Underground and surface operations at the York Canyon mine, Raton, New Mexico
— Kaiser Steel Corporation


Kaiser Steel Corporation purchased the 530,000 acre coal property in northern New Mexico in August, 1955, from the St. Louis, Rocky Mountain & Pacific Company. At that time, the Koehler mine was the only operating mine on the property, and it was being worked on a very limited basis.
Kaiser Steel modernized and expanded the Koehler operation to a capacity of 2,000 tons per day. At the same time, the company began a long-term exploration program to determine the potential of the area. During the next eight years, this exploration program outlined several substantial deposits, with the most attractive prospect for development in the York Canyon region. Studies found the coal quality to be good; the coal was desirable for blending purposes and access to the coal seam was favorable.
A test mine was opened in 1963. The coal was trucked to the Koehler mine for washing and subsequent shipment to Fontana for verification of the quality of the coal for blast-furnace use. Plans for construction of the new mine at York Canyon were finalized in late 1964, and construction work began in 1965. Design called for a mine capable of producing 700,000 tons per year. A spur line was built by the Santa Fe Railway connecting the new mine with the railroad's main line. Equipment and men were transferred from the Koehler mine. The move to York Canyon was essentially completed by September, 1966, and the Koehler mine was closed.

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Recommended Citation:

  1. Kaiser Steel Corporation, 1976, Underground and surface operations at the York Canyon mine, Raton, New Mexico, in: Vermejo Park, Ewing, Rodney C.; Kues, Barry S., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 27th Field Conference, pp. 253-255. https://doi.org/10.56577/FFC-27.253

[see guidebook]