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Bingham Mines Company

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Overview

In April 1901, Bingham Consolidated Mining & Smelting Company brought together two of the larger mining companies at Bingham: Bingham Copper and Gold Mining Co. in Copper Center Gulch in Upper Bingham, with its Commercial mine; and the Dalton & Lark mine on the on the mountain ridge that separated Bingham canyon from the Salt Lake valley. The Dalton & Lark properties also included the Yosemite and Brooklyn mines, as well as the Mascotte drain tunnel. Included in the consolidation was the Copper Belt Railroad, owned by the Bingham Copper and Gold Mining company.

In April 1908, Bingham Consolidated Mining and Smelting was reorganized as the Bingham Mines Company.

(Read more about Bingham Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company.)

Bingham Mines Company

(Includes the Mascotte drain tunnel)

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 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)

June 25, 1908
Bingham Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company was forced into an involuntary bankruptcy by creditors holding $400,000 in notes of debt from the company. The Bingham Mines Company, which had been organized to acquire the assets and interests of the Bingham Consolidated group, had hired an expert to examine the property. (Wall Street Journal, June 25, 1908)

August 16, 1908
The Bingham Central Railway company filed a condemnation suit against Bingham Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company for ownership of the Mascotte tunnel, and the water flowing through it. (Salt Lake Tribune, August 16, 1908)

February 22, 1909
"The final transfer of Bingham Consolidated Mining company property has finally been made to Bingham Mines company." (Salt Lake Tribune, February 22, 1909)

March 26, 1909
F. Augustus Heinze paid Bingham Mines Company $76,000 as partial payment for his purchase of the Mascotte Tunnel. An additional $100,000 was to be paid on April 1, 1909. The Bingham Mines property is only being operated in a small way due to the low prices of metals, and no active development is taking place. (Wall Street Journal, March 26, 1909)

April 14, 1909
F. Augustus Heinze paid Bingham Mines Company the final $101,000 owed for the purchase of the Mascotte Tunnel. Total purchase price was $177,000. The purchase, which was part of the financing package for the reorganization plan for the Bingham Consolidated Mining company, reduced the mining company's bonded debt from $903,000 to $675,000. (Wall Street Journal, April 14, 1909)

October 10, 1909
A new Yosemite Mines company was organized on recently virgin patented ground adjacent to the Bingham Mines property, and to the United States Mining property. (This was in the vicinity of the old Commercial and Old Jordan mines.) The mine opening used the existing Paradox tunnel near the upper terminal of the U. S. Mines aerial tramway, where new buildings and a compressor were to be built. The working face of the mine was on an incline plane 800 feet deep, but 1,270 feet southeasterly from the portal. The same ore vein was encountered on the Mascotte level, 1,800 feet below the new Yosemite portal, and the Mascotte would be used to ship the ore to the new Ohio Copper mill when it was completed. (Salt Lake Herald, October 10, 1909)

By mid December 1909, the new Yosemite Mining company was shown as being controlled by Bingham Mines company. (Deseret Evening News, December 18, 1909)

December 18, 1909
The Commercial property of Bingham Mines company was shut down when the Bingham Consolidated smelter at Midvale was shut down in December 1907. The Commercial was re-opened in June 1909 after a new smelting contract was signed with the Yampa smelter and mining resumed at the Commercial, shipping the ores over the Copper Belt railroad. The other Bingham Mines properties were the Eagle & Blue Bell at Tintic, and the Dalton & Lark on the eastern slope of the Oquirrh range east of Bingham Canyon, on which property the Mascotte tunnel is located. The Mascotte tunnel was to be extended to reach the Commercial property, 4,000 feet distant from its current ending in the Ohio Copper property, and about 1,100 feet below the current Commercial workings. (Deseret Evening News, December 18, 1909)

(The above Deseret Evening News article is quite long and includes an excellent and extensive summary of the Bingham Mines Company, its properties, and its future.)

(A very similar summary, almost a word-for-word duplication, was published in the January 9, 1910 issue of the Salt Lake Herald.)

