Johannesburg Reduction and Sampling Works

Survey number:      Owner:      Date of discovery:
"___especially valuable to poor men___"

The Joburg Sampling & Reduction Works, Then & Now, 1897-2011. - William J. Warren © 2011

February 2, 1897: “WORES, the sampling works man of Tucson, Ariz. Left this morning but before going decided to locate his plant at Johannesburg, the company giving him a block ground containing sixteen lots as an inducement.  This will be of much benefit to our camp.  Every man who has a few sacks of ore, not enough for a milling, can take them to the sampling works, have them sampled and get his cash.  This plan should have been located in Randsburg had a little more public spirit been shown by our citizens.  However, at Johannesburg it will be equally convenient.” –  The Los Angeles Daily Times

February 9, 1897: “WHEN THE SAMPLING WORKS gets into operation, so a miner can take a few sacks of ore, too little for a milling to the works and have it assayed, and get within 5 per cent of its assay value in coin, without further trouble, it will be a great thing for this camp.  There are a lot of mines in and around Randsburg, where a few sacks of good ore are piled up, but not enough to pay to run through a mill, but which the miner needs to grub and tools for further development.  The sampling works can take this and help develop the camp.  Mr. Wores left for Tucson Thursday, but before going made arrangements to have Mr. Sloan erect the building and prepare for operating at once.  The block of ground given the sampling company by the Johannesburg Town Company lies to the north of and fronting on Broadway and about four blocks west from the hotel and bank buildings.” -  The Los Angeles Daily Times

February 16, 1897: “MR. WORES, of the sampling works has returned.  The building is nearly completed, the machinery has been shipped, and is expected in a few days and the company will be ready to begin operation in a very short time.” -  The Los Angeles Daily Times

March 2, 1897:  “MR. WORES’ Sampling Works at Johannesburg are ready for operation and will begin today.  He has erected a commodious building, solidly built with a floor made specially for mixing ore, an engine and ore crusher, with one end partitioned off and occupied with a very complete assay office.  He also has in place the first wagon scale to be put up in either town.  Already there are several tons of ore on hand ready for business.  All ore is thrown on the floor, each lot separate, then thoroughly mixed, then every fifth shovelful is taken and put through the crusher.  This is then assayed and the price fixed, which will be 95 per cent of the assay value, less the cost of shipping.  The ore will then be shipped to Selby’s smelting works in San Francisco,  In every sample the owner of the ore can take an equal portion and have it assayed at a different place so as to be sure that he is not cheated if he likes.

“As before stated, this sampling works will be of immense benefit to the mine owners here, especially those who have only small lots, not enough for a milling.  All these parties can bring their ore to the works, have it sampled, get what there is in it and use the money to pay debts or buy grub to go ahead developing property.  It will be especially valuable to poor men, who are unable to go ahead for want of capital.  With years of mining experience, Charles H. Wores has unbounded faith in the future of the Rand mining district, and has shown this faith by the erection of the sampling works.” -  The Los Angeles Daily Times

April 22, 1897:  “THE SAMPLING WORKS are running now pretty nearly all the time, and even at night have done some work. The Wedge people are taking some of their ore there and are receiving a better return than they have been able to get at any of the mills.  A good many tons of rich ore are now piled up outside  the buildings, and they are employing quite a force of men.  This is an enterprise that required some courage to engage in, in a camp so new as this, yet the indications now point to the establishment of a profitable business.” -  The Los Angeles Daily Times

April 29, 1897:  “The sampling works, which have recently been erected here by Charles R. Wores, of Tucson, Ariz., are doing a rushing business, and have more than justified the expectations of the owner.” – The Herald

September 17, 1897:  “George E. Pratt, secretary of the Johannesburg Mining and Milling Company, has been in Los Angeles for the past few days on business connected with the construction of a stamp mill at this place. Word has just been received that all arrangements have been made, and that the plant is in course of construction at the foundry. The mill will be located on the hill north of town, and early next week work will commence in preparing the ground for its reception. Water for the operation of the mill will be furnished from the company’s wells.’ – The Herald

September 27, 1897: “Grading for the ten-stamp mill will be begun the first of the week, when the Messrs. Griffith & Ritchie of Los Angeles will be in Johannesburg to supervise the same. The concentrator expected to start up last week to run regularly. They have been much delayed by the non-arrival of some necessary parts of the machinery.” – The Herald

October 1, 1897: “GRADING for the 10-stamp mill will be begun the first of next week, when Messrs. Griffith and Ritchie, of Los Angeles, will be in Johannesburg to supervise the work. The concentrator expected to start up last week to run regularly. They have been much “delayed by the non-arrival of some necessary parts of their machinery.”  -  Mining And Metallurgical Journal

