Nickel Mine Slag
August 21, 2005
Between 1862 and 1893, the Gap Nickel Mine in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania produced 4.5 million pounds of nickel. In some years, its production accounted for upwards of 25% of the world’s annual nickel production. This smelter slag dump, about ¾ mile north of the former mine site, is nearly the only evidence of the mine's existence. Here, slag chunks cover an area of approximately 10 acres. The insert with the rock hammer gives an indication of the size of the chunks. Layers within each chunk indicate that successive batches of molten slag were poured into a vessel. Each chunk was then carted to the end of a ramp-way and dumped over the edge.