Take it easy
  White Caps Mine

38° 31' 52"N, 117° 2' 57"W   USGS Manhattan, NV Quad

VISITED May 27, 2009 . Our Dinner: Ribeyes at Peavine Campground!
DIRECTIONS East from Fallon on US-50 for 111 miles to Austin; continue east on US-50 for 12 miles then turn south on SR-376 for 63.3 mi; then turn East onto SR-69 for 7.3 miles; turn south onto local dirt road for about 1.1 miles. From Fallon: 194.7 miles


The first company to work the present White Caps ground was organized in 1906, and the first production was made in 1911. A cyanide mill was operated in 1913-14, and treated 19,909 tons containing $381,053.49 in gold. At about 150 feet below surface the oxidized ore changed to a base sulphide, high in antimony and arsenic, and the mill could no longer be used, The company was reorganized in 1915, and development work actively carried on. A new mill of 100 tons daily capacity was started in September 1917, in which the are was roasted before cyanidation. This mill was operated until January1920, treating 59,056 tons of ore averaging $12.17 per ton, or $718,723 gross content. During 1920 and 1921 development work was continued in the mine, reaching the 800’ Level. In 1922. after further tests of the ore, the mill was again started and ran until early in 1924. Since early in 1924 no ore has been milled. A reorganization and. refinancing was effected in 1925. Development of the mine was continued, reaching the 1300’ level. Little was done on this level, due to bad ground and the company’s poor financial position. At the end of 1931 company, work was stopped and the mine was operated by leasers. -REPORT ON WHITE CAPSGOLD MINING COMPANY by JOHN L. DYNAN - February 6, 1934

Recent development at the White Caps mine, located east of town on Litigation hill, is of a nature to convey lasting impression that this district is destined to have a long life and an unusually productive one. During the past few days leasers on the property have completed a crosscut from the 125-foot level of their shaft which has disclosed a vein 18 feet in width carrying gold values from $8 to $10 per ton. The White Caps property is under lease to Messrs. Mechlin, Boyd, Perry, and Collins, members of the Nevada-California Power company.
- January 12, 1911 Reno Evening Gazette

White Caps Mine at Manhattan Is Proving a Bonanza As Greater Depth Is Reached
Never in History of Mine Has There Been So Much High Grade Ore In Sight
The high grade shoot that made the White Caps mine famous, when the same was first opened on upper levels, has proven on the 210-foot level to be larger than ever and quite as rich. In fact, the ore is breaking $50 a ton with assays frequently at $200 or better.
- September 9, 1912 Reno Evening Gazette

Getting the roasting furnace in place was a laborious process-- both building it and transporting it.

LESLIE H. WEBB, secretary of the Wedge Mechanical Furnace company of Philadelphia, left this morning for the east. This company is the maker of the roaster used by the White Caps, which is now on the ground at Manhattan.
April 14, 1917 Tonopah Daily Bonanza

H.W. Logan, field engineer of the Wedge Mechanical Furnace Co., Greenwich Point, Philadelphia, arrived here this morning on his way to Manhattan to superintend the installation of the big roaster which has been unloaded at the mill site after having been hauled from Tonopah by a strong of horses that was finally increased to 20 as the summit was reached. The total weight of the furnace when completed will be about 500 tons. The manufacture involved some strenuous efforts in the matter of transportation. The plates 26 feet long, were rolled at Coatesville, Pennsylvania. Then they were sent to the Coatesville boiler works to have the holes punched. After that operation the plates were carried to the works of the New York Shipbuilding company at Camden, N. J. for rolling the curvature as the ship plant is the only one in the eastern country with rolls capable of bending the shell plates which are 24 feet long. After completion at Bethlehem the roaster was sent on its way across the continent to Tonopah, where it again called for a difficult transportation by wagon road to destination. Mr. Logan left for Manhattan this afternoon in the car of the Tonopah Extension.
April 25, 1917 Tonopah Daily Bonanza

Since demonstrating that the treatment of the White Caps ore as slimes, rather than sands and slimes, is the more successful method, the company has started to install a tube mill, and when completed and put into operation the product o the mine will be treated under the all-slime process.
December 20, 1917, Tonopah Daily Bonanza

George Fresia, an Italian miner, was crushed to death by a rock slide in the White Caps Mine, after having spent the greater part of his life underground. He was sent up in a chute to loosen a body of ore which had become blocked so as to impede its descent, and while digging away at the mass the slide started, which overwhelmed him. Death was due to a blow on the temple, where a jagged rock struck him. [He was buried in] Manhattan, where he spent the past eight years, and for a long time was engaged in placering along the lower gulch.
-December 2, 1918 Reno Evening Gazette

White Caps Mine Is Shipping Ore From New Strike
A third truck was added to the fleet of seven ton trucks hauling gold ore from the White caps at Manhattan to the shipping station in Tonopah where it is billed out to the United States smelter at Salt Lake.
-March 28, 1930, Reno Evening Gazette

This property has a two compartment, vertical shaft 800 feet deep, with additional depth of 500 feet attained by means of underground inclined shaft, equipped complete with headframe, 40 H.P. double drum hoist, one five drill Leyner compressor and one seven drill Ingersol compressor. Transformer House, 3100 KW Transformers, Blacksmith shop, tools and equipment, 2 Triplex pumps and motors, (underground ) one Triplex pump and motor (surface), ore cars, drills, tools, track, change room, carpentry shop, assay and mine office buildings, assay furnace and equipment, assay office and crusher room equipment, two cottages and garage, conveyor, 9 houses, 3 ore bins, crusher and motor at lower ore bin, Rolls building, crusher, Trommell rolls .etc., oil tanks, Roasting Plant and Building, 100 ton Cyanide Plant. Assessed valuation of improvements according to 1932 Nye County Tax Roll $40,080.00. - Report on East End of Manhattan District, 1932



This little jewel is hidden away in the hills east of Manhattan, NV. It's notable for its many buildings still standing, and it's giant furnace dominating the landscape. One of the buildings is losing its fight with gravity, and it's only a matter of time before it falls over. Beware the giant open shaft covered with logs near the roasting furnace; some say it goes all the way down to the 1500' level. You'd probably starve to death before you hit bottom. There is also the remains of a house perched on on the hill overlooking the site. Buildings are empty, but there is a lot to see.

And in case you're wondering about this roasting furnace, it's a "wedge furnace," described thus:

The Evans-Klepetko modification of the McDougall Roasting Furnace is the furnace employed at the Washoe and Great Falls Works of the Anaconda Company, and at many other important smelters. It consists of a cylindrical vertical shell of f-inch steel, lined with 8 or 9-inch bricks, with six hearths provided with openings alternately at the center and periphery, through which the ore is rabbled from hearth to hearth, and finally discharged. A vertical hollow shaft to which six arms, which are also hollow, carrying the ploughs are attached, passes through the center of the furnace. The ploughs are so set that they stir and push the ore towards the opening near the middle of the first hearth to the six openings at the periphery of the next, and so on alternately to the bottom, where the ore falls through a hopper into a truck or a bin below. The shaft arms are cooled by water circulating through them.

In the Herreshoff furnace the shaft and arms are cooled by air under pressure (see figure 15), otherwise it is similar in construction to the Evans-Klepetko.

The Wedge Furnace resembles generally the two furnaces just described, but the revolving central shaft is 4 feet in diameter. This shaft is protected from the heat by an external covering of brick, which revolves with it, and is said never to be too hot inside for workmen to enter and unbolt any of the arms. The shaft with its arms is entirely supported by six heavy roller bearings beneath the furnace, and is revolved by means of bevel gearing. It and the arms are cooled by air forced in by a fan or other means.

-The Metallurgy of The Non-Ferrous Metals - Griffin's Metallurgical Series - William Gowland, F.R.S., A.R.S.M. 1914.

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