Utah Metal Mines and Tunnel Co.

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Utah Metal and Tunnel Company was first organized in 1909 as Utah Metal Mining Company.

The Utah Metal and Tunnel property had a long tunnel that was completed in mid 1913. The tunnel exited in Middle Canyon, east of Tooele. The company absorbed the adjacent Bingham New Haven company on December 1, 1915, to settle potential encroachment claims.

Utah Metal Mining Company had been organized in 1909 to consolidate the properties of the Bingham Central Mining, Bingham Standard Copper, and Bingham Metal Mining companies. By the end of 1912, the 11,490 foot Bingham-Tooele Tunnel of the Utah Metal Mines Company was 92 percent complete. Work had been delayed at the Bingham end by the strike in September 1912. Cost of the tunnel work was about $16.45 per foot. (Engineering and Mining Journal, March 1, 1913, p. 496)

"The Utah Metal tunnel was begun in December, 1909, and finished June 22, 1913. It is 11,494 feet in length from the Bingham side to the Middle Canyon, or Tooele side of West Mountain. The company has a daily flow of about 750,000 gallons of water, of which 440,000 gallons are delivered to the Utah Copper Co. for use in its steam boilers. Other mines are also getting a supply of water through this tunnel which will likely be used for hauling waste and mill tailings to dump in Middle Canyon, as space for dumping is scarce in Bingham. The tunnel company is developing mineral ground from the 9,100-foot point in the tunnel toward the Bingham and New Haven mine." (Mineral Resources of the United States, USGS, 1913, page 404, citing the Utah Metal Mining Company statement to stockholders dated December 26, 1913)

"The Utah Metal and Tunnel Company expanded its operations by the absorption of its neighbor the Bingham and New Haven in 1916. (Deseret News, April 2, 1918). Operations were carried on on the company account till 1921 when dropping prices forced the inauguration of a small leasing program which was continued till 1925, when the Utah Delaware company leased some ground and financed the development of considerable bodies of copper ore in the slump of 1929. The mine was shut down entirely except for some small leases. In 1934 leasing on a large scale was revived the upper levels of the mine being leased to the Utah Delaware company and the lower to the American Smelting and Refining company. Nevertheless exhaustion of the ore bodies forced the shutting down of the entire property in 1936, at which time surface rights and water rights were sold to the Utah Copper company. The property was still closed in 1940." (George M. Addy, "The Economic And Social History Of Bingham Canyon, Utah", BYU, 1949, page 73)


July 9, 1909
The shareholders of Bingham Standard Mining Company held a meeting to vote on the sale of their assets and property Utah Metal Mining Company, a Maine corporation. (Salt Lake Herald, June 26, 1909)

July 17, 1909
The details of the planned merger of the Bingham Central Standard, and the Bingham Metal companies were agreed on. Under consideration since early spring. The new company was to be known as Utah Metal Mining Company, to be incorporated in Maine. The Bingham Metal tunnel, already at a depth of 3,000 feet, would be extended to reach the ore bodies of the two companies at a depth of 2,300 below their surface works in Carr Fork. Electric locomotives were to begin operating in the tunnel in September. (Salt Lake Herald, July 20, 1909, "Saturday")

July 18, 1909
A party of Salt Lake businessmen traveled by train from Salt Lake City to Bingham, then by "wagonette" to the Bingham Central Standard mine at the top of Carr Fork. They toured that mine, entering the mine tunnel to the depth of 800 feet, then returned to the surface and mounted horses for the 12-mile trip by way of Clipper Peak, to Middle Canyon and the south portal of the Bingham Metal Mining Company. The tunnel had penetrated the mountain a distance of 3,000 feet, and with a projected length of 11,000 feet, was expected to cut through the ore bodies of the Bingham Central company, as well as drain the properties of Bingham Metal, Bingham Standard, Bingham Central, and Bingham New Haven companies. After touring the area surrounding the tunnel portal in Middle Canyon, the group was driven down Middle Canyon to the Tooele Valley Railway and taken to the International smelter, which was under construction. At Tooele, the party boarded a train of the Salt Lake Route and returned to Salt Lake City by 6 p.m. (Salt Lake Tribune, July 19, 1909)

