THE STORMONT MINES, SILVER REEF, UTAH,—Ill.
In our last issue, we gave a brief description of the Buckeye and Last Chance mines, which, though large and valuable mines in themselves, form but a portion of the Stormont Company's property. We will now refer to the Stormont and the Thompson & McNally mines.
The Stormont mine, of which we publish herewith a map, has been worked to but a very small extent, though it has always yielded ore of excellent quality ; indeed, the richest ore we found in our recent examina-tion of the mines of this camp was at the foot of the Stormont incline—one of the few points in this district that is below the water-level. The bed at this point over its average thickness of 4 ft. 6 in. assayed 97 ounces and 109 ounces per ton, which is much above the yield of ore from the upper workings in the mines. This increasing richness below water-level probably is merely accidental ; but it has also been observed in the lowest workings of the California mine and in the new workings of the Kinner, and it may be more general than we have supposed. It would be natu-ral to suppose that the silver would be found in depth more largely as a sulphide than as a chloride.
But little work has been done on the Stormont mine since the date of our examination in June, the mine being somewhat more expensive to work, on account of the water, than some of the other properties owned by the company. The sketch, therefore, shows, practically, the present extent of the workings. The single bed worked has averaged from 3 to 5 feet in thickness, and the ore milled has yielded very handsomely.
The Thompson & McNally mines, known as the Kerr property, a map of which we publish herewith, form one of the most valuable properties in the district. In June last, at the date of our examination, the develop-ments were not great, but the ore produced and milled was remarkably rich, and the ore-bearing bed was very large, and, apparently, carried ore over a considerable extent. At the time, we were able to estimate but 5000 tons of 24-ounce ore “in sight." The work since done on the mine has developed a richness even exceeding the favorable opinion we then expressed, and in the report of his recent examination, Mr. COLBATH says of this property :
"The Thompson & McNally mines are now worked by means of a tunnel run-ning through the White Reef from the east side, and cutting into the vein about ten feet below what was known as the Meeks cut. In cutting through, it was found that there was another stratum of ore more than three feet thick under the vein then worked, and separated from it by less than two feet of waste or barren rock. On the foot-wall, there is a rich stratum of the so-called soapstone, nearly all of which is being sacked as first-class ore, but of which none has yet been sent to the mill. A cut has been extended 123 feet south, taking up the entire vein, and an average of over eight feet in thickness is being sent to the mill. A shaft has been sunk on the McNally ground, 200 feet north of the Meeks cut, and a level started south to meet one from the tunnel level, which is about 35 feet below the Meeks cut, on the slope of the vein.
"In the McNally shaft, the vein was reached in 12 feet depth. The vein in the shaft is five feet wide, and samples over $30 per ton. It is evident that the foot-wall has not been reached, and I shall confidently expect the lower stratum of ore to be found here, as in the Meeks cut, when the soapstone or shale, which seems to follow the foot-wall of this vein, will almost certainly be encountered. At a point, 170 feet west, and a little south of the Meeks cut, a shaft has been sunk by chloriders, which cut the vein 35 feet from the surface. A drift, north, 16 feet from the shaft, and a stope, nine feet wide, is the size of this opening. The vein in the shaft and stope is over five feet wide, and, as in the McNally shaft, it is plain that these operators are only working the top layer of ore, no foot-wall hav-ing been reached. These are being assorted to a high grade, all below $30 being rejected.
"The Thompson incline is seventy-two (72) feet deep, and shows decided im-provement for the last twenty feet. Over two feet in the face of good milling ore appear here, and some samples of this are very rich. In the south incline, no work is being done at present.
"Taking the developments at the Meeks cut, in the McNally shaft, and in the west shaft, I have no hesitation in saying there are fully 20,000 tons of ore practically in sight, while I believe the amount will be much more in the block of ground included in this estimate. An incline should be sunk upon the vein from the Meeks cut to intersect the west shaft, and levels should be run north and south. A winze should be sunk from the McNally shaft to connect with the level north, and a winze at some point south—say 200 feet south of the Meeks cut—to intersect the level run south. This level should be extended and con-nected with the Thompson incline.
