Mineral Park Ghost Town & Mines

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This page last updated on 05/31/2019
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Directions: There are two ways to approach Mineral Park and mines. One is to drive to Chloride AZ and take the dirt road, route 125 due south out of town about three miles to route 255. Turn left and head to Mineral Park and the Moss Mine, a huge open pit mine. Or, take the paved route route 255 off of US 93 at mile 59 and head northeast to the mine. Refer to (Fig. 02).

(Fig. 02)
Description of Area:  Mineral Park is now a ghost town that was once a mining town in the Mineral Park valley of the Cerbat Mountains in Mohave County, Arizona. Its ruins and cemetery are now located within the property of the Mineral Park mine. The Mineral Park mine is a large open pit copper mine located near the base of the Cerbat Mountains 14 miles northwest of Kingman, Arizona (Figs. 01 & 02). Looking at the map in (Fig. 02), you can see that the open pit mine is bigger than the entire town of Chloride, four miles north of the mine. The Mineral Park is a silver, molybdenum, and copper mine located in Mohave county, Arizona at an elevation of 4,429 feet. A 2013 report noted that Mineral Park represented one of the largest copper reserves in the United States and in the world, having estimated reserves of 389 million tonnes of ore grading 0.14% copper and 31 million oz of silver. I have yet to find any information on how much money this mine made.

(Fig. 02a) Courtesy Mohave Historical Society
Background and History: Mining in the area began in 1871 and a camp was established soon after. The mines in the area produced primarily silver, gold, copper, lead and zinc. The post office was opened December 23, 1872. It grew to be the largest town in the county and became the county seat in 1873. It had the county courthouse and jail, stores, hotels, saloons, shops, doctors, lawyers, assay offices and two stagecoach stations. The town published a newspaper, the Mohave County Miner. The population was around 700 people (Fig. 02a). Today it is impossible to even imagine that there was a town that big here once. In 1887 it lost the county seat to the railroad town of Kingman in an election. Some of the population and the newspaper moved and mining began to slacken with the price of silver. The post office closed in April 30, 1893. It reopened in September 1894, but closed for the last time in 1912. Mining revived in the area since the 1960s, but the town never did. As of today, much of the remaining few ruins and foundations, including the town's cemetery, remain within the property of the new (open pit) mine.

Large scale copper mining, in the form of an open pit operation, began in the old Mineral Park district in 1963 by the Duval Corporation. Today Mineral Park has all but vanished and sits upon private mining property where turquoise and copper were still being mined from the area. The open-pit mine has caused once-prominent Ithaca Peak to disappear completely. Ithaca Peak was the area that contained the majority of the turquoise that was mined. The area is scattered with the debris of earlier days, where head frames, mill foundations and tattered cabins can still be seen amongst the mine tailings. The mine changed hands owners several times and was acquired by Mercator Mineral Park Holdings of British Columbia in 2003. In December 2014 the mine closed as the company filed for bankruptcy. 

05/30/2019 Trip Notes: As the huge piles of overage resulting from the open pit mines at the end of the paved Mineral Park Road, on the north side of the road you can see one of the few remaining buildings of the original town of Mineral Park (Fig. 03). Further post investigation has revealed that there may be a couple of other buildings that we missed. Some other building remains and the old cemetery are within the private property of the open pit mine. I've since read that you can obtain permission from the owners to view some of these. Pulling off the dirt Mineral Park Road (Figs. 04-06) we drove north up the hillside to some of the town's old abandoned mines. So it was nearly impossible to determine which mines we visited, there were the Copperopolis Mine, Morning Sun prospect, Beaver Mine, New Moon Mine, and others (Figs. 07-09). Some we could not reach due to the fact that the access roads were inaccessible or washed out (Figs. 10 & 11). (Notes continued below)

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Trip Notes Continued: After trying to visit as many as we could we drove back town to the main road and drove around the hugh tailings that circumvented the open pit mining operation. We still didn't have any idea how big this operation was until we drove around it (Fig. 12). About three-quarters around the road ended. We did find what appeared to be another very large mine on a hillside that had evidence that it might also been used as a place for the people digging the mine might have havitated. There was a large level area with a retaining wall and evidence of food cans. The pile of tailing from this mine was huge. The mine itself was a very deep inclined shaft that the BLM had grated to prevent access (Figs. 13-15). As this was the end of the road we traced out steps back to the starting point and on to Kingman to have lunch before heading home. We decided to go home via Laughlin and Christmas Tree Pass Road, where we got a wonderful surprise. We came across two rattlesnakes (Fig. 16). Check here for more pictures and info ... Sidewinder Rattlesnake (Crotalus cerastes).

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