Take it easy
  Silver Dyke Mine

N38.3113344 W118.1934412 Camp Douglas, NV Quad

VISITED August 15, 2015
Our Breakfast: Eggs at the El Capitan
Our Lunch: Cheesburgers at S'socorro'S Burger Hut in Mina
DIRECTIONS Take US 95 south from Fallon past Hawthorne and Mina for 112 miles; turn west on local road for 6.4 miles.

The tungsten deposits in the Excelsior Mountains were discovered in 1916 by Charles W. Noble on claims he originally located for silver. Shortly after the discovery of tungsten the Noble property was sold to Atkins-Kroll Co., who operated it until the mine was sold to Noonan, Bean, and Beck of Sodaville in December of 1917. A mill and power line was constructed in the early 1930's. Water was piped in from a well below the mill and, later, from across the valley in 1935. The Depression lessened the need for tungsten but World War Two brought the industry out of the slump.

You know they're serious when they start buying towns.

Atkins, Kroll and Company, the San Francisco tungsten producers, have bought the entire town of Sodaville from "Bob" Stewart and have a force of 100 men employed in the preparations for the construction of a concentrating plant for the treatment of tungsten ores from the Noble mine, 11 miles from town.
1916 May 23, Reno Evening Gazette

The mill has been started on the Wagner and Silver Dyke Tungsten properties, near Sodaville and nine miles south of Mina. Those properties are under lease to C.W. Poole, well known tungsten operator of Lovelock. Alex Ranson is in charge of operations as superintendent. A big body of uniformly high grade scheelite ore was recently opened in the Silver Dyke, which is being worked through a drift run from the Wagner shaft. The Silver Dyke was operated up to the entrance of the United States into the world war, by the Atkina-Kroll company, which made record production of over one million dollars in twelve months.
1925 August 1, Reno Evening Gazette

They're starting to get serious now

A compressor has been installed, a pump provided, and a water line laid to a well seventeen hundred feet below the mines at Silver Dyke and Wagner tungsten properties near Sodaville recently purchased by C.H. Segerstrom and today the latter and Ott F. Heizer are on the ground to receive bids for the driving of a thousands foot tunnel which will tap the big ledge and which made a large production during the war period at depth.
1929 June 4, Reno Evening Gazette

WHen you operate in a steep canyon in Nevada, you're going to have problem with roads

Marooned at the Silver Dyke mine, Alex Ranson, superintendent of the property, is unable to get out of his property because of the cloudburst of Monday which washed out the roads. It is expected several days will be required before the road is cleared of the boulders and debris which cover it in places and the washed-out portions are repaired. Telephone communications are unimpaired and Mr. Ranson reported today that he expected to clear the roads soon. He has his entire crew at work on the job.
1929 August 7, Reno Evening Gazette.

And again....

Work on the Silver Dyke tungsten property near Sodaville has been retarded for at least thirty days by two cloudbursts which destroyed the road to the mine, but the thousand foot tunnel is being pushed ahead rapidly. In the meantime the old mill on the property is being repaired and will be put into commission soon. Thirty-five men are on the payroll.
1929 September 13, Reno Evening Gazette

Didn't stop them from digging though...

The Nevada Massachusetts company, which is operating the Silver Dyke tungsten mine near Sodaville is in 786 feet from the portal into the vein that was the objective of the present work. A seventy-five ton mill being erected on this ground is about completed and excavations are being made for the installation of an aerial tramway from the tunnel to the mill. L.B. Spences is now engaged in surveying a route for the power line from Mina to tap the Mineral county power system and work on construction of the line will start as soon as material is received.
1929 November 5, Reno Evening Gazette

You gotta do something with all that ore- let's mill it! That way you don't have so much to haul down that nasty road.

The discovery of a large and rich ore body of scheelite ore in the new deep level at the Silver Dyke mine near Sodaville has finally rewarded the operators. The mine is owned by the Nevada Massachusetts Company and is under the management of Ott. F. Heizer, with Alex Ranson as superintendent. It is reported that the new mill will go into commission March 1.
1930 February 21, Reno Evening Gazette

The milling plant of the Nevada-Massachusetts Silver Dyke tungsten property near Sodaville, on which work has been prosecuted for several months, will be completed within a week, it is reported by Alex Ranson. The plant is of seventy-five tons daily capacity. Since the property was acquired last year a large amount of development work has been performed in addition to the mill-building operations. An electric power line several miles in length has been constructed from the Mineral county system and what is believed to be an ample water supply has been secured by sinking wells in the valley below. A tramway has been completed from the lower tunnel level to the top of the mill and other improvements made.
1930 February 18, Reno Evening Gazette

The new seventy-five ton mill of the Boston [I believe this was a reporter's brain fart- F.N.] Massachusetts Company installed on the Silver Dyke and Wagner tungsten mines near Sodaville is supposed to have started up yesterday or this morning and it is reported from Mina the W.G. Emminger has accepted the position of superintendent of the plant.
1930 March 14, Reno Evening Gazette

Another storm...

The Silver Dyke has temporary repairs made on its road to the mine and cars and trucks are now able to get through to the mine for the first time since the storm set in.
1930 May 16, Reno Evening gazette

The Silver Dyke is cooking now. All that construction and milling is really paying off! Life is good!

The new mill of the Nevada Massachusetts company at the Silver Dyke tungsten property is now being operated on three shifts and treating forty-five tons of ore daily.
1930 May 30, Reno Evening Gazette

Wait, what?

