an international event, the games move from country to country. The games are different in other places, much like the way that the history of mining in the United States is different than the history of mining in the United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil, and South Africa.
The hosting of the games this year was definitely a success, due in no small part to the tenacity and drive for success that the students of the Colorado School of Mines all share. As an added note, a large number of both the CSM Ladies and the CSM Men’s teams are graduating this year, and anyone interested in joining the team and participating in the games next year should contact Jordan Oxborrow at email@example.com. The team will welcome anyone from any major.