Thursday

Daytrip - Goodspring's Yellow Pine Mines

EFP-P1030034-P1030035
(Fig. 01)
MAP-Goodsprings
(Fig. 02)
Directions: To reach the town of Goodsprings from Las Vegas, travel 27 miles southward on I-15 to the Jean-Goodsprings exit, then turn west on Nevada Highway 161 for seven miles. To reach the area of the mines, follow West Spring Street through town and turn right (north) onto Esmeralda Street. When it ends three blocks later, turn left (west) onto Pacific Ave. This turns into Wilson Pass Road and then Kingston Road (#53). After about a mile and a half, take the first left heading west onto an unmarked dirt road (Fig. 02).

Goodsprings Mining District: With the discovery of gold in 1882, the Goodsprings Mining District was officially established. Because the district included the mines in and around Mount Potosi, including the Potosi Mine that was begun in 1856, the date of its establishment often is listed as 1856. In 1901, the Yellow Pine Mining Company was formed, which consolidated ownership of most of the area mines and built a mill in Goodsprings. Because of this large consolidation, this general area was often referred to as the Yellow Pine Mining District, however, it was just a area within the Goodsprings Mining District. For more information on the Goodsprings Mining District, click the following link ... Goodsprings Mining District.
         


08/16/2013 Hiking Notes: Shortly after reaching the northwest corner of town, Harvey and I unloaded the Rhino and headed out in search of “gold”. During the course of the day we drove and or hiked to the remains of no less than five major mines and dozens of smaller shafts, adits and prospects including the Green Copper, Middlesex, Prairie Flower, Yellow Pine and Alice mines. Below, I have provided a map (Fig. 03), and pictures and general descriptions for each of these mines. NOTE: The area shown by the map in (Fig. 03) below is but a small portion of the Goodsprings Mining District.

MAP-Yellow Pine Mining District-2
(Fig. 03)
The Green Copper Mine (Fig. 04): The principal exploration of this mine was a tunnel about 125 feet long. There is also a winze inclined 52 degrees and 35 feet deep. The mine only produced two carloads, or about 75 tons of copper ore. As was the case in many of the mines that we encountered, there were what appeared to be failed attempts to “seal off” the entrances. Even though we take entering any mine very seriously, and are always very careful, we do like to pierce the entrance far enough to obtain a few picture (Figs. 05 & 06) that capture a “feel” for the mine.  
                      
EFP-P1030073
(Fig. 04)
EFP-P1030022
(Fig. 05)
EFP-P1030023
(Fig. 06)

The Middlesex Mine (Fig. 07): This mine lies at the south end of the small valley locally known as Horseshoe Gulch, half a mile southeast of the Yellow Pine mine and 3 miles northwest of Goodsprings, in the Goodsprings Mining District, in Clark County. The mine was located in 1901. There are two tunnels, an upper 100 feet long, and a lower about 400 feet long. The production of this mine is unknown. The view in (Fig. 01) was taken from the Middlesex Mine, looking north back down the access road. I believe (Figs. 08 & 09) are from the mine and tailings pile on the right in (Fig. 07). (Figs. 10 & 13) are from the mine at the end of the road.
                    
EFP-P1030032
(Fig. 07)
EFP-P1030040
(Fig. 08
EFP-P1030049
(Fig. 09)
EFP-P1030069
(Fig. 10)
EFP-P1030068
(Fig. 11)
EFP-P1030081
(Fig. 12)
EFP-P1060594
(Fig. 13)

The Prairie Flower Mine (Fig. 14): About 4 miles northwest of Goodsprings and half a mile northeast of the Yellow Pine mine, this mine is actually physically connected to the Yellow Pine mine seen in the distance near the right side of (Fig. 14). The mine was located in 1901, but little work was done before 1908, when, with the Solio claim, it was sold to S.E. Yount and W.E. Allen for $6,000. They began work and, after striking lead ore within a few weeks, sold it to Jesse Knight and Alonzo D. Hyde for $12,000. The Prairie Flower Mining Company was formed, and the ore body was explored to a depth of 110 feet from the old shaft. During 1909 and 1910 the company produced 10 carloads of high grade lead ore and about 30 carloads of oxidized zinc ore, 1,314 tons in all. From September, 1911, to 1913 it was leased to G. Meacham R. Duncan, and J.A. Frederickson, who sank the shaft to 300 feet, and mined 203 tons of lead and zinc ore. In 1917, under lease to the Prairie Flower Leasing Co., the new or Hale shaft, several hundred feet south of the old shaft, was sunk to 200 feet and drifts run north and south. In 1923, the shaft was sunk to 400 feet, and crosscuts were run from east and west. Early in 1927, the 400-foot level east was connected by a raise with the old Prairie Flower shaft. Sometime after this, the mine ownership transferred to the Yellow Pine Mining Company. (Hale Shaft). My guess is that there was a large mine frame over the opening of this deep shaft. Looking due south from this shaft (Fig. 15), you can see two concrete footings that may have held the machinery that operated the cables that lowered and raised the mines ore carts.
                