The temporary closing of the Silver Dyke mill has been offset by the reopening of the Lucky Boy mine at Hawthorne, the News of Hawthorne says. It is to be admitted that the tungsten market at present is in bad shape while silver and lead prices have tumbled to the bottom. In spite of this the Silver Dyke mine a tungsten producer is being developed and the mill can be opened on short notice.
1930 July 15

On account of the lack of demand for tungsten at this time, because of the fact that steel manufacturers cannot sell their output, the new mill on the property is not in operation at present.
1930 September 16, Reno Evening Gazette

More road issues, and let's throw in some earthquake issues for good measure! The good news is the economy is picking up.

The mill at the Silver Dyke tungsten property out from Mina will be put into commission march 1, after a long idleness caused by low price of the product, it is announced. The plant is in excellent condition. The water supply is lessened by the recent earthquake shocks, which also smashed the pump-house and made junk of the pump. About fifteen men are employed at present and that force would be increased to twenty-five when the mill starts grinding. The company buildings are located at the head of two canyons, in one of which is the road to Mina. The Mine force watched as great boulders bounding down the mountain sides and filling the bottom of the gulches. had a car been parked at any point below the mine [during the earthquake] for a mile, except close to it, they would have been smashed to smithereens.
1934 February 21, Reno Evening Gazette

Sure wish we had some more water to run the mill though.

Operations at the Silver Dyke Mine have been confined to the mining end for the past six months, but milling will be started in the next two or three days, and continue as long as the melting snows furnish the necessary water.
1935 April 20, Reno Evening Gazette

Hey, there's some water on that hill yonder! Let's get it!

Work has started with a large crew on a pipeline which will bring water to the Silver Dyke mill nine and one half miles southwest of Mina from Spearmint Springs, it was learned this week from resident os the town. A ditch-digging machine which is expected to complete a mile of the ditch each day is ont he ground and commenced operations yesterday. Four inch pipe is to be used. Spearmint Springs is on Pilot PEak, east of Sodaville, and is one of the oldest water rights in the state, being located by the late "Bob" Stewart along about 1850. One hundred gallons of water a minute will be delivered to the mill.
1935 August 10, Reno Evening Gazette

Ahh, that's better! Let's crank up that mill again!

Completion of the new pipeline will permit the mill to run steadily. The water is piped from Spearmint Canyon in the Pilot range for a distance of 53, 370 fet across the desert valley, to the mountains opposite. Six carloads of four inch spiral welded asphalt-dipped pipe was used in the line, which was laid in a ditcher-excavated trench three feet deep and later covered with a caterpillar and blade. Three pumping stations, powered with two and three-stage Ingersoll-Rand centrifugal pumps force the water from the gravity terminal to the four large storage tanks which serve the mill. The water system is protected with elaborate alarm units designed warn workmen of any decrease in the flow due to leaks, freeze-ups, or any other causes.
1935 November 20, Reno Evening Gazette

Awww, gimme a break, willya?

The seventy-five ton mill at the Silver Dyke tungsten mine was frozen up Thursday and operations will not resume until warmer weather prevails, according to word received in Reno.
1937 January 9, Reno Evening Gazette

OK, the mill's thawed and... wait... what?

The Nevada Massachusetts Company has discontinued operations at the Silver Dyke tungsten mine near here for an indefinite period, it is reported.
1938 April 27, Reno Evening Gazette

You know things are bad when the digging stops and strangers are looking through your tailings.

It is reported in Mina that Coleman Harcourt and Clyde Barcus, well-known mining men of the Mina district, are negotiating a deal with the widow of the late Joe Beane to obtain a lease on all the tailings at the Silver Dyke tungsten property. The Nevada Massachusetts Company suspended operations at Silver Dyke several months ago.
1940 April 6, Reno Evening Gazette

Bad time to sell, Mrs. Bean! Don't you know what's coming?

The Silver Dyke tungsten mine, formerly operated by the Nevada Massachusetts company, has been sold by Mrs. Bean of Los Angeles interests who plan to operate the property.
1941 July 15, Reno Evening Gazette

WAR! What is it good for? Apparently tungsten mines!

More than 100 tons daily milling capacity is expected to be reached early in July at the Silver Dyke tungsten mine by the Nevada Silver Dyke Tungsten company which which Magnus G. Thorne is President, says the Mining and Industrial News. The company now has its thirty-ton mill operating and reconditioning of its seventy-five ton mill is nearing completion. A large tonnage of good milling ore has been developed and tailings from earlier operations, now being put through the first mill unit, are reported to be yielding an excellent grade of tungsten concentrates.
1943 July 3, Reno Evening Gazette

The U.S. Machinery and Supply co., Salt Lake City, is completing the installation of a 100 ton tungsten mill near Mina for the Nevada Silver Dyke Co, and operation is scheduled for October 15.
1943 September 4, Reno Evening Gazette





The road to this site starts off good but gets rockier the closer you get. You can really see the effects of landslides and rock falls as you are constantly dodging rocks on the road. The road is nearly impassable as you get close to the mine. Several buildings still stand here, and the ruins- clinging to the sides of the canyon-- are worth carefully exploring. We did find this link to a movie of a guy exploring inside the mine. Would not recommend going into old mines, and certainly wouldn't recommend going into one alone, but he did, and here is his movie. By the way, he talks about the mining of tungsten and then says they found scheelite and started mining that. Scheelite is a tungsten ore.

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