TIP TOP MINE
October 26-29, 1917
DISTRICT: Tip Top
PROPERTIES: Tip Top Heath, Tip Top Consolidated. Carlisle & Ensign.
LOCATION: 34 miles south of Turkey Creek R.R. (Cleator). Siding by wagon road of which several miles have been destroyed by cloud bursts. Now accessible by 12 mile trail, mostly rough, from Canon. Elevation of camp 2,600. Domestic water from wells & Creek.
OWNERS & OPERATORS: Tip Top Heath Mining & Milling Co. own 3 claims; Tip Top Consolidated Co. 7 claims; Ensign & Carlisle, 2 claims and 2 fractions. Carlisle hold mortgage on Tip Top Heath property for about $20,000.00 All interests are consolidated in an option to W. V. DeCamp. Idle exception for two men doing assessment work on the Tip claim.
NOTES: Country rock is pegmatite, sometimes gneissic in structure, which has intruded per-Combrian mioa schist. Blocks and bands of schist are included in the pegmatite, and some have been more or less completely absorbed. The pegmatite in contact with the schist is generally of finer texture than the main mass, no doubt as a result of cooling more rapidly. Local miners speak of "porphyry" in the ore bodies, but this appears to be the finer grained pegmatite and not a separate intrusion. A fractured zone with a general strike NE – SW and dipping NW has followed lines of least resistance between pegmatite and schist and the narrow fissures have been filled with silver and tungsten bearing quartz, the schist appearing on either wall, so that local miners consider schist favorable for ore. Tow parallel narrow quartz filled fissures, about 20’ apart on the surface are called the hanging and foot wall veins, prospectively. They are said to come together in depth on the 400' level. The vein quartz is distinguished from the quartz in the main mass of the pegmatite by its banded structure and cavities sometimes filled with quartz crystals. In the bands and seams of the vein quartz antimonial silver, stephanite and pyrargyrite (brittle & ruby silver), occur in association with tungsten minerals, chiefly wolframite. Bunches of zinc blend show up as crystals in quartz occasionally. Native and horn silver are said to have been found on the surface. While there are no authentic records available, there is some evidence that the mine produced nearly two million dollars worth of silver between 1875 and 1883.
The Original workings were on the South Top claim, but the pay ore appears to have extended only a few feet from the portals of the adits on this, the S W side, of the gulch and to have also ceased in depth in an un-timbered shaft, said to by 80’ deep, at the mouth of the lowest adit. On the N E side of the gulch, the mine workings are reached by an adit called the 200' level, 1,275’ long, and connected with the main shaft, which is located about 400’ from the North end of the Tip Top claim and is said to be 800’ deep. Water stands in the stands a little below the 200' level and the main shaft. From a point 200’ from the portal of the 200' level, more or less stopping has been done and some ground left for a length of 600’ This six hundred feet is all called a pay shoot, but my impression is that the ore occurred in high grade bunches, and that the vein did not average over a foot in width, although I say one place where the vein was three feet wide.
At various time "Chloriders" have worked over the stopes from the 300' level up, as well as the surface dumps and it may be presumed that most of the obviously high grade accessible ore has been removed. A sample across 16" of quartz in the breast of the 200' level assayed (H 351) silver 0.38 oz; Tungstic Acid, trace. A sample across 26" in the stope, 10’ S W of No 4 chute (one of two chutes now open) assayed (H 352) Silver 4.50 oz; Zinc 0.7%; Tungstic Acid, Trace. The manway here leads to the 100' level, above which the ore has been mostly stoped. At the mouth, a sample across the whole 5 feet belt of intercalated quartz pegmatite and schist assayed (H 350) Solver 3.70 oz: Zinc 1.1%; Tungstic Acid, nil. It is hardly possible to estimate the amount of unbroken ground or stope filling as even the ground above water in only partly accessible.
It is said that no ore was found in the main shaft above the 200' level. The dump from this shaft must also contain considerable waste from development work.