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were owned and operated by the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company (CF&I) to help fuel trains for the vast railroad network that was pushing its way through the American West, and to fire the furnaces of the steelworks plant in Pueblo, Colorado. CF&I also invested in numerous iron mines throughout Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and New Mexico, and operated several lime quarries, dolomite quarries, and a fluorspar mine for fluxing materials to be used in the steel-making process.
and learn about people and the history of coal and iron ore mining, transforming coal into fuel in coke ovens, and steel manufacturing Colorado.
Abandoned mines present very dangerous physical hazards to the public. When mining was completed, the companies just walked away leaving piles of waste and dug out holes. Thus, Colorado was left with an estimated 23,000 abandoned mine lands (AML).
1248 tons of gold were mined in Colorado prior to 1953. At various times throughout its history, Colorado has been the leading U.S. producer of gold, silver, molybdenum, lead, zinc, uranium, and tungsten. Other metals that have been mined in Colorado include copper, tin, vanadium, iron, beryllium, lithium, rare earth elements, thorium, tantalum, and manganese.
The economic importance of Colorado’s mineral (gold, molybdenum,aggregate, sand and gravel, gypsum, nahcolite) and mineral fuel (coal, uranium) resources continues today. The total value of production in 2010 was $2.1 billion.