Pioche- Raymond & Ely Mine
AKA: Combined Metals Mine; Combined Metals No. 1; No. 1; Caselton Mine; YZ Mine; Meadow Valley; Burke.
This mine was first discovered by J.H. Ely and W.H Raymond in 1864. It was possibly the largest producing mine in the history of the Pioche district. This mine has had a significant and lengthy history. There have been several ownership and name changes. Other mines that you see listed above, have used the original Raymond & Ely as an entrance point for their mining endeavors. The Raymond & Ely was mined in the 1870's and contained high grade silver ore. Pioche was one of the biggest silver districts in the country. Mineral production was over $130,000,000 (Inflation would significantly increase that number). A man named Greenwood later discovered new ore veins at this site. Production at the Pioche Mines has been on a very limited basis after 1959.
The primary commodity was listed as silver, with secondary/tertiary commodities being gold, lead and zinc according to one report. A second report listed the primaries as silver, lead and zinc, with secondaries being gold and copper. USGS called this mine the "Most productive mine in the Pioche District." The Combined Metals Reduction Company built a processing mill at Bauer, Utah that ran from 1923 to 1941. After that, the company built the Caselton Mill to process their ore. In 1958 and 1959, the YZ Mine utilized the No. 1 Shaft to access their workings. It was called the largest producing mine in the district (silver) for that period of time. The main Raymond & Ely vein split eastward into two separate branches known as the Meadow Valley vein and the Burke vein. In 1932, the owner of this mine was listed as Amalgamated Pioche Mines and Smelter Corporation. The operator was listed as Combined Metals Reduction Company. The owner in 1979 was Kerr McGee out of Oklahoma. According to the USGS in 1985, the last year of any real production here was 1958.
Last Trip/ Road Conditions: I've been here several times. Always in the Fall and Winter for some reason. The last trip was 2013 or 2014. I believe that these photos are from a couple years earlier. This mining area sits above the town of Pioche in the higher elevation. I don't remember any real trouble with the dirt road. We have gone up there a couple times with snow on the road. We made it fine. But remember, we drove the snowy road in a 4-wheel drive truck with good off-road tires. We also drive these types of dirt roads all the time.