Burgin Mine in Tintic

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After the mid-1990s, Chief Consolidated Mining Corp. had tried various methods of leases and joint ventures to obtain funding that would allow mining to resume from its properties east of Eureka. There were proposals to re-start mining at the Burgin and Trixie mines, along with the concentrator built by Kennecott during the 1969-1978 lease of the property. In March 2008, it looked like some progress was being made when Andover Mining Corp. acquired 65 percent of Chief Consolidated, with the main asset being 16,000 acres of land near Eureka, Utah. Chief Consolidated had been working to develop the Burgin Mine (silver, plus lead and zinc) and the Trixie Mine (gold, silver, and copper). There were multiple feasibility studies, and each indicated high initial costs and varying degrees of success, depending on the changing prices of metals. The costs of its proposals and studies in hopes of a resumption of mining, were a severe drain on Andover's assets. In August 2013, Andover declared bankruptcy, and in February 2014, the company's attempt to reorganize failed and it was ordered to liquidate its assets.

The following comes from USGS Profession Paper 1024, published in 1979.

Prospecting was first undertaken in East Tintic in 1870; although small quantities of ore were produced in 1899 and from 1909 to 1913, the district first achieved prominence in 1916 with the discovery of the totally concealed Central ore body of the Tintic Standard mine. Within a few years of this discovery, the Tintic Standard became one of the most productive silver mines in the world. Additional discoveries of important concealed ore deposits have continued to be made in the district, including the North Lily mine in 1927, the Eureka Lilly and Eureka Standard mines in 1928, the Burgin mine in 1958, and the Trixie mine in 1969.

To December 31, 1975, the East Tintic mining district has yielded approximately 4.83 million short tons (4.38 million tonnes) of silver, gold, and base-metal ores, largely from concealed deposits overlain by many hundreds of feet of barren rocks. These ores have a gross valuation of approximately $231 million. The district first achieved prominence in 1916 with the discovery of the ore bodies of the Tintic Standard mine, which for a time was the world's richest silver producer (Lindgren, 1933, p. 588). By 1946 this deposit and a number of other deposits discovered and developed nearby had been exhausted, and the district became dormant.

A dramatic revival of, mining activities in the East Tintic district began in 1956 after the discovery and subsequent development of the concealed Burgin ore bodies in an area 1 mile (1.6 km) southeast of the Tintic Standard that previously had been only superficially prospected. As in the earlier history of the district, the Burgin development has led to the discovery of other concealed deposits, focusing international attention on the revitalization of a nearly abandoned mining district by the application of geologic and geochemical techniques.

Burgin Mine

(Portions of the following come from a November 2005 Chief Consolidated filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.)

Interest in what would later become the Burgin mine started with the Newmont Mining Company just after World War II. Newmont started exploration and development work from their Apex Standard No.2 shaft. Their lack of success led to a termination of the work in 1948, after which the U. S. Geologic Survey took an interest and began formal geologic exploration of the region.

Bear Creek Mining Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Kennecott Copper, was active in the district at the time. Their interest extended to the Chief Oxide Zone (the formal name for the region where the Burgin is located). Their initial work was managed by Mr. William Burgin. Mr. Burgin died in an airplane crash in 1955 and the eventual Chief Oxide Zone discovery was named in his honour. In 1957 what is now the Burgin No.1 shaft was sunk some 50 feet east of the Chief Oxide shaft and surface drilling commenced. Centennial Development Company, a contractor working for Kennecott, collared the shaft on January 30, 1957 and reached the water table some 1110 feet below on July 20, 1957. The 1050 level was established approximately 20 feet above the water level and an exploratory cross-cut was sent off in a westerly direction. After tunneling for 1300 feet, an important fault and vein of high value lead-zinc-silver ore was discovered.

Kennecott continued exploration to determine the limits of the newly discovered ore veins, and the projected reserves exceeded expectations. "A production decision was made in 1963. The plan called for 75 tons per day of direct shipping ore initially, rising to full production of 500 tons per day by 1965." In 1965, at the 1330-foot level, an inflow of water at 140 degrees F, with a flow of 1400 gallons per minute was encountered. Despite intensive dewatering attempts, the flow was not stopped. The problem of water in the Burgin mine continues to today.

