Yuma County, Arizona comprises an area about 156 miles long by 87 miles wide. It is made up of broad desert plains, ridged with sharply eroded fault-block mountains that predominantly trend north northwestward. Most of these ranges do not exceed 35 miles in length and with exception of the central and northern portions of the area are narrow. The attain altitudes 2,000 to 4,000 feet in the southern and western regions, and more than 5,000 feet in the Harquahala Mountains, in the north-eastern part of the county.
The area drains to the Colorado River, which is the only perennial waterway in this region. The Southern Pacific and Santa Fe railways cross Yuma County. Various highways, improved roads and desert car trails traverse the area and lead to the Yuma County Mining Districts. Because of the ruggedness and aridity most of the mountain areas are difficult to prospect, particularly during summer.
YUMA COUNTY GOLD DEPOSITS
Yuma County, which ranks fourth among the gold-producing counties of Arizona has yielded about $13,250,000 worth of gold of which nearly $10,000,000 worth came from lode gold mines. The greater part of this production by the Kofa Mine, Fortuna Mine and Harquahala Mine.
The gold districts are mainly in the northern, central and southwestern portions of the county. With few exceptions, the deposits of economic importance have been found near the margins of the mountains on pediments or gentle slopes rather than on mountain sides or high ridges.
The Cienega District, in northwestern Yuma County, northeast of Parker, contains several copper and gold deposits, a few of which have been of economic importance. From 1870 to 1929, inclusive, the district produced 1,182,473 pounds of copper, 1,935 ounces of silver, and 7,125 ounces of gold. The largest copper producer was the Carnation Mine.
In this district, a thick succession metamorphosed limestone, shale, and quartzite is intruded by granitic masses and overlain, at the southern margin of the district, by basalt. The limestone is from the Carboniferous age.
The Arizona gold deposits, which occur within shear zones in the sedimentary rocks, consist of small pocketed bodies of brecciated country rock, with chrysocolla, malachite, limonite, specularite, and flaky gold. Some of the pockets that have been found were very rich with gold. The deposits have mostly been worked to shallow depths.
Billy Mack Mine: The Billy Mack mine is 8 miles by road northeast of Parker. The mine made an estimated $65,000 before 1909. From 1909 to 1911, some copper ore was shipped from the property to Swansea, Arizona, smelter. Between 1917 and 1920 the Illinois-Arizona Copper Company made a small production from the mine.
Lion Hill Mine: The Lion Hill mine, held in 1934 by W.H. Manning and others, is south of the Billy Mack Mine and 7 miles by road northeast of Parker. Between 1917 and 1920 the Illinois-Arizona Copper Company shipped some ore from the property. From 1927-1930, the Lion Hill Gold Mining Company shipped several cars of rich gold-copper ore. During 1931-1934, H. Sloan operated a 25 ton amalgamation mill on the property.The total production according to Mr. Sloan amounts to about $30,000 in gold.
The deposit outcrops near the top of a low ridge of metamorphosed limestone that has been considerable faulted and jointed. It’s underground workings include about 2,000 feet of drifts.
Rio Vista Northside Mine: The Rio Vista Northside property of twelve claims, is west of the Lion Hill mine and 5 miles by road northeast of Parker. In 1918-1919 a 275 foot tunnel was put in and three cars of gold-copper ore were produced.
Capilano Mine: The Capilano property is west of Rio Vista, at the end of a low ridge. The mine had a small production of rich gold-copper ore.
Sue Mine: The Sue Mine is about a half a mile north from the Rio Vista property. It has been worked on and off over many years having produced some rich ore.
The Planet copper mining district, the the vicinity of the Williams River, north of Bouse, has produced a little bit of gold.
During 1933-1934, M.W. Martinet, R.W. Geitlinger, D.M. Wenceslaw, and E.L. Craig, lessees, mined more than a car load of rich gold ore from a newly discovered deposit on the Planet Copper Mining Company’s ground, about 2 miles south of the Williams River and 28 miles by road north of Bouse.
Bonanza Mine/ Harquahala Mine and Golden Eagle Mine:
The Bonanza or Harquahala Mine is in the southwestern portion of the Harquahala Mountains at an elevation of 1,800 above sea level. It is accessible by the railway at Salome, by 9 miles of road. The Golden Eagle mine is about a mile northeast of the Bonanza mine.
The Bonanza and Golden Eagle veins were discovered in 1888 and sold to Hubbard and Bowers who organized the Bonanza Mining Company. It is reported that $36,000 from a weeks run of a small amalgamation mill. A 20 stamp amalgamation mill, erected in 1891, made an estimated $1,600,000 in bullion within three years.
In 1893, the Harqua Hala Gold Mining Company Ltd., a British syndicate, purchased the property for $1,250,000, remodeled the mill and sank a new shaft. During 1895, a 150 ton cyanide plant was built to treat the accumulated tailings which ran from $3 to $5 per ton. Both the ore body and tailings were exhausted by the end of 1897, and the mine was sold back to Mr. Hubbard in 1899. Total production of the British company was $750,000.
Smaller productions came and went over the years. The Golden Eagle can be found about a mile northeast of the Bonanza mine and contained a 400 foot shaft.
Socorro Mine: The Socorro mine. located at the southern base of the Harquahala mountains, is accessible from Salome by 11 miles of road.
The Socorro Mining Company acquired this mine in 1901 and within 4 years sank a 375 foot shaft. A 20 stamp mill was built in 1904. Intermittent operation carried on from 1906 until 1914, yielding about $20,000 in gold.
In this vicinity, sheared, coarse-grained granite is overlain by about 150 feet of quartzite, followed by several hundred feet of metamorphosed yellowish-brown limestone and shale. The Socorro vein has been reported to occupy a fault fissure within the granite and sedimentary rocks and has a width of a few inches to a few feet. Free milling ore, consisting of white quartz and oxidized gold bearing iron minerals, was mined above the 250 feet level. Below 250 feet there is pyrite instead of gold found in the material.
San Marcos Mine: The San Marcos mine is located at the northern base of the Harquahala Mountains, and is 5 miles by road to southeast of Wenden. A small production was made here mostly prior to 1906. A shaft of 540 feet was sunk during that time-frame.
Hercules Mine: The Hercules mine, located also at the northern base of the Harquahala Mountains, is 5 miles by road southeast of Salome. Up to 1909, production was around $10,000 in gold.
Hidden Treasure Mine: The Hidden Treasure mine consists of three claims and is located near the southern base of the Harquahala Mountains, in northeastern Yuma County. It is accessible by 5 miles of road that branches eastward from the Salome-Hassayampa road at a point 11 miles from Salome. The deposit was located in 1932. It yielded 22 rail cars of gold ore, thus being a decent producer.
Alaskan Mine: The Alaskan mine, discovered in 1920, is located on a plain south of the Harquahala Mountains in northeastern Yuma County. It is accessible by 8 miles of road that branches eastward from the Salome-Hassayampa road at a point of 13 miles from Salome and continues to Aquila. A small production of silver ore and gold ore was produced here.
More information coming later.