The two major investors behind the merger were Walter B. Farmer of Boston, president and general manager of Bingham Metal Company, and W. E. Hubbard of the Bingham Central Standard Company. (Wall Street Journal, July 27, 1909)

December 14, 1909
Utah Metal Mining Company was a merger of Bingham Metal Mining Co. and Bingham Central Standard Mining Co. The merger took place on December 14, 1909. Work on the tunnel was at the 3,000 feet mark with 8,000 feet yet to go, and was being driven from the Tooele (Middle Canyon) end. The company planned to generate its own electricity using water power from water draining from the Bingham mines. The news item suggests that the financial backing was from railroad interests, and included an electric railroad to transport the ore from Bingham to the tunnel portal in Middle Canyon, then five miles to the Tooele smelter. (Salt Lake Herald, December 15, 1909, "yesterday")

December 15, 1909
Utah Metal Mining Company filed its articles of incorporation with the State of Utah. Its component companies were Bingham Metal Mining company, valued as $4.5 million; Bingham Central Mining company, valued at $1.5 million; and Bingham Standard Copper Mining company, valued at $1.5 million. (Salt Lake Herald Republican, December 16, 1909, "yesterday")

December 18, 1909
"One of the big new companies to make its appearance in Bingham during the year was the Utah Metal company, which is a consolidation of the Bingham Central, Bingham Standard, Bingham Metals and Bingham Central Standard. This company takes in a territory of 3,500 acres, 1,600 acres of which is proven minerals land. Work has been commenced on an 11,000-foot tunnel which will afford a new transportation avenue in and out of Bingham. It is believed that this will be finished early in 1911. The company has an excellent equipment and a treasury that insures the work being carried out to the letter. As this tunnel comes through from Middle canyon on the Tooele side of the range, it will afford an excellent outlet for ores sent to the International smelter." (Deseret News, December 18, 1909)

The following comes from The Mines Handbook, Volume 14, 1920, page 1407:

BINGHAM CENTRAL MINING CO. -- At Bingham Canyon, Salt Lake county, Utah. This company and the Bingham Standard Copper Co. were controlled by the Bingham Central Standard Copper Co., which sold its stock holdings, 1909, to Utah Metal Mining Co., receiving stock in latter company which is now controlled by the Utah Metal & Tunnel Co., which see. Described Vol. X. -- Idle.

BINGHAM CENTRAL STANDARD COPPER CO. -- Organized as a holding company, controlling, through ownership of practically entire stock issues, the Bingham Central Mining Co. and Bingham Standard Copper Co. Sold these subsidiary stocks, 1909 to the Utah Metal Mining Co. for 300,000 shares of latter, which was escrowed until 1911 and extended upon payment of 10,000 additional shares until November 8, 1912, and subsequently to January 1. 1914, to permit building by Utah Metal Mining Co. of a $150,000 aerial tramway from the western end of the big tunnel to the International smelter at Tooele. On release of escrow, 1914, company was to be wound up, but prevented by minority stockholders, who attempted to recover property, claiming irregular disposition of the company's assets. Stock valueless.

The need to consolidate the Bingham Central and the Bingham Standard mines was that there was not a way to access their ore bodies at depth, there was no room for dumping grounds, no room for mills to be built, and transportation to the mills and smelters was very high cost, and 35 miles distant. The ore being extracted was never enough to pay transportation costs, as well as interest payments on the bonds. The Bingham Central Standard Mining Company was organized as a holding company for the two mining concerns, but was unable to exchange all of the stock and bonds, a problem that continued when Utah Metal Mining was organized, also as a holding company that included the Bingham Metal Mining property. All were controlled by the same group of Boston investors, who were officers and majority shareholders in all the companies, excluding stock sold on the public markets. Utah Metal Mining continued to purchase and acquire additional claims and properties in order to consolidate access to adjacent ore bodies that would be developed for production after the tunnel was completed. The stock of the Utah Metal Mining Company was released on May 23, 1912 for sale to the public. (Salt Lake Tribune, April 13, 1911; April 7, 1912; Arizona Daily Star, May 21, 1912)

February 10, 1910
Utah Metal had received eight new rail cars at the portal in Middle Canyon, each with 32 cubic feet and two tons capacity. The work of enlarging and timbering the tunnel from portal to face, 3,000 feet, was almost complete. The electric locomotive was to be shipped "this month." The company had shipped two cars of ore from the Jeff Davis and Saginaw mines in Bingham, which mines now belong to the Utah Metal company. The buildings at the portal in Middle Canyon were almost complete, including a boarding house, a bunk house, and repair shops. Material was being shipped by bob sled from Tooele due to the heavy snow. (Salt Lake Tribune, February 10, 1910)

March 10, 1910
Utah Metal Mining Company was incorporated in Maine on March 10, 1910, as a consolidation of Bingham Central, Bingham Standard, Bingham Central Standard and Bingham Metal Mining companies. Of the total of 1,500,000 shares, 715,000 was to be placed into escrow pending shares of the component companies being turned in and exchanged for shares of the new company. (Deseret Evening News, March 10, 1910; Salt Lake Herald Republican, March 11, 1910)

March 29, 1910
Work began at the face of the Utah Metal tunnel. The work had been completed of enlarging the existing 3,000 feet of tunnel, re-laying the track with 35-pound rails, and completing the needed buildings at the portal. The work of extending the tunnel 8,000 feet was expected to take two years. (Salt Lake Herald Republican, March 29, 1910)

December 12, 1910
The Utah Metal Mining tunnel was one-third complete. It was to be eight feet by nine feet, with frequent passing tracks. Its grade was to not exceed three or four inches per hundred feet of distance. The starting point for the tunnel was the Bingham Central Standard mine, near the Utah Consolidated mine. Electricity for the air compressors and air drills for the construction was coming from a power plant in Middle Canyon, being driven by the creek. The water draining from the tunnel was driving a 3kW DC power plant, providing lighting for the tunnel. The tunnel had reached 3,900 feet, and water was being drained at a rate of 380 gallons per minute. The track was 20-inch gauge, using 30-pound rails. The rail cars were side dump, with 42 cubic feet capacity. The trains were fours each, pulled by Baldwin-Westinghouse locomotives. Plans included the building of an aerial tramway from the portal in Middle Canyon, to the International smelter near Tooele, about four miles distant. (Salt Lake Herald, December 12, 1910, including detailed description of the various machines being used to produce electricity and excavate the tunnel.)

January 5, 1910
The tunnel of the Utah Metal Mining company was to be enlarged from its original 7 feet by 7 feet, to a uniform 8 feet by 10 feet. The tracks were to be relaid with 35-pound rail, and the tunnel would be entirely double-tracked, to allow trains to pass each other. The electric locomotives were being built. An electric "road" would be built from the tunnel to the International smelter upon completion of the tunnel. (Salt Lake Tribune, January 5, 1910)

September 28 1912
The tunnel face was 7,700 feet from the Tooele portal, and a second tunnel face was 1,900 feet from the Bingham portal. A distance of 1,600 feet separated the two tunnel faces. (Mojave County Miner, September 28, 1912)

December 1912
Utah Metal Mining completed a connection between its underground workings and those of Utah Consolidated, allowing Utah Metal to ship its ore over Utah Consolidated's aerial tramway to the International smelter, reducing its costs of transportation by 20 cents per ton. (The Mines Handbook, Volume 13, 1918, page 1385)

(This was when Utah Metal and Tunnel began using the Utah Consolidated aerial tramway to Tooele, instead of plans to use its tunnel to Middle Canyon to transport its ores. The tunnel was completed in June 1913, and remained in use as a drain tunnel.)

