• "Spreading the ideas of freedom loving people on matters regarding high finance, politics, constructionist Constitution, and mental masturbation of all types"

Exploring Abandoned Mines

Irons

Deep Sixed
Sr Site Supporter
Mother Lode
GIM Hall Of Fame
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
30,663
Likes
58,532
#1
I follow several of these mine explorers and I'll be posting the best ones I come across here. Feel free to post any you come across here too!

In this one Frank, the guy who recently found the oldest Levi's to date in an Arizona mine, actually scares himself. Pretty rare occurrence.
He has been exploring the Castle Dome silver mine complex (Arizona) for a few weeks now and has several videos I'll be posting here.
Frank's theory is if anybody can just walk into a mine it's more than likely been stripped of artifacts and anything else of value.

So the crazy bastard goes mainly into places you can only get to by rope.

 

engineear

Gold Member
Gold Chaser
Site Supporter ++
Joined
Mar 11, 2011
Messages
3,645
Likes
4,873
Location
North of the Wall
#2
Most of those mines are boarded up for usual reasons.

A good friend took me past Wickenburg to Vulture Mine. Going back in is easy, safe...then it stops and there's a ladder going down to another level and from there was another ladder, down to yet a lower level. No, we didn't go down.

Be careful. Could be bobcats, mountain lions, coyotes...never know.
 

Irons

Deep Sixed
Sr Site Supporter
Mother Lode
GIM Hall Of Fame
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
30,663
Likes
58,532
#3
TVR Exploring: these guys are based in California but they (Justin at least) go all over and their videos are excellent.
The underground placer mines they go to blow my mind, those old miners punched straight through solid rock to get to ancient gravel riverbeds far underground. Compacted gravel that was and is dangerously unstable but full of Gold. They also go to hard rock mines and even a well preserved and very old hydraulic mine.

Here is their story:

Growing up in California’s “Gold Rush Country” made it easy to take all of the history around us for granted. However, abandoned mine sites have a lot working against them – nature, vandals, scrappers and various government agencies… The old prospectors and miners that used to roam our lonely mountains and toil away deep underground are disappearing quickly as well. These losses finally caught our attention and we felt compelled to make an effort to document as many of the ghost towns and abandoned mines that we could before that colorful niche of our history is gone forever.

But, you know what? We enjoy doing it! This is exploring history firsthand – bushwhacking down steep canyons and over rough mountains, figuring out the techniques the miners used and the equipment they worked with, seeing the innovations they came up with, discovering lost mines that no one has been in for a century, wandering through ghost towns where the only sound is the wind... These journeys allow a feeling of connection to a time when the world was a very different place. And I’d love to think that in some small way we are paying tribute to those hardy miners that worked these mines before we were even born.

So, yes, in short, we are adit addicts… I hope you’ll join us on these adventures!


Here they hit a cool old hard rock mine where the miners were chipping out and processing Gold bearing quartz. The metal strips they talk about are low budget rails for mine carts. Instead of hauling actual rail to the mine the miners nailed strips of strap iron onto boards.

 

Irons

Deep Sixed
Sr Site Supporter
Mother Lode
GIM Hall Of Fame
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
30,663
Likes
58,532
#4
Gold-Rich Underground Placer Mine


 

engineear

Gold Member
Gold Chaser
Site Supporter ++
Joined
Mar 11, 2011
Messages
3,645
Likes
4,873
Location
North of the Wall
#5
Karchner Cavern, down Tuscon way, was discovered by some college kids. IIRC, they saw bats flying out of the ground and, going to check it out, found a small opening that they wiggled into. They returned a few times with lighted hats and such and when you take the tour they have their trail mapped out.

Those 2 had no idea how big it was. The place is absolutely huge! Closed for a month or so because of bat migration every year, it's a definite stop to take the tour. You are told, before entering the 2 massive air sealed doors, that, if you drop something over an edge, it stays there. No going after a dropped phone or wallet...period!
Much cooler in there of course, which makes for a temperature change in the summer you'll not forget.
 

D-FENZ

Gold Chaser
Midas Supporter
Platinum Bling
Joined
Jan 24, 2011
Messages
2,795
Likes
6,593
#6
About 25 years ago I went on a fishing trip to Canada with some friends. About an hour's hike from the lake was an abandoned gold mine with all of the entrances gated shut and no access. There was what looked to be the office/admin shack that was in pretty advanced state of decay and falling down. Spent a couple of hours just going through the place. Racks and racks of 1-1/2" rock core samples- tons of them, along with paperwork and employee's personal effects. Judging from the calendars, paperwork and dirty magazines laying around it had been abandoned in the late '60s or so.

