On Oct. 4-6, The Doe Run Company (Doe Run) and the Viburnum community will celebrate the region’s mining history at the 33rd Annual Old Miners Days festival. The event includes free tours of Doe Run’s mines on Saturday, Oct. 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“Mining has been a part of Missouri’s history for more than 300 years,” said Brian Mangogna, general manager at Doe Run’s Southeast Missouri Mining and Milling Division (SEMO). “Those early miners would be amazed to see the technologies transforming how we work today. In many cases, we’re one of the first mining companies to pilot new innovations, like Railveyor, an automated electrically powered underground light rail system. Innovation is important in order to keep Doe Run a leader in the lead mining industry for many years to come.”
During Old Miners Days, visitors are invited to go roughly 1,250 feet underground to see a working lead mine. The mines are cavernous, with roadways large enough to accommodate haul trucks, and feature glittering rock faces and dramatic rock pillars. Guests 12 and older can register at Doe Run’s Old Miners Days booth, and buses will transport guests to and from the site.
“This is one of our favorite weekends of the entire year,” said Mangogna. “We live and work in this community too, and enjoy the opportunity to show our neighbors what modern mining actually looks like.”
More than 100 Doe Run employees volunteer their time each year to make Old Miners Days a success. Above ground, mining equipment, such as haul trucks and loaders, will be on display, along with an area where children can see how the equipment works by moving sand with remote-controlled loaders.
Old Miners Days is a celebration of the Viburnum area’s rich history as one of the world’s largest lead mining districts. The annual event attracts thousands of visitors to enjoy music, food and family-friendly activities. The variety of entertainment provides fun for any age, including a parade, car show, musical performances, children’s games, and more. The events will take place next to the Viburnum High School on the Viburnum Center parking lot. Learn more about Old Miners Days, including a full schedule of events, at https://www.oldminersdays.com/.