Kennecott produced it first ore from the Burgin mine in June 1963. (Deseret News, September 18, 1963)

During 1966, a 500 ton per day flotation concentrator was authorized and installed at the Burgin Mine. This mill was under construction prior to a miner's strike in July 1967 and was completed shortly after the strike was over in April 1968. This strike was also a turning point in the negative history of the mine. During the strike, water flow increased to 4400 gallons per minute, and the limited personnel on site were not able to keep ahead of this increased flow. The damage to the working areas of the mine was significant. Mining continued, from areas not affected by the unsafe conditions due to high water levels. The production was not sufficient for the economic operation of the concentrating mill, which was designed to operate at 800 tons per day. Production in 1970-1974 was as follows: (1970) 168,000 tons mined, about 655 tons per day; (1971) 140,000 tons mines, about 545 tons per day; (1972) 203,000 tons mined, about 815 tons per day; (1973) 197,000 tons mined, about 785 tons per day; (1974) 162,000 tons mined, about 650 tons per day. In 1975 and 1976, production continued to fall, as did the value of the ore, with high-value ore only being available in the high-water and unsafe areas. Although the mine held an excess of one million tons of high-value ore in proven reserves, it was all below the 1300-foot water level. In 1977, the decision was made to shut down the mine.

Dewatering of the Burgin mine was by use of of one surface well, and another well at the 1200-foot level. In 1967 the flow was 4400 gallons per minute. In 1969, the flow was 5200 gallons per minute. The flow continued to increase, and in 1970 the flow was 10,000 gallons per minute of mildly saline water that was 150 degrees F. In the 1980s the flow was reported as an average of 12,400 gallons per day. Current [2017] planning for economic operations is to accommodate up to 22,400 gallons per day.  

The Burgin Mine and Concentrator was operated by Bear Creek Mining Co., a subsidiary of Kennecott Copper Corporation, from 1963 to July 1978. They produced separate lead and zinc concentrates by flotation from both sulphide and oxide ores. Ore was processed at rates which varied from 400 to 900 tons per day depending upon type of ore and availability of the mine and plant. The second ball mill was added in June 1975 in order to raise milling capacity from 500 tons per day, to 900 tons per day.

When opened in 1958, the Burgin mine was owned by the Chief Consolidated Mining Co., and leased by Chief to Kennecott. Kennecott developed its extraction operations using two new shafts, known as Burgin No. 1 and Burgin No. 2. In 1969 Kennecott opened the nearby Trixie mine, leasing the location from South Standard Mining Co. Kennecott gave up the two leases in mid 1978 due to high costs, including pumping to fight the increasing water levels in the mines.

In November 1982, Chief Consolidated leased the Burgin mine to the Sunshine Mining Co., which centered on the nearby historic Apex No. 2 shaft. Operations began in November 1982 with Sunshine selling ores to Kennecott as smelter flux for its large smelter at Garfield on the south shore of Great Salt Lake. A heap-leach gold mine was also opened at Burgin, but the entire mine was closed again in 1985.

Sunshine ended its lease of the Burgin mine in 1992, and in 1996 Chief Consolidated sold 25 percent interest in the Burgin mine to Tintic Utah Metals, a jointly held subsidiary of Chief Consolidated Mining Co., and Korea Zinc Company (Young Poong Corporation). As of 2008, the Burgin mine remained closed because it was still flooded.

In 1996, Chief Consolidated, through a new subsidiary called Chief Gold, purchased the Trixie mine and the 2200 acres it was located on, from South Standard Mining Co. In 2001, Chief Consolidated resumed mining operations in the Trixie mine, processing the ore at its nearby Burgin mill. During early 2002 operations in the Trixie mine were stopped due to unsafe conditions.

As of late 2000, Tintic Utah Metals continued to process the dumps from the Trixie mine in its refurbished Burgin mill. The mill had been refurbished over a multi-year time period at a cost of $1.9 million to include the processing of gold and silver, in addition to its original lead and zinc capabilities.

In 2005, after the original Chief Consolidated property within the Town of Eureka, approximately three miles west of the Burgin mine, was added to the EPA's National Priorities List of polluted "Superfund" sites in 2001, the EPA and Chief Consolidated reached a $60 million cleanup agreement.

(Read more about the EPA cleanup, below.)

In March 2008, Canadian investor Andover Ventures acquired 65 percent of Chief Consolidated from Genco Resources for about $5 million. The chief asset of Chief Consolidated Mining was 16,000 acres of land near Eureka, Utah, that the company hoped would yield valuable minerals. The company has been working to develop the Burgin Mine (silver, plus lead and zinc) and the Trixie Mine (gold, silver, and copper). Environmental cleanup obligations associated with earlier mining operations on the property have delayed the company's progress.

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, Mar 14, 2008 -- Genco Resources Ltd., announced today it has made a strategic investment in the ownership of two formerly producing silver-gold mines, Burgin Mine and Trixie Mine, and a concentrator plant, in Utah owned by Chief Consolidated Mining Company.

