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Bingham Consolidated Mining Company

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Bingham Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company

To finance additional expansion, on April 24, 1901 the Bingham Copper and Gold Mining Company was reorganized as the Bingham Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company. The expansion included the purchase of the Dalton & Lark mining properties. With the reorganization, the new Bingham Consolidated company also announced that they would formally purchase the interests of the Copper Belt railroad. (Engineering and Mining Journal, May 4, 1901, p. 572; USGS Professional Paper 38, p. 99)

(Read more about the Dalton & Lark mine, and the railroad spur that served it)

Bingham Consolidated Mining & Smelting Company was incorporated in Maine in April 1901. (Salt Lake Mining Review, January 15, 1902)

On May 18, 1901 the Copper Belt Railroad was incorporated by the owners of the Bingham Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company, to serve their Commercial mine, with openings in both Galena Gulch and Copper Center Gulch. Controlling interest in the company was turned over to William Bayley in return for his lease of the tramway and locomotive. (Read more about the Copper Belt Railroad)

By the fall of 1901 the development work on reopening the Dalton & Lark properties was nearing completion. In October 1901, in order to provide dependable transportation to the Dalton & Lark, Yosemite, and Brooklyn properties, the Bingham Consolidated company began construction on a railroad line from what was known as "Lead Mine" station, to the point where the mining company planned to have the mouth of its drain tunnel. The rail line would later become Rio Grande Western's Dalton & Lark Branch.

In 1901, the Bingham Consolidated company, as the reason for its Dalton & Lark Railroad, had projected the construction of the Dalton & Lark Drainage Tunnel. Although the tunnel was never completed, the idea for a tunnel between the mines in Bingham Canyon and Salt Lake Valley, on the east slope of the Oquirrhs, did not die. (USGS Professional Paper 38, p. 381; Arrington: Richest Hole, pp. 87, 88)

Pending completion of the drain tunnel itself, "within five years", the ore was to be brought down from the mine (1,000 feet above the drain tunnel portal) by way of a new four mile, 24 inch gauge electric line. This "temporary" electric would be built with five percent grades and operated with ten-ton electric locomotives.

The expansion of operations for Bingham Consolidated brought other changes. In May 1902, the Bingham Consolidated smelter was expanded to allow the production of lead. (Hansen, p. 273)

The first shipment of copper ore from the Dalton & Lark mine wasn't until 1903. It took Bingham Consolidated over two years to develop the property and to drain the water that had accumulated in the mines after they were shut down in 1899. With the shipment of ore actually beginning, in November 1903 Bingham Consolidated sold the Dalton & Lark line to Rio Grande Western. (Interstate Commerce Commission Reports, Volume 26, p. 809; 26 ICC 809; the sale was dated November 3, 1903.)

In 1903, Bingham Consolidated began shipping copper sulfide ores from its former Brooklyn property. (USGS Professional Paper 38, p. 381)

May 1903
"We have already begun taking ore from the Brooklyn mine of the Dalton & Lark group at the rate of 100 tons per day and from the entire Dalton & Lark group we are taking out about 175 tons per day for treatment at our smelter." "We are now handling between 20,000 and 25,000 gallons of water every minute through the Mascot tunnel on the Dalton & Lark properties and reducing the water in the mine at the rate of four inches per day." "This water is 800 feet lower than the lowest workings in any of the mines, and it is expected that we will be able to reach the ore body at this depth within ninety days." (Salt Lake Herald, May 4, 1903)

January 9, 1904
"As the Dalton & Lark is now perfectly drained by the Mascot tunnel, and the Brooklyn nearly so, driving of the tunnel may not be resumed until spring. It continues to discharge a great volume of water, with beneficial results to several neighboring properties." (Deseret News, January 9, 1904, "Bingham Reviewed")

March 30, 1904
Work was to resume on the Mascot tunnel, extending it to drain the Dalton & Lark main incline, "work was suspended last fall." (Salt Lake Mining Review, March 30, 1904, "Around The State")

The Dalton & Lark tramway "winds around the hills for five miles in order to cover a bee line distance of two miles" taking ore to the spur of Rio Grande Western. "Gravity takes the cars down and electric locomotives haul them back, thirty-five at a load." (Salt Lake Mining Review, March 30, 1904, "Activity At The Dalton & Lark")

"The famous Mascot tunnel, designed to afford an outlet to all of the groups of the Bingham Con., and to provide drainage, now has been bored into the mountain a distance of nearly 8000 feet and is almost under the Dalton & Lark workings. It is the intention of sending it 7000 or 8000 feet further." "A stream of water as large as a creek is now flowing out of the tunnel and down into the valley where it is used for irrigation." "The tunnel has just been equipped with a new electric locomotive, which arrived from the General Electric company's works this week." (Salt Lake Mining Review, March 30, 1904, "Activity At The Dalton & Lark")

September 1907
One of the Boston newspapers, in the name of the Boston News Bureau, ran a story about F. Augustus Heinze and his entrance as an investor in Utah mines. (Deseret News, September 17, 1907)

His first venture was with the Bingham Consolidated company, "...which has heretofore not attained a very great amount of prominence, except in unfulfilled promises. When organized, that company immediately built a large smelter to treat its ore before it had the ore. Hence the smelter operations have been largely on custom ores and net profits to Bingham Consolidated stockholders have been disappointing."

