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The most complete guide to Southern Nevada's mining history.
Dawn Mine. Goodsprings, Nevada.
USGS Full Report
Primary Mining: Lead, Zinc
Secondary Mining: Silver
Dawn Mine is located South of Las Vegas, Nevada. Nearest towns are Jean, Nevada, Goodsprings, Nevada and Sandy Valley, Nevada. Primary mining in the area included: copper, lead, silver, gold and zinc.
Dawn Mine was the very first mine we came across in Nevada. There isn't much to see from the exterior. A few prospects and occurences and one main shaft make up the inner workings. None of which are accessible anymore because of the iron bat gates. We've returned to this mine several times because it's along the easiest route to the Ninety Nine Mine cabin.
As far as we've been able to research, these are the only pictures of the mine interior available anywhere. Over the years, we've noticed several attempts by others to break through the gates. Please, do not damage or alter the mine barriers. Building the bat gates is time consuming and expensive. I don't care to see mine closures, but if people damage the gates to gain entry, those in charge may decide that blasting or foam filling the mine is more effective and cheaper.
The main incline shaft followed a thin vein of lead between fault layers. The host ore appeared to be a mix of Galena, Hydrozincite, and Calamine. Very few stopes throughout the incline and the height of the mine was less than three feet in some areas. At the bottom, the mine leveled about 10 feet and abruptly ended.
Most interesting in this mine was the heavy use of rock dusting. Light colored rock like limestone or gypsum was crushed to a fine powder. The back (ceiling) and ribs (sides) of the mine were sprayed with water and an ore cart carrying an air bellowing device would move along the ore cart track flooding the mine with the dusted rock which would adhere to the mine walls. This process was repeated several times until a desired dust thickness was achieved. The purpose of this was to use rock dust to prevent rock dust explosions in coal mines. Since many of the pioneering miners to this area were eastern coal miners, they applied techniques familiar to them to hard rock mining in this area.