Potosi Mining and Smelting Company - Cerro Gordo, Inyo County, California - 1876

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Beautiful rare stock certificate from the Potosi Mining and Smelting Company issued in 1876. This historic document has an ornate border around it with a vignette of a wagon next to a millsite. This item has the signatures of the Company's President and Secretary. Fine condition. Issued to Jacob Hardy.
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Prospectus, Potosi Mining and Smelting Company, Cerro Gordo Mining District, Inyo County (San Francisco, 1874). GENTLEMEN :--The undersigned, Trustees of the Potosi Mi~ningand Smelting Company, beg to invite your attention to ourmining enterprise in Cerro Gordo Mining District, Inyo County, 'Cal. We feel confident that you will readily recognize its meritorious character, and that a careful, consideration of the advantages which it offers will strongly incline you to invest the moderate amount of capital required. The argentiferous-galena mines of Cerro Gordo have been worked six years, with but little outsideaid, on a contracted scale, almost without machinery, and under the burden of an expensive transportation of 250 miles to Los Angeles; yet in spite of all obstacles, these mines have paid in-that time a net profit of one million eight hundred thousand dollars, (~i,8oo,ooo) and have furnished a large proportion of the bullion refined at Selby's works, San Francis o L2J There is on the western slope of the Cerro Gordo Mountain, within a lineal distance of four-fifths of a mile, the most remarkable concentration of parallel veins of rich ores of silver and lead that can be found in this country. Between what is called the lower town of Cerro Gordo and the summit of the mouri. tam, some 4,400 feet, there are known to exist not less than ten parallel veins of ore, ranging in value from $25 to $200 per ton in silver, and carrying from 25 to 85 percent. of lead. - The largest vein at the surface-._. the Buena Vista--is near the summit, and has the ex. traordinary width of one hundred (ioo) feet. DesCend. ing towards the town, the next vein is the Union Mine, which has furnished a large proportion ofthe ore pro. duct ofthe district. It has been worked to a depth of about 700 feet, the deposits becoming wider and richer as the depth increases. The present width of ore is forty feet. This mine has been bonded to foreign capitalists, pending a lawsuit as~to ownership, for $1,750,000. The San Felipe Mine is in close proximity to the UniOn. Next comes the Omega, with a splendid body of.Ore thirty feet wide. This vein has widened from four feet at the leve1~ofthe Omega Tunnel, to thirty feet~a hundred and fifty feet below, and from the Sur face of the mine 310 feet Next is the Santa Maria, witha vein '31 100 feetwide! Then follow the Jefferson, Cannan, Guadaloupe, Guythas, First and Second Lead Mines, San Bernto, Alpha, and Ignacio The last named is a valuable silver mine, which, with very itn perfect working, has yielded a large amount of ore, averaging $i8o per ton Some of it carries $x,Soo to [3] the ton. The enterprise in which we are engaged, and to which your attention is specially directed, is THE POTOSI TUNNEL. The mouth of which is 4,400 feet distant from the above mentioned Buena Vista Lode, at the summit of the mountain. It will cut the entire series of veins on the slope at an angle of 64 deg., and a depth of from ~oo feet at the mines nearest the entrance, to 2,140 feet below the surface of the Buena Vista Mine. Thus in the short space ·f 4,400 lineal feet, this tunnel will intersect ten known rich mines, at an average depth of say 850 feet. This tunnel will greatly facilitate the working of all these mines. The slope of ·the mountain above the tunnel entrance is quite steep, and renders transportation expensive. The grade below the tunnel is easy. In the matter of drainage, the extraction of ore, and the general interior working of a mine, the advantages of a tunnel are obvious and generally admitted. Several of Ilie t5rinciAal veins intersected by tills tunnel óelong to tile Potosi A/lining and Smelling Comj5any. The mammoth Buena Vista, the First and Second lead mines, the extension of the San BenitO, and the Alpha, are the Company's property, and arrangements have been made to acquire the Ignacio Silver Mine and other valuable mines on the line of the tunnel. The Potosi Tunnel is so located as largely to control the mining operations of the distrIct. It commands all the ground along its line. All blind lodes discovered in its progress (and there is every reason to anticipate such discoveries) will belong to this Corn- [4] pariy. No rival enterprise, even if it had a right to the ground, which is legally preoccupied by us, could gain an additional depth of 500 feet without running a mile through barren ground. ORES, THEIR CHARACTER