The Empire Mountains, 30 miles southeast of Tucson and stretching northeast from the Santa Rita Mountains, include several well-known mining properties, including the Total Wreck Mine, the Montana Mine and the Hilton Group Mines.
Colorado River steamboat transportation made a significant impact in opening the Arizona Territory to commerce in the latter half of the 19th century.
The Planet Mine, located in the northwest corner of La Paz County in the Buckskin Mountains in central western Arizona, was prospected by Richard Ryland in 1863, and is one of the oldest copper mines discovered by and worked by Americans in Arizona.
The Bagdad Mine is a porphyry copper deposit containing both sulfide and oxide mineralization.
Modern mineral collecting has its roots in the 16th century. Georgius Agricola (1494-1555), a German scientist and father of mineralogy and mineral collecting, published “De Re Metallica,” a treatise on mining, and “De Natura Fossilium,” considered the earliest mineralogy textbook. At the ti…
Located 25 miles north of Yuma in the barren, rocky Trigo Mountains, the Silver mining district was established after the railroad had reached Yuma in 1878.
Lighting has played a critical role in the safety of underground coal and metal mining for several thousand years. Challenges in an underground mine environment include dust, conﬁned spaces, surfaces with low reflectivity and reduced visual contrast.
The first recorded mining claim in the Chiricahua Mountains was the Hidden Treasure, worked by Jack Dunn in early 1881. It later became part of the Hilltop Mine, the largest and most profitable mine in the Chiricahuas.
The Big Bug district is one of the earliest mining districts formed in Central Arizona. It was named after Big Bug Creek, which was home to plentiful walnut-size beetles and runs through the foothills of the Bradshaw Mountains southeast of Prescott.
What would become one of the most prosperous mining camps at the turn of the century was founded in southwestern Yavapai County by Dennis May on March 25, 1884, and several years later developed by the wealthy Mississippi steamboat operator Diamond Joe Reynolds.
The Banner Mining district covers a geographic area 15 miles long and seven miles wide, and its principal mine was the Christmas Mine.
Trade tokens have been used as far back as Roman times, and in the United States, as recently as in the era of mining towns. These unique pieces are rare and highly collectible.
Located in the Dragoon Mountains on Golden Rule Hill, the Golden Rule Mine was the primary metal mine in Cochise County’s Dragoon mining district. The Golden Rule Mining Company was the mine’s namesake, and one of the earliest companies involved in its development from 1883 through 1890.
Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part series on the Ajo mining district. To read the first part of this series go online to tinyurl.com/ajomine
Editor’s note: This is the first in a two-part series on the Ajo mining district.
Located between Winkelman and Superior along scenic Highway 177, the Ray mine has a history dating back 140 years.
In 2012, Arizona produced more than $2 billion in nonfuel mineral commodities. While Arizona leads the nation in copper production, additional minerals ranked according to value include molybdenum concentrates, sand and gravel (construction), cement (portland) and silver.
Forty-five miles southeast of Tucson on the east slope of the Santa Rita Mountains are the Greaterville gold placers, discovered by A. Smith in 1874. The deposit, at 5,280-feet elevation, became the most sought-after placer deposit — or accumulation of valuable minerals — in Southern Arizona…
Early prospecting in the Patagonia mining district during the 1860s and ’70s was hindered by the threat of Apache raids. After the Apache were forcibly removed, the mining communities of Washington Camp and Duquesne were established a mile apart in the Patagonia Mountains.
One of the fringe benefits of hiking Arizona’s extensive mountain trail system is the opportunity to visit old mines and see abandoned mining equipment.
Breathing apparatuses were an important part of mine-rescue work beginning in the 1890s. Explosions, cave-ins, floods and fires were a constant threat in daily mining operations. Poor air quality resulting from such accidents led to fatalities on the job.
It would be difficult to overstate the importance of copper in the role of the economy of Arizona, where students used to learn about “The 5 C’s” — copper, cattle, cotton, citrus and climate.
Located 18 miles south of Tucson near the Sierrita Mountains and organized in 1877, the Pima Mining District had humble beginnings with several small mining camps.
Tombstone, renowned for its gunfights, gambling halls, brothels and bars, was a silver mining town of great wealth during the decade known as “The Roarin’ ’80s” in the 19th century.
Early methods of surface transportation in the history of mining in Arizona were an important step in establishing the vast enterprise that enriched the state’s economy with towns, roads and other improvements.
Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part series on Dr. James Douglas, namesake of the border city. Read the first part at azstarnet.com/douglas online.
Editor’s note: This is the first in a two-part series about Dr. James Douglas, namesake of the Cochise County border city.
Located in the Sulphur Springs Valley in Southeastern Arizona at an elevation averaging 4,000 feet, the border town of Douglas was created by the Phelps Dodge company to accommodate its nearby smelter.
Since the late 1870s the Mule Mountains, where the mining town of Bisbee would be established, have been heavily prospected. By the early 1900s Bisbee was the premier mining camp in Arizona, producing 7,000 tons of copper ore a day.
Arizona has a rich history involving aboriginal mining, sometimes digging for minerals and other times scouring the Earth's surface.
Located 14 miles south of Patagonia in the Patagonia Mountains, the Mowry Mine was originally worked by Native Americans under the supervision of Jesuits during the Spanish era, in the 18th and 19th centuries.