« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
very low cost, it would seem that the mill must be pronounced a great success. It is thought that, at San Diego, $6-ore can be mined and milled at a profit where this mill is used and the same party owns both mine and mill. Four-foot oak costs in the district $3 per cord, and for custom work the mill rates are: For sample lots, $10 per ton; for 50-ton lots, $7; for 100 tons and upward, $6 per ton. It should also be stated, in connection with the above figures, that the same boiler which supplies the steam for the Wilson stamps runs two steam-pumps, one for feeding the boiler, and one for pumping back the water from the settling-tank, this last being necessary on account of the rather scanty supply of that article.
I insert the following milling results of lots of ore from different ledges in the district. They are instructive and give a very fair idea of the richness of the surface ores from various points:
Shipments of bullion from the Julian district commenced in April, and up to the middle of September $10,341 had been shipped by Wells, Fargo & Co., and 310 ounces, worth about $18 per ounce, or $5,580, by Panly & Son, making in all about $16,000. I am not informed as to the shipments made after the time indicated, but in December it was reported that little or no rock was being taken out, the miners lacking the means and energy to develop their claims. The mills were making hardly half-time, and it was feared that the law-suit, in regard to the Cuyamac grant, which threatened to deprive the miners of their claims, would be decided against them. I have not learned the final result of the suit, but am informed that it has reached its termination late in December.
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY.
As far as actual production is concerned, this county has little to boast, the only quartz-mining enterprise reported being that of G. E. Moore, at Belleville, who took out, with six men, in three months, 120 ounces of gold, worth $1,700.
Of higher importance are the late discoveries in the Clark district, which, together with the mines again taken up in the Yellow Pine district, just across the line, in Nevada, have caused quite a stir in the Pacific States.
The following report on this district as well as that on the Amargoza district is from the pen of Mr. C. A. Luckhardt, M. E.:
The Clark district is situated thirty-three miles southerly from Yellow Pine, in San Bernardino County, California, on the eastern slope of Clark Mountain, which is a portion of the Opal Mountains. It was discovered and located in the latter part of 1869, and contains now probably forty settlers, all miners. There are no agricultural lands, but water and fuel in abundance. It is worthy of record on account of the principal lode of the district, the Copperworld.'
The Clark Mountain is composed principally of porphyries broken through by belts of gabbro, in which the metalliferous veins of the district occur. The porphyry belt on the west bounds on mica, slate, and syenite, which reach to the lower hills of the western boundaries of the Colorado River Valley, formed of sandstones and slates.
There has been but little work done in the district as yet. Several veins have been located, carrying principally copper ores, accompanied by galena, and bearing a variable percentage of silver. As gangue matter, quartz occurs principally; calespar is subordinate. The Copperworld is a stupendous lode, to all appearances a contact-vein. having gabbro above and porphyry as footwall. It crops out from 30 to 45 feet in width, for 500 feet in length, carries quartz and calespar as vein matter, and copper ore, with a percentage in silver varying from $30 to $100 per ton, with some galena and blende.
As yet only a few tons of ore have been extracted in order to ship them to San Francisco for experiment. No further explorations have been made, which prevented me from investigating the character of the vein in detail. A vast amount of ore stands in view, averaging 38 per cent. of copper and $50 in silver per ton, and the intentions of the company are, on receipt of the result of the shipment sent to San Francisco, to commence operations on a large scale.
The Amargoza district lies in San Bernardino County, State of California, sixty-five to seventy miles in a westerly direction from Yellow Pine, in an isolated mountain called Amargoza Mountain. Amargoza Mountain is composed of porphyry and granite, void of all vegetation. The nearest fertile soil is in Amargoza Valley, fifteen miles north from the district; here there is also sweet water.
The district was located in 1856 for the purpose of gold quartz and placer mining, but the owners had to abandon the territory to the Indians. Since then it has been relocated in 1863, when I visited it for the first time, and a company established a quartz-mill and met with good success for over a year; afterward work was discontinued for reasons not known to me, and in 1870, on my last visit, I found the district deserted.
The veins of the district are narrow, and are embedded in porphyry, have quartz as vein matter, and carry gold free; the only accompanying metal is iron, as a sulphuret, and in small quantity; the extreme dryness of the atmosphere preventing speedy decomposition.
