The Buel & Bateman Smelter

This page was last updated on April 16, 2019.

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Buel & Bateman Smelting Works - Bingham

Taken from

(Mirrored without permission; noted as an unsafe site)

Brief history

In the fall of 1870, following an extensive examination of the mining prospects and ore found in Bingham Canyon, experienced mining man Col. D. E. Buel in partnership Mr. Bateman began the process of creating what would come to be known as the Buel & Bateman Smelting Works in Bingham Canyon. The plan of the smelter was based on the Little Cottonwood smelter, erected previously by the pair. (1)

Ordering and importing from overseas all the machinery needed, the smelter and its equipment were constructed and set in working order that winter season of 1870-71. in all, It would be less than 90 days until the furnaces were lit and the smelting process begun. By February 15, 1871, the process would be proven successful, and the work of treating Bingham Canyon ores "to advantage and profit" began in ernest.

By May, five to six wagons a day made runs from the smelting works to Salt Lake City, each one loaded with 20 to 22 bars of heavy lead or silver bullion. On the return trips, bringing the wood, coal, and other supplies needed to keep the smelter operating. (2)

The smelter at Bingham, along with its sister smelter at Little Cottonwood had a combined capacity of nearly 60 tons. They were said to be "perfect in their appointments, ran more consistently, and produced more bullion that any other plants in the Territory in 1872." (3)

The success of the Buel & Bateman works or Utah Silver Mining Company Works (4) as it was later known, would help grow Bingham in it's early days. Though eventually replaced by newer and more efficient processes, the works, without a doubt, helped bring attention to the region and start Bingham Canyon on its path to becoming one of the greatest mining locations in the world.



(1) "The Mines Of The West", The Western Galaxy, Vol. 1 No. 1 - March 1888 (p.4) - "Tullidge"

(2) "Bingham Canyon", Salt Lake Herald, 5.21.1871, (p.2) - "Observer"

(3) "Early Mining & Smelting South of Salt Lake City", AX-I-DENT-AX, Vol. 16 No. 5 - May 1931 (p.5) - "Edgar M. Ledyard"

(4) "Early Mining & Smelting South of Salt Lake City", AX-I-DENT-AX, Vol. 16 No. 5 - May 1931 (p.5) - "Edgar M. Ledyard"