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In spite of the unsafe condition of this Territory during the year, on account of Indian depredations, material progress has been made in the discovery and partial development of new mining districts, while in the older districts quartz mining has been carried on in the same mines as were worked last
year. The principal new discoveries were made in the Bradshaw, the Hualpai or Sacramento, and in three new districts which were organized in the western foot-hills of the Pinal Mountains. The latter have been named the Holsted, Pioneer, and Nevada districts. There were also valuable discoveries made in the immediate vicinity of Prescott, these new silver mines being located only four to five miles southeast of the town, in the heavy pine timber of the Sierra Prieta.
Mr. John Wasson, the surveyor-general of Arizona Territory, has kindly furnished me with a summary of mining operations in the Territory during 1871, which follows in full:
UNITED STATES SURVEYOR-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Tucson, Arizona Territory, November 28, 1871. Sir: In accordance with a request made by Mr. A. Eilers, of date October 23, and which I received November 14, I at once addressed letters of inquiry to different parties throughout the Territory, whereby I hoped to get more exact information regarding the progress of mining during the present year than in any other manner, but as yet only a few responses have reached ine, and but one of them of much value.
The annexed statement, marked A, is furnished me by 0. H. Case, deputy surveyor of mineral lands in Yavapai County, and is as nearly correct as probably any one could have prepared on short notice.
In consequence of a scarcity of water, mining operations in that county during the present year have been almost wholly confined to developments of old and the discovery of new mines, and in these respects hopoful progress has been made. In many letters received from well-informed men, resident in Yavapai County, all speak more encouragingly regarding the future of mining in that region than was common one year ago. The unusual drought of the past two years has rendered placer mining generally impossible; yet much of the country in the vicinity of Prescott is known to contain placer-gold in fine paying quantities, which can easily be made available with a supply of water for washing.
The discovery of very rich mines in Bradshaw mining district last January, diverted the attention of many miners from moderately-paying mines. While numerous discoveries or locations have been made in that locality, the Tiger lodo is the chief one. A shaft is down on it 100 feet, and the drifts and cross-cuts run show the width of the vein to be 31 feet. The development is going forward, and San Francisco operators are spending their money on it. Early in this year a renowal of prospecting was made in Hualpai or Sacramento district, which lies in Mojave County, and near the Colorado River. Tho greatest activity and interest prevail there at this time. Over five hundred miners have recently gone there, and more are goivg, and taking means and experience with them. All doubts of the richness of these mines and tho abundavce of ore are removed. Deputy mineral-surveyor, O. H. Case, writes me, under date of the 20th instant, that the owners of the Clinton, Niles, and Jones lodes bad three tons of silver-ore recently worked in San Francisco, which yielded $8,400; also that Clark & Co. bad worked at the same place four tons of Keystone ore, which had given in silver $10,720. Nothing is said of any yield in gold. From various letters written by men of experience, and who are expending their own time and means in those ipines, I am led to believe that the recent discoveries in Hualpai district are of vast value, and will, as one writer says, make that section one of the best for mining on the Pacific coast.
In the month of July a party of nearly three hundred men was formed for exploring the Pinal Mountains, which, I believe, wholly lie in the new county of Maricopa. This party was commanded by Governor Safford, and guided by a man named Miner. Owing to the latter's misrepresentations of his knowledge of the country, the time and supplies of the company were exhausted in a fruitless search for pretended discoveries made in 1862; but the ramblings of the expedition undoubtedly led to the late discovery of quartz-veins of much promise in the Pinal Mountains. "Three districts were formed early in this month, viz, Holsted, Pioneer, and Nevada. The Silver Queen lode, in the Pioneer district, is reported best, so far as developed. Twentyfour hundred pounds of the ore are now on the way to San Francisco for accurate test. Assays running from hundreds into thousands per ton are reported. Much interest is manifested by men of all occupations, and nearly all are trying to get some interest at the expense of previous earnings. The ledges are but a few miles from the Gila River, and wood and water are reported quite convenient and abundant.