Genco's acquisition was made through the purchase of approximately 65% of the outstanding shares of Chief, a US publicly traded company based in Eureka, Utah incorporated in 1909, from Chief's largest shareholder, Dimeling, Schreiber & Park Reorganization Fund II, L.P. of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for a purchase price of approximately USD ($) 4.9 million.

Genco has entered into negotiations with Andover for the sale of all or part of its investment in Chief and its assets. Any agreement will be reached through the negotiations of independent board committees. It is contemplated that the transaction will involve the issuance of shares of Andover and a silver production royalty over all of Andover's properties, including its Sun polymetallic property in Alaska, with Genco having back-in rights and rights of first refusal over the properties and a pre-emptive right to maintain its pro rata share ownership.

In its filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Chief disclosed the following. Chief owns or controls approximately 16,000 acres of mining land in Utah and Juab counties in Utah. These properties include:

  • The Burgin Mine, held by Chief's 75% owned subsidiary Tintic Utah Metals, LLC, a Colorado limited liability company
  • The Trixie Mine, held by Chief's 100% owned subsidiary Chief Gold Mines, Inc., a Delaware corporation.
  • Of these 16,000 acres, approximately 6,000 acres are subject to being sold, as discussed below, pursuant to a Consent Decree with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Neither mine is currently in production.

In September 2008, in a development separate from the Andover interest mentioned above, Chief Consolidated and the U.S. subsidiary of Anglo American formed a joint venture to develop the porphyry copper, gold, and molybdenum property in the immediate vicinity of the old Trixie, Burgin, Iron King and Eureka Standard properties. The joint venture was 55% Chief ownership, and 45% Anglo American. Included in the deal was the sale of Korea Zinc's 25 percent interest in the Burgin mine to the Chief company. (Reuters, September 10, 2008)

In late May 2009, Anglo American withdrew its interest in the Big Hill joint venture, and in August 2010, Rio Tinto's Kennecott Exploration subsidiary took up the same 45% interest in the Big Hill project. Exploratory drilling commenced in August 2011.

By July 2013, Andover held 83.5% ownership of Chief Consolidated, and its associated subsidiaries.

Tintic Utah

(75% owned subsidiary of Chief Consolidated)

Tintic Utah was organized in 1996 under the Colorado Limited Liability Company Act as a joint venture for the development of properties that Chief contributed to Tintic Utah. Pursuant to the terms of the joint venture, Chief holds a 75% interest and Korea Zinc Co. Ltd. holds a 25% interest.

The Burgin Mine, located in the East Tintic Mining District of Utah, is owned by Tintic Utah.

The Burgin Mine had previously been leased by Chief to Kennecott Corporation. It developed various mining shafts and other capital improvements previously on the properties, including underground access by means of the Apex Number 2 Shaft. After the Burgin Mine was removed from the Unit Lease in 1978, Chief leased the Burgin Mine to the Sunshine Mining Company in 1980. Sunshine rehabilitated the Apex Shaft, together with the connecting drifts and drill stations, at a cost of approximately $6 million. The Burgin Mine was returned to Chief in 1992.

The Burgin Mine is not currently in production. Chief cannot proceed with production at the mine unless it can dewater the mine.

Tintic Utah also holds the rights to the concentrating mill (sometimes referred to as the concentrator). The concentrating mill was built by Kennecott when it was mining from the Burgin Mine under its lease.

The concentrator, approximately 24,000 square feet in size, was built to process up to 1,200 tons of lead and zinc ore per day. Tintic Utah rehabilitated the concentrator over a several year period to include a precious metals (gold and silver) flow sheet. The total cost of the renovation was approximately USD ($) 1,900,000.

Trixie Mine

The Trixie Mine was a fully permitted and bonded gold mine. During its last quarter of production in February 2002, the Trixie Mine processed 7,808 tons of ore and produced some 4,460 ounces of gold representing over US$500/ton rock. The total mining and milling cost at that time was US$89 per ton, processed. (InvestorsHub.com, February 6, 2011)

The Trixie shaft extends to a depth of some 1,300 ft and was active from 1969 to 1992. Operators initially were, Kennecott Mining Company, followed for the last nine years by Sunshine Mining Company. During its life the Trixie produced a reported 713,478 tons of ore, which was directly shipped (without concentration) to the Bingham smelter in Utah for smelter flux. Metals produced were 150,048 ounces of gold and 4,670,289 ounces of silver. This ore was contained in the vertical interval from the 1,300 ft level to the 750 ft level. On March 28, 2002, a serious cave-in at the 610 Stope, put an end to the mining. (Chief Consolidated Mining Co. Prospect, November 2005; via LawInsider.com)

Chief Gold

(100% owned subsidiary of Chief Consolidated)

Chief Gold was formed to enter into a transaction with South Standard Mining Company and to hold certain of Chief's mining property in the East Tintic District of Utah. As a result of the merger of South Standard into Chief Gold in 1996, Chief Gold owns 2,200 acres of patented mining properties located in the East Tintic District of Utah, including the Trixie Mine.