The big score was a turn-of-the-century, English, brass and wood theodolite in the dovetailed case complete with the tripod, plumb-bob and measuring sticks. The thing was buried in the attic under a pile of rubbish and was clearly overlooked by the countless other explorers/looters that had been through the place. But yeah, I had to have it along with a few of the core samples. Made a couple of hikes back to the truck with the stuff. I did use the theodolite to set the grade when putting in my pond. One of the cross-hairs (horse hair) is frayed and splitting but was amazingly accurate. It was in near mint condition until one of my Jack Russells knocked it over and busted a couple of the glass vials a few years ago. Still feel kind of guilty for taking it home. Not quite sure if I technically stole it or not but it sure looks nice set up in my den.
IMG_4803[1].JPG
 
Last edited:

Irons

Deep Sixed
Sr Site Supporter
Mother Lode
GIM Hall Of Fame
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
30,663
Likes
58,532
#7
About 25 years ago I went on a fishing trip to Canada with some friends. About an hour's hike from the lake was an abandoned gold mine with all of the entrances gated shut and no access. There was what looked to be the office/admin shack that was in pretty advanced state of decay and falling down. Spent a couple of hours just going through the place. Racks and racks of 1-1/2" rock core samples- tons of them, along with paperwork and employee's personal effects. Judging from the calendars, paperwork and dirty magazines laying around it had been abandoned in the late '60s or so.

The big score was a turn-of-the-century, English, brass and wood theodolite in the dovetailed case complete with the tripod, plumb-bob and measuring sticks. The thing was buried in the attic under a pile of rubbish and was clearly overlooked by the countless other explorers/looters that had been through the place. But yeah, I had to have it along with a few of the core samples. Made a couple of hikes back to the truck with the stuff. I did use the theodolite to set the grade when putting in my pond. One of the cross-hairs (horse hair) is frayed and splitting but was amazingly accurate. It was in near mint condition until one of my Jack Russells knocked it over and busted a couple of the glass vials a few years ago. Still feel kind of guilty for taking it home. Not quite sure if I technically stole it or not but it sure looks nice set up in my den.
View attachment 156069
Don't feel guilty for preserving a bit of mining history, after all it was abandoned by it's owners. I'm sure a mining museum would be thrilled to have it if you ever decide to pass it on.

.
 

Irons

Deep Sixed
Sr Site Supporter
Mother Lode
GIM Hall Of Fame
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
30,663
Likes
58,532
#8
OK Last 2 video's were an excellent example of underground placer mines. This one is a classic geothermal hard rock Gold mine. Gly is a geologist and a former Gold miner and he is really good at explaining what you are seeing as the old miners followed mineral veins deep underground.
I had no idea Gold and silver bearing ore lots of times looked like crumbly rust. Silver sulfides and galena is easier to identify for me, but Gold bearing ore, hell man that can look like about anything but Gold!

I likes Gly's older video's where he doesn't have a cameraman with him, but having his hands free does allow him to better explain why the old timers were so intent on chipping and blasting that particular mine. I'll post more of Gly's videos as we go on he is a great teacher.

 

newmisty

Splodey-Headed
Midas Member
Site Supporter ++
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
30,502
Likes
46,612
Location
Qmerica
#9
17,000 tons a gold! Sigh...

It's crazy how well preserved that wood is.
 

Irons

Deep Sixed
Sr Site Supporter
Mother Lode
GIM Hall Of Fame
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
30,663
Likes
58,532
#10
Awesome old mine these guys found! Obviously a Gold and silver operation but listed as a lead mine. I guess the old timers tried to hide what they actually had too. Amazing the old mine is intact and has not been looted.

Unexploded dynamite may be part of the reason!

Very cool, a time capsule. Enjoy! . .
aarock.gif


 

Irons

Deep Sixed
Sr Site Supporter
Mother Lode
GIM Hall Of Fame
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
30,663
Likes
58,532
#11
Frank and Gly go into a big Arizona Gold and copper mine. How these guys find their way around without getting lost in there is amazing.

 

Irons

Deep Sixed
Sr Site Supporter
Mother Lode
GIM Hall Of Fame
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
30,663
Likes
58,532
#12
Crazy feckers! Massive Anyox abandoned mine in BC Canada. Get a beer and settle in for an hour you won't believe.


