Gold Point (Hornsilver) Mining District

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Esmeralda County

See the page titled "Gold Point" for more information on this area. In 2013, we took a drive through the backcountry of this area. We stumbled across several mines, but the only one that I can positively identify for sure is the Great Western. This mine was the biggest producer in the area. According to Paher, it produced over $500,000 in ore. That was the value of the ore in the early 1900's. The Great Western first began production in 1905. Gold and silver were both listed as primary commodities. In 1908, the Great Western was the only mine in the district that was shipping ore. By 1909, this mine contained a 300-foot shaft. There were over 600 feet of workings branching out from the 100-foot level, and another 175 feet of workings branching out from the 200-foot level. By 1923, the shaft was down to 900 feet, with over 3,000 total feet of lateral workings. In 1909, over 12 tons of ore were being shipped from this mine every day. By 1912, the Champ D'or Mining Company was operating the mine, under lease and bond from the Orleans-Hornsilver Mining Company. In 1922, Southwestern Mines Company and Silver Mines Corporation controlled the claims and an 85% interest. Hence the alternate names listed for this mine by USGS of "Silvermines Property" and "Southwestern Mines Co. Property". In 1923, a 150-ton cyanide plant was operating. I am not sure of the last year that the Great Western Mine produced ore.

Last Trip/ Road Conditions: 2013. The dirt road from Gold Point to the Great Western Mine was fine. Road conditions will change as you go out beyond the Great Western. There are many forks and spur roads out there. Each individual road will have to be assessed individually. It's also a long way from any modern convenience. Go prepared.