The Trixie Mine is located 1.5 miles from Tintic Utah's concentrating mill.

Chief began mining ore from the Trixie Mine in 2001, and began processing ore at the concentrating mill in January 2002. In March 2002, Chief encountered unstable mining conditions in the Trixie Mine and suspended mining and processing operations. Due to past safety conditions at the Trixie Mine, Chief is not currently operating the mine.

EPA Settlement

During 2001, the EPA placed Eureka Mills Superfund Site on the 'National Priorities List'. According to the EPA, samples indicate that, approximately 150 acres of soil in the Town of Eureka, Utah, the location of Chief's principal executive offices and operations, were contaminated with lead and, to a lesser extent, arsenic.

In February 2005, Chief agreed to a judgment and Consent Decree against it by the EPA in the amount of $60 million which will remain in effect until it has complied with all the requirements thereof. However, as explained below, such judgment will be satisfied by Chief complying with its material obligations under the Decree, namely:

- providing an annual report to the EPA each year for five years listing all insurance claims, the actions it is taking to recover the amounts and any recovery obtained until all such claims are exhausted;

- using its best efforts to sell its property, other than any geologically prospective properties and the Burgin and Trixie Mines, and upon the sale of any such property, paying to the EPA 100% of the net sales proceeds up to $350,000 and 50% thereafter;

- paying the EPA 15% of Chief's net income in excess of $2 million during any calendar year until February 2010; and

- paying the EPA 15% of any proceeds in excess of $2 million from a sale of Chief or all or substantially all of its assets.

The agreement and consent decree was modified in May 2010 to allow Chief Consolidated to pay its settlement fees in five annual payments of $225,000. The original consent decree required that Chief Consolidated pay $60 million in damages and cleanup. But by 2010, with Andover as its controlling company, the mining company had requested a re-negotiation due to the financial condition of the company.

Recent Developments

The region surrounding the Burgin and Trixie mines have laid dormant since 1978 and 2002, respectively. During 2007, the Chief Consolidated company completely rewrote the mining and reclamation plans to support the needed permits to dewater the mines and begin production. Protests, negotiations and changes to the plans delayed the permits until early 2008 when Andover became involved.

With the original Burgin mine still suffering from high water problems, there has been much exploration of adjacent ore bodies. The following updates include efforts to develop what is known as the Burgin Extension mine, which is separate and not connected with the old Burgin mine. The Burgin Extension mine was planned to extract ore by way of a new production shaft, as well as rehabilitating the historic Apex No. 2 shaft, which dates from the original exploration work by the Apex Standard company in the 1920s.

In October 2012 Chief Consolidated

October 2012
From NASDAQ, October 22, 2012:

Andover Mining Corporation announced today that Chief Consolidated Mining Company, approximately 83.5% owned by Andover, has agreed in principle to enter into an Earn-In and Joint Venture Agreement with the Enirgi Group Corporation to develop, permit and mine the Burgin Mine Complex deposits (a Silver-Lead-Zinc rich massive sulfide system) located on a part of Chief's land holdings in the East Tintic Mining District, Utah.

Under the proposed terms of the Joint Venture Agreement, Enirgi would develop the project through prefeasibility study, feasibility study and into production by providing the capital to complete the studies. Following these steps and the arrangement of project financing for the mine and facilities development, Enirgi would earn 51% in the Burgin Complex. Chief would retain 49%.

February 12, 2014
Andover Mining Corp., which filed a notice on August 22, 2013, of intention to reorganize, was deemed bankrupt on February 12, 2014, under the provisions of Canada's Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. After a number of extensions were granted by the Supreme Court of British Columbia, the company filed a proposal with its creditors on January 22, 2014. Abakhan & Associates Inc. was named as trustee in the proposal. On February 12, 2014, the proposal failed because it did not receive requisite creditor approval. As a result, the company was deemed bankrupt, and the company's assets will be liquidated. (Stockwatch.com, February 13, 2014)

(In 2007 Andover Mining Corp. had also purchased potential mining properties in northern Alaska, near the town of Ambler, Alaska. The company had built a camp and a 1,700-feet landing strip, since air was the only access to the property.)

