An Ongoing Golden Story
Imperial County, California
A Past Producer with Lots of History and a New Future to Discover
A COLOURFUL HISTORY
Johnson and Lohman discovered the American Girl Mine, located 2 miles north of the Cargo Muchacho Mine, in 1892. By 1900 it had produced 30,000 tons of ore that averaged $8 per ton in gold. Inactive from 1900 until 1913, during the next 3 years the mine went on to produce 20,000 tons of ore that averaged $6.50 per ton in gold.
A cloudburst during the second week of November, 1914, flooded the lower workings, occasioning a 4 month delay while workers dewatered the mine and reopened the shaft.
Inactive for 20 years starting in 1916 the mine was again worked from July, 1936 until 1939 and during that time delivered 150,000 tons of ore valued at $900,000. Total estimated production of the American Girl Mine is 205,000 tons of ore valued at $1,285,000.
Although mined primarily for gold, other minerals found at the American Girl included silver, galena and copper. Former state governor H.H. Markham owned shares in this mine.
Other important mines in the vicinity of the American Girl include the Blossom (known as early as 1894) the American Boy (an extension of the American Girl), Desert King, and La Colorado. The Blossom, also known as the Salamanca Consolidated, had 3 shafts 70, 240 and 280 feet deep, and several hundred feet of workings. It was in operation in the late 1890’s. The La Colorado Mine, discovered in 1914, consisted of 400 feet of underground workings and has a recorded production of several hundred tons of ore. Some traces of scheelite (tungsten mineral) were found at this gold mine.
In May of 1986, the Lundin family controlled Eastmaque of Vancouver, Canada formed a subsidiary company, American Girl Mining Corporation, with a view to achieving gold production and purchased the American Girl and Padre y Madre properties from Newmont for the assumption of existing lease and royalty interests on the property, US $7.5 million cash and a further 3.5% NSR royalty payment to Newmont.
By 1987, using contract mining services provided by MK Gold, the pilot phase of Eastmaque’s operation was permitted and mining activities began, with 200,000 tons of ore taken from the Padre y Madre West Pit for heap leaching. After a successful pilot run, full scale development of the Padre y Madre West and East Pits was permitted for 3.5 million tons of ore and 12.5 million tons of waste rock.
During 1987 and 1988 the first underground deposit, the American Girl B Zone, was accessed via a decline. The proposed action was a gold mining and processing operation that would result in the removal of about 8.5 million tons of gold-bearing ore over 10 to 11 years.
In 1989, Lundin approached MK Gold to become joint venture partners in the American Girl Mining Joint Venture and in January of 1990, as a contract miner and operating partner, MK Gold acquired its first direct equity interest in a gold project. Conventional mill facilities for the AGMJV were completed in May of 1990 and sustainable production was reached in June of 1990.
Underground development of the American Girl B-Zone Mine began in February of 1990 and this mine reached full production in
July of 1991.
Although the American Girl Mine was planned to be the final phase of the AGMJV, in 1990 the mining rights covering the Oro Cruz deposit in nearby Tumco Canyon were acquired and a second joint venture was formed to mine the Oro Cruz surface and underground deposits.