Tungsten

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Pershing County

AKA: Nevada Massachusetts Tungsten Mine

Silver was worked in the area in the 1860's and early 1870's, but nothing substantial came out of the effort. Tungsten discoveries were made in the area in 1916. Emil Stank discovered what would become the largest tungsten deposit in history. I have pulled many USGS Reports for mines in the area. It appears that Stank also discovered what was known as the Stank and Forge Lease just to the south of here in 1914. According to the story told first-hand by Stank, he and George McCormick set out on a prospecting trip with two mules and a wagon. They spent several days moving around, camping and taking ore samples. While studying McCormick's samples at camp, they found that one contained rich tungsten. McCormick was unable to remember where he had collected the sample. Stank also discovered that one of his samples was very rich. Fortunately, he was able to remember where he had collected it. Fifteen separate claims were made. Seven of which were named the "U.S." for Uncle Sam. This mine would later become known as the Nevada Massachusetts Tungsten mine, AKA: "The Big Tungsten". With the onset of World War I, tungsten was in large demand. Three companies began operations in the area. The Pacific Tungsten Company took over Stanks's claims. Thomas Sutton formed the Mill City Tungsten Mining Company (See USGS Report for the Sutton II Mine). L.T. Friedman formed the Nevada-Humboldt Mining Company. By the end of 1918, two of these companies had built mills in the area. The camp of tungsten was soon formed. Tungsten was considered an orderly, company town that employed as many as 250 men at a time during high production periods. The camp had a store, school, boarding house and in later years, a post office. The period after World War I saw a brief decline in the area. By 1925, the Nevada Massachusetts Company had purchased sole interest in the mines at Tungsten. Their company maintained full ownership and continued to operate at Tungsten until 1958 when operations ceased. Basso stated that tungsten prices fell too low. Paher stated that the government stopped purchasing tungsten. Maybe it was a combination of both. Between 1917 and 1958, the Tungsten mines produced 3,258,135 tons of ore that yielded 2.2 million units of Tungsten. In 1982, an assessment was made that there were still 13-15 years of ore reserves left in these mines.

Other USGS Reports for mines in the Tungsten area include: Baker Workings; Florence Group; Humboldt-Springer; Mill City Tungsten; Orphan Workings; Sutton; Tom Cat; Uncle Sam. According to excerpts from these USGS Reports, many of these mines were interconnected. For example, the Baker Working was connected to the Sutton Mine. An excerpt from the Humboldt-Springer Mine Report reads "The Humboldt mine is part of the Nevada-Massachusetts Co. workings. This mine is connected to the Springer at the 300-ft level." Etc.

Post Office: May 26, 1944 to October 12, 1962.

Last Trip/ Road Conditions: January 2019. I apologize for the quality of the photographs. My camera died. All I had as a backup was an old cell phone. At Tungsten, it was gated off and locked. It appeared that a modern mining operation was taking place. It's a dirt road to Tungsten, but it's in really good shape. Four-wheel drive was never a thought.