(This suggests that, although the drain tunnel to Middle Canyon was completed in June 1913, ore was never shipped from the Utah Metal tunnel portal in Middle Canyon, and that the tunnel was used almost solely as an important drain tunnel for the Bingham district.)

May 1, 1913
In its annual report to shareholders, the Utah Metal Mining Company reported that, as of April 12, there was 9,108 feet completed from the Tooele side, and 1,970 feet completed from the Bingham side, leaving 410 feet to be finished, making a finished length of 11,494 feet. The water flume in the tunnel was delivering 600,000 to 800,000 gallons per day. (Salt Lake Tribune, May 1, 1913)

June 22, 1913
"The Utah Metal tunnel was finished on June 22, 1913. It is 11,494 feet in length from the Bingham side to the Middle Canyon, or Tooele side of West Mountain." (Mineral Resources of the United States, USGS, 1913, page 404, citing the Utah Metal Mining Company statement to stockholders dated December 26, 1913)

June 23, 1913
The tunnel of the Utah Metal Mining Company was completed "late Monday afternoon," with a finished length of 11,474 feet. (Salt Lake Tribune, June 25, 1913; Wednesday)

July 13, 1913
The water being drained by the tunnel of Utah Metal Mining was measured as 750,000 gallons per day. A contract had been signed with Utah Copper Company to furnish 300,000 gallons per day for its steam boilers. The water for Utah Copper was to be delivered by gravity through a six-inch pipeline from the Tooele end, five miles to the various boilers of Utah Copper. The pipeline was to be completed during the coming fall months, and would be a "substantial" source of income for Utah Metal Mining. The pipeline was completed on December 4, 1913, and delivered 440,000 gallons per day to Utah Copper Company. (Salt Lake Tribune, July 13, 1913; July 19, 1913; January 13, 1914)

(A review of applicable USGS topographic maps indicates that the tunnel was essentially level between its two portals, at the Tooele end in Middle Canyon, and at the Bingham end in Carr Fork. Both portals are at 7,000 feet elevation. The Bingham portal was located in Carr Fork, about midway between the two highest dump line bridges of Utah Copper, at the 'J' level and the 'L' level.)

The following comes from Joseph Gates' 1960 thesis, "Hydrology of Middle Canyon."

[Page 30] In 1910 the Utah Metal Mining Company, which has since been absorbed by the Anaconda Company, sued the Middle Canyon Irrigation Company to obtain the right to use some of the upper canyon water for power generation during the driving of the tunnel from upper Middle Canyon to Carr Fork of Bingham Canyon The Third District Court in Tooele granted Utah Metals the right to use the water provided they returned the water to the Middle Canyon drainage after using it.

In 1914, the Third District Court decreed the division of Middle Canyon water among those holding water rights in the canyon, and stated that the Utah Metal Mining Company owned the water developed by their tunnel. The Kennecott Copper Corporation later bought the rights to the tunnel water from Utah Metals and traded these water rights to the Middle Canyon Irrigation Company for the right to take an equivalent amount of water from the White Pine and Hanson drainages of upper Middle Canyon and pipe it through the tunnel to Bingham Canyon. Kennecott has since made weekly water measurements that show that the amount of water contributed by the tunnel has generally exceeded the amount taken from the upper canyon.

[page 46] The Utah Metals tunnel discharges from 100 to 400 gallons per minute to the upper canyon channel. Records kept by the Kennecott Copper Corporation show that this gain in water is approximately balanced by the water piped from Middle Canyon through the tunnel to Bingham Canyon.

