Fortuna Mining Co.

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This page last updated on July 13, 2019.

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The following summary of the Fortuna Mill comes from Eva Hoffman's EPA report of 2005:

The Fortuna Mill was located on Keystone Gulch about 2-1/2 miles west of Lark. The mill operated from 1900 to 1906, and again from 1916 to 1917.

The 1909 publication of the Bingham Commercial Club indicates that the Fortuna Mining Company owned claims between Ohio Copper and Utah Copper and had a 100 ton mill at the mine site. The mill was originally a lead mill and later may have extracted gold, silver and copper.

Boutwell, in 1905, reported that the Fortuna Mine, located in the middle portion of Keystone Gulch 6300 feet East-Southeast of the mouth of Carr Fork.

Billings, in 1952, reported that the Fortuna Mining Company was controlled by Simon Bamberger, a governor of Utah. About 1916, George Eccles, an Ogden industrialist, obtained an option on the property. A mill of about 100 tons capacity was constructed on the north slope of Keystone Gulch near the portal of the tunnel. The mill was constructed of wood covered with corrugated iron and "was equipped almost entirely of old second hand machinery except for the Wall corrugated rolls. The water for the mill was pumped from the Montana Bingham tunnel through a four-inch pipe. The milling ore was not enough to justify mill construction, so the option on the property was turned over to the Montana Bingham Company." (Oquirrh Mountains Mining and the Environment by Eva J. Hoffman, U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Denver, April 21, 2005, page 126)


"The Fortune mill was running at intervals during the summer of 1900 on ores from the mines of that company." (USGS Professional paper 38, 1905, page 95)

"The old Fortune mine has been reopened as the Fortuna and is now being further developed." (USGS Professional paper 38, 1905, page 383)

Development of the Fortune mine was through a system of tunnels which had been driven southeastward on the lower contact of what was known as the Fortune sill. The main tunnels (from lowest to highest, which is also the order of length, longest to shortest) are Contention, Keystone, Freedom, and Fortune.

March 11, 1904
The Fortuna Mining Company was incorporated in Utah, and articles of incorporation filed in Salt Lake County. Sidney Bamberger was assistant manager. (Salt Lake Tribune, March 12, 1904, "yesterday"; October 1, 1904)

March 13, 1904
The Fortuna Mining company had just signed a contract to furnish 3,000 tons of copper-bearing ore monthly to the Bingham Consolidated smelter. The company was managed by Ernest Bamberger, who was also the manager of the Daly West mine in Park City. The Fortuna group was comprised of the Enoch, Weazel, Anne Kampton, Superior, Portland, Paris Stake & Wanty, Keystone, Freedom, Fortune [Fortuna], Blaine, Calavarus, Contention, and Winnebago mining claims, encompassing 200 acres, embracing properties previously held by Elmer Hill, Davis and Mullet, and John Schneider, as well as Bamberger Exploration company. (Salt Lake Tribune, March 13, 1904)

March 20, 1906
The Fortuna Mining company made final payment on the patented mining claims known as the Yukon, and the Abe Lincoln, comprising 40 acres. (Salt Lake Telegram, March 20, 1906)

(The Fortuna was closed in 1907 after Sidney Bamberger became too ill to tend to the daily affairs of his business interests, which included the Salt Lake & Ogden Railroad, as well as the Fortuna mine at Bingham.)

"Fortuna Mining Co. Office: care of George F. Bichards, Jr., secretary and treasurer, Salt Lake City, Utah. Mine office: Lark, Salt Lake Co., Utah. Employs 45 men. Simon Bamberger, president; Sidney M. Bamberger, general manager; W. H. Rouberg, superintendent. Organized March 10, 1904. Lands, circa 200 acres, adjoining the Ohio Copper Co., showing considerable development." (The Copper Handbook, Volume VIII, 1908, page 691)

October 7, 1908
The Fortuna announced that the company would try "the leasing system" of mine management, meaning that to reduce costs, portions of the mine would be leased to private persons in return for a percentage of the returns of ore that is shipped. The mine was still controlled by Simon Bamberger. (The Philadelphia Enquirer, October 7, 1908)

June 1916
The leasing bond on the Fortuna mine, held by Eccles' Fortuna Mine Leasing Company, was turned over to the Montana-Bingham Consolidated Mining Company in June 1916. (The Mines Handbook, Volume 13, 1920, page 1361)

June 3, 1916
"The control of the Fortuna Mining company's property, located in the Bingham district and held heretofore by Simon Bamberger and associates, has been taken over by LeRoy Eccles of Ogden and a number of Salt Lake and Ogden mining men. The puirchase price is understood to be $250,000, the first payment has been made, the proeprty has been examined by engineers and future payments arranged for at various times that extend well into the future. The property adjoins the Dalton & lark group of the Bingham Mines company, the Ohio Copper and the Congor ground, controlled by Bothwell & McConaughy. There are in the neighborhood of 12,000 feet of workings in the 150 acres of patented ground. The Keystone tunnel, which is along the Fortuna or Portland vein, runs for 1000 feet. Besides this, there are two other tunnels of approximately 2000 feet each and the mayflower tunnel of almost 3000 feet, which is driven to crosscut the formation. The other tunnels run with the formation. There are nineteen claims and fractions in the group." The mine had been closed down since the death of Sidney Bamberger. (Salt Lake Tribune, June 3, 1916; Salt Lake Mining Review, June 15, 1916)

(Sidney M. Bamberger died in the Johns Hopkins hospital in Baltimore on May 9, 1911. He had traveled to Baltimore to receive a special operation. He was born on February 18, 1883, and was only 28 years old when he died.)

"Fortuna Mining & Milling Co. Office: Bamberger R. R. Bldg., Salt Lake City, Utah. Mine office: P. O. Box 123, Bingham Canyon. Salt Lake Co., Utah. Simon Bamberger, pres.; J. B. Bean, sec.; E. A. Vail, engr. Inc. March 10, 1904, in Utah. Cap., $300,000; shares $1 par; non-assessable; fully issued. Property: 23 claims, mainly fractional, 170 acres, adjoining the Congor in Keystone gulch. Mine was opened 1875 and closed 1908. The property is now operated under bond and lease by the Montana Bingham Cons. Mining Co. and is described under that title. The property has apex rights to six important bedded veins, of which the Mayflower and Fortuna are the. most important. Production: 1905-1907, under Wm. N. Rossberg, 16,000 tons copper-iron ore; also 4,000 tons lead ore. The panic of 1907 closed the mine until June, 1916. The bond is held by the Fortuna Mine Leasing Co., who gave option on a 75% interest to M. B. Cons. M. Co." (The Mines Handbook, Volume 13, 1920, page 1360)

August 6, 1919
Montana-Bingham bought the Fortuna property for a reported $277,778, plus another $10,000 to Higgins and Eccles, and 100,000 shares of Montana-Bingham stock for their interest in the Fortuna Mine Leasing company. (Salt Lake Herald Republican, August 6, 1919, annual report)