Other discoveries which promise well have been made in many parts of the Territory, but mostly where it is unsafe for small parties to go, or stay when there. Instances of this kind are within my knowledge, and citizens of Tucson are interested. Several locations, a few miles southward, the owners have endeavored to prepare for patent, but the Apache Indians have frequently stolen or destroyed their tools and improvements; and laborers cannot be induced to carry on work at any price. With fex exceptions, locators are intensely anxious to positively secure their mines, because of the prospect of early railway communication. But danger prevails everywhere except near the Lower Gila and Colorado Rivers. Every act of locators exhibits honest faith in the great value of the quartz-veins of Arizona.
I addressed a letter to a gentleman at Wickenburgh for statistics of the Vulture mine, the largest producing one in the Territory, but no reply is yet received. In a friendly letter from the superintendent of the mine, of date November 14, he says it " still holds its own, and the prospect of finding water in the mine for milling purposes is very flattering. I am sinking a shaft inside the mine, and am down with it 310 feet from the surface. I struck water at 295 feet, and it has steadily increased as the shaft deepens. I think 75 feet more sinking will find water enough for a 20-stamp mill. I have an unusual quantity of good milling ore in sight.".
Should water for milling purposes be found in the Vulture, I think Mr. Eilers will assure you that it will then be one of the most valuable mining properties in America. As it is, water for the men, mining, cooking, &c., has to be hauled fifteen miles, and the ore a like distance for reduction.
Extensive work has been reported at various times as going on in Castle Dome district, situated about sixty miles above Arizona City, and near the navigable waters of the Colorado. Many shipments of ore bave been made to San Francisco for sale and reduction, and I am informed that satisfactory returns have generally been secured. A patent has recently been applied for of the Flora Temple lode, in that locality, and much interest is manifested in securing title to mining property there.
A large vein of coal, and of valuable quality, has been discovered near Camp Apache, in Yavapai County. The coal has been used by smiths with entire satisfaction. Another vein of great size, and reported good quality, was located some weeks ago about sixty or eighty miles east and north of Tucson, in Pima County.
Generally speaking, nearly every prospecting expedition which makes a determined effort finds new mines of the precious metals or other minerals, which have every indication of permanency and value.
Now, tliey cannot be occupied and developed, except where many are found near each other. It is certain death for half a dozen or a dozen men to attempt to carry on work beyond the direct influence of military camps or large settlements. Very respectinlly, your obedient servant,
Echibit of producing mince in Bradshaw, Big Bug, Hassyampa, und Lyur Creek mining districts, Yarapai County, Arizona, ou
Reported by 0. H. Care, Tinited States deputy surveyor.
the 1st day of January, 1872.
The Tiger lode and the new developments in the Hualpai district have formed the prominent features of the mining news from Arizona during the year. Of_the former, the most extravagant descriptions have reached me. The vein was discovered towards the end of last year,
bat the value of the ore was first ascertained during the first quarter of 1871. Several assays, which ran very high, created an immense excitement. A town was laid out in the immediate vicinity, which filled rapidly with people, and actual prospecting of the ledge was energetically prosecuted. The vein is reported to have been traced for over six miles, and for a large part of this distance claims have been staked out, most of which have, by this time, been more or less tested, by shafts and drifts. The shaft of the Discovery Company (Moreland & Co.) is the deepest, and they have taken out the most ore, some of wbich has been sent to San Francisco, and yielded nearly $750 per ton. The assays of samples from this vein, which bave been published, run all high, and many of them exceed $2,000 per ton, while I have seen none which gave a yield below $58. The following are a few, all of them having been made in Virginia City, Nevada: $1,008.75; $736.50; $22.50; $122; $1,742.63; $1,953.40; $2,547.90; $58.13; mixture of ores, $1,318.69. Also, $1,804.69; $1,586.31; $972.22; $1,305.40; $2,990.69; $8,028.47. It is reported that San Francisco capital has come to the aid of the Discovery Company, and that thus it has been enabled to continue in its course of sinking and drifting, (one drift is said to be in over 80 feet on the vein,) wbile nearly all of the other claims on the lode have been lying comparatively idle.
The silver veins discovered near Prescott, during the fall, are reported as narrow, but exceedingly rich. In regard to yield per ton, it is asserted that the Bismarck, Cornucopia, and Homestake ores fully equal those from the Tiger. I am not informed as to the erection of reductionworks to treat the ores of the silver mines.