No ore was shipped by Utah Metal Mining Co. All income was derived from the sale of water. (USGS, Mineral Resources of the United States, 1914, Part 1, Metals, page 748)

"Besides controlling the Bingham-New Haven property, the Utah Metal & Tunnel Co. derives some revenue from water piped from Middle Canyon through its tunnel 12,000 feet long, extending from a point on Carr Fork, below the Bingham-New Haven mine, through the mountain range to Middle Canyon, on the Tooele County side. Good bodies of ore were opened on the course of this tunnel, near the Carr Fork end, shipments of which are made directly to the smelter by railway. The ore and concentrate from the Bingham-New Haven property are shipped to the International smelter over the Highland Boy mine aerial tramway. About 225 tons per day of Bingham-New Haven ore is concentrated in its mill." (USGS, Mineral Resources of the United States, 1915, Part 1 Metals, page 413)

May 14, 1914
Utah Metal and Tunnel Company was incorporated in Maine, as a reorganization of Utah Metal Mining Company. Owns 3,450 acres (3,311 acres mineral lands; 139 acres timber lands). The "Big Tunnel" was about 11,500 feet in length and includes "double track steel rail and affords direct connection and transportation facilities between the Bingham camp and the Tooele smelter." The sale of water from the tunnel brings the company about $20,000 per year. The Utah Metal mine started producing in April 1915. The Bingham New Haven mine had been producing since 1911. (Moody's Manual of Railroads and Corporations, 1922, Volume 2, page 1241)

June 24, 1914
Bondholders of Utah Metal Mining predecessor companies, Bingham Central, Bingham Standard, and Bingham Central Standard, were given a deadline of July 25, 1914 to turn in their bonds for redemption from the company's reserves. (Anaconda Standard, June 24, 1914)

November 1914
Utah Metal Mining Company was reorganized as Utah Metal & Tunnel Company. (Engineering & Mining Journal, November 14, 1914, p. 896)

November 1915
Utah Metal and Tunnel Company took control of Bingham-New Haven Copper and Gold Mining Company, as the settlement of a trespass and encroachment apex rights disagreement. The Bingham New Haven property was on 150 acres adjoining the Utah Metal property, and included a reducing mill. (Moody's Manual of Railroads and Corporations, 1922, Volume 2, page 1241)

November 12, 1915
The shareholders of the Utah Metal and Tunnel company voted unanimously to approve the acquisition of the Bingham-New Haven Copper Mining company. (Boston Globe, November 12, 1915)

(Read more about Bingham New Haven Copper and Gold Mining Company)

February 1, 1916
The following comes from the February 1, 1916 issue of the Deseret News newspaper.

According to a report from the east, it is the intention of the Utah Metal & Tunnel company, which has acquired the Bingham-New Haven property at Bingham to accumulate a working capital of $1,000,000 before starting the distribution of dividends to stockholders. Already the company has something like $800,000 in the treasury, and is accumulating a reserve at the rate of $l00,000 a month. The company is now in an excellent financial position.

The tramway at the Bingham-New Haven end of the property will be running shortly which will do away with the hauling of the ore by team to the Utah Apex spur, from the Utah Metal end of the mine. By the use of the tram at least 60 cents a ton in hauling can he saved.

Experiments aro being carried on for tho installation of the floatation process at the mill. This will allow a greater saving in the slimes it is believed and probably can be worked further back into tho mill to an advantage.

"The year 1918 was not profitable for the Utah Metal company. Regular mining operations ceased during the period of negotiations regarding apex rights, but expensive development work was necessary to open up and prove apex claims, which were also being claimed by the adjoining Utah Consolidated company. It was decided in December, 1918, to reach a settlement without having recourse to litigation. This settlement gave the Utah Metal & Tunnel Co. unrestricted right to follow all beddings found on the westerly part of the Bingham-New Haven ground downward extra-laterally, in and under the Utah Consolidated ground, without regard to apexes, and also full mining rights in a segment of ground lying between the boundary line separating the properties and the southerly stopes of the Utah Consolidated workings, a space about 2,000' long and 1,100' wide." (The Mines Handbook, 1918, page 1435)

January 30, 1919
As part of a trespass and encroachment apex rights settlement with Utah Consolidated, Utah Metal and Tunnel Co. received unlimited rights to "use Utah Consolidated's workings in carrying on its mining operations." The settlement also included the exchange of small portions of each company's surface boundary lines. (Salt Lake Mining Review, January 30, 1919)

The following comes from The Mines Handbook, 1922, page 1609 (unchanged from 1920 edition).

