Archive | United States Mining History

Hope is only surviving camp from Upper Kenai Peninsula gold rush – by Ray Bonnell (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner – April 22, 2018)

http://www.newsminer.com/

FAIRBANKS — According to the 1915 U.S.G.S. report, “Geology and Mineral Resources of Kenai Peninsula, Alaska,” the only recorded instances of Russian gold exploration in Alaska occurred between 1848 and 1851, when Peter Doroshin, a Russian-American Company mining engineer, discovered gold in the Kenai River and spent two summers prospecting along the Russian River.

Doroshin, or his men, may have searched further afield, though. American miners in the Hope area found abandoned workings that they attributed to the Russians.

After the 1867 purchase of Alaska, prospectors began pushing north along the coast from British Columbia. By the 1880s, miners were working beach deposits along Lower Cook Inlet. In about 1888, a prospector named King (first name unknown) sojourned into the Upper Kenai Peninsula, returning two summers later with four pokes of gold. Continue Reading →

Mine Tales: Manganese mines in Arizona fed US need in WWII – by William Ascarza (Arizona Daily Star – April 8, 2018)

http://tucson.com/

The U.S. government began purchasing manganese during World War II to compensate for a shortage, due to the number of ships carrying manganese for import that were sunk by enemy submarines. Manganese-buying depots were established in Arizona to enhance production, leading to the discovery of deposits in almost every county.

Manganese is a metallic element used as an alloy to strengthen steel. A minimum of 36 pounds of high-grade manganese ore is required for each ton of steel. Manganese ore itself should carry 35 percent or more of manganese free of such impurities as phosphorous, copper and zinc.

One Arizona depot was established at Wenden in La Paz County, which received more than 200 shipments from mines across the state, equaling about 300,000 tons of crude ore. Continue Reading →

[National Gallery of Canada Photo Show] Daguerreotypes of the California Gold Rush – by Claire Voon (Hyperallergic.com – January 9, 2018)

https://hyperallergic.com/

https://www.gallery.ca/

Coinciding with the early years of photography, the California Gold Rush left a lasting mark on image making.

“Gold! Gold from the American River!” So cried the carpenter James W. Marshall on January 24, 1848, as the story goes, when he found flakes of the precious metal at Coloma, California, thus ushering into the region a wave of steely-eyed prospectors.

As word of the California Gold Rush spread around the world, photographers, too, arrived, and themselves struck metaphorical gold. They set up studios in wagons and captured the historic frenzy around them, making the Gold Rush the first major event in the country to be documented extensively through the then-new medium.

Portraits of individual miners and scenes of men crowded on the rocky landscape are currently on view in an ongoing exhibition at the Canadian Photography Institute at the National Gallery of Canada, organized in collaboration with Library and Archive Canada. Continue Reading →

U.S. miners seek reversal of uranium mining ban near Grand Canyon – by Timothy Gardner (Reuters U.S. – March 9, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. mining industry asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday to overturn an Obama-era rule that prohibits the mining of uranium on public lands adjacent to the Grand Canyon National Park.

The National Mining Association (NMA) and the American Exploration and Mining Association (AEMA) filed petitions asking the court to reverse the Obama administration’s 2012 ban on new uranium mining claims on more than 1 million acres of public land adjacent to the canyon.

In 2012, Ken Salazar, then the secretary of the interior, instituted the ban for 20 years on the public lands that the Havasupai tribe relies on for water. The ban was upheld by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in December. Continue Reading →

The ebb and flow of mining is reflected in Eldorado Creek’s history – by Ray Bonnell (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner – February 25, 2018)

http://www.newsminer.com/

FAIRBANKS — Kantishna’s Eldorado Creek, as opposed to the 26 other Eldorado Creeks listed in the “Dictionary of Alaska Place Names,” is a 5.5-mile-long tributary of Moose Creek, located just downstream from the confluence of Moose and Eureka creeks.

Mined since the short-lived 1905-06 Kantishna gold rush, Eldorado Creek’s mining history is a microcosm of the ebb and flow of mineral development in the Kantishna area.

During the brief six months the rush lasted, lode deposits of silver were discovered along Eldorado Creek, as well as a stibnite deposit (an ore of antimony) on Slate Creek, an Eldorado Creek tributary near its headwaters. Continue Reading →

[Pennsylvania Coal Mining History] Molly Maguires Lecture Observes Coal Mining Heritage Month – by Alison Moyer (The Crown – January 25, 2018)

http://crown.kings.edu/

Author and New York Times Senior Editor Mark Balik gave the 8th annual Msgr. John J. Curran Lecture as part of Anthracite Mining Heritage Month. The free public lecture took place on January 18 in the Burke Auditorium. It was co-sponsored by the McGowan Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility at King’s and the Anthracite Heritage Foundation.

