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Thread: Quartz mine

  1. #1

    Quartz mine

    Discovered a hard rock gold mine recently on some property we acquired. 40 acres on a semi-remote canyon that reeks of Gold Rush history. White quartz all around the mountain it's sunk it to. This mine has been undiscovered for probaly 100 years, the only reason we found it was spotting a hole in the mountainside as we cleared a road down to the year-round creek below.

    I've been reading this forum for a while, and see that there are experts at this sort of thing. We've gone about a hundred feet into the mine shaft with waders on (about 4 feet of crystal clear water, ice cold) and came upon a partial cave-in with an old rusty ore cart stuck behind it.

    I won't go further until I secure a personal gas/oxygen meter and better light.

    I'll post a few pics later so you can see what I'm looking at. Meanwhile, what else should I consider for safety's sake?

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  3. #2
    Darn, not familiar with the pic linking system here. Give me some time.

    Trust me, folks. This mine is no bullcrap adit. I need an expert before we go back in to see what's there.

  4. #3
    I would love to see pictures. Try to upload again and check out this tutorial if needed. You have to use that little photo icon.

  5. #4
    Very cool! looking forward to pictures. Just click the "insert pictures" button and select them from your hard drive. A concern could be cornering an animal, but with water present I think you'd be ok. obviously any planks or metal are not to trusted so don't put your weight on anything scary. It could even be covered by a couple inches of dirt and disguise it, so just watch your step buddy. but again, if it's all water not like you're going to fall into a pit or anything. dont step on any rusty nails or spikes, tetanus is a bitch.

    Hope you find a cool rock or something!
    Your safety is not my responsibility.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Deathcricket View Post
    . obviously any planks or metal are not to trusted so don't put your weight on anything scary. It could even be covered by a couple inches of dirt and disguise it, so just watch your step buddy..!
    yes - I heard of a similar story - plywood sheet civered in a little dirt, 100 ft shaft below it! Thump the floor as you walk along. Are there any rails from the ore cart trainway?

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  10. #9
    Wow that cart is in decent shape for being so ancient. I wonder if there is a market for collectors of old mining equip? Cool pics though man!
    Your safety is not my responsibility.

  11. #10

  12. #11
    It appears dirt had fallen in front of the entrance and trapped the spring water inside the mine, otherwise I think it would drain. We hesitate to drain the mine for fear of critters getting in there (there are black bear and mountain lion in the area).

    Yes, there are narrow gauge rails inside that the cart(s?) ran on. We're very excited to to see what's at the end of this shaft, but are trying to be smart about it safety wise.

  13. #12
    @rockgremlin is a mining engineer. He might have some tips. Others on here are in construction, etc too.

  14. #13
    Carbon Footprint Donor JP's Avatar
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    Can't wait to see more pics once you get in.

  15. #14
    This is VERY cool indeed!! The presence of the ore cart within the mine tells me that the mine had to have been a decent producer in order to justify the expense and work required to get it there. Ore carts are in high demand. They're very difficult to find, and even more difficult to move. The bottom half of that cart might be rusted beyond a salvageable state having sat in standing water for so long.

    So many questions...

    How do you know the mineral being mined was gold?

    Who was the previous property owner?

    Is this located in Utah?

    Wherever this is, you may be able to find mineral claims on file that would give you a wealth of information. Not sure where this would be....county recorder?

    I spent a large portion of my youth poking around old mines like these. To me they're fascinating. In college I became aware of the potential hazards that I was fortunate enough to escape. The most prominent hazards are: Cave-ins, lack of oxygen, noxious gas (sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, etc...), animals, and unblasted explosives.

    Given that you mentioned that a part of the mine has already partially caved, I would tread lightly through there.

    Is there a breeze that flows through there? Sometimes old abandoned mines have a natural flow of air depending on the season. If so, the likelihood of bad/stale air is diminished greatly.

    I'd love to visit this in person.
    Do as you would be done by.

  16. #15
    This is in northern California, rockgremlin. Smack dab in some of the richest gold country in the Sierras. The previous owner knew nothing about a mine, and we chanced upon it when we cleared an old overgrown trail/road. I've been doing alot of reading on the areas mining activity, not only internet searches, but also old books published in the late 1800's and early 1900's. There is white quartz everywhere on that mountain and I suspect a vein of gold bearing quartz was discovered there. There is some indications (rusty iron etc.) that the ore cart rails headed down to the year-round creek about 100 yards down the hill. I also suspect they had an old stamp mill down there, but need to poke around for more clues.

    This area was mined extensively back in the 1850's through the 1880's and there are other gold/quartz mines in the general area. Once the easy picking gold was taken out of the streambeds the miners often turned to gold bearing quartz. There was also a large Chinese mining population back in those days.

    We have the mineral rights to the property in case you're wondering. We also want to be safe when we explore further and deeper and I would appreciate your insights and experience. There is no breeze inside, hence my concern about gas pockets. And I found it odd that there is no echo either.

  17. #16
    Moderator jman's Avatar
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    My buddies and I have about 5 working gas meters and have been recently calibrated too. If this in Utah, we would be happy to accompany you.

    Edit: lol, u posted right before me. Nm
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  18. #17
    Miners were very secretive about their digs back in those days and I have yet to find any old claims on file anywhere.

  19. #18
    Check with the Mohave underground guys.
    Cool find. Keep us posted!

  20. #19
    Sweet. Keep us posted. I would definitely get your hands on a gas meter if you wanna explore deeper into the mine. Something like this:

    Also, see if you can locate where they were dumping the waste nearby and run some of the rock through a sluice or a gold pan if you have those items. I agree that it appears that they were running the ore down to the stream to clean it and process it for gold.

    Sounds like a lot of fun...wish I lived closer.
    Do as you would be done by.

  21. #20
    Check with the Mohave underground guys.
    Cool find. Keep us posted!

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