October 04, 1897: “A LARGE FORCE OF MEN are now working on the site of the ten stamp mill which is to be erected at Johannesburg. The place selected for it is directly back of the Pioneer lumber yard, which offers a very favorable grade for the working of ores at the least expanse, as no rehandling or elevating of it will be required. The mill will be of the latest pattern and especially designed for custom work. The Llewellyn Iron Works of this city are now constructing and will have it completed In a short time. It will be owned by Messrs. Montgomery, Hicks and Griffiths and will be run by M. R. Ritchie. Frank Griffiths, one of the owners, has recently left for Johannesburg, where he will superintend the erection of the plant. ” – The Herald

October 30, 1897:  “Quite a number of buildings are in course of erection in both Randsburg and Johannesburg. Among the latter is a business house on the corner of Johannesburg and the Rand; also a cottage for F. Griffith near the new stamp mill. – The Herald

This Drawing Depicts the Johannesburg Reduction Works 10 Stamp Mill While Under Construction in October 1897. – Los Angeles Herald

October 31, 1897: “The Johannesburg Reduction works, owned by Messrs. Montgomery, Hicks & Griffith of Los Angeles, is now being erected in the town. The 10-stamp mill is one of Llewellyn Bros. (Los Angeles) manufactures, and has an 8×12 Blake crusher, a 20 and an 8 horse power gasoline engine. The foundation is very substantially built in stone and concrete. The battery timbers alone weigh 30,000 pounds. The capacity of the mill will be 30 tons of ore per day and it will be in operation by Nov. 10. Water will be furnished by the Johannesburg Milling & Water Company, and it is expected that at least 30.000 gallons per day will be used from the start.” – The Herald

October 31, 1897: The Johannesburg Sampling works, Charles It. Wores, proprietor, is a valuable enterprise for this district. This is a branch of the Tucson Sampling works, where Mr. Wores has been engaged for many years in that line of business. It is a great advantage to the entire Rand district to have a thoroughly equipped plant for sampling ores so conveniently located.” – The Herald

November 17, 1897:  “THE NEW TEN-STAMP MILL at Johannesburg is nearly ready for operating.  The machinery is all in nearly all in place and the building is nearing completion. A batch or ore from the Gold Bar mine, just East of the Alameda, and now under bond by Postmaster Curtiss and others of Johannesburg will be the first run through.” -  The Los Angeles Daily Times

November 23, 1897: “Jas. P. Meikle and wife arrived from Los Angeles this week and will make their home here for the present. . Mr. Meikle will be the assayer at the new ten-stamp mill being erected here. ” – San Francisco Call

December 6, 1897:  “THE NEW STAMP MILL at Johannesburg is about completed and ready for operations.  It is a fine mill, and everything connected with it put up in first class shape.” -  The Los Angeles Daily Times

December 7, 1897: “The Johannesburg Reduction Works expect to start their ten stamp mill today for continuous business.  They have erected a plant which is as good as any on the coast for the size.   It will make its first run on 100-ton lot of ore from the Golden Bar mine.’  –  The Bakersfield Californian

December 9, 1897: “THE NEW TEN-STAMP MILL at Johannesburg will start up tomorrow.  It is one of the most complete mills ever put up in the west, and has all modern improvements.  The stamps are 1000 pounds in weight and geared to drop 100 time per minute.  The mill will have a capacity of thirty to forty tons of ore every twenty-four hours.  There are two plates before each battery and three inside.  The smaller plate in front is 4 ½ x4 feet and the larger one 4 ½ x8 feet.  Making, with those inside, more plate surface with each battery to save gold on than any mill in the state.  There are 55,000 feet of lumber in the mill and adjoining buildings, running from half inch stuff to heavy timbers 14×20 inches, and throughout is constructed and finished in the most through manner, no expense being spared that would seem to add to its complete equipment.

“East of the mill is the building in which is located the fifty-ton capacity ore crusher, with engine for running and hoisting.  Wagons drive in on an even grade to an ore platform in which there are two trap doors.  The ore is dumped and goes at once into a bin below and from there to the crusher without handling, and from the crusher into cars, then hoisted up an incline and automatically dumped again into bins and fed directly to the stamps.  The ore bins and passage to the stamps are all lined with galvanized tin, so that no part of the richest ores is wasted.

“A steel water tank, capable of holding 10,000 gallons of water, is located above the mill and piped to the stamps.  A twenty–horse power gasoline engine furnishes power to run the stamps and the mill, while  an eight-horse-power engine furnished power to do the rock crushing and hoisting of the ore to the feeders.  Below the mill a short distance are the settling tanks, four in number, into which the tailings are run from the plates, the water from the fourth or last tank being pumped back to the batteries.

“Connected with a mill is a thoroughly equipped assay office, with a competent assayer in charge, so that  the owners will have at all times a thorough knowledge of the work being done.  The mill with all its adjoining buildings is built in the south side just north of Johannesburg, the foundation being built into the solid rock hillside. In addition the foundations for the mortar blocks are set in a solid cement.  Three hundred pounds of spikes alone were used in the construction of the mortar blocks, redwood planks spiked together.

