Page images
PDF
EPUB

MILL CLAIMS.—The Ohio claim has a four-stamp cement mill, which started this year and pays well. The cement is hauled out with a mule. The soft gravel has been sluiced off from the top.

The erection of a mill has been commenced on the Baker claim.
The German Company intend to build a mill.

OTHER CLAIMS. - The Deep Shaft claim is the property of the Water Com pany, and is worked by the hydraulic process, but the supply of water is irregular. When there are 250 inches of water the yield is about $150 per day.

The Iowa claim uses 250 inches, and pays $150 per day, but did not pay more than $100 previous to 1866. The soft gravel will be worked out next year.

The North Star yielded $150 per day for four or five years, but the soft gravel is all

gone now. Between Dutch Flat Ravine and Squire's Cañon are a number of hydraulic claims that have been worked many years, and have paid very little more than expenses.

TEAFF's Tail SLUICE.-James Teaff, who owns one of the piping claims at Dutch Flat, also owns a tail sluice-probably the largest one in the State. The total length is 5,500 feet ; 2,500 feet long, five and a half feet wide, and 26 inches deep, in a tunnel, and 3,000 feet long and six feet wide outside. The construction of the tunnel and sluice cost $55,000 in money and four years' time, and was completed in 1863. The Teaff, Dutch Flat, Queen City, Bear River, Franklin, Boston, and Iowa companies, with 1,550 inches of water, tail into it. It is paved all the way with boulders 14 inches deep. The grade is 10 inches to 12 feet, but eight inches would have been better. "At intervals of 120 feet there are falls or dumps two feet and a half high in the tunnel and five feet high outside. These dumps are of great service in breaking up pieces of cement.

Boulders 10 and 15 inches in diameter are constantly rushing through the sluice, and some of 20 inches frequently pass. The great weight of these boulders rushing along at a speed of nearly 10 miles an hour tries the sluice severely, and the rock bottom is always worn down about two inches in three months, and half of the paving boulders are broken so as to be unfit for further use.

The rock for the paving is obtained by putting an iron grate in a sloping position in the sluice. The bars of the grate are an inch and a half thick and eight inches apart, so everything small passes through. A Chinaman stands by the grate, examines every boulder that stops, lays the good ones on one side, and throws the others over.

Every evening 15 or 20 pounds of quicksilver are put into the sluice, and the largest amount in the sluice at one time is 900 pounds. The owner of the sluice never buys any quicksilver, but has it to sell, for he catches more than he puts in. He cleans up several sections—a section is between two dumps-between Saturday night and Monday morning, which time he has for cleaning up under a contract with the companies. Six men are employed 20 hours--12 days' workin cleaning up a section of ten boxes or 120 feet, and the expense, including new stone and repairing, is $3 75 per box. The yield is usually $25 per box, or $250 per section, at a clean up, and there are 416 boxes in the sluice. Three men aro constantly employed in looking after the sluice, and extra men are engaged to clean up.

The companies which tail into the tunnel have about 600 feet of their own sluices.

DRAINAGE OF BEAR RIVER.—Bear river, opposite to Dutch Flat, is 70 feet deep, with tailings, the mass of which extends for some miles above and many below. It has been proposed to cut a tunnel three miles long from Bear river at Secret ravine through the railroad divide to the north fork of the American river, the bed of which is 1,000 feet lower than that of Bear river. It is supposed that an immense profit would be derived from such an enterprise, though the cost of making a tunnel for that length 11 feet wide and eight feet high, at $40 per foot,

would be about $630,000. The bed of Bear river, opposite Dutch Flat, never was flumed, and is probably quite rich. The present deposit of tailings began to accumulate in 1858 or 1859. They rise about two feet per month from February till September, and then the floods of winter carry away a considerable portion of them.

South PLACER QUARTZ REGULATIONS.—There is no general quartz regulation for Placer county ; each district has its own rules.

The following are the main provisions of the South Placer quartz regulations: Any person may take up and pre-empt one claim of 200 feet in length on the lode by 200 feet in width, (following the dip of the lode,) with all dips, spurs, angles, and courses, with all precious metals therein contained. Such claims shall be valid by the locator's posting one notice thereupon, naming the number of feet claimed cach way from said notice ; desig: nating, if possible, by croppings, the general direction of said lude, but if no croppings are visible, then by the words easterly, westerly, rortherly, or southerly, as the case may be ; but in no case shall a location of a claim be invalid by reason of any misapprehension in regard to the direction of said lode. Notices of locations shall be put upon the records of this district, together with filing a copy of the same with the recorder, which shall give as full a description as possible of the claim.

