COLORADO STONE QUARRIES WERE combined and REOPENED IN 2011 BY R.E.D. GRANITI as the Pride of America Mine. THE QUARRY NOW OPERATES USING MODERN quarrying TECHNIQUES TO SUPPLY THE FINEST PRODUCTS to the world market.
Colorado Stone Quarries are located above the upper Crystal River Valley, outside the town of Marble. After some years of sitting dormant, the quarry was acquired by and reopened in 2011 by R.E.D. Graniti. Quarrying techniques have changed since began quarrying Yule marble in the mid-1880s. Historic blasting techniques in use at that time are now replaced with diamond studded cutting and drilling machines. Modern machinery increased production as well as eliminated unintended damage to surrounding material caused by historical blasting techniques caused. Channeling machines (consisting of several drill bits and powered by electricity or steam) were used to cut the blocks and made vertical holes from the top to the bottom. The bottom portion of the block was then cut along horizontal holes drilled on the marble surface. The block was then separated from the mountainside by inserting wedges into the horizontal holes, until the block broke free.
Following RED Graniti’s acquisition, the Yule marble deposit is worked all year long in new underground portals located just south of the Washington Gallery – the original three openings. As of 2019, old surface mined Osgood quarry is reactivated as the Franklin Quarry that is only operated during warm weather months. Following renaming as the Pride of America Mine, the historic and modern quarries and galleries are named after Founding Fathers and Presidents of the United States. The underground gallery accessed by new portals 7, 6 and 5 is named the Lincoln gallery. South of the Lincoln Gallery is the newest underground area – the Hamilton Gallery. The old surface Osgood quarry name is now changed to the Franklin Quarry. These various quarries and galleries are located along and above Yule Creek, at elevations ranging from 9,000 feet (2,700 m) to 10,000 feet (3,050 m).
The Pride of America Mine is located along
Yule Creek at ELEVATIONS RAGING FROM 9,000 FEET (2,700 M) TO 10,000 FEET (3,050 M).
Modern Quarrying Methods
Current cutting methods can vary depending on the variety of marble encountered and usually involves two types of saws: diamond edged wire and chain saws. The usual approach starts with a horizontal cut at the bottom. Next, vertically oriented drills are used to section the entire wall into smaller benches sections. A wire saw is then used to cut the back and sides of the section to create smaller workable blocks. A metal water bag is then inserted behind the back cut and filled with water, to push the block away from the rock face. Finally, the block is pulled down over a soft bed of crushed marble and rubble by large excavators. The next step is the block dressing completed by tractor mounted chainsaws followed by quality control in designated areas. The trimmed and curated block is then ready to be lifted by loaders and placed on a haul truck for transport to the Delta Slabbing Facility.