Mines News

Release Date Saturday, March 17, 2018

SD Mines’ Mining and Mucking Team Takes Home World Championship

SD Mines Mining and Mucking Team members pictured at a recent team practice (left to right) Weston Shutts, Torger Henckel, Rahel A. Dean-Pelikan, Kathryn Weyeneth, Heath Pirkey and Max Southbloom.


RAPID CITY, SD (April 2, 2018) – The South Dakota School of Mines & TechnologyMining and Mucking Team are world champions, taking home first place in the co-ed/mixed division at the International Collegiate Mining Games held March 29–April 1, in Cornwall, England.

The team, named Hammerslagen, took home the championship by placing in every competition category - mucking and surveying, hand steel and jackleg, swede saw and gold panning.

Members of the Mining and Mucking team come from across campus and work closely with members of the SD Mines Department of Mining Engineering and Management, which is among the top programs in the United States. This year’s team is made up of metallurgical engineering majors Heath Pirkey from BerthoudColo., and Kathryn Weyeneth from Dunlap, Ill.; mechanical engineering major Weston Shutts from Divide, Colo.; geological engineering major Max Southbloom from North Branch, Minn; and mining engineering and management majors Torger Henckel from Viroqua, Wis., and Rahel A. Dean-Pelikan from Santa Clara, Calif.

The mining games incorporate historical mining methods and practices, many of which were employed in the Black Hills following the gold rush of 1876. Skills demonstrated at the annual games include operating a pneumatic drill called a jackleg, a hammer-and-chisel type drill called a single jack or hand steel and the swede saw, commonly called the bow saw; mucking, which is also known as shoveling, plus mine surveying, gold panning and track standing which requires contestants to erect a section of railroad track. Some examples of the above activities can be found on the team’s Facebook page.

The International Collegiate Mining Games also serve to commemorate fallen miners. The first games were held in 1978 to honor 91 miners who died in the 1972 Sunshine Mine Fire in Kellogg, Idaho.

In the 2017 games, the SD Mines coed team placed first in the hand steel competition and fifth overall. The men's team placed first in mucking and fourth overall.

At SD Mines, students receive hands-on experience with industry-grade equipment, management training, and the opportunity to survey and work underground with officials at the Sanford Underground Research Facility. Mining engineering and management students also train with professional mine rescue teams, intern at major companies across the mining industry, and interact with a wide variety of national and international mining experts.

To read more about the competition, click here.


About SD Mines  

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,529 students with an average class size of 24. The SD School of Mines placement rate for graduates is 97 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $63,350. Find us online at sdsmt.edu and on  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat

Contact: Charles Michael Ray, 605-394-6082, charles.ray@sdsmt.edu

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