Keystone Mine - Goodsprings/Yellow Pine District

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(Fig. 01)
P-1916 Goodsprings Mining District Map
(Fig. 02)

Directions: The Keystone Mine is located south of Las Vegas, nearest the town of Sandy Valley, Nevada. Our approach today was from Goodsprings, lower right of (Fig. 02). Taking Kingston Road (highlighted in yellow), which runs northwest from the back side of town, it is about a 12 mile drive through Wilson Pass and around Shenandoah Peak to Keystone Wash. Then, driving two miles southwest, the road terminates at the end of the wash and the Keystone Mine site on the west slope of the Spring Mountains (Fig. 02).
01/15/2014 Trip Notes: As you near the end of Keystone Wash you are confronted with a labyrinth of roads leading to numerous open portals, many very high up on the southwest facing mountain side of the Spring Mountains (Fig. 01). During the course of the day we either drove to, or climbed up to more than a half dozen of these sites, the majority of which have either been backfilled, fenced off or sealed with foam. Driving the main road to the end of the wash, we were surprised to find what had been a very large open pit surface mining operation. Though no longer in operation, this enterprise took down nearly half of the mountain side (Fig. 03) where many of the early Keystone mine portals must have been located. As we began driving and climbing up some of the roads leading to various tailing piles, mines, adits, stopes and shafts, we were impressed by the amount of work that had been put into building and reinforcing (Fig. 04) many of the roads that led to these sites. During the next three hours we explored no less six sites, three of which I have recorded in the collages found in (Figs. 05, 06, and 08). As you can see from the picture in (Fig. 07), the road to the last mine we explored (Fig. 08), was rather treacherous. Research has indicated that the mine shown in (Fig. 08) is the Barefoot Boy Mine. The benefit being that every time we drove and hiked higher up the mountainside, the better the views (Fig. 09) looking out over the wash and valley below. Though one of our goals for the day was to also explore the Chiquita Mine, which was located on the other side of a ridge only 3,000 feet west of the Keystone Mine (refer to the map in Fig. 02), we ran out of time. There are so many mines in this area that we have yet to visit, I guess we will just have to save it for another trip. Even though we didn’t get there, I have included information on this mine at the bottom of this post.
(Fig. 03)
(Fig. 04)
2014 Keystone Mine #1
(Fig. 05)
2014 Keystone Mine #2
(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)
2014 Keystone Mine #3
(Fig. 08) Barefoot Boy Mine

(Fig. 09)
Keystone Mine Tunnel 200 Ft Level
(Fig. 10)
Keystone Mine Description: Primary Mining: Gold; Secondary Mining: Copper, Silver.
1882 - The Keystone mine claim was established in 1882 by Joseph Yount. No work was done before 1888, when it was relocated, with the adjoining Honduras claim, by Jonas Taylor.
1892 - In 1892, after a little work had been done, a rich ore was struck, and a shipment of 10 tons yielded $7,160. In June 1892, S.T. Godbe of Salt lake City, purchased an interest for $20,000, and active exploration was begun. The Keystone Mine produced gold as a byproduct of lead-silver-zinc mining. Because the fineness of the gold here was .92-.93 percent (uncommonly pure), in 1892 it was the most profitable of the mines in the Yellow Pine District (refer to “Production” below).
The map in (Fig. 10) on the right, shows the layout of the Keystone Mine at the 196 foot. level.
1893 - In 1893, a post office was established at the Keystone Mine and the area supported about 200 people, a few stores, and numerous small mines dotting the landscape. Also, a 10-ton stamp mill was built at the town of Sandy, 6 miles southwest of the mine. It has been reported that this mill was operated continuously through out that year and yielded an average of $30,000 a month. the mine was closed down in 1897.
Keystone Mine Tunnel 3
(Fig. 11)
Circa 1893-1895, four tunnels were driven and the old shaft from tunnel 3 was sunk to a depth of 530 feet. The map in (Fig. 11) is a layout of tunnel 3.
- In 1895 the Keystone Mine was taken over by the miners in a dispute over wages. The miners held the mine for three months until enough money had been made to pay both their wages, as well as the wages for local Indians who had been cutting wood for the mine.
1897 - The mine was operated intermittently thereafter until 1897 when it was closed down. The post office at the Keystone Mine closed in 1897 - about the same time a post office was opened in Goodsprings.
1902 -  In May of 1902, the Nevada Keystone Mining Co. was formed to take over the property, and the mine was reopened and operated for 2-1/2 years. During this period a new inclined shaft was sunk to a point 820 feet below the original tunnel 3, taking it to about 1,000 feet below the outcrop. During the period between 1902-04 the value of gold in the crude ore ranged from $22 to $36 a ton. However, some of the ore below the 540-level, ranged from $30 to $100 a ton.
1905 - For six months during 1905 it was operated under lease by M.R.W. Rathborne, however, besides the reworking of the tailing dumps near Sandy in a small cyanide plant, little mining work was done.
Keystone Mine Production Chart
(Fig. 12)
Production: The total pre-1902 production of the Keystone Mine has been estimated at $380,000. The ore treated during this period came from tunnels 1, 2, and 3 and the old inclined shaft on the northern shoot. Production after 1902 is presented in the table (Fig. 12). The ore milled during the post 1902 period came from the extension of the old shoot below the 200-foot level and the southern shoot. It has been estimated the the production of the Barefoot Boy Mine (Fig. 08), now a part of the Keystone group, was about $50,000.
Paragraph divider
Chiquita Mine Description: Primary Mining: Gold; Secondary Mining: Copper, Silver, Lead. The Chiquita claim, located circa 1900,  lies about 3,000 feet west of the Keystone mine, in the Goodsprings Mining District, in Clark County. Most of the work in this claim has been done in two tunnels and a shaft near the top of a low knoll. A mill was constructed at the mine site in 1936. A severe thunderstorm in August of 1936 damaged the mill and washed away a large amount of ore, causing about $40,000 in damages. Boxxer Gold Corp. out of Yellowknife NWT, Canada has bought the right to commence mining operations at the Chiquita claim. Boxxer has also bought up the mining rights to the Boss Mine and Crystal Pass claims. They intend to mine for lead, zinc, gold, and copper. Exploration of the site reveals four collared shafts and a couple of sealed adits. Over the past 100 plus years this mine site had been severely affected by extreme weathering. Even walking up to the mine has its hazards with areas where the water has tunneled through the trail creating unstable clay bridges. Layers of soft clay between extreme angle faults make this mine prone to shifting and collapse. There is very little wood shoring within the mine and the sparse shoring within is soft and rotting. In its current condition, this mine is extremely unsafe.

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