"When Mr. Heinze became interested in Bingham Consolidated the most valuable asset was a large tunnel, known locally as the Mascotte tunnel, which was planned to open the Dalton & Lark mines of the Bingham Consolidated at depth and provide drainage. The tunnel provided the drainage but failed to open the ore expected hence the operations of of this big tunnel to date have not been productive of net results. This tunnel has cost the Bingham Co. over $30,000. It is six feet high and six feet wide and has penetrated the mountains for a distance of 9000 feet, or 1-3/4 miles."

"At about the time Mr. Heinze became interested in the Bingham Consolidated, he also purchased control of Ohio Copper Co., which adjoins Utah Copper Co."

"Soon after acquiring the Ohio Co. Mr Heinze arranged with the Bingham Consolidated Co. to extend the Mascotte tunnel 3000 feet farther to the Ohio Copper Co., the Ohio Co. bearing this extra expense, thereby putting the Ohio ore bodies 800 feet below the previous lowest workings. He immediately set about to build a 3000-ton concentrator at the mouth of the Mascotte tunnel. This tunnel will also be extended to open the Commercial properties of the Bingham Consolidated 500 feet deeper than the present lowest workings."

(Wikipedia article about F. Augustus Heinze and the financial panic of 1907)

(Read more about Ohio Copper Company)

December 24, 1907
Bingham Consolidated's smelter had been the second copper smelter in the Salt Lake City area. Its fires "will be extinguished within the next few hours." The Utah Consolidated's Highland Boy smelter had been the first copper smelter (opened in 1899), and the United States smelter was the third. Judge Marshall's decree was to take effect on January 6, 1908, shutting down all smelters in Salt Lake Valley due to sulphur and arsenic emissions causing damage to farmers' crops. (Deseret News, December 24, 1907)

Bingham Mines Company

April 7, 1908
The Bingham Mines Company was organized on April 7, 1908 in Maine as a reorganization of the Bingham Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company. Property comprises 500 acres in two groups: the Dalton & Lark group and the Commercial group. The Bingham Central Railway was sold to F. Augustus Heinze for $177,000 [no date mentioned]. The company's ore ore was shipped to the Yampa smelter in Bingham, until that smelter closed in 1909. The ores were then divided, with the silver-lead ore going to the Asarco smelter at Murray, and the copper ore going to the Asarco smelter at Garfield. (The Copper Handbook, Volume 11, 1914, page 118)

September 24, 1910
To allow the expansion of its dumping grounds, Utah Copper purchased the surface rights in Copper Center Gulch from the Bingham Mines company. The purchase forced Bingham Mines to move about 12 buildings in Copper Center Gulch down about one half mile, to a place near the Niagara tunnel. "According to information that reached Salt Lake yesterday, the work of dumping waste in the newly-acquired territory will take place Monday." "Arrangements have been made with the United States company and H. S. Joseph for the use of the [Niagara] tunnel." The move started on September 15th and was almost complete. With the move, Bingham Mines company abandoned its use of the Lower Commercial tunnel and would close the mine. The Niagara tunnel would be expanded and extended about 300 feet to get under the old workings of Bingham Mines company's Commercial mine. The expansion would give Bingham Mines an additional depth of 200 feet, and about 500 feet on the dip of its ore body. "Until the work is extended under the ore bodies, shipments from the property will be stopped." A spur of the Copper Belt railroad served the portal of the Lower Commercial mine, and would be put down the canyon to serve the Bingham Mines as soon as the work had been advanced to the point that shipping could resume. (Salt Lake Herald, September 24, 1910)

The two tunnels of the Commercial mine, No. 1 and No. 2, both in Copper Center Gulch, were closed in September 1910 and an agreement made with the Utah Copper, Silver Shield, and Niagara mining companies to allow Utah Copper to take over the gulch as its dumping grounds, and to allow the Commercial ores to be shipped from the Niagara tunnel, after that tunnel was extended to cut into the Commercial ore veins. All necessary buildings were moved from Copper Center Gulch to the mouth of the Niagara tunnel. (The Copper Handbook, Volume 11, 1914, page 118)

April 6, 1913
"Bingham Consolidated" connected their Yosemite shaft with Ohio Copper's Mascotte Tunnel. (Engineering and Mining Journal, April 19, 1913, p. 828)

"Bingham Consolidated" was selling its ore to both American Smelting at Garfield, and to International Smelting at Tooele. Its own smelter had been closed, and in March 1913, they had sold the facility to Utah Junk Company. (Engineering and Mining Journal, March 29, 1913, p. 679)

By 1913, Bingham Consolidated's Mascotte tunnel had been greatly improved and was the home of a high production, three-mile long, double-track, electrified mining railroad that had been christened the "Bingham Central Railroad". During this time, the Ohio Copper company alone was shipping over 65,000 tons of copper ore per month to their Lark concentrator mill, by way of the Mascotte Tunnel. (Wegg, p. 48)

October 15, 1925
On October 3rd, the Bingham Mines Company acquired from Montana-Bingham Consolidated Mining Company, the Tiewaukee, Eddie, and Fortuna groups, and the Thrush claim, in Bingham, a total of 227 acres. This purchase gives the Bingham Mines Company a total of 1843 acres. (Salt Lake Mining Review, October 15, 1925)

July 23, 1929
Bingham Mines Company was purchased by the United States Company. (Billings, page 31)