The C. C. Homestake Mining & Reduction company, of Cripple Creek, has been carrying forward during the past year an experiment of great importance to the district, i.e., the treatment by cyanide of low grade oxidized ores. Iron Clad hill ores were selected for the reason that on that hill was found on the surface and extending to unknown depths, a thoroughly oxidized ore, which tests showed carried about an average of $5.00 in value.
These ores were tested by C. M. Fueller, of Denver, by the Globe Mining & Reduction company at its mill, and by A. H. Heller at the Arequa mill, all with results that proved they could be successfully treated. So completely satisfactory were these tests that the company purchased the Iron Clad property, consisting of the Iron Clad, Pard, White Lead, Magna Charta, Annex and Quartzite claims, in all 35 acres, on Iron Glad hill, and extending nearly to the top, and it has also purchased the 200-ton cyanide plant of the Globe Mining & Reduction company, removed and reerected it upon the sharp slope of the hill, 300 or more feet below the apex of this ore body.
Recently the company completed a test run of two weeks on 2,300 tons of ore. The results were two gold bricks of an estimated value of $12,000, about 500 tons remaining in the tanks and in the solution, of a probable value of $2,500.
The ore is decomposed breccia, easily broken down with a pick, and the material is so uniformly mineralized that the whole mass is being sent to the mill. The hillside is being quarried from above the mill to the surface, and for a space of at least 200 feet in width the same material is exposed. It is claimed the entire hill for hundreds of feet in width is composed of this oxidized ore and to an unknown depth, enough to run a 1,000-ton mill for years.
The company has begun the work of enlarging the mill to 700 tons capacity, but will install a 1,000-ton crusher, so that the capacity can be made 1,000 tons as soon as conditions of the mine openings will permit.
The late W. S. Stratton purchased a very large acreage on Iron Clad hill and at Summit, just above the Iron Clad mine, built a large boarding house and office headquarters and contemplated extensive exploration on the theory that at this point the system of veins converged and at depth would be disclosed the richest ground in Cripple Creek district.
The Iron Clad mine produced very rich ore in its earlier days and recently the Homestake company has opened in its workings $50 to $80 ore. It is claimed that with the aid of a steam shovel and the usual mechanical devices applied in handling large quantities of material, as at the Homestake mines, South Dakota, and the Treadwell in Alaska, and also in the great iron mines, the ore can be mined and put into the mill for 15 cents a ton, and that the mill can, when enlarged, treat the stuff at a cost of 60 cents a ton, or a total expense of 75 cents a ton.
This is about the cost of doing such work elsewhere under favorable conditions and it would seem that here exist as favorable as can be found. If so, the ores of a very low grade can be utilized. The development of this plant is being closely watched by men interested in Cripple Creek and it is said the Stratton estate is already considering the matter of erecting a large mill upon their adjacent property.
The camp is full of low grade ores, a large part of them probably of a character that can be treated by the same methods, hence the great interest taken in the matter.
W. O. Temple, of Temple & Crump, is credited with the inception and development of this enterprise and is the inventor of an improved precipitating zinc box, which is used. Otherwise nothing new or novel is claimed for the Homestake plant, except, perhaps, some economical devices, the result of observation and experience in milling and cyaniding.
Charles E. Miesse is the active executive of the concern. The company is incorporated in Colorado with a capital of $1,500,000, par value of shares $1.00, 700,000 shares being treasury stock. The officers and directors are: