The most complete guide to Southern Nevada's mining history.
Sultan Mine. Goodsprings, Nevada.
USGS Full Report
Primary Mining: Zinc
Secondary Mining: Silver, Lead, Gold, Copper
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Sultan 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.
Sultan Mine is one of the more impressive mines in Goodsprings, Nevada. There are tailings from the valley almost to the top of the mountain. This place will always be special to us because it was one of the first large mines we came across entirely by accident. It was one of those rare times where we rounded a trail and felt a sense of discovery.
There are some structures unique to this mine like a wide stope with a bridge spanning one side to the other. On the other side of the stope is a deep incline shaft leading to lower levels. On another end of the mine is a series of ladders heading up to two other levels. Above ground and well above the main portal is an open stope. Within the open stope is another adit we have yet to explore. You could go through a glossary list of mining features and find examples of each at Sultan Mine.
Between 2012 and 2013, the rains drastically changed the terrain. There was a time when you would be able to drive up to the main mine portal, but flooding in the area dug deep channels through the approach trail. The connecting trail is now 10+ feet lower than the upper trail. 2014 had some extremely rainy months and this mine now looks very different from the image above.
Some of the mine interior was also changed by the rain. The open stope above the main portal level works like a funnel when it rains, but we've never seen it as bad as our last visit. One of the upper levels was flooded with crystal clear water. Unfortunately, we were unable to capture a clear image of the water because of reflections and lens fog. Our cameras just wouldn't focus on or through the water. We've seen that level dry and flooded. When dry, there's nothing of interest to see up there. When flooded, there may be unseen hazards, so best to avoid after heavy rains.
If you've been to this mine over the years, you'll know that the upper washes converge at this mine. Areas above and below the mine are prone to flooding and interior areas may hold standing water. Some of these upper areas, previously unexplored by us, were especially changed by the weather. Areas you were once able to walk through are now nearly filled by fine and coarse tailings. In some areas, crawling and pulling yourself along your belly was needed.
The exterior of this mine has many man-made and natural pockets that are shelter for various snakes. There is a dense population of rattlesnakes within this valley and specifically around this, Tiffin, and Singer Mines. Snakes should be expected anywhere with an abundant food source like rodents and bats. When we first began exploring this mine, we did find them sunning themselves on and under corrugated sheets at the mine entrance. We tossed the larger sheets off to the side, but smaller sheets remain. When in this area, be very mindful of snake hazards.