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ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - map/sat - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - book store
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San Bernardino County Mining History
Later Mining History of the Mescal Range, Ivanpah Mountains and south Clark Mountain

Morning Star Mine

The Morning Star mine situated on the east slope of the Ivanpah Mountains, north of Kewanee camp was first active in 1907, at which time it appears to have been known as the Clansman mine. Between 1927 and 1933 the deposit was extensively explored. In 1931 two men were employed at the mine. Between 1937 and 1938 Richard W. Malik of Los Angeles optioned the property from the claim owners, J. B. Mighton and H. T. Brown. During Malik's operations 17,000 feet of crosscut drifts were driven and winzes were sunk on the tunnel level. In April, 1939, E. P. Halliburton, owner of the Halliburton oil service company, began operations. Halliburton employed ten men until the property was shut down in 1942 by War Production Board's Order L-208, closing gold mines.

The Vanderbilt Gold Corporation acquired the property in 1964, the company drilled and sampled the property. In late 1979 they had raised sufficient capital to begin development. In the early 1980s the Morning Star was reactivated as an underground mine using trackless mining equipment. Ore was processed at Vanderbilt's mill at the site of the 1890s townsite of Vanderbilt, seventeen miles away. The ore was processed by flotation with concentrates shipped for smelting. With the drop in the price of gold, mining ceased in 1982, but exploration by underground long-hole drilling continued. In 1983 the mill circuit was converted to cyanide carbon-in-leach. This allowed doré bullion to be produced at the mill, eliminating the expense of having concentrates smelted. Drilling during this period established an 8 million ton ore reserve averaging .062 ounces of gold. In the fall of 1984 one million tons of overburden were moved and a $500,000 heap leach facility was constructed. Full-scale leaching began October 1987, and by year end 10,000 ounces of gold and 15,000 ounces of silver had been recovered. Production of ore was 75,000 tons per month. The operation was initially plagued by inadequate water supply, and lower than expected recoveries. This dilemma was solved by abandoning the spray leaching to drip - this doubled the amount of solution leaching through the heap, by using less water. Two heaps were ultimately constructed. The operation suffered from environmental violations including bird and animal deaths in the cyanide ponds, and cyanide solution leaking from the heaps into the adjacent drainage. Mining had ceased by 1993, however the company has submitted a new Plan of Operation to the U. S. Park Service which is under review.
ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - map/sat - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - book store
ghost towns - gold mines - parks & public lands: wilderness - native culture - history - geology: natural features - glossary - comments
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