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 at its Commercial mine 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)

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)

March 24, 1911
"The work at tearing down the Bingham Consolidated smelter at Midvale has begun, a force of twelve men being engaged on the job. The plant will be disposed of in the best market procurable, and in this regrettable manner will be ended the career of a $1,000,000 plant in response to the suits of the farmers in the Salt Lake valley." "The Bingham Consolidated smelter was placed in commission in 1901, being successfully operated under the superintendency of William Nutting. The plant was closed down finally on December 26, 1907 when the court decided that the fumes from the stack were injuring surrounding vegetable and animal life." (Salt Lake Tribune, March 24, 1911)

May 7, 1911
Good ore and value was being found throughout the premises of the closed Bingham Consolidated smelter, just prior to it being dismantled. Under a lease contract, the former smelter manager, Herman H. Green, was finding good assay value, in gold and other metals, in nooks and cranies from spills and molten metal drippings that the mining company had previously thought unprofitable to identify, remove and process. (Salt Lake Tribune, May 7, 1911)

June 1, 1912
Bingham Mines began sinking a shaft from its Yosemite property to connect with its Mascotte tunnel. A raise of 280 feet from the tunnel had already been completed. Work was to begin "this morning" at the Yosemite's 800-foot level, with about 1,040 feet of downward work needed to complete the connection. When completed, the connecting incline shaft would be 2,120 feet in total depth from the collar, or top of the Yosemite shaft at the surface, at about 6,860 feet elevation. (Salt Lake Tribune, June 1, 1912)

(Read more about the Yosemite mine)

(A "shaft" is a downward mine opening, starting at the surface, with some being an incline shaft. A "raise" is a mining shaft, or a "winze," that is opened from below. A "winze" is a mine opening similar to shaft, except its upper end does not reach the surface. An "adit" is a horizontal tunnel opened from the surface, or side of a hill or wall of a canyon, with enough slope to provide for the natural drainage of water. A "drift" is a horizontal mine opening that follows the mineral vein. A "crosscut" is similar to a drift, but is perpendicular to the drift.)

Bingham Mines company started the Yosemite incline shaft in June 1912, and completed it in April 1913 when it was connected the Yosemite mine with the Mascotte tunnel of Ohio Copper company. The incline shaft was 2,240 feet long, and connected the 800-level of the Yosemite mine with the Mascotte tunnel, a vertical distance of 1,040 feet.

The Yosemite 800-Level was at about 6,060 feet elevation, and the Mascotte tunnel was at 5,540 feet elevation, with the 520 feet vertical difference in the Yosemite incline connecting the two.

The Yosemite incline shaft allowed Bingham Mines access to the Mascotte haulage tunnel, shipping their ore directly to the ore loading facilities at Lark. From Lark, the ore was shipped by the D&RGW railroad to the U. S. smelter at Midvale. The completion of the Yosemite incline shaft greatly reduced the shipping costs of the Bingham Mines company, doing away with their high costs of using freight wagons between their surface workings at the Yosemite, Dalton, Lark and Brooklyn mines, down to the loading facilities at Lark. The mines were already connected underground, and the Yosemite incline shaft made shipping ore to the smelter much easier and cheaper, although they still had to pay haulage fees to Ohio Copper for using its Mascotte tunnel.

Prior to this extension, the Mascotte tunnel to the Dalton & Lark mine lay in an east-west direction. The extension to the Yosemite turned the tunnel in a southwest direction. The later extension to meet the Ohio Copper property took the tunnel in a west-southwest direction from the Yosemite. A later extension to the Commercial mine continued the southwesterly direction.

March 8, 1913
The entire Midvale holdings of the Bingham Mines Co., including the old Bingham Consolidated smelter, were sold to Utah Junk Co. on "Saturday" (March 8). (Salt Lake Tribune, March 9, 1913)

March 29, 1913
"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)

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

July 8, 1916
"Bingham Mines (Bingham) -- Dalton & Lark mine is producing over 100 tons daily, part of the output being lead-silver and part copper-iron sulphide ore. Conditions at the Yosemite promising." (Engineering and Mining Journal, July 8, 1916, Volume 102, Number 2, page 117)

On June 29, 1925 the Bingham Mines Company obtained a Sheriff's Certificate of sale of the property of the Yosemite Mines Company to satisfy a judgment and on March 1, 1927 secured a deed to the property comprising nine mining claims. (Billings)

On June 30, 1925 the Bingham Mines Company acquired the Ute Copper Company's group of 23 mining claims located in lower Bingham Canyon and a 1/2 interest in the Dixon mine adjoining from Thomas Weir; and on July 21, 1925 purchased the other 1/2 interest in the Dixon mine comprising four mining claims and three adjoining mining locations from Martha J. Watson. (Billings)

October 3, 1925
"Announcement was made on the 3d by the Bingham Mines Company that it had acquired from Honolulu interests control of the Montana-Bingham Consolidated Mining Company property, which is situated in the West Mountain mining district, Salt Lake county, comprising the Tiewaukee, Eddie and Fortuna groups and the Thrush claim, a total of 227 acres. A large part of this property adjoins the Winamuck & Dixon properties, recently acquired by the same company." "The Bingham Mines Company now owns and controls in Bingham, a total of 1843 acres. It is proposed to carry on extensive development work in the Montana-Bingham property with a view of putting it into the productive stage at as early a date as possible." (Salt Lake Mining Review, October 15, 1925)