All clnims shall be recorded as above specified within 20 days from the date of their notice.

All claims in this district shall be held by working the same, the work to amount to at least one full day's work to each claim in each company in every month in good faith; and after the sum of $50 to cach name in such company shall have been expended upon the claim, on application to the recorder it shall be liis duty to go and see the work, and if he finds that the said amount of work or money has been expended as before stated, he shall give to the parties owning or their representatives a certificate stating that the said amount of work and money has been expended, which entitles the owners to lay over and suspend work for the term of six months from the date of said application, and the claim will not be considered forfeited until after the said six months has expired.

Canada HILL AND LONE STAR REGULATIONS.— The quartz regulations of Canada Hill allow 200 feet on the lode to each person, and 50 feet on each side, and 10 feet on every cross-lode; and require five days' work per month for each individual claim or share.

In the Lone Star district, west of Auburn, the regulations allow 200 feet to cach person, and 300 feet on cach side.

A company's claim may be held for the first year by doing work of the value of $25 within 60 days after the location; and an equal amount of work will hold it for any snbsequent year.

GREEN EMIGRANT.— The Green Emigrant minc, three miles northwest from Auburn, is 1,000 feet long on a vein which appears to run north 65° west, but there are a number of veins that seem to concentrate at the top of the hill, in which a rich deposit bas been found.

The vein which runs through the hill is called the Green Emigrant, is three feet wide, and dips 45° to the southwest. The foot-wall is serpentine and the hanging wall talcose slate and schist. The vein itself near the surface seems to be decomposed quartz, talcose, and schist. The middle parallel vein is 18 inches wide and nearly vertical, and the vein matter is like that in the Green Emigrant. The southwestern vein is four feet and a half wide, and dips 45° to the east. The vein matter is the same as in the other two. There are spaces of 50 feet between these parallel veins at the surface, but it is supposed that they unite 150 feet below the surface. The walls of the middle vein and the hanging wall of the southern vein are talcose slate ; and the foot-wall of the latter vein is a hard rock resembling sienite. A shaft was sunk 10 feet in the southwestern vein, and the rock averaged $10 per ton.

The mine was discovered in 1864, and not more than 50 tons have been crushed, yielding $100 per ton. The yield for the first two years was $20,000, but the proprietors refuse to tell what it has been since. Rumor, which probably exaggerates grossly, says that $100.000 have been taken out in a hand mortar in the first six months of 1867. That

many rich specimens have been obtained is indubitable. All the work in the mine, exccpt on rare occasions, is done by two partners in it, and strangers are not permitted to enter. The rich deposit is found in stroaks near the walls. The mine is opened by a tunnel 225 feet long. The mine owners say the whole hill will pay--the rock for crushing and the gravel for washing.

The first extension of the Green Emigrant on the north is 600 feet long, and is being opened or examined by cross cuts. Some auriferous talcose slate has been found, but so far no vein.

Monahan & Co. have 2,000 feet on the same vein, and have done nothing.

The Wells claim is 2,400 feet long, and the vein is five feet wide. There are two shafts, one 50 and the other 40 feet deep. Forty tons have been crushed, and they yielded $12 50 per ton on an average, after the specimens had been picked out.

The first extension south of the Green Emigrant is 2,000 feet long. A shaft has been sunk 25 feet, and the vein is 18 inches wide. The rock prospects well.

NEW YORK AND EMPIRE.— The New York mine, formerly known as the Conrad, one mile west of Auburn, has three veins, each two feet wide, not more than 200 feet apart.

The Empire Company, at Ophir, has 11,000 feet of claims on various veins, and is working in a shaft 35 feet deep, in a vein two feet wide. The mili has 10 stamps, and began to run in March of this year. The average yield is $8 per ton, exclusive of the sulphurets, which are not saved. An experiment was made in this mill of working the float quartz, which covers the whole country near Ophir, but it did not pay. The working vein is in granite and runs norti, and south. The mill was burned down in July, after it was visited. SCHNABLE. - The Julianne or Schnable mine, on Jenny Lind Flat, near

is 2,000 feet long on a vein two and a half feet wide, running north and south in granite, and dipping 80° to the east. A shaft has been sunk 105 feet, and drifts have been run 50 feet below the surface, 1,200 feet on the vein, in pay all the way. The pay is evenly distributed through the vein, and the average yield of free gold, as reported by the proprietor, is $6 per ton; but the general impression in the neighborhood is that the mine is quite valuable. The expense for stopping out is $2 per ton, and the total expense $4. The croppings have paid for 2,000 feet on the surface. The rock contains seven per cent. of sulphurets, which assay $147 per ton, or $10 per ton of rock. There is a five-stamp Inill which has been running for two years and a half, working 25 or 30 tons

