The production of the Cripple Creek District for the year 1902 shows a slight increase over that of 1901 as far as values are concerned, but in regard to the tonnage, shows a decided increase.
The output of the district during the year 1902 amounted to 629,954 tons of ore, of a total value of $18,550,859; of this, 145,954 tons of ore of the average value of $44.76 per ton, making $6,531,179, were handled by the smelters, and 484,000 tons of the average value of $24.83 per ton, making $12,019,680, were handled by the chemical mills. The output for the past year, it will be seen, shows an increase of about $500,000, as regards values, while the tonnage shows an increase of about 115,000.
The output for the district since its beginning is as shown below:
The following table, giving the output for 1901 and 1902, will be interesting:
|Smelting ore, tonnage||184,465||145,954||D.||38,511|
|Milling ore, tonnage||330,000||484,000||I.||154,000|
|Value smelting ore||8,964,999||6,531,179||D.||2,433,820|
|Value milling ore||9,075,000||12,019,680||I.||2,944,680|
|Value Smelt. ore per ton||$48.60||$44.76||D.||$3.84|
|Value Mill. ore per ton||27,50||24,83||D.||2,67|
|Ave. value ore per ton||35.06||29.45||D.||5.61|
|% Smelt. ore, tonnage||35.75||23.17||D.||12.58|
|% mill. ore, tonnage||64.25||76.83||I.||12.58|
|% smelt. ore, values||49.69||35.21||D.||14.48|
|% mill. ore, values||50.31||64.79||I.||14.48|
The average value of the ore has decreased; the amount, and particularly the percentage of the smelting ore has decreased, and the milling ore largely increased. Lower grade ore can now be handled than at any time in the history of the Cripple Creek District, a number of companies getting a contract rate of $5.75 per ton for ore up to 0.5 ounce per ton. This also includes freight to the mills.
While the rates of treatment are lower, wages are the same, and the cost of timber, supplies and water are a little higher, and fuel is about the same. At present there seems to be no prospect of any lessening in the cost of these things, and it remains for the reduction in freight and treatment charges to enable lower grade ore to be shipped. It does not seem probable that the treatment rate will be lowered very much during the next year on the ordinary ores, though it may be on a certain class of oxidized ores. A number of dumps of this class of ore have been handled at a proﬁt, it is understood, even when the dumps do not run over $5 per ton.
The leasing system has increased very greatly during the past year, and, as a large portion of the Stratton estate is to be leased out, the system will probably show a considerable increase during the coming year.