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Feb 15, 2014 7:12 PM by Nathan O'Neal

UA mining students give tours during Gem Show

SAHUARITA - University of Arizona students gave tours of a working mine in honor of the Gem Show, in an attempt to give folks a different perspective.

The University if now looking to tap into that huge crowd, trying to educate to folks on the school's mining program. Students gave tours of the San Xavier Mine Laboratory.

Nicholas Carouso comes from a family of miners. He said that most people who take the tour are surprised by how different it is.

"A lot of people have gone on the Bisbee tour and stuff like that but this is a lot more old school and really hands on navigating through the ladders, walking around the track," Carouso told News 4 Tucson.

The mine is primarily used for training and teaching purposes, however, there is a lot of research conducted as well.

"The mine has probably at least a mile of walkable space that we work on and it's three levels. We have a surface level that just goes through the hill. We have 100 foot level and 150 foot level," Carouso said.

Bob Donald heard about the tours through the Gem Show.

"It's really very interesting and very educational," Donald said. "I'd say if you ever wondered what happens in a mine this is a perfect opportunity to look and get into an underground mine... It's easy to take the open pit mines but it's a lot harder to take a tour of the underground mine."

For Carouso, the number one take-away is a lesson in safety.

"Mining is a dangerous profession but safety is always number one. We want to train students and have them comfortable when they actually go to working mines and be able to function efficiently but safely at the same time," Carouso said.

Future tours can be arranged by contacting the University's Mining Department.

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