Geology of the Randsberg area


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On the way to Randsberg North on the 395, up the last grade South of town, there are hundreds of deep shafts visible. I was wondering if anyone knows about the nature of the deposits there. Were they digging to bedrock or a certain gravel layer? Were those gold or silver or tungsten workings on that side of the mountain? The workings look mostly old, at least from the road. Is this area still held by active claims? It looked like there was some recent work along with all the old stuff.

Thanks,

Goldmember

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Tungsten, eh? Well, there sure were a lot of them! I understand a lot of tungsten was mined there during WWI. I wonder how valuable the stuff is today, especially with incandescent bulbs and hardware switches going out.

I was amazed when I read how they separate tungsten ore, using a flotation tank and skimming off the ore from the top. Sounds like the brainchild of a late-night saloon discussion: "Lesh put th' powder in water, an' th' heaffvy ore will fffloat!" (next morning) "OMG! It works!" :lol:

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Guest sandtrap
Tungsten, eh? Well, there sure were a lot of them! I understand a lot of tungsten was mined there during WWI. I wonder how valuable the stuff is today, especially with incandescent bulbs and hardware switches going out.

I was amazed when I read how they separate tungsten ore, using a flotation tank and skimming off the ore from the top. Sounds like the brainchild of a late-night saloon discussion: "Lesh put th' powder in water, an' th' heaffvy ore will fffloat!" (next morning) "OMG! It works!" :lol:

The latest workings as told to me, is that there is a cleanup of toxic material that is situated along 395, being "cleaned" up.!

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Goldmember: Yeah the Randsburgh area has produced gold, silver and tungsten. The yellow Aster gold mine as being operated as an open pit for a while but I haven.t been up the for a while. I live in Yorba Linda, California and will be looking for some one to go out with in the coming months-pending the correction of some health issues--if you would like to talk--call me Hal Hefner (714) 777-2797.

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Atolia... the "At" from Atkins and "olia" from De Golia. They built a small mill and

gave the "camp" its name. Please I'm not trying to be a "smarty." However, I

knew Calvin "Slim" Riffles who directed the construction of the larger mill at Atolia.

I first "personally" met Mr. Riffle in 1962 at the Owl Garage in Red Mountain. He had

a rockshop at the abandoned service station and was selling mineral specimens to

the tourests. However, I felt I knew Mr. Riffle as I first heard about him while I was

taking a mining class at Mackay back in 1948.

Back then (1948) Director Carpenter and Prof. Smyth were still full-time instructors...

As was Dr. Gianella. They all were good friends of Mr. Riffle and could tell great stories

of their varius early adventures in Nevada and southern California.

Mr. Riffle attended the Mackay School of Mines from 1913 through 1915 and with

this knowlege was one of the pioneers in the Atolia mining district. Prof Smyth

graduated in 1914 and Dr. Gianella in 1920. Actually Director Carpenter graduateed

back in 1906.

Director Carpenter worked at the Kelly Silver mine from the beginning

until about 1924.. First at the mill and later underground. However, he could tell funny

stories about sitting on the front porch of the Owl Hotel and smoking "Big Black Cigars"

while listening to the promoters buying and selling tungsten concentrates.

Then Prof Smyth would bust out laughing right in class remembering these fun filled

adventures as related by Director Carpenter. This was back when times were more fun...

"Man o' Man"... Sandtrap... are you having fun driving up the main street (Hwy 395)

in Atolia and Red Mountain? Just Funn'n ya. Just be careful of the "toxic stuff" that

is supposed to be there. But keep in mind both Mr. Riffle and Mr. Beck lived to be well into

their late 80's. So, maybe that toxic stuff not so bad.

About tungsten... it can be concentrated by both flotation and gravity tabling. It is still

used as an alloy to harden steel. As is manganese and also molybdenum... Back in the

1950's I worked at several mills. Floated copper and "molly" at McGill and tungsten at

Lacawanna (sp?) and tabled tungsten at a custom mill near Lovelock... Now all is gone...

just memories....

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Thanks for the correct spelling and the story dutch john. I camped in the desert a little south of Atolia last spring while I prospected in that area and couldn't remember the name. It was dark when I looked at the map to refresh my memory.

As luck would have it, I went through McGill on my way over to Ely last summer. Nice country. I camped there across from that manganese mine off Cave Lake Rd.

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Dakota Slim... I guess there is now access from Cave lake to the manganese mine.

It was at this mine where "Jackhammer" Jimmy Tognette picked me up and carried

me down into its "musty" smelling depths. This was about 1934 and I was not yet five.

The manganese carried gold and was now being mined for its gold. The mine was active

from about 1917 to about 1957.

Back to my story: I loved being underground... I went to the carbide station...

used white carbide in a powder box. A large round container of new carbide.

A wine jug of water to repenish the carbide lamps. Several large to small carbide

lamps on a make-shift table. I recognized one as my dads... It had "JWS" scratched

on it (I claimed it as mine).

My dad was not underground.. He was then spenting time keeping the 1930 vintage

"International" Trucks in shape to ship the ore (about 10 miles) to the NNRY in East Ely.

Oh, about the carbide lamp with the initials... My sister in Petaluma now has it.

Wyndam... how have you been? In most cases... generically speaking...the dumps have

now been well assayed for "shipable" values and sent to the "hungry" smelters and custom

mills during the 1950-1960's. But there may still be "values" on any mine dump; if of cource

the mine originally carried the "values." And "rock-hounds" now abound looking throughout

the old mining camps looking for crystals and other "pretty rocks."

Our doorbell just rang repeatedly... a signal that our great-granddaughter has arrived with

her grandmother (our youngest daughter) So off I go... Gold truly comes in many forms.

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Uncle Ron... Never met Seldom Slim. Never was at Ballerat. However, I was

aware of him... One of my friends, Ed Jennings paid Seldom Slim $5.00 for the

privilage of him (ED) to take a picture of him (Seldom Seen). Ed said Seldom

Slim spoke with a thick German accent.

During a number of summer days during the 1970-80's I was in and out of Trona.

Was briefly at the Minietta, Modoc, Surprise, and Defense. Spent several days at

Westend. Drilling shallow holes. I spent about two weeks in the Defense mine with

Gordon Pflug, an old "Mackay" school friend, mining engineer, class of 1953. It

was cool in the workings but warm at night as we were staying in older trailers.

There was a nice cabin at the Minietta. Still livable with some nice furnature.

As I best remember it was originally built in 1905. I hope the cabin has survived

the passage of time. It was then planned (about 1981) to reopen the Defence...

silver.

As I remember there was a small school in Trona. It was likely a good school to

go to. You should have lots of good memories of growing up there...I never met a

goldbottom. My Best, Jim

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