WALTER AND ST. LAWRENCE.—The Walter mine, 900 feet, at Hamberg Flat, is on a vein which runs northwest and southeast, averages 18 inches in thickness, and dips 80° to the southwest. A shaft has been sunk 45 feet, and drifts have been run 48 feet on the vein in pay rock all the way. There is slate wall on both sides, but in some places the granite comes to the west wall. Some very rich specimens have been found. The mine has no mill. Twenty tons have been crushed, and the yield was $13 per ton.

The St. Lawrence Company has three claims. The St. Lawrence vein, on which they are working, runs northeast and southwest, dips southeast 65°, and is 20 inches wide. The claim on this vein is 1,400 feet long. A shaft has been sunk 75 feet, and drifts have been run 85 feet in pay all the way. The walls are granito, with a slaty gouge about an inch thick on each side. The surface was worked with a profit by Mexicans for many years. The St. Lawrence claim on the Boulder vein is 2,400 feet long. The vein is three and a half feet wide, and has the same course, dip, and walls as the St. Lawrence. A shaft has been sunk 75 feet, and drifts have been run 75 feet. An assay of the sulphurets shows $138 gold and $158 silver per ton. An assay of dry slum showed $19 gold and $46 silver ton.

GOLDEN RULE.-The Golden Rule Company, of Sacramento, (to be distin

per week.

per

guished from the Golden Rule Company of San Francisco, which has a valuable mine on the Mother lode in Tuolumne county,) has claims, each 2,000 feet long, on three parallel veins nine miles south-southwest of Auburn. The eastern vein is three feet thick, and has been opened by a shaft 250 feet deep and drifts 160 feet long on the vein, all the way in rock that averages $12 to the ton. The middle vein is two feet thick, and the rock averages $8. This is 100 feet from the eastern vein, has been reached by a cross-drift from it, and a drift in the vein has been run 60 feet. The western vein is 60 feet distant, in fifteen inches wide, and has been opened to a depth of 75 feet by a shaft, and to a length of 50 feet by drifts. The eastern and middle veins show quartz of the same quality; the western has a bluish hard quartz, containing more free gold than the others, which have white quartz and sulphurets. A 20-stamp mill is going up, and also a reverberatory furnace, with a capacity to roast a ton at a charge. The sulphurets are to be concentrated with Hungerford's concentrator. There is a 75-horse power steam engine and steam hoisting works. For hoisting, a flat wire rope is used.

STEWART'S FLAT, AMERICAN BAR, AND DAMASCUS.—Stewart's Flat mine, 1,350 feet long, is on a vein two and a half feet wide, running north-northeast and south-southwest, in granite walls. A shaft has been sunk 120 feet, and drifts have been run 380 feet on the vein in pay all the way. The average yield is $15 per ton. The mine was worked from 1862 to 1864, and was then left idle till this spring, when work was resumed. There is a five-stamp mill.

At American Bar, two miles below Michigan Bluff, a quartz mill is being built.

The Damascus quartz mine, at Damascus, was worked for three years, paying a profit part of the time, and has been idle for the last three years. The vein is 12 feet wide and the mill has five stamps.

RED STONE.— The Red Stone, 10 miles north of Dutch Flat, on the north branch of the north fork of the American river, is 2,400 feet long, on a vein which runs northwest and southeast, and is five and a half feet wide, between granite and talcose slate. A depth of 165 feet has been reached, and drifts have been run 30 feet in the vein. The rock, so far as examined, is very rich. A fourstamp mill has been running, and an 18-stamp mill is now in the course of erection.

There is a mill of two stamps erected in Bear Valley, for the purpose of prospecting the Champion and the Blue Belle lodes, both of which yield excellent quartz.

Canada HILL.-Canada Hill, on the Forest Hill ridge, 10 miles west of the sunimit, has a number of quartz lodes, some of which are very promising at the surface. The gulches about the hill are full of rough gold and gold-bearing quartz. Most of the miners there are Mexicans. The Secret mill, built four years ago, ran two years and is now standing idle.

The Buena Vista Company are opening a quartz claim.