Balik discussed the origin of the Molly Maguires, a secret society of Catholic Irish immigrants in the late 19th century. “The Mollies were among two million Irish who fled from Ireland during the Great Potato Famine, another million died from starvation,” said Balik.

In Ireland, the society had already created a name for itself by using violence to protest evictions from tenant landlords and their agents’ untraditional usage of land. When the Mollies committed their assassinations, they either dressed as women or wore straw outfits. Their faces were painted black and white to conceal their identities. Continue Reading →

ONE MAN’S TRASH: How Montana Gold Rushers Literally Threw Away a Fortune in Sapphires – by Levi Higgs (The Daily Beast – January 12, 2018)

https://www.thedailybeast.com/

In 1866, Montana—specifically the Yogo Gulch—was awash with disappointed prospectors, tossing out the blue pebbles they found in their sluice boxes as they panned for gold.

In the mid-19th century, the cry heard across the American West was “There’s gold in them thar hills!” In the great Treasure State of Montana, little did the prospectors know that they should have instead been proclaiming the presence of one of the highest quality (and most expensive) gemstones the world over, known today as the Montana Sapphire.

In 1866, the Little Belt Mountain Range of Montana—specifically the Yogo Gulch—was awash with disappointed prospectors, tossing out the blue pebbles they found in their sluice boxes as they panned for gold. And while those pebbles were not diamonds in the rough, they were sapphires—and of an extremely lucrative variety.

Other sapphires found throughout the state had been more of the industrial quality, and in hues that are less than desirable at the time: greens, pinks, or colorless. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: [California Gold Rush] Exotic animals and the hunt for gold (University of New Mexico – January 8, 2018)

http://news.unm.edu/news/

Men, women and their families arrived in large numbers to northern California with the dream of striking it rich during the mid-19th century. What most people don’t know about the California Gold Rush is that exotic animals became as much a part of the experience as the exotic medals.

“During the Gold Rush of the 1850s, gold seekers, or Argonauts as they were known, transported exotic and non-native animals to northern California on a regular basis,” said Cyler Conrad, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology at The University of New Mexico. “Argonauts were hungry, and during the early years of the Gold Rush there was simply not enough local food to sustain their massive population.”

Conrad’s findings, recently published in an article in the journal California History, suggest that some of the exotic animals imported for food include Galápagos tortoises, sea turtles, turkeys and Atlantic cod. Other non-native animals imported during the Gold Rush-era served as support for hygiene and entertainment needs. Continue Reading →

[Michigan Upper Peninsula] Geologists didn’t always get copper mining right – by Graham Jaehnig (Te Daily Mining Gazette – January 7, 2018)

http://www.mininggazette.com/

Native copper was, to state it bluntly, a geologic fluke. It did not occur in commercial quantities anywhere on Earth except in the Lake Superior copper district.

Although its existence in the region had been known in Europe and the American colonies since the French had discovered it in the 1600s, most knowledgeable people who had seen specimens disregarded native copper as an absolute and isolated freak of nature. As a freak of nature, however, native copper stumped many geologists.

Some geologists, like Douglass Houghton, Columbus C. Douglass and Samuel Hill, did not focus their studies so much on why native copper occurred, but rather on how much of it occurred. Could it be profitable? Was there enough to mine? Was it pure? Continue Reading →

Bisbee: a copper town first, last and always – by Tom Beal (Arizona Daily Star – July 10, 2011)

http://tucson.com/

Bisbee was the most prosperous city in the new state of Arizona on Feb. 14, 1912. It retained its rough edges, however, and celebrated statehood in true mining-camp style – setting off 48 sticks of dynamite in a mining hole near its downtown.

Next year’s centennial festivities will mimic that raucous salute – with a decrease in firepower necessitated by Homeland Security concerns. Copper mining ceased in Bisbee more than 30 years ago, but it remains the best place to envision what life was like in an Arizona mining town 100 years ago.

