Widely known open pit “Staraya Linza” (“Old Lens”) attracts many tourists in any season but few know the history of the place.
The deposit of the talc stone has been known since the 1880s. It used to be developed by primitive methods. In the end of 1930 the government decided to speed up the development of the Ural deposits. Thus they started to inspect the Shabrovsky deposit of talc-magnesite stone.
In 1931 they evaluated the amount of the deposite reserves and started its development. The forest nearby was partially cut down, employees were attracted from local villages.
Talc-magnesite stone was excavated by open-pit mining. In 1929-30 the pit was not large and was only 10-12 m deep.
All works were done manually. In 1930 the pit considerably grew and became 4 times larger. The people built a settlement with electricity, schools and a hospital.
In the beginning of 1936 the length of the pit was about 200 m , the width in the middle of the pit – 40-50 m, depth reached 30 m.
The cableway-type crane and the derrick-crane (on the right) working
The pit was supplied with water from the old flooded mine that was fed with surface waters and from springs.
In the period of 1931-1936 talc-magnesite stone was mined in blocks of a standard size – 0.8х0.8х0.65 m. Such blocks were obtained by combined work of electric coal cutters and pneumatic stopper drills.
The excavated blocks were lifted with cableway-type cranes and derrick cranes from the pit and were loaded on dumping buckets to be transported to the sawing shops.
Only two cableway-type cranes worked at the pit, now only its posts remained. Stairs to the post.
All metal elements are forged and carved. No welding at all.
Metal thickness is about 2 cm
They lifted stone blocks with a portable cart.
Roller apron system
Manual sawing of the blocks was done with ordinary pitsaws.
The blocks were sawn into plates which were sawn into bricks.
In 1937 the system of making bricks was levelled up – they started to use plants of A. M. Stolyarov which allowed to get bricks right from the bottomhole.
The plants were moving along the railway on a platform.
The bottomhole for the cutting machines.
Remains of Stolyarov’s plants can be still found on the pit’s bottom but each year it is ruined by vandals. A big amount of bricks broke while transportation because they were wet, to solve this problem they built two kilns where they burnt the bricks.
In the 1970s the technical progress let obtain fire bricks from talc powder by flotation, pressing and baking. Thus, in 1974 the pit was put out of service due to appearance of new technologies in mining and reserves development.
Former pumping plant
Through special trenches groundwater used to get to the pumping station.
Soil cutter was used to make the trenches.
The Polish excavator KM-602A. Such vehicles were produced in the 1950-80s by WARYNSKI enterprise.
Other metal attributes that remained till nowadays
Today the pit is 100 m deep at the length of 500 m.
The walls of the pit after the Stolyarov plants work.
Tracks of the Stolyarov plants
Shabrovsky talc enterprise mines talc at a new deposit – in the pit “Novaya Linza” (“New Lens”) that is located nearby.