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Mackay Muckers

The University of Nevada, Reno’s Mackay Muckers mining team is preparing to welcome teams from around the world to the 41st Annual International Intercollegiate Mining Competition next spring.

The competition will be held at the Virginia City Arena & Fairgrounds during UNR’s spring break, March 20—March 23, 2019.

The Mackay Muckers have invited teams from around the world to compete with them in Virginia City. Nevada could host at least 40 teams and more than 200 competitors next year on the Comstock from England, India, Germany, Brazil, The Netherlands, Australia and throughout the U.S.

The mining competition began in 1978 and was dedicated to the 91 miners who died from smoke inhalation or carbon monoxide poisoning during an underground fire in the Sunshine Mine on May 2, 1972, in Idaho.

This past spring, the mining competition was held at the King Edward Mine in Camborne, England. About 40 teams from around the world participated in the competition.

Participants compete in seven different events: single jack drilling, where all five team members drill for two minutes into a block of concrete with a hand steel and a hammer; jackleg drilling, two members machine drill into concrete for the best depth; mucking, four members fill and tram an ore car for the best time by hand; swede saw, all five members hand saw through a 6”x 6” timber for the fastest total time; gold panning, all five members pan by hand for the fastest total time to recover lead pellets; surveying, two members survey for speed and accuracy with modern equipment and track stand, four competitors lay railroad ties and track for speed and accuracy.

The Comstock Lode is where John Mackay applied his mining acumen during the 1860s and 1870s and made a great fortune. As one of the Bonanza Kings, he and his wife Louise and son Clarence, as well as the Mackay family, were benefactors of UNR. Each year during the first week of March, UNR celebrates Mackay Week at the campus “on the hill” in Reno.

Participants in next year’s mining competition will be able to tour the Mackay Mansion as well as other landmarks in Virginia City and will have an opportunity to learn more about “The Richest Place on Earth.”

To become a sponsor or register a team, please contact Claire Roberts, Mackay Muckers President, at robertsclaire03@gmail.com or 530-559-2278.

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