 

newmisty

Splodey-Headed
Midas Member
Site Supporter ++
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
30,502
Likes
46,612
Location
Qmerica
#13
Damn those are some huge nuts!

And I've never seen a wrench that big.
 

newmisty

Splodey-Headed
Midas Member
Site Supporter ++
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
30,502
Likes
46,612
Location
Qmerica
#14
Beautiful in there eh'?

Screenshot_20200322-155712.png
 

newmisty

Splodey-Headed
Midas Member
Site Supporter ++
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
30,502
Likes
46,612
Location
Qmerica
#15
 

Irons

Deep Sixed
Sr Site Supporter
Mother Lode
GIM Hall Of Fame
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
30,663
Likes
58,532
#16
I thought it was only a huge copper mine but it looks like they had the big 3 metals.

During its 25 year existence, Anyox’ mines and smelters produced 140,000 ounces (4 tonnes) of gold, 8,000,000 ounces (230 tonnes) of silver and 760,000,000 pounds (340,000 tonnes) of copper

.
 

Irons

Deep Sixed
Sr Site Supporter
Mother Lode
GIM Hall Of Fame
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
30,663
Likes
58,532
#17
Gly goes into 2 different hard rock mines with really cool well defined ore veins.

 

Irons

Deep Sixed
Sr Site Supporter
Mother Lode
GIM Hall Of Fame
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
30,663
Likes
58,532
#18
Frank and Gly find a really cool abandoned mine site in Arizona with all the equipment still there.

 

newmisty

Splodey-Headed
Midas Member
Site Supporter ++
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
30,502
Likes
46,612
Location
Qmerica
#19
Frank and Gly find a really cool abandoned mine site in Arizona with all the equipment still there.

Very cool time machine.
 

Irons

Deep Sixed
Sr Site Supporter
Mother Lode
GIM Hall Of Fame
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
30,663
Likes
58,532
#20
Kennecott

 

newmisty

Splodey-Headed
Midas Member
Site Supporter ++
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
30,502
Likes
46,612
Location
Qmerica
#21

Irons

Deep Sixed
Sr Site Supporter
Mother Lode
GIM Hall Of Fame
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
30,663
Likes
58,532
#22
The more I research company towns the more bizarre they get. Talk about control freaks with their own kingdoms.
The Kennecott miners had to walk 5 miles to get a beer or smoke a cigar!


.
 

newmisty

Splodey-Headed
Midas Member
Site Supporter ++
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
30,502
Likes
46,612
Location
Qmerica
#23
The more I research company towns the more bizarre they get. Talk about control freaks with their own kingdoms.
The Kennecott miners had to walk 5 miles to get a beer or smoke a cigar!


.
Yeah, never heard of a "wholesome" miner before. The prostitutes sure must have been busy in that little town. "...let's see...handball or handjob?"
 

Irons

Deep Sixed
Sr Site Supporter
Mother Lode
GIM Hall Of Fame
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
30,663
Likes
58,532
#24
Big old Gold and secondary mineral silver mine. I like Gly because he shows you what the miners were after, Beautiful limonite and quartz veins in this mine.

 
Last edited:

Irons

Deep Sixed
Sr Site Supporter
Mother Lode
GIM Hall Of Fame
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
30,663
Likes
58,532
#25
TVR guys go into an old tungsten mine in Nevada and there are boxes of dynamite left here and there. Pretty wild!
19:25 Whoa! That's the Mother Lode of Forgotten Dynamite! ha ha

 

Irons

Deep Sixed
Sr Site Supporter
Mother Lode
GIM Hall Of Fame
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
30,663
Likes
58,532
#26
 

Irons

Deep Sixed
Sr Site Supporter
Mother Lode
GIM Hall Of Fame
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
30,663
Likes
58,532
#27
Huge silver mine with extensive stoping to get the ore out. 3 miners were killed when they were removing pillars in a stope and the whole thing collapsed on them. The miners bodies were never recovered. Gly goes into an adjacent stope and you can see the pillars of silver ore the doomed miners were trying to recover. The owners stopped production and closed the mine. It's still full of silver.

 
Last edited:

Irons

Deep Sixed
Sr Site Supporter
Mother Lode
GIM Hall Of Fame
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
30,663
Likes
58,532
#28
Continued