Starbuck's Exploring

Hiking and exploring backcountry locations of the Western United States.

Tag: Mining (page 1 of 19)

North London Mill

Miner’s first worked gold, silver and lead from the London Mine in 1874. After it was developed, they decided to try and work the lode from the south side of London Mountain. The South London Mine was born in 1880 and it was fabulously wealthy. It was one of the best strikes in Colorado’s history. The mines were eventually connected underground. Continue reading

Scratch Awl Mine

Over this last summer, we visited a few old mining ruins in Montana. We went out of our way to visit the Scratch Awl Mine as I was hoping there would be some equipment left on site to see.
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Scallywag Mine

This is a more modern mine out in Death Valley probably worked for lead or antimony. It has two tramways and a few ore buckets still on-site. Getting up to the mine is a challenge. There is one dry fall to climb up.
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Corkscrew Mine

A few years ago, I met up with some of the guys and we hiked out to visit the ruins of the old Corkscrew Mine. The mine was worked for colemanite (an ore of borax) in the 1950s by the US Borax Company.  Surprisingly, it was productive only for a few years.
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“Lost Pick” Prospector’s Camp

While hiking way out in the backcountry wilderness of Joshua Tree National Park, exploring buddy JP and I stumbled upon an old prospector’s mining camp. Hardly anything is left at the camp: a few cans, wood debris, a rock-stacked wall and fireplace. Hidden nearby in a pile of granite boulders is an old mining pick and a few boards of lumber. The old prospector must have stashed them here for safe keeping until he returned. He never did.
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Par Value Mill

Late autumn of 2017 found us tracking down a very unusual stamp mill high in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. The mill was a unique hammer design called a Pratt Ideal Stamp Mill. Very few of these mills were ever put into use and even fewer (if any!) still exist in the wild, so we were very interested in finding it.
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Algonquin Mill

The Algonquin is an old mine and mill. It was one of the earliest mines in Montana’s Philipsburg district. By 1877, it was being worked by a 10-stamp mill for silver with minor amounts of gold. The mill proved inefficient and a new 20-stamp mill was soon installed. Reportedly, there was an 80-stamp mill here but I didn’t see it. That could be a reference to the huge mill nearby at Granite.
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Victory Mine

Boxy and I recently re-visited this interesting little tungsten mine out in central Nevada. I first visited this mine in 2002.

It was originally discovered in 1945 by W. L. Sovy, Jack Southerland, and Albert Brown. In 1949, it was purchased by J. S. Dougan and associates, who formed the Gabbs Exploration Company. They built a mill in 1952 and it produced over 100,000 tons of tungsten ore until it went idle in 1963. It was quite an operation at the time.
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Blackmail Mill

There isn’t much left at this old silver mill. I had a fun time climbing around and through the broken timbers.

The mill once supported a cross-cut adit connected to a deep shaft. The adit is caved these days.
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“Mojave Car Wash”

This is an interesting little corner of the Mojave. I was surprised to see so many old junked cars out here. It is pretty unusual to see so many in one place but why are they here? They all seem to be missing their engines and drive-trains. One engine could have been used to power equipment at the mine, so why six more?
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