"By means of these operations, the required ventilation would be secured, and the ores would all be brought to one shipping-point. An immense area would, at the same time, be opened for stoping, and, from indications along the surface, I should expect the greater part of it to be paying ground. To accomplish the objects here proposed, it will be necessary to erect a small hoisting-engine to be stationed in the Meeks cut.
"This plan, if carried out, will, in six months' time, put these mines in good working shape, so that they will yield, if demanded, sufficient ore to run a twenty-stamp mill. The levels from the Meeks cut should also be continued north and south.
"The ores from these mines, for the last month, have sampled at the mill an average of $25.52. This is exclusive of ores of the first class, which are sacked.
"After the mine is properly opened, the ores can be assorted to a higher grade, should that be thought desirable."
These developments, made since June last, and referred to by Mr. COLBATH, fully establish the value of this property, and confirm, in the fullest manner, the favorable opinion of it we had expressed. The ex-ploration work has developed the fact that the entire space between the "Meeks cut" and the Ashbrook shaft, as shown on the accompanying map, contains a body of rich ore, of very great thickness ; in fact, the Kerr property may be considered to-day as probably the finest mine in the district, though not so fully developed as the Buckeye-Last Chance mine ; and, together with these, it is unquestionably the finest property yet opened in the Silver Sandstone country.
The quantity of ore "in sight" in the several properties of the Stor-mont Company, in June, when these properties were examined by Mr. ROTHWELL and Mr. COUCH, and the value of these reserves, are compared in the following table with the quantities and values found in November by Mr. COLBATH :
RESERVES "IN SIGHT."
June, 1879. Nov., 1879.
Tons. Value, Tons. Value,
ounces fine. ounces fine.
Stormont Mine . . . . . . . . 2,400 63,408
Last Chance . . . . . . . . . . 9,100 189,189 30,000 592,000
Buckeye . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10,500 241,500
Kerr Property . . . . . . . . . . 5,000 120,000 20,000 394,000
Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27,000 614,097 50,000 986,000
Besides this great increase in the value of the reserves, the mines have produced in bullion, since the first examination was made, nearly $30,000. And the very fact that the developments recommended have actually proved the ores to be continuous and rich over great distances, adds im-mensely to the value of the property in the item termed "prospective value," which is not ore technically "in sight."
No developments have been made in the other claims owned by the company; but the success of all the work done thus far gives a fair probability of success for developments upon other claims which have already produced some good ore. We shall now refer to the important questions of the cost of mining and milling these silver sandstone ores.
The following extracts from Mr. ROTHWELL'S Report to the Stormont Mining Company give the cost of mining Silver Reef ores previous to June, 1879 :
COST OF MINING AT THE STORMONT AND LAST CHANCE MINES, FROM THEIR OPENING IN AUGUST, 1878.
Tons and Salaries Supplies Incidentals Total
1878 Mined. Per Ton. Per Ton. Per Ton. Per Ton.
August and September . . . . . . . 577 $16.53 $3.15 $0.94 $20.52
October . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 709 9.04 1.45 26 10.75 November . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 753 7.07 1.49 23 8.79
December . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,083 5.60 .99 57 7.16
January . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,726 4.05 .73 35 5.13
February . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,566 4.84 1.38 24 6.46
March . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,123 7.75 1.04 31 9.10
April . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 978 6.77 .60 13 7.50
Totals and averages . . . . . . . . . . . . 8,515 $6.72 $1.20 $0.35 $8.27
"These expenses include practically all the work of developing the mines, though not the work of sinking shafts or putting up machinery.
"In the Last Chance, the shaft had just reached the ore-bearing bed when the Stormont Company purchased in August, 1878. It is not easy to see where the expenditures in the Stormont mine were applied ; for only 1151 tons were extracted in all from it, and very little dead-work has been done there. Indeed, these mines have been about as badly managed as is possible. No competent supervision of the work is maintained ; and as all the work is done by the day, with miners and laborers paid $4 per day, and with excessive salaries, it is not surprising that the cost per ton is very much greater than it should be. This cost, however decreased regu-larly as the output increased ; and when that reached only 1726 tons per month, it attained the reasonable figure of $5.13 per ton.
"With even a moderate degree of technical skill, economy, and energy, the average figures given above could be greatly reduced, even though wages remained at their present very high standard, and there would be no difficulty in reducing these to $3 per day, with steady work and prompt payment.
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