Its handsome Main Street, lined with substantial brick buildings, looks much the same as it did then. That streetscape was new when its residents celebrated statehood. Disastrous fires in 1907 and 1908 had leveled the wooden buildings in Tombstone Canyon. Continue Reading →

[Arizona Copper Mining History] Bisbee Deportation of 1917 (Wiki)

https://en.wikipedia.org/

The Bisbee Deportation was the illegal kidnapping and deportation of about 1,300 striking mine workers, their supporters, and citizen bystanders by 2,000 members of a deputized posse on July 12, 1917. The action was orchestrated by Phelps Dodge, the major mining company in the area, which provided lists of workers and others who were to be arrested in Bisbee, Arizona.

The arrested were first held at a local baseball park before being loaded onto cattle cars and deported 200 miles (320 km) to Tres Hermanas in New Mexico. The 16-hour journey was through desert without food or water. Once unloaded, the deportees, most without money or transportation, were warned against returning to Bisbee.

As Phelps Dodge, in collusion with the sheriff, had closed down access to outside communications, it was some time before the story was reported. The company presented their action as reducing threats to United States interests in World War I in Europe. Continue Reading →

[Copper Mining History] Deportation ‘17: A Film About a Film in Bisbee, Arizona

Deportation ’17: A Film About a Film in Bisbee from Lone Protestor on Vimeo.

https://www.facebook.com/bisbee17/

July 12, 2017 marked the 100th anniversary of the Bisbee Deportation, where over a thousand striking miners were rounded up by the mining company, forced onto cattle cars and deported to the New Mexico desert. As a film crew comes to Bisbee to make a documentary about the Deportation, the whole town gets into the act.
The documentary Bisbee ’17 will be produced by 4th Row Films and is directed by Robert Greene.

The following is from Amazon.com: Bisbee, Arizona, queen of the western copper camps, 1917. The protagonists in a bitter strike: the Wobblies (the IWW), the toughest union in the history of the West; and Harry Wheeler, the last of the two-gun sheriffs. In this class-war western, they face each other down in the streets of Bisbee, pitting a general strike against the largest posse ever assembled. Continue Reading →

Great Deposits – The Comstock Lode – by Andrew Watson (Geology For Investors – November 2017)

 

https://www.geologyforinvestors.com/

Flying over Nevada on a clear day is one of the great joys of being an economic geologist. The Basin and Range country has abundant structural features, intrusions, deformed bedding and pits and plenty to keep one occupied.

Every so often the occasional grid drilling pattern, hinting of what will or what just didn’t quite comes into view. The driver is of course gold, with Nevada dominating US gold production claiming 78% of the total. The perceptive might wonder why then is it called the “Silver State” – the answer is the Comstock Lode.

Like all great deposits, the Comstock Lode did many things; it broke Nevada away from Utah, it pushed mining technology ahead by leaps and bounds, it was critical in kick-starting the study of hydrothermal alteration, it brought the first elevator to Nevada, and it made a few people very, very rich. Continue Reading →

Fact Checker Analysis: The repeated, incorrect claim that Russia obtained ‘20 percent of our uranium’ – by Glenn Kessler (Washington Post – October 31, 2017)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/

“How is it that our government could approve a sale of 20 percent of our uranium at the same time that there was an open FBI investigation?”
— Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), interview with Fox News’s Neil Cavuto, Oct. 26, 2017

“Knowing what you know about Russia, was it really a good idea for the Obama administration and the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to approve a deal giving the Russians control of 20 percent of our uranium supply? . . . Why did Hillary’s office and the Obama administration sign off on giving the Russians a fifth of our uranium? . . .

Why is that a good idea to give a hostile power 20 percent of our uranium supplies? It’s insane though. . . . How would Hillary Clinton not know if a Russian company was getting 20 percent of our uranium supply? What was she doing?”
— Tucker Carlson, on Fox’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Oct. 23 Continue Reading →

Circle Mining District reunion relives gold rush history – by Kris Capps (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner – October 22, 2017)

http://www.newsminer.com/

FAIRBANKS — When the price of gold went up in the early 1970s, a new generation of gold miners jumped on the opportunity to strike it rich. That renewed interest in mining created the second gold rush in the Circle Mining District of Interior Alaska.

“The Circle Mining District, in the 1980s, collectively with all the placer mines — a total of 92 — was the largest gold producer for placer gold mining in the United States,” according to Gail Ackels, who wrote a book about her family’s experiences on Gold Dust Creek in the Circle Mining District.

She should know. She and her husband, Del, were part of that group that also included Joe Vogler, Ernie Wolf, Ed Gelvin, Fred Wilkinson and many others. Many of those miners gathered for a special reunion earlier this month, hosted by fellow Gold Dust Creek miners Bernie and Connie Karl at Chena Hot Springs Resort. Continue Reading →