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Reopen Virginia Gold Mine EMJ 9 15 1928

The Whitehall Mine, in Spottsylvania County, Va., is being reopened, by T. B. Iles, of Washington, D. C. A new shaft has been started, and a pilot mill is completed. This is the best-known gold mine in Virginia. U. S. Mint records show that, prior to the Civil War, more than $1,800,000 was produced from a depth of less than 30 ft.

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A North Carolina "Gold" Mine October 07 1922

ONE OF THE OLDEST gold mining states in the Union, is North Carolina; and for a long time, numerous producers shipped bullion regularly to the U. S. Assay office, at Charlotte. Of late years, however, few, of the many attempts at mining gold, have been successful, although the precious metal is scattered over the entire Piedmont section of the state, and it is possible to pan a few colors from a large proportion of the small streams or "branches" in this region.

Some years ago, a number of large exploration companies sent engineers into North Carolina, with the hope of finding an area which was of sufficient size, and in which the gold content was sufficiently high, to warrant a large placer enterprise, to be worked by dredging, or by hydraulicking. Although they found plenty of gold, they did not find enough of it in any one place, to justify the attempt to exploit it.

But this is not to say that there are no successful gold mines in North Carolina, today. We have in mind a group of placer mines which are not only in steady operation, but which are netting their owners a tidy profit every day, and every month. Local gossip has it that the principal owner, C. J. Harris, has made several million in the last few years; even discounting the exuberance of public imagination, it is safe to say that Mr. Harris has made a lot of money.

One of the mines, which is typical of all of them, is at Spruce Pine, a "one up, one down local train a day station, on the C. C. & O. Railroad, noted principally for its feldspar and mica mines. The Harris placer mine is in a large mass of remarkably clean white decomposed granite, from 60 to 125 ft. thick, covered by an overburden of from 6 to 15 ft. of soil. Two yawning pits, covering perhaps six acres, have already been excavated, but auger drilling has proved the deposit to be adequate for many years' operations, on the present scale.

Actual mining is done by a force of two men, working with a high-pressure hose line. When necessary, they sluice to the boot of a belt-and-bucket elevator, by means of which, the ore is lifted high enough to run to the treatment plant, by gravity. Formerly, the material from the bottom of the pit was shoveled dry into buckets, hoisted, and then sluiced. The substitution of the bucket elevator, made it possible to do all the mining by hydraulic methods, and made a big cut in the cost of production.

A large part of the upper part of the bed can, of course, be washed directly into the sluiceway. This launder leads to the treatment plant- a simple affair, that almost runs itself. A sand wheel, with bent sheet-iron blades, takes out most of the coarse sand, and the remainder settles in a series of long, gently sloping launders. The rather monotonous, but leisurely task, of shoveling the settled sand out of these launders, falls to a couple of typical North Carolineans, who seem not to fret, because their job is not fraught with excitement.

Next, the mica is removed from the pulp by means of 100-mesh copper screens, which catch the flaky particles. A woman "dresses" the screens in succession, by means of a short piece of rubber belt, attached to a handle, to form a hoe. After the mica, a profitable byproduct, is removed, the screened material flows to a settling tank, where part of the clear water is removed by decantation; the sludge is filtered in leaf presses; the cake is dried in shallow bins fitted with steam coils, and the resulting china clay, a beautiful white, is shipped to the pottery plants, at $18 per ton, or thereabouts.

The reader has doubtless perceived ere this is the reason for the quotation marks around "gold." It was by way of apology for a bit of harmless chicanery, for kaolin or china clay is the real object of the enterprise. The mine, however, is a placer, and we venture to say that it has put more gold into the pockets of its owners, than any gold mine whose record adorns the pages of North Carolina's mining history.

They are learning down South, that there is good profit in exploiting the deposits of non-metallic minerals of diverse kinds, that are found almost everywhere. They are prospecting for new deposits; they are developing them more systematically; and they are adopting—even if slowly—more efficient methods of mining and milling. Gold mining is exceedingly romantic even in North Carolina, but many other kinds of mining, are a great deal more certain, and in the end, far more profitable.

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most states with mineral reserves have a mineral division that can furnish, for a modest fee, a booklet and map of all the known areas where gold, gems, and other mineral commodities are located within that state. In this case, scroll to the end of the digital book for contact addresses. While it is easier to clik on-line for such info, snail mail can cost less effort in a lot of cases.


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