Bald Mountain, two miles east of Canada Hill, is covered with float-quartz, and many of the pieces contain specks of gold plainly visible. There has been much prospecting for lodes, but none of any size have been found.

HARPENDING MINE.— The Gold Quarry Company's property, familiarly known as the Banker or Harpending mine, is situated near Lincoln, on a deposit similar to that of Quail Hill, in Calaveras county. The ores are delivered by contract at 40 cents per ton. A 40-stamp mill is at work, crushing about five ons daily to the stamp. The labor is principally Chinese. The estimated cost of the entire extraction and treatment is within $1

per

ton. Professor Silliman, in a paper on the Harpending and Quail Hill deposits, says:

Accompanying the entire mass of decomposition at both localities, occur both gold and silver, disseminated with remarkable uniformity in all parts of the ore ground. At Whiskey Hill films of metallic silver are visible upon the talcose masses, stained green by malachite

[ocr errors]

or chrysocolla. The gold is rarely seen in situ, being mostly obscured by the very rusty and highly-stained character of the associated materials. But it is rare that, on washing a small quantity of any of the contents of these great deposits, gold is not found in angular grains or small ragged masses, from the size of a few grains' weight to impalpable dust. Nuggets of several pennyweights occur occasionally. This gold has evidently accompanied the sulphurets and been left in its original position and condition by their decomposition. There can be little doubt that the gold of the gulches adjoining these deposits has been derived from them. At Whiskey Hill the gulch gold ceases to be found as soon as the limits of this deposit are passed ; and the same is true at Quail Hill. The occurrence of deposits of this nature throughout the range of the foot hills seems to offer the best solution which has suggested itself of the origin of the placer gold, which is found in situations so far removed from the gold belt of the upper sierras, and away from sources usually recognized as those to which placer gold may be referred.

The chemical results of the extensive decomposition of metallic sulphids which has in former times occurred at these localities offer an interesting problem in chemical geology, The sulphur has been removed chiefly as sulphuric acid, beyond doubt, which bas combined with iron and copper to form sulphates of those metals. These have, for the most part, disappeared, being washed out by the atmospheric waters, and have followed the drainage of the country. At Whiskey Hill I found the sulphate of iron, (coquimbite,) sulphate of copper, (cyanosite,) and alum. The water of the shaft coptaius copper enough to redden the

From all the evidence presented, we seem justified in regarding these remarkable metallic deposits as segregated veins, holding a pretty uniform and high tenor of gold and silver, associated with and derived from the decomposition of extended masses of metallic sulphurets and quartzose matter, and carrying, at times, ores of copper, the commercial value of which is, however, entirely subordinate to that of the precious metals which are found to characterize these veins or ore channels.

SECTION IX.

NEVADA COUNTY.

Nevada county, California, has for its eastern boundary the dividing line between California and Nevada State; extends across the summit and down the westerly slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains to the foot hills that border the eastern edge of the Sacramento valley. Its northerly and southerly boundaries are the Middle Yuba and Bear rivers, to the sources of those streams; thence due east to the State line. Its length from east to west is about 65 miles, having an average breadth of 20, and containing about 1,300 square miles. It is near the middle of the great gold region that stretches along the westerly slope of the mountain chain, extends entirely across the auriferous belt, and in the last nineteen years has produced more gold than any tract of country of equal extent in the world.* The elevation above the level of the ocean ranges from 800 to 1,000 feet, along the foot hills, and rises to 8,000 and 9,000 feet in places on the summit, thus affording a great variety of climates. On and near the summit the ground is covered with snow for more than half the year, while at the foot hills snow and ice are seldom seen.

Several streams, which have their sources high up in the mountains, flow westerly through the county, and empty into the main Yuba or Bear river. The most considerable of these are the South Yuba, Deer creek, and Greenhorn, which, with their tributaries, have cut deep channels in the primitive rock. Between these streams and those forming the northerly and southerly boundaries

* Professor B. Silliman says of the product of the valley district: “The place has obtained a well-earned celebrity as the most prosperous of all the gold quartz-inining districts in California. Quartz mining was begun here as early as 1850, and has been continued, on the whole, with a steadily increasing success, to the present time.

“It is difficult to obtain exact statistics of the total product of the Grass Valley quartz mines, but it is believed by those best able to form a trustworthy opinion on this subject that the product in 1866 was probably not less than $2,000,000, while for the whole period from 1851-say 14 years—it was probably in excess of $23,000,000."

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »