Bullfrog Has Wonderful Showing of Great Possibilities in Its MinesSource: The Salt Lake Herald - Salt Lake City, UT
Date Published: 1906-10-29
BULLFROG HAS WONDERFUL SHOWING OF GREAT POSSIBILITIES IN ITS MINES
When some of the shrewdest financiers and mining men of the country decide to build a railroad 125 miles across the desert, it may be assumed something is there to make the enterprise worth while. The Las Vegas & Tonopah road is owned in its entirety by Senator W A Clark, his brother, J Ross Clark, and R C Kerens of St. Louis. Before they decided to build the road from Las Vegas to the Bullfrog district and on to Goldfield and Tonopah, they had a corps of experts make an examination of the entire country. After a careful investigation by Senator Clark and J Ross Clark, confirming the views of the experts, it is their combined belief that Bullfrog contains ore of the greatest gold mining regions in the world.
It is not within the province of this article to discuss in detail the mines of the district. This would be impossible without long and thorough examination on the part of expert mining men. It is easy, however, for even a layman to see that there is high-grade ore in the district. One look at the piles of sacks at the Montgomery-Shoshone, Tramp Consolidated and other properties shows that there is tonnage in sight already for the railroad.
But the wealth of the district does not lie in the sensationally high-grade ores. It is in the vast bodies of milling ore which are to be found.
The summary of the situation is contained in a circular issued by the Rhyolite board of trade. This is conservative. The circular says:
"The first location, the Bullfrog claim, was made on August 9, 1904, by "Shorty" Harris and Ernest Cross, the first ore uncovered giving return of several hundred dollars to the ton in gold and silver, the ore being green and blue-stained quartz, showing free gold. The subsequent rush resulted in the staking of a territory approximately fifteen miles long by ten miles wide. Numerous rich strikes followed, and today there are several producing mines, immense deposits of ore blocked out, and many excellent prospects under development.
Geology and Ore.
"The country rock is diversified, including porphyry, rhyolite, quartzite, lime and granite, porphyry and rhyolite predominating. The ores occur principally in quartz, manganese being especially prominent. Talc deposits are frequent, one of which is no less than phenomenal. The ores are invariably free milling, prospectors depending almost solely upon the pan to determine values, and as a rule silver is associated with the gold. Rich shoots of shipping ore are frequently encountered, yet the strength of the district lies in the many immense deposits of milling ore, the values of which are far above the average the world over. The country is well marked, dykes and ledges being traceable for miles.
"Rhyolite, platted in February, 1905, is the metropolis, being larger than the other towns in the district combined. Beatty, four miles east of Rhyolite, is next in importance, with Bullfrog, one mile south, Gold Center, five miles east, and South Bullfrog four miles east, in importance as named. Rhyolite has a population of 2,500 with perhaps, 4,000 people in the entire district.
"Rhyolite has daily mail and auto service from Goldfield, seventy-five miles; daily mail from Beatty, five miles; express, telegraph, telephone exchange, two banks, newspapers, modern hotel, three waterworks systems, fire department, improved streets, large stores, fine residences. It is the natural center of the district, being located 'in the center of the golden horseshoe, the heart of the mines.' The Las Vegas & Tonopah railway has been completed from Las Vegas on the Salt Lake Route to Beatty, a distance of 120 miles, and will be extended to Rhyolite, five miles further, as rapidly as possible. From Rhyolite, the road will be continued to Goldfield and Tonopah. The Bullfrog-Goldfield railway has been completed to Montana station, half way between Goldfield and Rhyolite and is expected to reach Rhyolite by Jan. 1, 1907. The Tonopah & Tidewater railway is being built from Ludlow on the Santa Fe to Tonopah via Rhyolite, and is now completed to Kingston, below the mouth of Amargosa canyon near Death valley. This road will also be built as fast as possible, giving the Bullfrog district three railroads -- a record-breaker for Nevada mining camps.
"Numerous milling projects are assured, with private mills by the Shoshone Consolidated, Tramp Consolidated, Mayflower and Starlight, Gold Bar, National Bank, Happy Hooligan, Gold Bullfrog and others. The district is also assured of electrical plants for power and lighting purposes.
"With the immense deposits of milling ore, together with rich shoots of shipping ore, now opened, the district will output an enormous tonnage for years, and the opening of the mines is only commenced. With three railroads the transportation problem will be solved, and with the abundance of water now piped into the heart of the mines the water supply is unquestionably adequate. These three features combine to make the future assured.
"There are eight producing mines within an area of one mile of Rhyolite, and ten in the entire district. Shipments are made to Salt Lake City. Many hundreds of thousands of tons of marketable ore are in sight within this radius. Development is in progress upon a large number of properties, many of which are equipped with up-to-date machinery."
How Bullfrog Was Discovered.
"Ed" Cross, who with "Shorty" Harris drove the first stakes in the Bullfrog district, Aug. 9, 1904, happened to be at Rhyolite when the excursionists arrived there.
"'Shorty' and I came over from the Kane's Wonder country, the Panamint range, and Ballarat," said he, in telling of the trip. "We had been prospecting through that country for some time, and concluded we would strike across the Amargosa desert, and see what we could find in these hills over this way. We came over here and we saw a ledge sticking out of the ground. We thought we would go over and see what there was there. I stuck a pick in it and it was kind of greenish stuff, that showed it had values. We panned it and found it was $500 ore. This looked pretty good to us. That was what started all the excitement. I sold out my interest for $46,000, and I bought back into it again."
"How did you happen to call it the 'Bullfrog'?" he was asked. "Was it because of the green color of the ore?"
"No," was the reply. "I guess there wasn't any real reason. We just happened to think of the name and so we stuck it on the location notice."
The original Bullfrog property lost its main ore body, which again appeared in the Bullfrog West Extension. This has a quantity of high grade-ore, but it is now in litigation.
Salt Lakers on Ground Early.
In the rush which followed from Goldfield and other places in Nevada, were many representing Salt Lakers. Salt Lake men have been conspicuous in the development of the district. Their combined holding run into the millions of dollars in value.
Ex-Governor George A Black was probably the first Salt Lake man to acquire an interest in the district. "Bob" Montgomery formerly worked for him in Wood River district, Idaho. Mr. Montgomery came to Salt Lake to his former employer and invited him to take an interest and serve as director of the Shoshone mining company, which was being formed. Mr. Black and M H Walker went on the board and served as directors until the time that the property was purchased by Charles M Schwab, Malcolm Macdonald and associates.
D H Peery and Samuel Newhouse are interested in the Montgomery Mountain property, which joins the Montgomery-Shoshone. W H Clark, W V Rice and James Farrell, all well known mining men of Utah, are the original Gibraltar owners, and still control that property. Adrian C Ellis, Jr., W J Lawrence, Clarence K McCormick, Judge W H Dickson and a number of others have holdings in the district. "Billy" Griffiths now makes his headquarters in Rhyolite, where he is in partnership in the brokerage firm of Taylor & Griffith.
Big Tonnage Now Ready.
It is impossible to state with exactness the tonnage of ore which will start immediately to the Salt Lake smelters. Conservative estimates are that ore aggregating in value $2,000,000 is already sacked and awaiting the arrival of the railroad at Rhyolite to be started on its way. At the Montgomery-Shoshone are 7,000 sacks of ore averaging about eighty pounds to a sack. The ore ranges in value for $50.00 to $250.00 per ton, and has been taken out in development. The total valuation is said to run something over $500,000. This ore is taken out in development only.
Malcolm Macdonald testified, during the time that the property was in litigation, that there was $26,000,000 worth of ore blocked out in the property. The shaft is down 400 feet, and vast chambers of ore have been opened up, in some places over 100 feet wide. The high grade ore is talc, while the milling values are found in quartz.
The Tramp Consolidated on Bonanza Mountain also has high grade ore sacked. Gold Bar has been a low grade proposition, with ore running from $1 to $12 a ton in value, but there have been recent strikes of high grade ore. The Homestake, its next door neighbor, also is ready to enter the shipping lists. The same is true of the Gibraltar, Mayflower, Starlight and some other properties.
It is not the high grade ore, however, which has given confidence to experienced mining men. It is the great size of the ore bodies. Gold Bar has a vein 200 feet wide, the Tramp Consolidated over 199, the Montgomery-Shoshone over 100, Rush 150, Original Bullfrog 108, and others of smaller magnitude.
These big bodies of ore, of course, average differently in different mines, but the bulk, according to men familiar with the district, will run $10 to $12 per ton. They will be treated by concentration, amalgamation and cyanide process, according to the character of the ore.
Several plants have already been planned. The Montgomery-Shoshone expects to have a 300-ton mill, which is now coming into the district, in operation within ninety days. A 1,000-ton custom mill is to be put up on the Amargosa river, nine miles north of Rhyolite. There are other custom and private mills either ordered or planned.
The ore rates are so favorable, that it is probable all ore running $50 per ton or upward, will be shipped to the Salt Lake smelters, where the values can be extracted better than by the milling process.
An accurate estimate of the value of the ore which will come each month, is entirely out of the question, but there is nobody who knows the district and is a competent judge who is not confident that the annual production will run into many millions of dollars, and will continue for years to come.
Tributary to the Las Vegas & Tonopah road are the Greenwater, Furnace Creek, Wild Rose, Skiddo and other districts near the California-Nevada boundary line. The surface showings of copper in Greenwater are said to surpass those found anywhere else in the world. The railroad can reach this camp from the Las Vegas & Tonopah at Ash Meadows, a distance of forty miles. Construction of this branch is one of the possibilities of the near future. Furnace Creek, where Patsey Clark was pioneer, is near Greenwater, Samuel Newhouse and a number of other Salt Lake men are interested in the new region.
The Wild Rose district is also tributary. Here Dr. U Withee of Ogden, is promoting a company. Then there is the Skidoo district, sixty miles south of Rhyolite, where "Bob" Montgomery, Charles M Schwab and others are interested and where a twenty-five mile eight-inch pipe line is being built to carry the water to a mill to extract the gold.
Altogether, the entire region for miles contains much mineral and gives promise of permanency and increasing prosperity, offering a highly inviting field for Salt Lake merchants and mining men.
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Submitted: 12/29/09 (Edited 01/08/10)