Mineralogy and petrology students during fall 2014 were excited to go underground at Gordonsville Mine accompanied by a special guest: TTU President Phil Oldham. Led by Dr. Leimer, the group departed campus at 7:30am and drove 40 miles to the zinc mine in central Tennessee. They met with alumni Kegan Woods*, a mine geologist. The group of eight completed safety training in preparation for going underground, and a few hours later, they marveled at the samples of calcite, sphalerite and fluorite exposed in an open vein. The best sample of the day was a piece of calcite that now adorns the President’s Office on campus.
Special thanks to Nyrstar and Gordonsville-Elmwood operations for a safe and memorable Tech mining experience!
Are you interested in learning more about minerals and rocks? The mineralogy/petrology class is offered each fall semester by Dr. Wayne Leimer in the earth sciences program.
*Did you know that TTU alumni E. Kegan Woods is a third-generation miner? His grandfather helped put in the first shaft at Gordonsville, and if you look carefully, you might spot his dad in this video!