January 13, 2015
The bankruptcy assets of Andover were sold to its partner in the Chief Consolidated joint venture, Enirgi Group, after the sales and purchase agreement was signed on December 4, 2014. (Documents on file with Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining)

November 13, 2015
Enirgi Group bought controlling interest in LeadFX, the new company formed by the consolidation of the former Invernia, Inc., and GeoZone Exploration, Ltd. At the time of the consolidation, GeoZone owned 83.5% of Chief Consolidated Mining Co., which owned 14,112 acres of land (including approximately 13,166 acres of patented mining claims) in the East Tintic Mining District in Utah County and Juab County, Utah, USA.

The following was extracted from a LeadFX press release dated August 31, 2015.

The Chief properties include patented and unpatented mining claims that hold prospective subsurface lead, silver, zinc, copper and gold deposits, and prospective surface industrial minerals such as silica, limestone, clays, calcium carbonate and iron ore, along with aggregates (sand and gravel).

Chief currently has no active mining operations. Chief's near-term commercial focus is to develop the at-surface industrial minerals and aggregates deposits potential of its properties with a medium to longer term focus on developing base and precious metal mining from its other properties.

The Burgin Mine is located in the East Tintic Mining District, Utah, about 60 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah. The Burgin Mine has not been in operation since 1978. Among other things, any plan to re-start the Burgin Mine would be subject to significant capital investment to dewater the Burgin Mine. The Trixie Mine is located approximately 1.5 miles from the Burgin Mine's concentrating mill. The Trixie Mine is a gold-silver mine and was in production from late 2001 until closure in March 2002 due to unstable mining conditions. The Trixie Mine has not operated since 2002.

November 20, 2017
LeadFX announced on November 20, 2017, from its headquarters in Perth, Australia, of potential activity at its Burgin mine at Tintic.

North American lead assets
The Company has a majority ownership position in Chief Consolidated Mining Company, and Chief owns mining properties in the State of Utah, United States. Chief has entered into an agreement with the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining to extend the mining permits on properties owned by Chief and associated with the historic Burgin mines in the Tintic District in Utah. The Company is considering ways to monetize or divest its investments in the region. LeadFX has received expressions of interest from a number of parties to participate in the future development plans for the properties. In the week beginning November 6, 2017 the Company hosted some of these parties on site as they undertook initial due diligence.

About LeadFX
LeadFX is an Australian based mining company focused on the development of its lead and lead-silver projects located in Australia and North America. The Company's primary undertaking is the Paroo Station lead mine. The Paroo Station lead mine is located 30km west of the town of Wiluna in Western Australia. The Company also owns an 83.5% interest in the Burgin mines and surrounding land claims in the Tintic mining district 60 miles south-east of Salt Lake City, Utah and exploration interests in the Amber Mineral belt in Alaska.

July 30, 2018
The following was extracted from a LeadFX press release dated July 30, 2018:

LeadFX Inc. today announced it has signed definitive documentation to sell its indirect equity and debt interests in Chief Consolidated Mining Company.

Chief owns approximately 14,000 acres of land, of which approximately 13,000 acres are patented mining claims, in the Main Tintic and East Tintic Mining District, located across Utah County and Juab County, Utah, USA. The district is about 60 miles south of Salt Lake City near the town of Eureka.

The Chief properties contain three potential primary mineral projects: (i) the prospective lead, silver, gold and zinc deposits and related infrastructure surrounding the former operating Burgin Mine; (ii) the prospective gold and silver deposit and related infrastructure surrounding the former operating Trixie Mine; and (iii) the prospective mining or quarrying of industrial minerals and aggregates (namely, silica and limestone).

The Company's interests are being sold to companies associated with Riverfield Capital, a mining, investment and capital markets business operated by Mr. Geoff Stanley.

October 3, 2018
The sale of Chief Consolidated to Riverfield Capital follows a decision on October 3, 2018 by LeadFX shareholders to take the company private. The sale was to be for US$3.5 million, part paid on December 5, 2018, and part paid on December 5, 2019.

April 6, 2021
As of April 6, 2021, the Trixie, Eureka Standard, and North Lily mines were being reopened by the newly organized Tintic Metals LLC, a joint venture of IG Tintic LLC (75%; owner-operator) with minority partner Chief Consolidated Mining Company (25%). IG Tintic LLC is a U. S. affiliate of larger international IG Global Group. (Tintic Metals LLC; broken link: https://www.tinticmetals.com)

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