The district is remarkable for the Amargoza vein, the principal one. It varies from 6 to 10 feet in width, has granite above and porphyry below, and a general north and south course, dipping 780 west. The prominent vein-matter is a compact quartzite, carrying free gold, which is universally distributed throughout the vein, both as coarse and fine gold, in grains of a rough surface, not in leaves. Amargoza Mountain has suffered from volcanic eruptions similar to the Potosi Mountains at Yellow Pine, but the metamorphism is wanting. A curious phenomenon is observable in the Amargoza vein, namely: Near the
surface it is in places 15 feet wide, contains masses of black hornblendic syenite, not resembling the granite of its overlay, mixed with and enriched by the quartzite of the vein, and this granite bears coarse gold, often in nests. The vein has been attacked by various tunnels and shafts, and worked to a depth of 120 feet in places, where this granite still occurs, but not in such large masses, carrying gold; but there is here a difference in the quality and shape of the gold from that which the vein proper carries. No iron is visible in the granite. Near the surface gold was found in pockets, one of which yielded $11,000, but the average of the ore was about $60 per ton. In depth the gold became finer, more universally distributed through the vein, and the average may be called $18 to $20 per ton, of which quality thousands of tons exist now, which only await the time when the surrounding country will be more settled to be beneficiated profitably.
The total population of this county, according to the census, is 3,988; Chinese, 16.
LAKE, SANTA CLARA, AND FRESNO COUNTIES.
These three counties contain only quicksilver mines and are the only ones in which this metal is produced. The product of quicksilver was not large, and advanced steadily during the latter part of 1870. The following was the product of the different mines during the year from June 1, 1869, to June 1, 1870, as given by the census returns: In Lake County the Redington Company employed 150 hands and produced 5,541 flasks, worth....
In Santa Clara County the Quicksilver Mining Company
Total, 33,565 flasks, worth.......
In Lake County, Knox & Asborne have started a mine, employing 35 men for some time, but no results are as yet known to me.
In regard to the causes of the great rise in quicksilver, the San Francisco Bulletin contained an article in December, 1870, which, on account of the clearness with which it treats the whole subject, is worth reproduction in this report:
The price of quicksilver has been again advanced 10 cents per pound, making the present price 90 cents, a higher figure than has been reached for many years. As much has been said and written concerning the recent advances, the monopoly of the article. both here and in Europe, and the present status of the several California mines, it will be worth while to give a little history of the speculations and combinations in quicksilver for some years past, which will afford some insight as to the manner in which "big things" are put up for the benefit of a few speculators at the expense of the great industries of the country.
For some years prior to 1868, the supply of quicksilver had been largely in excess of the demand, and the price here had been kept up only by the leading speculators— Messrs. Barron & Mills-having contracted for the entire product of the new Almaden mine for two years, with a limit of 50,000 flasks, at $30 per flask, and also by purchasing the entire product of the Redington and New Idria mines, the yield of these two being at that time but about 4,000 flasks per annum each. In April, 1865, the contracting parties, finding that the production was largely increasing while the demand remained about the same, declined making any further contract for purchasing, and after considerable negotiation a combination was finally arranged between the new Almaden, represented by S. F. Butterworth, the New Idria, controlled by Barron & Mills, and the Redington mine, owned by Redington & Livermore, for two years. The
New Almaden, which claimed to have a capacity for delivering 4,000 flasks per month, agreed to limit their production to 24,000 per annum, and the Redington and New Idria, each of which claimed a capacity of 1,500 flasks per month, agreed to limit their product to 10,000 flasks per annum each. Barron & Co., under the contract, were to be the shipping and foreign agents, and Redington & Co. were to have the exclusive local sale. The price to consumers in the Pacific States was fixed at 60 cents per pound, or $45 90 per flask; while the product sent abroad, being the much larger portion, sold for from $20 to $40 per flask; the average of home and foreign sales netting to the combination about $35 per flask. The product of all the mines fell considerably short of anticipation, the New Almaden delivering but about 18,000 per annum, the New Idria about 8,000, and the Redington 7,000.
In the early part of 1870, we find by the annual report of the New Almaden Company, published in New York, that they were in a very bad financial position, a judgment of $55,000 in gold having to be immediately paid; and, in addition, there was a large amount due the Bank of California, payment of which was imperatively demanded. In this emergency, their managing agent in San Francisco, S. F. Butterworth, was authorized to make some financial arrangement to relieve their pressing need, and that gentleman, in pursuance of the object, entered into a contract with D. O. Mills, by which all quicksilver belonging to the New Almaden in foreign markets (about 20,000 flasks) was sold for $32 per flask, and the entire product of the mine for two years up to April 1, 1870, (with a limit of 2,000 flasks per month,) sold for $31 per flask.
