The Tintic Mining District


The following article is excerpted from “Story of the Chief Consolidated Operations in Tintic”, from the Aug 16, 1916 issue of The Eureka Reporter

Tintic Still a Rich Field

While it may have been the general belief that the Tintic District has fallen into a inconspicuous place in the list of producing mineral camps of the west, the fact is that it has recently completed the very best year in its history.  The fact that a few former rich mines were exhausted, some of which had paid large sums in dividends, has been taken as proof that the district must have depreciated greatly, whereas it is doing better than ever.  While one or two rich mines have been closed others have come in to take their places, and there are more mines than ever now operating there 

Is An Old District

Mining was first started in the Tintic District in 1868, since which time there have been great fluctuations in the amount of mineral annually produced, but now as shown by the development of Chief Consolidated, a much better knowledge of the ore deposits have been obtained, and there is also better methods of mining and ore treatment.  It is not improbable that the directors of the Chief Consolidated mat be responsible for some of the improvements, as they took to Utah with them a very large stock of mining knowledge gained by experience in the iron and copper districts of Michigan.

Is Attractive Mountain Country

The Tintic District lies about 85 miles due south of Salt Lake City, and on the west central slope of the Tintic Mountains, a short range which forms the connecting link between the Oquirrh mountains on the north and the Canyon range on the south, the group constituting the first of the Basin ranges to the west of the Wasatch mountains.  The mountains here rise to a height of 8,108 feet, rising and falling abruptly.  The western end of Tintic valley finds the mountain peaks 5,600 feet above sea level, while in the Goshen valley at the east they are 4,600 feet.  The regularity of the range is broken by many lateral valleys, one of which has cut well back into the range, forming a low divide above the town of Eureka, through which the D & R G railway enters the district.

Tinitc is among the oldest mining camps in Utah, being antedated only by Bingham, Rush Valley and Little Cottonwood.  Ore was first discovered in the monsonite (similar to the formations in which the copper exists Coppermines Consolidated in Nevada) in December 1869 about a mile east of Silver City, and the district was organized the following spring.

Has Produced Many Millions

To January 1, 1914, the Tintic District mines had produced metal amounting to $143,295,800, these figures being taken from the U S Geological Survey, and the following year the district sent out its record values up to this time, and this was exceeded in 1916.

Is Comparatively Small Field

The Tintic district is about six miles long by two miles wide which is divided between Utah and Juab counties.  Within the area are the towns of Eureka, Mammoth, Robinson, Silver City and Knightville.  All these points are reached by the Denver and Rio Grande and S P L A & L railways if government control has not stopped any of them.

The Ore Deposits

There are three types of ore deposits in this field:  limestone igneous contact deposits;  deposits in igneous rocks and limestone replacement deposits.

Up to the present time nearly all of the ores mined have been taken above the permanent water level, but the ore continues downward below this point as we have explained in the account of the Chief Consolidated and Chief’s ore below the water level as described, is the very best it has yet found, the richest and a sulphide, which is favorable.  Above the water level the ores are oxidized and the addition of the sulphides will play an important part in ore treatment, being favorably regarded by smeltermen.  The results attained at the Chief below the water level will undoubtedly to other  companies, that have as yet done no mining below this point and who may have feared the water would be to costly to handle, or that the ores might be too refractory, as sometimes is the case under such conditions.  The Chief put in the pumping equipment to make the trial and is profiting well because of its foresight.  Undoubtedly others will now hasten to reach the sulphide zone in their properties, learning the ore is very rich at the Chief’s lowest workings.

Other Mineral Zones May be Found

Up to this time four separate ore zones have been found in the Tintic field, none of which has followed through to a finish.  That others may be discovered is quite probable now that so much information is being secured on the camp.

Those who engaged with Mr. Fitch in Chief Consolidated have been very fortunate.  The property has steadily progressed from the start and from all we can learn of it has a very bright future.  It is well managed, has a big acreage still to be given attention, and the ores it is now mining are the very best that have been encountered in the mine and these are also the deepest ores as we have stated, occurring below the water level.  The mine is well equipped and will be profitably active for many years