Digital-Desert : Mojave Desert
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Mining History: Desert Fever

Inyo County: Non-Metallic Minerals

DARWIN (TALC, ZINC)

Talc mining in eastern California began during World War I. One-half of all known talc deposits of commercial interest lie in Inyo County. Until the 1940s, the Talc City Mine, six miles northwest of Darwin, provided nearly all the steatite grade talc in the United States.

Originally known as the Simmonds Mine, it was operated before 1915 by the Groah Mineral Company of San Francisco. Other owners include the California Talc Company (1915-1917), the Inyo Talc Company (1917-1922), and Sierra Talc Company (1922- ). The mine first provided talc for use in the manufacture of insulating cores for Hotpoint stoves. Later, in the mid-l930s, the talc was used in making high frequency electrical insulations. By 1950 the total production from the Talc City mine was a quarter of a million tons.

The Zinc Hill mine, six miles northeast of Darwin, was one of the biggest zinc producers in Inyo County during 1918. During World War II, the mine produced some 2,500 tons of zinc ore. A mill site and ghost mining camp that once serviced the Zinc Hill Mine lies between Darwin and Panamint Springs on State Highway 190. A pack trail runs from the mill to the mine. Several shafts had inclined tramways and aerial tramlines connecting them to the pack trail. From 1917 to 1920, this mine was the major zinc producer in California.



ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - glossary
ghost towns - gold mines - parks & public lands: wilderness - native culture - history - geology: natural features - comments

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