Finding treasure in The Dalles

| Print |  Email
Thursday, May 01, 2008

AerialNWA.jpg

THE DALLES What started out as a vast demolition project has turned into an impromptu treasure hunt. Not gold coins or lost royal jewels, but instead precious metals from what was considered mostly scrap and junk.

As the Northwest Aluminum factory demolition began last June, workers began discovering a cache of riches. Unknown to workers and the owner of the approximately 200-acre site, Golden Northwest, the plant’s 300 smelters were brimming with 4 million pounds of melted aluminum worth about $1 per pound, according to Galen May, who is overseeing the demolition for Golden Northwest.

They also found 32 pounds of silver worth $6,000 lined in switchgears, 10 ounces of platinum worth $16,000, and valuable scrap steel and copper.

The $7 million in recovered metals is just about enough to cover the cost of the entire demolition project, May says.

“We’ve done pretty good,” he says.

Opened in 1958, the plant at its peak employed 550 people. It was closed in 2000. The site is being cleared to make way for other businesses. Google’s new server facility in the area depleted all the town’s available industrial-zoned land says Andrea Klaas, executive director of the Port of The Dalles.

May says the demolition project should be completed by the end of the year.

JASON SHUFFLER



Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Reader Input: Road Work

March 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Oregon's roads are crumbling, and revenues from state and local gas taxes are not sufficient to pay for improvements. We asked readers if the private sector should help fund transportation maintenance and repairs. Research partner CFM Strategic Communications conducted the poll of 366 readers in February.

0315 input01 620px

 

Reader comments:

"I feel private enterprises are capable of operating at a higher efficiency than state government."

"This has been used in Oregon since the mid-1800s. It is not a new financing method. This form of financing may help Oregon close its infrastructure deficit by leveraging funds."


Read more...

Quake as metaphor

Linda Baker
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
071515-earthquakia-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

The Big One serves as an allegory for Portland, a city that earns plaudits for lifestyle and amenities but whose infrastructure is, literally, crumbling.


Read more...

Downtime with Debra Ringold

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Dean of the Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University


Read more...

Photo log: Murray's Pharmacy

The Latest
Friday, July 17, 2015
OBM-Heppner-Kaplan thumbBY JASON KAPLAN

Photographer Jason Kaplan takes a look at Murray's Pharmacy in Heppner.  The family owned business is run by John and Ann Murray, who were featured in our July/August cover story: 10 Innovators in Rural Health Care.


Read more...

Storyteller in Chief: Natural Prophets

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY SAM BLACKMAN

Storyteller-in-chief with the CEO and co-founder of Elemental Technologies.


Read more...

Brain Storm

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY CAMILLE GRIGSBY-ROCCA

Can the brave new world of neurotechnology help an OHSU surgeon find a cure for obesity?


Read more...

Urban renewer

Linda Baker
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
UnknownBY LINDA BAKER   

One year after he was appointed chair of the Portland Development Commission, Tom Kelly talks about PDC's longevity, Neil Kelly's comeback and his new role as Portlandia's landlord.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS