White Caps Mine (Nye County) We Visited: 5-27-2009
Our Dinner: Ribeyes at Peavine Campground!
38° 31' 52"N, 117° 2' 57"W   USGS Manhattan, NV Quad

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

4WD or high clearance desired

What Was

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

WHITE CAPS GOLD MINING COMPANY
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

Post Office: None
Newspaper: None

What is

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 centre and periphery, through which the ore is rabbled from hearth to hearth, and finally discharged. A vertical hollow shoft to which six arms, which are also hollow, carrying the ploughs are attached, passes through the centre 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.

 

 


An overview of the White Caps Mine site
The impressive wedge furnace used for roasting ore.
We got there before gravity finished the job.
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