Knowing a thing or two about mining
Keith Droste has witnessed the amazing transformation of Summit County. Not only did he watch it change, but he played a large role in helping it become the booming area it is today. Droste has mined almost everywhere in Utah. He was the superintendent at the Mayflower Mine, located near Heber, where they pulled up five tons of rock per day and, unlike many of the Park City mines, the Mayflower Mine contained gold.
The Mayflower wasn’t the only mine that Droste worked at. Starting in 1955, Droste mined the Mayflower and in 1982 went and worked at Kennecott , to name a few. He didn’t just work on top of the mines, his experience covers almost all aspects of mining, something Droste believes was a great benefit in helping him better understand the mining business. He has been living in Summit County so long that he used to drive to his job on a road now buried beneath the Jordanelle Dam, and "we were probably one of the first to drive over Guardsman Pass," said Droste.
His favorite part of the job at Mayflower was all the great people he worked with. And his least favorite part? "I can’t think of anything not favorable. There was a long labor strike with the smelters which lasted about a year, it forced us to have to stockpile our products and it forced a lot of mines to shut down."
Droste, after years of hard, back-breaking work, still hasn’t officially declared retirement. He continues to do consulting work with mines, and takes time to enjoy everything the Park City area has to offer. "I ski every time the sun comes out, and my dogs take me on long hikes in order to tire me out."
Droste’s advice to young people is to " try to obtain some face-to-face experience in what you want to do. Don’t expect to walk out of school and have everything."
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