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Esmeralda Mine: All Systems Go!

January 11, 2013 in Esmeralda Mine, Uncategorized

Photos by Jason Stephenson

John and I went up to the Esmeralda Mine on December 21 to check equipment and to have a look around. It was a sunny and cool, wintery day as we wound our way up to our latest hole in the ground. To our surprise the road into the mine had dried up nicely and we were able to drive all the way into the mine without too much trouble.

Panorama photo image

The panorama is captured at the Esmeralda Mine.

Arriving at the mine for the first time since my initial visit with Bill, Will and John back in August 2011, I began to notice all the new developments. The roads on the property had been improved and cleared to access the new point of entry. There are three main surface levels now established.

Watertank and Upper Glory Hole photo image

The watertank and upper glory hole at the Esmeralda Mine.

As you drive in the top of the glory hole is on the right with the water tank, as you pass through the main cut in the top of the pegmatite, then down to the lower access to the glory hole and the platform for the magazines and the solar panels, then curving down the hill to the new platform where all the equipment is stored and the new tunnel has been established.

Magazines photo image

Magazines at the Esmeralda Mine.

Lower Glory Hole photo image

The lower glory hole at the Esmeralda Mine.

A huge ventilation system is set up along with all the proper signage as the supportive structure opens the way for the freshly cut adit to take shape. The tunnel instantly hit a branch of the pegmatite and follows the vein in about 40 feet. About halfway in, an old smaller tunnel was intercepted, so we know someone was fishing around down there. The pegmatite is mainly big grains of schorl, biotite, quartz and feldspar. This section of the dyke is about 10 feet thick and sits at a steep 68-degree dip to the north and striking east to west.

Mine Portal photo image

The portal of the Esmeralda Mine.

Adit photo image

Adit of the Esmeralda Mine.

Mine Exit photo image

Looking out the entrance to the Esmeralda Mine.

Back on the top level the dyke is closer to 20 feet think and another branch was discovered (upon road clearing) on the lower level. So we have extrapolated a split in the pegmatite that occurs about where the original glory hole lies. Maybe a position where the melt slowed up concentrated some of those rare earth elements that are crucial in tourmaline building. So now we follow the branch of the dyke at depth back toward the glory hole and start exploring what was below the original tunnels.

Pegmatite with Tourmaline photo image

The pegmatite displays streaks of tourmaline at the Esmeralda Mine.

On the way down we spotted two bobcats. One was kind enough to stop for a quick photo shoot. It was a pleasant surprise, topping off a great day up to the Esmeralda Mine. So now we have all the elements in line for a successful push into the heart of the proven claim.

√ Rich pegmatite
√ Magazines
√ Water
√ Proper equipment


All systems go!

Bobcat photo image

Can you find the bobcat in this photo?

John Sinkankas at the Esmeralda Mine, Apr 1962

February 1, 2012 in Esmeralda Mine, Uncategorized

A scrapbook page from John Sinkankas.

Esmeralda Mine Scrapbook Apr 1962

Esmeralda Mine scrapbook page from John Sinkankas, Apr 1962. Collection of Bill Larson. Click to enlarge.

H. C. Gordon at the Esmeralda Mine, ca. 1905

November 30, 2011 in Esmeralda Mine, Uncategorized

Two photographs taken by H. C. Gordon.

Esmeralda Mine photo image

Esmeralda Mine, viewed from the southern end of the ledge, looking northwest. Photo by H. C. Gordon. Click to enlarge.


Gordon at the Esmeralda Mine

Esmeralda Mine, Mesa Grande - Tunnel looking east. Photo by H. C. Gordon. Click to enlarge.

The photo directly above was taken from G. F. Kunz’s “Gems, Jewelers’ Materials and Ornamental Stones of California,” issued by the California State Mining Bureau, Lewis E. Aubury, State Mineralogist, San Francisco, June 30, 1905.

Plat for the Esmeralda Mine

November 30, 2011 in Esmeralda Mine, Uncategorized

This is the plat for the Esmeralda Mine.

Esmeralda Mine Plat photo image

Certified copy of the plat of the Esmeralda Mine, which was surveyed in 1906. (Click to enlarge)