Upon the expiration of the combination between the New Almaden, the New Idria, and the Redington mines, the owners of the last-named company, knowing that the New Almaden and New Idria were controlled by the same parties, declined either to enter into a new combination or to contract to sell their product at anything like the price paid for the New Almaden; but, after considerable negotiation, finally entered into a contract with Barron & Mills to sell their entire product for ten years. The price was not made public, but it was generally understood that they received $40 per flask, and agreed to limit their product to the same amount as in the previous combination, 10,000 flasks per annum. The great falling off in the product of the New Almaden, which almost immediately declined to less than 1,000 flasks per month, and the subsequent lease of the Spanish mine to the Rothschilds, who advanced the price in London £2 per flask, has enabled the holders here to advance the price until it has now reached 90 cents per pound, or $68 85 per flask, and the owners of the Redington mine, who, under their contract, still hold exclusive control of the local sale, now have the satisfaction of delivering the quicksilver to Barron & Mills at $40 per flask, and reselling it under their orders for $68 86. Strangely enough, the product of their mine, which started off at the full limit, has, as the price increased, gradually dwindled down to about 300 flasks per month, and, although it is well known that they have recently opened new and large veins of rich ore in their mine, they are now, it is said, running but one furnace, and, it is intimated, may even be obliged by "circumstances over which they have no control" to suspend operations entirely.
There are several other mines of small capacity now being worked-the Pope Valley mine, near Napa, and one or two in Lake County, near the Redington mine—all of which may be made to pay at the present high price of quicksilver, and it is to be hoped that they will yet be worked up to a product which will end the monopoly that is now damaging the interests of the coast to an extent only realized by those who are concerned in mining operations. The future outlook, which is not a flattering one for consumers, may be summed up about as follows: The Spanish mines are under lease to the Rothschilds, who will control the foreign market; the New Almaden, which formerly produced as high as 4,000 flasks per month, has fallen to less than 1,000, and, it is said by those best informed, will be likely to decline considerably from that figure.
The New Idria, besides being involved in litigation which may compel its stopping, has also fallen off greatly in its yield, and the product of the Redington mine is purposely kept at a low figure, because its owners prefer to keep their ore in the mine rather than deliver it at the price agreed upon under a contract which only compels them to deliver what they manufacture. The only chance for a reduction in the price is in the increase of product from new mines, or from the smaller mines now being worked, and it is to be hoped that the attention of capitalists may be turned to this subject. It is lamentable that an article so indispensable in lode-mining, and even in a great part of our deep gravel operations, should be pushed to an extreme price by speculative combinations, which necessarily depress, to some extent, a leading industry of the State, and greatly diminish the profits of those who continue to prosecute it. The population of these counties is given by the census as follows:
Total. Chinese. 2,969 26, 246 6, 336
This county, mentioned favorably in last year's report, has steadily advanced in mineral productiveness. Some gold quartz-mining enterprises have been in operation, but the product from these is much smaller than that from the argentiferous galena lodes, which so soon after their discovery commenced producing regularly, and consequently came into favorable notice.
Nine gold quartz-mining enterprises are reported to me. They employed together thirteen men an average of 8.6 months, and the wages paid were from $50 to $75 per month, according to the work to be performed. The total product was $67,000, showing that the mines are worked in a very small way. The most prominent claims are the following:
Only seven men were employed on these claims; four on the two first mentioned during the entire year, one during six months by Mendeville & Co., and two during eight months by John Larger.
The discoveries of argentiferous galena in the vicinity of Owen's River at Cerro Gordo are important, and I therefore give it, in addition to the information furnished in my former report, a more extended notice this year.
The observations here recorded were mostly made on the spot by Mr. C. A. Luckhardt, an engineer well known on the Pacific coast. His report to me is given with such additions as I am enabled to make from information received at a later date.
Cerro Gordo or Lone Pine mining district and vicinity.-Cerro Gordo mining district is situated in the southwestern portion of Inyo County, in a range of mountains called Inyo Mountains, the southern extension of the White Mountains. They are bounded by Owen's Valley and Owen's Lake, and Lone Pine Valley, formed by the Palisade and Inyo Mountains, on the west; by Saline's Valley, formed by the Pahnamint and Inyo Mountains, on the east; and by the Coso Mountains, which are the southern extension of the Inyo Mountains, on the south. The Inyo Mountains have a general north and south course, and are elevated from 7,000 to 8,000 feet above the level of the sea. They are a rugged chain of mountains, slope more to the westward (about 2,500 feet into Owen's Valley) than they do to the eastward, where high plateaus gradually connect them with the Pabnamint Mountains.
The general topography of Owen's Valley is too well known to require extended notice here. Suffice it to say, that its soil for over thirty miles in length, varying in width from four to six miles, is excellently watered and offers rare inducements for agriculture. That portion of the valley where Owen's River empties into Owen's Lake is termed Lone Pine Valley. Here Lone Pine City is situated. It is two hundred and sixty miles from Los Angeles by wagon-road, and connected with Visalia, ninety miles distant, by stage-road. The nearest town to Lone Pine is Fort Independence, (a Government post,) which lies eighteen miles to the northward, and to which leads a stage-road.
Lone Pine City is but a late settlement, comprising about two hundred houses and a population not exceeding seven hundred. In its immediate vicinity are fields where agriculture is carried on with good H. Ex. 10—2