Contact Mine & Pauline Mine

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This page last updated on 06/15/2017
(Fig. 01)

(Fig. 02)
Directions: To reach these sites drive to Goodsprings, NV. From Las Vegas, travel 27 miles southward on I-15 to the Jean-Goodsprings exit, then turn west on Nevada Highway 161 for six miles and take a right onto the Goodsprings Bypass Road. (This paved road is about 1-1/4 miles before reaching the town) Follow this road across the desert for about seven miles to the inter-section of Potosi Mountain Road and the Rainbow Quarry Road (refer to the map in Fig. 02). Bear left onto Potosi Mountain Road and travel about a half mile and bear right onto the unmarked Pauline Mine Road that runs along the base of the large red sandstone outcrop. Follow this road for about 2 miles. Bearing left takes you toward the Contact Mine site; turning right is Aztec Tank Road that runs up the Red Aztec hillside toward one of the Rainbow Quarry sites (Fig. 02). When you bear left toward the mines, the map in (Fig. 03 below) is an enlargement showing the upper left corner of the previous map.

(Fig. 03)
Description and History of the Contact Mine: The Contact Mine (center of Fig. 01) is one of the southern most group of mines that lies on the east slope of the Spring Mountain Range, about 10 miles northwest of Goodsprings, NV. It was discovered by A. L. Chaffin in 1906, though little work was done until 1915, after the formation of the Goodsprings Contract Mining Co. Most of the work was done during 1916 and 1917, but none has been done since 1919.

There were two principal workings - a tunnel that extended about 160 feet southwest and a shaft on an incline of about 40-degrees several hundred feet west of the tunnel. From the shaft there are drifts northeast at 90 feet below the top and at the bottom, possibly 300 feet in all. The ore occurred in dolomite breccia recemnted by a reddish dolomite. The ore was largely earthy hydrozincite and calmine, locally associated with galena and oxidized lead minerals. Cuprodescloizite and aurichalcite were also found here and there. Production shipments of this mine between 1912 and 1925 shows that a total of 681 tons of crude ore was removed from this mine, resulting in 1,040 ounces of Silver, 64,979 pounds of Lead and 319,430 pounds of Zinc.

Description of the Pauline Mine: The Pauline lies about a half mile northeast of the Contact mine (refer to Fig. 02). Much less is known about this mine. Only about 250 feet of work had been done here, most of it in a tunnel that extended generally northwest. Some ore had been stoped above the tunnel 75 feet to the southwest. Though there is no official record of shipments from this mine, some material had doubtless been shipped. The dump contains a number of lead, zinc, and copper minerals, but probably the most abundant was cuprodescloizite.

(Fig. 04)

(Fig. 05)
03/18/2016 Trip Notes: on this visit Harvey Smith, Jim Herring and myself desided to explore the Contact and Pauline mines. Once we reached the Contact's mine site (Fig. 04 above) we spent more than a half hour exploring the area. Unfortunately the BLM has seen fit to either fill-in (Fig. 05) or place steel bars all of the site's audits and shafts. As you can see in  (Fig. 06), one of the opening had a Protected Habitat "Bat" sign in front of it. We also noticed that several of the shrubs and bushes in this area had been infested with Gypsy Moths. During their caterpillar (larval) stage, They can eat as much as a square foot of leaves daily. Click here for more info ... Gypsy Moth (Lmantria dispar)
In addition to the main openings we notice at least two other audits further up the ravine on the southwest side of the hillside. Near the mountaintop directly above the main workings, (seen top center in Fig. 01) there appeared what to be either a man-made cave or a mine adit. Here is what it looked like when I zoomed in on it (Fig. 07). While driving the open Goodsprings Valley, on the way to the sites, we spotted three stands of wild horses, each containing 4-6 (Fig. 08). Even though I have spotted many horses out here several times before, you don't see wild mules as often (Fig. 09). Learn more here ... Mule (Equus mule). After exploring this site we continued hiking up Pauline Road, to the top of the ridgeline to the northeast in search of the Pauline Mine. This turned out to be a vary steep climb with a lot of loose gravel. (con't below)
(Fig. 06)

(Fig. 07)
(Fig. 08)
(Fig. 09)
Trip Notes Continued:  As we began to climb higher we pasts became surrounded by some upper elevation trees (Fig. 10). We also encountered a few lizards and a few early blossoming wild flowers (Fig. 11). After a steep 230 foot hike to the top of the 5,700 elevation of the ridge-line, we spotted the site below us. There really wasn't much there;. whatever opening that had existed had obviously been "filled-in". We did notice yet another prospect on another hillside about a quarter northeast of of the Pauline site. (see the "unknown site" marked on the map in Fig. 03). After walking towards it we ended up coming to the edge of a cliff of a deep ravine between us and this unknown site (Fig. 12). It would have been too far difficult to attempting to reach it. At this point we called it a day and headed back to Goodsprings and the Pioneer Saloon where we enjoyed lunch and some liquid refreshments.

(Fig. 10)
(Fig. 11)
(Fig. 12)
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Play a Slide Show
Clicking the picture-link below will open OneDrive in a new window and a folder containing 31 pictures taken on this hike to the Contact and Pauline mines located behind Goodsprings, Nevada. To view the show, click on the first picture in the folder and you will get the following menu bar:

Click the "Play slide show" will play a fullscreen window of the slide show.