Mines and Minerals of Maricopa County

The existence of the precious metals in Arizona was the first feature of the country that led to the advent of white men there. In fact, the Jesuit missionaries, although, doubtless, their ostensible and, primarily, real object, was the introduction of Christianity among the benighted Pima and Apache Indians, were, almost certainly, attracted, secondarily and irresistibly, by the tales of the fabulous wealth to be acquired in the country. The progress they made in mining, by the primitive methods employed in those days, and the amount of bullion which they secured, and sent over the border to Sonora and Sinoloa, are abundant evidence that they had a practical eye to "the main chance," while they were, at the same time, undeniably, doing good work in the way of reforming the habits, and, possibly, the beliefs, of the Indians. 

In their track, followed, in due time, the more enterprising, and more skillful American miner, and, in a comparatively short time, in spite of the serious difficulties and the incessant raids of the Apaches, the country became settled up, in a somewhat sparse, but yet effective, fashion, and the development of the many mines, of rock and plain, awaiting the pick, shovel, pan, rocker or stamp-mill of the miner, to render up their riches, followed. As rich "find" after "find" was opened, the population became denser. As the Indian bandits became more and more circumscribed in the area of their forays, and law and order came to be more and more strictly enforced, the wonderful riches of the Territory were proportionately realized and appreciated, and the tide of immigration increased, until, to-day, Arizona claims and with good reason to be the most attractive home in the Union for the settler who brings to his search for a home and a fortune the "will to work, and wait for the reaping time which as surely follows the sowing as the fruitful autumn follows in the train of the toiling spring. Maricopa County has her full share of the deposits of the precious metals. Indeed, in this respect, she seems to be "doubly crowned" above any part of the United States. The surface of her soil is fertile, beyond all possibility of rivalry, and, in the sands of her rivers, the ledges of her mountains, and the veins, "deep hid from the light of prying day," there are treasures of mineral wealth which have, as yet, been merely "skimmed," and the richness of which only future years and further exploration will fully disclose.



Year after year we had almost said month after month new veins and deposits of extraordinary richness are found, and fortunes, which would have seemed fabulous a few years ago, but which are now matters of common occurrence, are made by fortunate prospectors. As examples, we need only instance the "finds" at the Haqua Hala, from which vast sums of money have been drawn within the brief time since their discovery. From the Vulture Mine alone, over $10,000,000 have been taken, and anything like "the end" is not yet. It was discovered in 1863, and lies 58 miles northwest of Phoenix. It produces free milling gold ore, and consists of four veins, worked from two inclines, 300 feet apart, which have been sunk to a depth of about 450 to 500 feet. The water used for the mine is brought from the Hassayampa River, a distance of 16 miles, and in its course is forced over a range 350 feet high. The formation of the mine is porphyry and limestone. Another mining district, which has proved very remunerative, is that of Cave Creek, located about 32 miles from Phoenix, in the foothills of the Verde mountains. The principal mine is the Phoenix, on the eastside of Cave Creek, and the formation is porphyry and slate. Other mines in the district are the Maricopa, the Chautauqua, the Mexican, etc.

The Magazine district, in which is the famous "Red Rover" mine, lies" east of the Cave Creek district. From this mine gold ore has been shipped that assayed $500 to the ton. To the north of Phoenix lies the Winnifred district, from which great things are expected, as soon as water, which is the great desideratum, can be made available. So far, the water used has been brought from the Arizona Canal, and that has been conveyed chiefly to the Union Mine, which was located in 1876. The vein matter in this mine is found in a slate dike, which is encased in a granite formation. This dike varies in width from six to ten feet, and runs about $15 in native gold, to the ton. Ore has been struck in the lower cross-cut that will assay $25 to the ton. The mine is worked through an incline sunk on the ore body a distance of 140 feet, from the bottom of which a vertical shaft is sunk a distance of 400 feet. All of the ore body above the 60 foot level is a free milling gold rock, while below that point it is sulfide. A ten stamp mill has been erected at the mine. The most noted of the mines near the Union, are the West Point and Gila Monster. The Contention mine, of this district, is working a large force of men. The principal other mines in this portion of this district are the Hidden Treasure No. l, Toughnut, Grey Eagle, and Hidden Treasure No. 2. The Arizona Gazette, in a recent issue, speaks in the highest terms of the prospects of the mines in the Haqua Hala, 86 miles northwest of Pho3nix, between which city and the mines, there is constant communication, as all the miners' supplies are drawn from there. The mine at Gold Hill is thus described in the Gazette: "The rich gold-bearing vein of this hill lies between quartz and granite, and is from twelve to twenty feet wide, and averages almost thirty dollars In gold per ton. The vast carbonate deposits have been disclosed in this ramp, which contain thirty to sixty per cent, in lend, and run high in silver. There was tested at the ten stamp mill, located at the town of Harrisburg, which is distant about six miles from Gold Hill, ore from this two Bonanza claims on this hill that ran $100 to the ton.