EFP-P1030133
(Fig. 14)
EFP-P1030132
(Fig. 15)

The Yellow Pine Mine (Fig. 16): The Yellow Pine Mining Company owned a group of 12 mining claims that cover most of the ravine locally known as Porphyry Gulch, 4 miles west of Goodsprings, in the Goodsprings Mining District of Clark County. In 1901, the Yellow Pine Mining Company was formed, which consolidated ownership of most of the area mines and built a mill in Goodsprings. The first ore shipped from the claim, 18 tons of oxidized copper ore, was obtained in 1906 from a shallow shaft 500 feet south of the Hale shaft (Prairie Flower mine), but no connection of this body with those of zinc carbonate that have made the mine famous has ever been established. Faint veinlets of brown jasper in the dolomitized limestone were the only evidence of ore near the shaft that yielded the copper ore; similar veinlets also crop out near the old shaft that encountered the first bodies of zinc ore in the mine. Small bodies of mixed lead and zinc ore were found in 1907 in the old shaft 200 feet east of the Hale shaft (Prairie Flower mine), but the first large body of zinc ore was struck in this shaft at 110 feet. This body was followed southwest and led to the successive exploration of the deeper bodies farther southwest and in 1912 to the sinking of the Hale shaft (Prairie Flower mine), from which all the ore bodies in the southern part of the mine to the ninth level were mined. In 1916, when conditions in the southern part of the mine were discouraging, exploratory work from the vertical shaft in the northern part of the third level encountered the ore body in the 350-foot stope, and from that time the development has been progressively northward. Early in 1922 most of the ore known south of the porphyry dike on the 900-foot level had been mined, when a raise from the 900-foot level north of the dike struck two large bodies of ore. The company then sank a new shaft in 1924. The interval 1911-28 is when the mine was most productive.
            
With decline in price of metals, the Yellow Pine Mining Co. ceased operations in 1931 and the mine lay idle for 2 years. The U. S. Smelting, Refining, and Mining Exploration Co. took lease and option from the Yellow Pine Co. in 1934, resuming operations that have continued intermittently until the present, though under different managements. In 1936 the lease passed to C. K. Barns, and in February 1939, the property was taken under lease and option by Harold Jarman. From May until December, 1942, Basil Prescott held the property under lease from Jarman. From September, 1942, to January, 1943, 64 core-drill holes having a total length of 5,161 feet were drilled by the U. S. Bureau of Mines. In December, 1942, the lease and option passed to the Coronado Copper and Zinc Co., which continued operations until the spring of 1949. In 1944, the Bureau of Mines Carried out a Second exploration project, drilling 35 core-drill holes with a total length of 5,113 feet. In spite of recent extensive exploration based on repeated examinations by geologists and engineers, the production at the Yellow Pine has not maintained the level reached during early years of mining, and no large ore bodies have been discovered since 1922. Though we are not exactly sure where the entrance to this mine was, based upon the head frame in the photograph in (Fig. 18), and a deep opening we observed in the southeast corner of the concrete foundation in (Fig. 17), it may have been somewhere beneath this concrete base foundation. As you can see from the photograph, this was once a very large and extensive operation.
              
8-22-2013 7-45-38 AM-2
(Fig. 16)
EFP-P1030089
(Fig. 17)
YellowPineMine-Old2
(Fig. 18)

The Yellow Pine Extension Mine (Fig. 19): Also known as the Green Mountain or Alice Mine, from the names of two of the claims, lies half a mile south of the Yellow Pine mine near the top of the hill at the south end of the ravine. The Alice mine was first located in 1892, but full scale production didn't start until 1909. Most of the ore has come from a shaft about 680 feet deep having an average incline just over 21 degrees. The collar of the shaft lies at the end of a tunnel 165 feet long. The depth attained is 230 feet vertically below the tunnel, but it is only 160 feet below the ravine west of the mine. No info is available about the Alice No. 2 shaft. Two other exploratory inclined shafts have been sunk 700, and 1,200 feet north of the main tunnel. These are 200 and 160 feet deep, respectively. Total production was around, 3,000 tons of mostly zinc ore. Some lead and copper ore had also been produced. Gross value of the output is estimated at $100,000. Today, you can still see the remains of the long ore chute (Figs. 19 & 20) that was used to load ore wagons that would then transport the ore to the processing plant in Goodsprings. As you can see from the pictures in (Figs. 21 & 22), the shafts and tunnels of this mine are so extensive (long & deep), and dangerous, that serious steel barriers have been erected to prevent entry.
             
EFP-P1030126
(Fig. 19)
EFP-P1030106
(Fig. 20)
EFP-P1060626
(Fig. 21)
EFP-P1030109
(Fig. 22)


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