Taylor Mine. Ivanpah, California.
USGS Full Report
Primary Mining: Fluorine, Fluorite
Secondary Mining: Silver, Lead, Copper
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Taylor Mine is located Southwest of Las Vegas, Nevada. Nearest town is Primm, Nevada. Primary mining in the area included: Gold, copper, lead, silver, and zinc.
As with many mines in this area, there is confusion as to the correct name of the mine because the mines were bought and sold to and from the same companies several times. In the case of this mine, several records list this as: Stonewall Mine, Stonewall Jackson Mine, Allie Mine, Cal Group Mine, and Taylor Mine. I listed this as the Taylor Mine because almost all the smaller mines and prospects within the same valley were consolidated as the Taylor Mine. If anyone can provide a source which supercedes the USGS or MSHA official records, please email it to me so I can correct this listing.
We first noticed this mine in the distance while standing on the main tailing pile at the Lizzie Bullock Mine in the next valley. From where we stood, we saw the long ore chute in the introduction picture above. Through research, I was able to find pictures of the same chute still standing as late as 10 years ago. Today, the chute rests flat and appeared to be intentionally downed. Since our last visit, we've also noticed someone has been using pieces of the ore chute for firewood. It's sad that this has to be said, but don't use historic structures for firewood.
Our first time at this mine, we passed by several lower portals to conserve time and energy to reach the mine portal we expected to be at the top of the ore chute. There was a steep, broken trail to the top of the tailing to the right and a narrow cart trail leading back to the top of the ore chute. When we reached the top of the ore chute, we were hoping to find the main mine portal, but found nothing. There was no trail to the other side, but we looked anyway and again found nothing. There was still plenty to see, but not finding a portal at the top of the chute felt like opening an empty gift box.
Most interesting about the Taylor Mine is the motor still in place. We found no incline shaft or winch that would indicate it was for that purpose. There were a pair of large riveted tanks behind the motor. It's possible one tank supplied air or steam for power tools while the other pressurized. The motor is still mounted to the vehicle frame which was something new to us. We've seen various vehicle motors repurposed for other uses, but all others were removed from the frame and mounted to wood or a concrete slab. There didn't seem to be a purpose for keeping it with the frame. Bringing it up in one piece certainly wasn't for convenience.
By estimating the size of the tailings in the area, I would guess we still missed some areas of this mine. There also now appears to be a depression within the mine that is an indication of a collapse of lower levels. We found no obvious signs of collapse in the lower levels we visited, so we definitely missed something.
Throughout this mine and others in the area, we found what we thought to be purple quartz. We now know what we found was Fluorine and Fluorite which was the primary mining in Taylor Mine. I knew Fluorite to be a semi-precious crystal, but it didn't seem likely that there were enough semi-precious crystals to support a mine of this size. I've since learned that fluorine and fluorite are also used as flux for smelting and also used in production of high quality glass for microscopes and telescopes.