PHOENIX aka OPERATOR CONSOLIDATED MILL

Survey number:      Owner:      Date of discovery:
". . .will largely help to bring this district to the front, where it should belong."

Phoenix Mill in Johannesburg. Hans Peter Jensen, a miner in the employee of the White Mine, and G. Lloyd ( probable George Lloyd who ran a business hauling freight, including ore.) They are in the company of some school teachers. - Jensen Collection

July 23, 1904: “IT IS REPORTED THAT THE PHOENIX MILL at Johannesburg has been leased by Mr. Burcham of the Yellow Aster Mining and Milling Company, and that it may be started up early this fall.  It is also stated that five stamps will be added to the five already in place.  The Boiler is and Erie 50 horse-power; the engine is also 50 horse-power.” -  Randsburg Miner

January 1904: “DEVELOPMENT CONSISTED of a 200 foot incline shaft with 2500 feet of drifts.  A five stamp mill powered by steam was on the site.  The owner in 1904 was listed as J. W. Lloyd.”  –  Aubrey, Lewis E., Register of Mines and Mills, Kern County, California, State Mining Bureau.

March, 28, 1907: “CHARLES WETHERBEE AND W. W. WIKARD have been experimenting on concentrating tungsten ore at the Phoenix mill at Johannesburg, with entire success.  They have used the Woodbury Concentrator and find that they can take low grade tungsten ore and concentrate it into values running as high as sixty per cent; values that pay well for shipment.  This will be of immense benefit to many holders of tungsten claims that do not produce ore rich enough to ship without concentrating, as is the case with the Papoose.”  -  Randsburg Miner

Operator Divide aka Phoenix Mine, Etc., ca 1962. View N. "Gold Ore is mined each summer from inclined shaft in saddle between the two highest peaks in upper right of photo." - Cal. Division of Mines & Geology

March 12. 1911: “THE PHOENIX MINE has been opened up by hundreds of feet of work. Aside from its five stamp mill it is equipped with a 1,500 pound rotary stamp, supposed to have the same crushing capacity of a five stamp battery.”  —  San Francisco Call

July 4, 1914: “FOR SALE—240 ACRES OF MINING LAND belonging to the Grannis Land Co., situated in the heart of the Randsburg district adjacent to the Butte, King Solomon, Ajax, and Windy mines.  Illingworth, Tate, Pierce and Baker have been working one hole on this property on a lease and have just melted at the Phoenix mill a $3,000 brick from the first ore taken out, amounting to 47 tons.  Lease expires July 1.  There are other good properties on this land and we want a practical mining man to take hold.  For particulars address C. L. Smythe, 308 Los Angeles St., Los Angeles.” -Randsburg Miner

April 23, 1915: “THE PHOENIX MINE COMPANY an addition to the Rand Mining District that will largely help to bring this district to the front, where it should belong.  It has been leased to Messrs. Illingworth and Lanka; the former who is one of Randsburg’s leading business men, and a man who has practically kept the camp in existence on account of giving the numerous leasers an extensive credit, sometimes amounting to thousands of dollars.  The latter is one of Southern California’s leading mining engineers, who has proven himself to be worthy of the title M. E., by making a paying mine out of what was once termed a worked-out mine.

“The Phoenix Mining Company is situated in Johannesburg, and has the very latest equipment throughout, consisting of a ten-stamp mill, a twenty-five ton cyanide plant, agitating process, for the treatment of about 38,000 tons of tailings, electricity is used for hoisting, mill power, pumping, etc.

“Besides the main shaft where the ore is ten feet in width, with $15 values, is situated the Camperdown shaft, with ore bodies running six feet in width, carrying  higher values than does the main shaft.

“The Phoenix group consists of six claims and is owned by Dr. R. L. Burcham.  The leasers have a force of 15 men employed.  The main working shaft is sunk on the vein over 300 feet at an angle of 30 degrees.  Numerous drifts and upraises have been run from this shaft amounting to over 2500 feet of work.  At the 250-foot level a drift is being driven 350 east showing a vein 10 feet wide.  The ore from this drift is milling $15.00 per ton.  The face of the drift is showing ore that mills $18 per ton.  This drift is being driven east on the vein as fast as possible, the company owning 3000 lineal feet on the vein.  The ore is hoisted from the main shaft and dumped directly into the mill which is working day and night.”  -  Randsburg Miner – Randsburg Commemoration Number

November 20, 1917: The Phoenix mill is under lease to Fraser and Morrison, who now run the plant on gold and tungsten custom ores.  They are meeting with success in handling the lower grade ores.”—Bakersfield Californian

January, 15, 1920: “A SMALL TEST MILLING is being made at Phoenix mill, of ore from the Mapes lease, to determine the value of the gold content of the ore, which pan tests indicate to be of shipping grade.”  -  Barstow Printer

May 26, 1923: ”Nothing definite of the commencement of cleaning up the old shaft or mill on Phoenix by the Operator Divide of Nevada. ”—Bakersfield Californian

March, 1925: “DURING 1923 THE OPERATOR DIVIDE MINING COMPANY took over a group of 7 claims, including the old Phoenix Mine, and located just north of Johannesburg.

“Five known veins cross the property, the two principal ones having been worked in the Phoenix Mine.  The veins strike northwest and dip 21 degrees NE.  The vary from mere stringers up to thicknesses of possibly 7 feet, being lenticular in habit.

“The Phoenix mine is developed by an incline shaft 300 feet deep, and by over 2000 feet of workings distributed through 6 levels.  Two of these levels were driven from a winze which extends 100 feet below the bottom of the shaft.

“The mine was equipped with a 5-stamp mill when taken over the Operator Divide Mining Company.  This has been remodeled and 5 new stamps added, making 10 in all.

“The Phoenix Mine is credited with a production in past years of about $600,000.  Over 35,000 tons of ore were milled, giving an average value for all the ore mined of about $17.00 per ton.  The deepest working are 300 feet and are in good ore.  The potential value of the mine is exceedingly attractive.  Best of all, the Company owns the mine.

Phoenix aka Operator Consolidated Mine & Mill Site, view N from Highway 395, ca 2005. - William J. Warren © 2011

“After operating for a short period of time during the fall of 1923 the property was again closed down.” - Randsburg Quadrangle, California, California State Mining Bureau, Bulletin 95

Operator Consolidated Mine, 2005

Operator Consolidated Mine, view S, Johannesburg at the upper left, 2005. Dessicated remnants of the last milling, a cyanide vat and concrete tanks are all that remain, plus the mill tailings - a source of arsenic and current concern to BLM. - William J. Warren © 2011

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