Monday, December 31, 2012
Sunday, December 30, 2012
It was about an hour after midnight when we drove past the trailhead for the dunes, continued 300 yards up the Big Four Mine road and set up camp on the only level spot we could find.
The Old Trailmaster After hiking about a mile the road disappeared at a wilderness sign, placed there after the passage of the Desert Protection Act in 1994. Looking beyond the wilderness sign the road looks impassable but looks can be deceiving.
"The last new metallic ore discovery in Inyo County, like the first, was silver. The Big Four Mine (known also as the War Eagle) is a lead-silver-zinc mine located seven miles northeast of Panamint Springs. Although possibly first discovered in 1907, it was never more than a prospect until William Reid restaked three claims in 1940. Development work began in 1942 and 370 tons of ore was extracted between 1944 and 1945. Leased from 1946 through 1949 by various persons, the ore averaged 16.6 percent lead, 12.5 percent zinc and 2.6 ounces of silver per ton. In 1952, production amounted to 136 tons of ore." - DESERT FEVER:An Overview of Mining in the California Desert Conservation Area, 1980
Photo Credit: AustinAustin climbed up to the entrance of the main portal and photographed ore cart rails with the Panamint Dunes far in the distance. Very cool photo.
"The workings are on two levels. The lower levels is a short adit driven S. 20 degrees E., ending in a small irregular slope. The upper level has a 110-foot adit driven along a fault S. 55 degrees E. The adit ends in an irregular 80-foot stoped section. Recently, an adit was driven eastward from the portal of the lower adit; stoping will continue from this new heading.
A 900-foot crosscut adit was driven N. 70 degrees E. at the base of the hill many years ago. To the northwest across the canyon, two 30-foot adits have been driven N 25 degrees E. and N 30 degrees E. in 1947. Thirty tons of shipping-grade ore was produced.
The present location of the property was made by William Reid in 1940 and the first work was done in 1942. In 1944 and 1945, and 372 tons of ore was mined. In 1946 11 cars of ore were shipped. In May 1949 some work was done by two men on contract basis." - California Journal of Mines and Geology, Vol. 47, No. 1, Jan. 1957 - Wikimapia
Posted by Mr. Johnson at 1:23 PM