In (date?) the Bingham Mines acquired a controlling stock interest and about ninety per cent of the bond issue of the Montana Bingham Consolidated Mining Company. (Billings)

(An article in the October 9, 1942 issue of the Bingham Bulletin newspaper showed that Montana Bingham Consolidated Mining Co. shipped 7,100 tons of ore of all classes. This indicates that Bingham Mines Company did not purchase 100 percent of Montana Bingham Consolidated's stock, and it was being kept separate due to minority shareholders.)

October 3, 1925
"Bingham Mines Buys Property. Montana-Bingham Control Acquired. The Salt Lake office of the Bingham Mines company today announces that the company has recently acquired from Honolulu interests control of the Montana-Bingham Consolidated Mining company, which property is situate in the West Mountain mining district, Salt Lake county, comprising the Tiewaukee, Eddie and Fortuna groups and the Thrush claim, a total of 277 acres. A large part of this property adjoins the Winamuck and Dixon properties recently acquired by the same company. The Bingham Mines company now owns and controls in Bingham, or West Mountain mining district, a total of 1843 acres. It is proposed to carry on extensive development work in the Montana-Bingham property with a view of putting it into productive stages at as early a date as possible." During August 1925 alone, Bingham Mines made $70,000 profit, and $247,000 in profit durng January to June 1925. (Salt Lake Telegram, October 3, 1925; Salt Lake Mining Review, October 15, 1925)

July 24, 1927
Bingham Mines Company, which also controlled Montana-Bingham, signed an agreement with adjoining Ohio Copper establishing a defined vertical boundary between the three properties. The agreement would prevent costly litigation and did away with any potential problems concerning apex and extra-lateral rights, allowing Ohio Copper to explore into lead-silver bearing veins that had their apex in either Bingham Mines ground, or in Montana-Bingham ground. (Salt Lake Tribune, July 24, 1927)

June 15, 1929
The following comes from the June 15, 1929 issue of the Salt Lake Tribune newspaper.

U. S. Smelter Purchases Utah Mines. Control of the Bingham Mines company, a silver-lead ore producer of both the Tintic and Bingham mining districts, will pass to the United States Smelting, Mining and Refining company, according to dispatches received Friday from Boston, Mass., headquarters of both companies. Under the terms of the purchase, the Bingham Mines company has agreed to sell and transfer to the smelting company all its property and assets in return for 50,000 shares of common stock of the purchasing company. The sale is subject to the approval of the stockholders, who meet June 27.

The announcement of the terms of the sale comes within a month after Wall street rumors declared that the United States Smelting was to take over the smaller company. Last spring smelting company engineers made a complete examination and reported on the Bingham Mines property.

There are only 50,000 shares outstanding, so that under the terms of the transfer each stockholder will receive one shore of United States Smelting stock for each share owned by Bingham Mines.

Property owned by the Bingham Mines consists of 2550 acres, of which 1843 are in the Bingham district and the remainder in Tintic district.

The company was formed in 1908 and is a reorganization of the old Bingham Consolidated Mining and Smelting company. In the Bingham district properties controlled include the Dalton & Lark and Commercial, the Yosemite, the Montana Bingham, Ute Copper and the Watson or Dixon. In Tintic, Bingham Mines owns the Eagle & Blue Bell, the Victoria. the American Star, the Harrington and the Tesora.

July 1929
United States Mining (USSR&M) completed its purchase of the Bingham Mines group. (USSR&M Annual Report for the period ending December 31, 1929; Wilson thesis, page 5)

July 23, 1929
Bingham Mines Company was purchased by the United States Smelting Refining and Mining company. (Billings, page 31)

(Read more about the United States company after it purchased Bingham Mines in 1929)

Bingham Mines became part of the United States company in 1929. The U. S. company took ownership of the Mascotte tunnel in 1951, along with all the other assets of Ohio Copper. Prior to 1951, the U. S. company was paying Ohio Copper a haulage fee to ship their ore via the Mascotte tunnel. But the U. S. company also had to pay Utah Copper (later Kennecott) to ship its ore by railroad from its Niagara tunnel at Copperfield, down to Bingham, where the D&RGW then took the railroad cars to the Midvale smelter. Either way, shipping costs were always a factor for the U. S. company.

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