As each day goes by the dawn of greater activity in the great north end becomes closer, and never before has the outlook seem as bright as right now.
Day by day the further experiments in the cyanide process go to demonstrate, and beyond a peradventure, that the low-grade oxidized ores of the camp are adapted to cyanide for treatment, and that the recovery of the gold contents, down to as low as $4 per ton, can be accomplished.
With such bright prospects no one can dispute the statement that the north end will furnish a vast tonnage of ore that in years to come will yield an enormous amount of the precious yellow metal.
In that end are thousands upon thousands of tons of low-grade ore, only awaiting the process whereby its contents can be attacked and recovered.
Certainly the geological conditions of the north end are as good as are found in any part of the great district. Some of the strongest veins and dykes of the camp on which great producers are situated have a trend to the northwest, while other veins and dykes, running in various directions, cut and intersect them.
Some day as great mines as the district now contains are sure to be found in the north end, and the person who would state that such a thing is impossible may well be classed with the knockers who turned their backs on the infant camp of eleven years ago, and left untold millions beneath the surface of the broad hillsides, over which herds of cattle were then roaming and growing fat on the grass that covered the slopes.
No man can see any farther in the ground than another. That is a fact that many should realize. Nowadays the brightest of engineers and mining experts are more careful. The Cripple Creek gold fields taught many a lesson, and they now realize that gold is where you find it. Of course, there are certain well-defined indications to go by and they must be followed.
Mining is as safe a business venture as any commercial business in the world if business principles are applied. That is a fact that many overlook in mining, and for that reason many mining ventures are failures. A great deal of ground that has splendid prospects fails to yield pay ore because of the fact that business principles are not applied to working the property, under thorough and systematic tactics.
The prospects of the great north end right now are being developed and a few men are working along the right lines, the lines that bring the best results for the least expenditure.
During the past few years a number of Cripple Creek's leading business men have acquired a very considerable acreage of territory in that vicinity. The development of the various parts of the district has demonstrated to them that under proper development the present limits of the producing area can be widened and that there is no telling to what limits it may be extended with proper work.
That they were far-seeing was evidenced by the fact that they located and patented over eighteen hundred acres of territory, which has been put into a company, incorporated under the name of The Colorado and Pike's Peak Consolidated Mining Company.
Some of the stock is being sold to investors, who buy with the understanding that the officers do not claim the territory to be rich with gold-bearing ore. No such assertions are made, and that is why investors seek the stock, for there is no misrepresentation.
Mining developments are gradually being extended on a greater scale each year in the direction of the estate owned by the company, and what the future may bring is conjectural, but suffice to state that the territory is advantageously situated and must inevitably increase in value as development proceeds.
With such conditions before one there is hardly any reason to doubt that it seems impossible that any loss can be figured to those who own an interest. A government title has been obtained on every foot of the ground, and that gives the ground a greater value.
During the past year considerable development work has been performed and much more is planned for that vicinity. That part of the camp is rapidly forging to the front, and the prospects of there being producing shafts is indeed bright.
The territory owned by the company is cut up with large veins and dykes running in all directions. All of them are mineralized to a greater or less extent, indicating that some where there was a source that filled the veins with the yellow metal that can be obtained by assay.
Rich float has been found on the ground, while several outcroppings of veins of crystallized quartz cross the acreage, which give excellent assays, and are sufficiently encouraging to cause the company to proceed with development along thorough and systematic lines.
The formation, the location, the direction of the dykes and veins of the producing area warrant the belief that with the proper development mines will be encountered in this section.
Just to the south of the company's estate is the Fluorine mine, from which over $150,000 worth of gold-bearing ore has been mined. The property is situated on a great vein trending to the northwest, coming from the producing area, on which one of the greatest mines of the camp is located.
The Fluorine mine has not shipped for several years, and for the reason that no one has had the nerve to work it on energetic lines and expend the money necessary to do extensive work. Right now it is being operated, and experts have stated that its great bodies of low-grade ore are adapted to the cyanide process.
A mill is to be erected there for the treatment of the ore, and the future development is being watched with considerable interest. As depth is gained, other and heretofore unknown veins and dykes may be encountered, as is often the case in some of the great producers.
While the surface indications on the estate owned by the Colorado company are most excellent, there is no telling what may be found as depth is gained. All ore shoots do not go to surface. That has been demonstrated in many instances in the Cripple Creek district.
In the great Portland mine certain dykes of phonolite and veins have been encountered at the depth of 900 feet that were not found in the level above, 100 feet up.
The same may be said of the Granite.
In the early days of the camp the assertion was made that values would not be found in the granite. That assertion has been dispelled in many instances, as have many of the assertions made by self-appointed wiseacres, who said that the conditions here did not justify the belief that pay mines would ever be encountered.
The estate of the Colorado has great prospective value, and the surface indications certainly give great promise for the future.
The officers of the company have outlined a conservative plan of development. The officers are all bankers, who do a conservative business, and the affairs of the Colorado company will be conducted just as conservatively as is their own business, which, of course, assures the strictest of economy and business principles.
The most experienced men have been employed by the company, and they are now engaged in prospecting the territory on the surface, and will later determine from which part to start the work of sinking a compartment shaft to thoroughly exploit at great depth.
In the immediate vicinity of the large acreage of the Colorado company there is a number of companies operating steam plants of machinery and developing their properties as rapidly as possible.
All of them are making good progress and splendid indications are obtained by many. A find of ore in almost any one of the shafts will have a direct bearing on the estate of the Colorado company and give them the proper bearing to operate in another place.
The estate is so gigantic that it is not practicable to develop with one working shaft. A number of shafts will be necessary, and for that reason the chances are better for the finding of ore in various places.
At the present time the productive area is confined to a small acreage, and there still remains a large proportion of territory to be opened which is known to be mineral-bearing. It was said that the country north of Cripple Creek was barren, but the finding of ore in the Fluorine mine proved the very contrary.
With the present and extensive development work now in progress both on the property of the Colorado and the numerous properties surrounding the estate, there is no telling what moment a paying mine may be opened.
Float ore is found all over that vicinity. It did not come from the clouds. It came from below. It was ejected by great volcanic force, and some where on the surface of the vast estate of the Colorado company will some day be found the lead from which it came, and when it is found a producing mine will be had that will more than repay the company for the great expense it has gone to in the development of the property.
No one has yet had the temerity to say in what formation the ores of the Cripple Creek district had their origin, and to say that there is not a prospect of opening great bodies of ore and of good grade in the great north end would be the height of foolishness, and the one who would make such a statement would immediately show his utter lack of seeing and appreciating geological conditions as they exist and indicate.
As sure as development proceeds the limits of the district - that is, the producing area - will be extended, and it is not within the range of man to state to what proportions the Cripple Creek district will yet reach.
It has always taken considerable development to open all mining districts, and many of them had less presumptive evidence to guide the prospector than can be found everywhere on the property of the Colorado company.