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The most complete guide to Southern Nevada's mining history.
Carnation Mine. Nelson, Nevada.
USGS Full Report
Primary Mining: Gold
Secondary Mining: Silver
Carnation Mine is located South East of Las Vegas, Nevada. Nearest town is Nelson, Nevada. Primary mining in the area included: gold, silver, lead, copper and zinc.
This mine followed a wide fault well below the surface. Some areas of this mine have been stoped far too wide and there are signs of collapse throughout. Each year we return, more of the back (ceiling) is on the floor. Complete collapse of this mine is imminent. There isn't much more to see than what can be seen in the gallery below. Don't risk it. Best to stay clear of this one.
This is a popular spot for metal detecting. Likely, because this was a known producer of gold and has easy access. Any slow moving car can bring you to within short walking distance of this mine. I've spoken to a few prospectors with metal detectors and none have found more than junk metals. If you are detecting for gold, it's very unlikely you'll find any. What we have in southern Nevada is a very fine, flour gold that even the best detectors will miss. If you're looking for artifacts, Carnation Mine is just a good a spot as any, but since so many use this area for shooting, you'll find mostly lead bullets and copper jacket.
There is a steel door securing one of the upper portals. Over the years, I've seen this door marked as "Private Property" just as often as it was not. Sign goes up. When we return, the sign is gone. I've been told that one of the locals in nearby Nelson has been placing "Private Property" signs in the area to keep tourists out. According to the Clark County Assessors Office, this property is under BLM management and considered public use land.
I've seen no other signs marking ownership with the exception of the nearby Eldorado Gold Property which appears to be an active mining operation. There are active mines in and around the Nelson area. Most have clearly marked boundaries or have obvious work in progress. If posted, be courteous and respect property rights.
There are images of what is behind the steel door in the gallery below. There is a concrete slab measuring about 3 feet wide and 8 feet long. The slab appears to be capped and not a solid piece. The purpose of that room and slab depends on who you ask.
I've heard the room was used to house equipment to measure seismic activity. Rock is constantly moving and shifting within a mine, so unless they were measuring seismic activity specifically for this mine, accuracy would be affected.
I've also read this room was used as part of a larger magnetic anomaly survey. If such was the purpose, a magnetometer would have been placed there for static readings of magnetic intensity. These magnetic fields would vary depending on the magnetic properties of the unearthed minerals. Using this data in combination with aeromagnetic survey data, a geophysicist could use that information to infer the shape, depth and properties of the rock bodies responsible for the anomalies. I've found a USGS scientific data sheet attached to this mines full report in support of these studies.
The best story I heard was that the concrete slab was a burial crypt because all good mines should have a good ghost story.