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The most complete guide to Southern Nevada's mining history.
Jubilee Mine. Nelson, Nevada.
USGS Full Report
Primary Mining: Gold, Silver
Secondary Mining: Lead, Zinc, Copper
Jubilee 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.
Structurally, Jubilee Mine is one of the most beautiful mines in the area. Sadly, with it being so close to the road and easily accessible, it is covered in graffiti and garbage is strewn throughout. It's nowhere near the largest mine we've seen, but excluding modern hard rock mines, this has the largest portals we've come across.
Since it is so close to pavement, it's become a popular tourist stop. Tourists see vehicles parked out front and treat it as any other roadside attraction. With no concern for safety, they just wander around underground dressed as any tourist you might see at any amusement park. This mine has more ledges and fall hazards than most mines. I've been near the lowest water level and had a large group with children walk by me with zero safety equipment. Most with their only source of light being their cell phones.
Many who describe this mine often comment that the mine has little depth. While true that the current areas underground give the impression of a shallow mine, they aren't taking into account what the mine once was. If you look at the image above, take note of our Jeep at about 1:00 of center and use it to reference the size of the row of portals. It becomes more impressive when you realize the area from where that image was taken all the way to and past our Jeep was all part of the mine interior.
When a large body of ore is discovered, an attempt is made to remove as much as possible. The empty space created is called a "stope" which can resemble a cavern. When the stopes become too wide, columns are left to support the weight from above. When a stope breaches the surface, it becomes an "open stope". You can see the remnants of a column in the center of the image. The row of portals seen in the image above are actually columns from before the open stope.
At its deepest level this mine is flooded. We were hoping this flooded level would open up to other areas of the mine, but the water depth depends on the rainfall and river water table. That continuation of the shaft was called a "sump" built to collect water from rain or ground seepage.