“The first test will be made on ore from the Gold Bar mine, just east of the Alameda.  The ore is being hauled today.  This mill with all its surroundings is the most thorough and substantial improvement erected in the Rand Mining District.  The owners are Montgomery, Hicks & Griffiths, all Los Angeles men.” -  The Los Angeles Daily Times

December 19, 1897:  “The stamp mill of the Johannesburg Milling and Reduction Company is now running on ore from the Golden Bar mine, and it is doing excellent work. The mill is the most complete one on the desert, and with the showing it has already made, there is no doubt that it has entered upon a steady and successful run.” – The Herald

December 26, 1897: “The 10-stamp mill of the Johannesburg Reduction Works has been started up, giving a much needed addition to the milling facilities of the desert district about Randsburg. The first run was made on 100 tons of ore from the Golden Bar mine.” – San Francisco Call

December 29, 1897: “THE NEW TEN-STAMP MILL at Johannesburg is now running on ore from the Wedge mine.  The ore is very rich, and will make a good return.  This ore is now hauled from Randsburg to the mill for 75 cents per ton, when formerly the price to Garlock was $3 and $4.  The difference in hauling alone is a nice profit.” -  The Los Angeles Daily Times

January 3, 1898: “Frank Griffith of the reduction works has been threatened with pneumonia and was confined to his home for several days. .” – San Francisco Call

January 22, 1898: Frank Griffith, one of the owners of the Johannesburg reduction works, accompanied by his wife, returned Monday from a two weeks’ visit to Los Angeles.” – The Herald

January 28, 1898:  “The Johannesburg Reduction works started up again on Monday after a few days’ cessation on account of changes in the machinery.” – The Herald

January 28, 1898:  “A test shipment of fifty tons of ore from the Nancy Hanks (Rand group) is now being made to the above mill (Johannesburg Reduction Works). If satisfactory, a large contract will be made for Rand group ore. – The Herald

February 20, 1898: “JOHANNBURG, Feb. IS.—On Sunday a crack was discovered in the dry pulley of the engine at the reduction works. The engine was stopped before any damage was done, and a new pulley was ordered from Los Angeles. This arrived
last evening and was put in place during the night, and the mill started up about 1o’clock this morning. At about 10 o’clock the crank of the engine broke, breaking the connecting rod and allowing the large balance wheel to fly off into space. This wheel tore out the side of the mill and almost on the spot where Frank Griffith, one of the proprietors, and K. Hamilton Sim of Hanford had been standing not five minutes before. No one was injured. The engine is a total wreck and will have to be replaced by a new one. The cause of the accident was a flaw in the crank. ” – The Herald

March 22, 1898: “THE WEDGE MINE has just finished a clean-up at the Johannesburg mill of $12,000.  Some time ago the company owning it took fifty tons to the mill, and while running it the engine broke down. Then a clean-up was made of something over $2600.  While waiting for the engine to be repaired enough ore was taken out to make the entire lot of ninety tons, and this was finished yesterday with the above results.” -  The Los Angeles Daily Times

March 30, 1898: “AT THE JOHANNESBURG REDUCTION WORKS the stamps at present are dropping on rich Maganetta ore and low grade Wedge ore. Another building is being added to those already in use at the dry concentrator and new machinery is being put in. This machinery consists of a crusher, pulverizer, dryer and grader. The latter sorts the pulp into four degrees of fineness, the pulp passing into the concentrators.” – The Herald

May 15 , 1898: “THE MILLS at Garlock are all running steadily—three of them on the Rand company’s ore. The Harrison & Willard mill at Cudderback [Cuddeback] lake and the 10-stamp mill at Johannesburg are both running steadily with satisfactory results”      –  Mining And Metallurgical Journal

May 27, 1898: “RANDSBURG, (May 21, regular correspondence) The ten stamp mill at Johannesburg has had another accident almost identical with the first one.  The engine shaft broke, one flywheel going out through the side of the building just as before.  Fortunately no one was injured.  The whole engine was a complete wreck.  They immediately procured the engine of the dry concentrator works, of similar make and size, put it in place and started up without dropping the stamps.  On careful scrutiny it appeared to be weak where the two broke, and the company wisely concluded not to risk it.  They have now ordered a twenty-horse-power steam engine instead of gasoline and will not again start the mill until the new engine arrives.  The mill has plenty of ore to run on.  The Yellow Aster Company has shut down all the mills at Garlock, but one, and is now having a portion of the output milled at Johannesburg.” -  The Los Angeles Daily Times

May 27, 1898: “Just after the change of shifts Saturday night the engine broke at the Johannesburg reduction works. Fortunately there were no lives lost. This has been the second accident to their engine this year, and the owners left for Los Angeles Monday evening to look at a steam engine to replace the gasoline one. It works quite a hardship on all parties concerned, as it closes the mill down at a time when it was running dayand night on Rand ore. The middle of the month the Rand people laid off about forty
men because they were taking out too much ore.” – The Herald

June 16 1898: “The Johannesburg mill started up again last week and its ten stamps are working incessantly day  and night. The new steam engine and boiler give eminent satisfaction. For the present the mill will only run on ore from the Rand and Big Butte mines.” – The Herald

This entry was posted in Johannesburg, Johannesburg Mills. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

Back to top