The Harcouvar mining district, is another of the many mining districts tributary to Phoenix, and lies 90 miles northwest of the city. The company operating it owns twenty-six full claims, 600 x 1,500 feet. One vein, a mile in length, averages 4 feet in thickness, and runs $20 in gold, and silver, and 20 per cent, in copper. On the same side of the mountain on which this company's mine is situated, a vast deposit of ore has been disclosed, on which an open cut has been run, exposing an ore body 57 feet in thickness, and which runs $22 in gold and silver, and 22 per cent, in copper. On the San Dulac claim, belonging to this company, a rich gold-bearing vein has been disclosed, carrying $40 in native gold and silver. In the Tonto Basin, Tip Top and Humbug mining districts, there have been located a large number of valuable mining properties. It is estimated that there are over 1,000 mining claims in this county, upon which assessment work is done each year. An indefinite number of other paying mines might be enumerated, such as the Old Rowe, the Hicks, the Boss, the Spring, the Bonita, the Monarch, the Carbonate Chief, the Rackensack, the Golden Star, the Lion, the Hunters' Rest, the Chioo, the Catherine, and many others, which have been either recently opened, with every indication of "paying big money,'' or have been worked for years, with the most gratifying results to the investors; but enough has been said to show that Maricopa County has every inducement within its borders, for the enterprising and persistent prospector, and there is no rashness in making the prediction that there is a vast deal more of mineral wealth, within her confines, which has not been located, and which is left for future embryo bonanza kings to find and unearth. Although generally considered an agricultural region, Maricopa county is rich in the precious metals, almost every mountain range within the limits of the county showing mineral. The north-eastern portion, embracing the spurs and foothills of the Superstition and Mazatzal ranges, is known to be rich in gold, silver, and copper ore, but as yet has been but little explored. That division of the county, south of the Gila, is known to contain rich silver ore and copper deposits, although the development thus far has been very slight. Maricopa possesses every natural auxiliary for the mining and reduction of ores, besides producing all the supplies necessary for the successful prosecution of the industry.



The Vulture mine is situated in the north-western portion of the county. This great lode has a reputation which has made it famous all over the Pacific coast. No mine ever located in the Territory is perhaps ho well known beyond its borders. The mine was discovered in 1863, by Henry Wickenburg, and worked almost continuously by an Eastern company' until 1873. The high rates of freight and the cost of hauling the ore—$8 per ton—to the mill, sixteen miles distant, caused a suspension of work and an abandonment of the property. The mine was afterwards located by other parties, who erected a ten-stamp mill on the Hassayampa, twelve miles distant, and worked the ores successfully for several years. Three years ago the property passed into the hands of the Central Arizona Mining Company, and since that time the mine has entered on an era of prosperity it never knew before. The new company has brought water in pipes from the Hassayampa, a distance of sixteen miles, and have erected an eighty-stamp mill at the mine. The property has had more work done upon it than any mine in the Territory. A deep excavation on the surface shows the ore body to be nearly 100 feet in width. A depth of 390 feet has been reached, and several levels and cross-cuts run on the vein. The ledge lies between a hanging wall of porphyry and a foot wall of talcose slate. It is situated in a low hill, and at a depth of about 200 feet the vein is almost vertical. With the present arrangements for reduction, the ore is extracted and milled at a total cost of $2.25 per ton. More stamps will soon be added, and the yield of bullion largely increased. The Vulture has produced more money than any mine in the Territory, the total yield being placed at $3,000,000 in gold. With the immense ore bodies in sight, and the appliances for reducing them, we may look to see many millions more taken from this fine property.

Cave Creek.—This district is about thirty miles- north from Phoenix, in the southern spurs of the Verde mountains. The country rock is slate and granite; the veins are of good size, with well defined walls. Water is found in abundance from three to five miles of the camp. The Carbonate Chief shows a vein of carbonate ore nearly 7 feet wide, assaying $50 per ton. It carries gold and silver, and is opened by a shaft 50 feet in depth. The Panther is a large vein, with ore similar to the Chief. It is opened by several shafts and tunnels. Both of these mines are owned by the Panther Mining Company. The Lion is a 4-foot vein of gold quartz. Ore from this mine has worked $40 per ton. It is opened by a shaft 30 feet and a drift 50 feet, and has produced $10,000. The Rackensack is a 2-foot vein, going $40 per ton in gold. It is opened by a shaft and tunnel, the former 50 feet, and the latter 60 feet. It has yielded $8,000. The Golden Star is a fine-looking body of quartz. It has a shaft 60 feet deep, and has produced about $10,000. A ten-stamp mill has been erected on the claim. The Hunter's Rest, Maricopa, Chico, and Catherine are all promising prospects, showing large ore bodies.

Winnifred District.—This district is about fifteen miles north of Phoenix. The ledges are a gold ore quartz. The country formation is a granite and slate. A five-stamp mill run by water power, has been erected on the Grand canal, four miles from Phoenix and eleven miles from the mines, where the ore is reduced. This is a new camp, but promises to become an important one. The Union is opened by a 75-foot shaft, and shows a vein 3| feet wide, all of which has worked $15 per ton. This mine is worked steadily, and promises to become a valuable property. The Scarlet has a vein 3 feet wide, assaying $50 per ton. It has a shaft 20 feet deep. The Gila Monster shows 2 feet of good ore. The claim is opened by a 40-foot shaft. The Red Dog, San Diego, and Mogul are all fine prospects.

Meyers District.—This district is about forty miles south of the Gila Bend station on the Southern Pacific railroad. The ledges show strong and well-defined fissures filled with argentiferous galena and carbonate ores, assaying all the way from $50 to $5,000 per ton. Wood and water are not plentiful. The principal mines are the Gunsight, Silver Girt, Morning Star, Crescent, Monumental, and Atlanta. Some rich copper discoveries have been recently made in the mountain range south of Phoenix. The ledges are represented as being from 10 to 30 feet wide, carrying ore which assays from 20 to 53 per cent. But little work has yet been done on these veins, but they give every promise of becoming productive copper properties.

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