Property is extensive, covering 3,539 acres, including 139 acres of timber land in Bingham district, adjoining holdings of Utah Consolidated and Utah Copper (Boston Consolidated), and extending across the range to Middle Canyon on the Tooele side. The company drove a transportation and drainage tunnel, the Big Tunnel, 11,500 feet through and 2,300 feet below the crest of the range, from near Tooele to Bingham Canyon (Carr Fork).

Equipment includes electric power, air compressor, and a 450-ton mill with jigs, tables, vanners and ball mill for fine grinding.

Operations during 1919 and 1920 were largely confined to development work pending lower costs and higher metal prices, mainly in ground acquired from Utah Consolidated. Development during 1921 consisted of 4,311 feet of tunnels.

Development is by two main tunnels, one the Big Tunnel is a 11,490 feet transportation and drainage tunnel driven from the Tooele side. A second tunnel called No. 3 is 4,000 feet long and cuts through Bingham-New Haven ground.

Development of Bingham-New Haven ground includes tunnels with a blind shaft starting 900 feet from the portal of the lowest tunnel, there being a distance of 1,200 feet between the highest and lowest workings. Mine has several miles of workings with an aerial tram connecting with loading bins of the Copper Belt railroad.

(The item shows the distance of 1,200 feet vertical distance, but such distance would put the lower tunnel down near the junction of Carr Fork and the main Bingham Canyon. The upper tunnel was at approximately 7,500 feet elevation at the top of Carr Fork, and the canyon junction was at approximately 6,000 feet elevation.)

"More than 10,000 feet of development was done at the property of the Utah Metal & Tunnel Co. The property produced about 2,500 tons of mixed ore, chiefly lead-zinc ore treated at a custom flotation plant. First-class copper ore and lead ore and lead-zinc mill ore were carried 4-1/2 miles to International by an aerial tramway. In addition to the work done by the company, 2,638 feet of development was done by the Utah-Delaware Mining Co. in leased ground." (USGS, Mineral Resources of the United States, 1926, Part 1, Metals, page 501)

"The ore output of the Utah Metal & Tunnel Co. was approximately five times that of 1926. Shipments consisted of more than 1,000 tons of first-class copper ore and lead ore marketed for smelting and about 10,000 tons of lead-zinc ore which was carried by an aerial tramway to International for milling. Development in 1927 consisted of 4,357 feet of work as compared with 10,000 feet in 1926." (USGS, Mineral Resources of the United States, 1927, Part 1, Metals, page 666)

July 1936
U. S. Smelting Refining and Mining Company took a 20-year lease on the Utah Metal and Tunnel Co. property in July 1936. (Salt Lake Tribune, May 18, 1941)

Utah Tunnel and Mines sold its surface and water rights to Utah Copper. (George M. Addy, "The Economic And Social History Of Bingham Canyon, Utah", BYU, 1949, page 73)

(The sale of water rights would include the flow from the Utah Metals tunnel in Middle Canyon.)

"This property was absorbed by the National Tunnel and Mines company in 1944 but no production has taken place." (George M. Addy, "The Economic And Social History Of Bingham Canyon, Utah", BYU, 1949, page 73)

March 20, 1944
The shareholders of National Tunnel and Mines Company, and of Utah Metal and Tunnel Company, met in simultaneous meetings in Portland, Maine, to vote of a proposed merger of the two companies. The boards of each company had already signed the contract to merge the companies. (Deseret News, March 10, 1944)


Bingham Haulage and Drain Tunnels -- Shows the tunnel of the Utah Metal and Tunnel Co.