AND QUALITY. The ores from these mines are a mixture of lead and silver, mostly suiphurets, with some suiphates, and a large amount of carbonates. The ores from the silver mines consist of rich sulphurets and chlorides, with a little native silver. The silver ores average $i8o per ton. SMELTING. This is done at the mines, in thirty-inch cupola furnaces. Fire-clay of excellent quality is abundant at the mouth of the tunnel. It is mixed with pulverized quartz, moulded, sun-dried, and is then ready for use. The charges of ore, consisting of the suiphurets and carbonates oflead and silver, with a due proportion of ferruginous ore and argentiferous quartz, melt like wax in the furnace. An average run for twenty-four hours IS 240 bars of bullion. So perfect is the process that a furnace has here been run for a hundredconsecutive days withoutstop. The amount of fuel required to smelt a ton of this ore is the smallest known to th~practice ofthe metallurgist. Twenty bushels of charcoal to the ton of ore is the regular allowance at Cerro Gordo, while in the best managed European furnaces the quantity is nearly or quite double. (See Raymond's keport [5] On the Mines in the U. S., 1873.) Charcoal costs at Cerro Gordo twenty-eight cents per bushel by the quantity. TRANSPORTATION, The cost of bullion transportation has heretofore been high, and is now about $~per ton from Cerro Gordo to San Francisco. The value of the lead in the bullion covers this, together with the cost of mining and smelting, leaving the value of the silver as net profit. The bullion carries about 90 ounces of silver to the ton. THE PROJECTED RAILROAD From Los Angeles to Cerro Gordo, will, when in operation, reduce the freight on bullion at least $30 per ton, adding that mu~chadditional pro~to the mines. There is every reason to expect that this road will be speedily Fonstructed. PRESENT STATE OF TUNNEL. It is already in nearly 500 feet and is within 400 feet of the Ignacio Silver mine referred to above. The company have made arrangements to immediately put on a BUR~LEIGH DRILL of the largest size, capable of making ten feet per day, and of completing the tunnel in 400 working days. The cost ~ofthe drill and acçompanying machinery will be about $i~,ooo. The [6] tunnel is to be nine feet wide and eight high, and will have a double track. WATER. There is at the present time an abundance of water for all necessary purposes flowing from the tunnel, thus saving the purchase of water at four cents a gallon About 1,000 feetfrom the mouth the tunnel will pierce a heavy trap dyke, which by its impermeability dams the entire flow of water in the mountain above. When this trap is perforated there will be sufficient water to supply a population equal to that of the town of Cerro Gordo. It will undoubtedly afford the Company a considerable revenue. The Company have located ten acres of ground adjacent to the tunnel entrance, affording ample space for dumps, furnaces, buildings,~etc. PROSPECTS. In twelve months from the time the Burleigh Drill is put in operation, the Company expect to be able to extract from their own mines and to reduce daily xoo Tons Galena Ore anSI Twenty Tons of Silver Ore, of the value of $8,ooo. Deduct cost of mining, hauling, and smelting same, $3,800, leaves a margin of $4,200 per day, and per month of twenty-six days $109,200. Within two years this result could be easily doubled, and thereafter still further increased. TUE REVENUE from the transportation through the tunnel of the ore of the other mines, will amount to a E~] very large sum. It may be estimated to reach, by the time the tunnel is completed, a quarter of a million of dollars per annum. RESUME. Enough has been said to show clearly that the enterprise of this Company is one of imposing dimensions, practical, and comparatively inexpensive. The total cost of completing the tunnel will not exceed $ioo,ooo. This estimate does not take into account the self-supj5orting character of the enterprise, as soon as the tunnel reaches the first vein. .11 is already in uJ'on a~romising- vein of ore. The Trustees believe that, owing to this self-supporting feature of the work, an amount not exceeding $30,000 will be found sufficient. The CAPITAL STOCK of the Company IS $5,000,000. There are 50,000 shares of $ioo each. TEll TITLE To the tunnel and tunnel property is in the, Company, and is undisputed Ten thousand shares of the Capital Stock are reserved to furnish a WORKING CAPITAL. The officers of the Company are J AMES A. PRITCHARD President and Treasurer. J. HARDY Secretary. [8] Office of the President, Rooms x and 2, Academy Building. Secretary's Office, 408 California St., San Francisco, Room 2. JAMES A. PRITCHARD, THOMAS HARDY, HENRY RAYMOND,' JOHN SIMPSON, JAS. BRADY, Trustees Potosi Mining and Smelting Comj5any History from Wikipedia and OldCompany.com (old stock certificate research service)