The Del Pasco, wbich was mentioned favorably in last year's report, has been further sunk upon during the year, and the 5-stamp mill
, erected near by, bas been at work a small part of the time. In the fall, the supply of water, which is at no time very abundant, became so scanty that for two months the mill could only run three and four hours per day. In an aggregate run of one hundred and ninety-two hours during that time, 42 tons of ore were crushed, which yielded $2,500, or an average of $59.52 per ton, considerably less than the ore worked before tbat time used to contain. In November the mill had to be shut down, as the water gave out completely. Meanwhile some water had been struck in the mine, and, in sinking deeper, this increased so much, that about the end of December a sufficient supply was reported to run the mill fourteen hours per day.
In regard to the Big Bug Mill and mines, I have not received the information which I have requested of the superintendent. But it appears from other information that the company has not worked regularly during the year.
In the famous Vulture, at Wickenburgh, an important change has taken place. This is the striking of water at a depth of about 300 feet. The sinking goes on energetically, with a hope of a sufficient increase in the supply of water to at least obviate the necessity of hauling the water for blasting purposes, and for the use of the men avd animals, a distance of fourteen miles from the Hassyampa River. Even this would be a great saving, and it is not impossible that, in the course of sinking, enough water should be found for crushing purposes. The work at the mine and mill has been constantly going on during the year, with the exception only of the few days needed for repairs at the mill. The ore in the lower level is reported much richer than usual, and many tons of it have been worked. From information received, I concludo that the yield of this mine in gold during the year has been somewhat larger than last year, but official information, for which I have applied, has not yet come to hand.
There are still various schemes spoken of for the purpose of effecting a reduction in the cost of handling and crushing the ore. The plan of conducting water from the Hassyampa River to the mine appears to have been dropped, and, in conformity with the prevailing idea of the times in regard to cheap transportation, a narrow-gauge railroad from the mines to a point on the Gila River, and a transfer of the mill from Wickenburgh, to that point is now spoken of. I am not familiar with the distance from the mines to the nearest point on the Gila, nor with the peculiarities of the route, but judging of what can be seen of the country to the west from the road between Wickenburgh and Phenix, I should think the undertaking to be not only feasible, but even easy of accom, plishment, at a moderate cost. It is highly probable that the road can be laid over an almost level mesa for nearly the entire distance, and there will certainly be no mountains to cross.
An important discovery has been announced as having taken place in the Weaver district. This is the Sexton lode, a vein which is considered almost as valuable as the Vulture. No thorough test of the vein bas, however, as yet been made, and the value of the ledge is so far ouly deduced from its size on the surface, and a test made of several tons at the Vulture Mill.
The placer-mining interest in Central Arizona has, according to all accounts, suffered severely from the protracted drought, and no more gold has been extracted in this manuer than during the preceding year, which was also remarkable for an extraordinary scarcity of water.
Hualpai or Sacramento district, which, it will be reinembered, was farorably spoken of in last year's report as a district in which mines might be profitably worked at the present time, has greatly gained in importance by new discoveries and the developments made during the year. While in the fall of 1870 there were not a dozen white men in the district, there are now nearly five hundred men reported to be at work there. A great many new discoveries have, of course, been made, the Cerbat Range having been prospected north and south of the veins vbich are mentioned in last year's report. Most of the later discoveries carry argentiferous-lead ores, like those described in my last report; but there have also been located several veins which carry amalgamating-silver ores, avd at least one lode, the Vanderbilt, which carries a heavy percentage of gold. The work done during the year has principally been prospecting, and on many claims shafts of from 15 to 60 feet bave been sunk, and selected lots of ore have been shipped to San Francisco for experiment. Several of these shipments have given very flattering returns.
Mineral Park and Parkerville are two new settlements in the district, in which a large number of veins bave been discovered. In fact, the whole Cerbat Range seems to be filled with veins from its southern to its northern extremity. A mill is reported in the course of erection, and Mr. W. J. Fee, an intelligent gentleman, who was the first to enter the district after the abandonment of the old Sacramento district in 1866, is about erecting a smelting-furnace. From personal reports of my deputy, Mr. Eilers, concerning the ores of the Cerbat Range, it is evi