Monday, December 17, 2012

Upper Champion Mine Workings

Now we've turned the corner from the lower workings of the Champion dumortierite mine area and are looking straight up the old, now impassable road that once led all the way to a prosepct at the top of the hill. The dump for the uppermost prospect — with small juniper tree growing on it — is barely visible on the far left end of the uppermost outcrops in the left part of the photo, just beyond and behind the reddish brown, cliffy outcroppings of the middle foreground.

After hiking up the wash a little ways we came to this old ore bin, which is still connected to the upper workings by cables.

Looking inside the ore bin via the chute.
I looked inside the ore bin to see if there was still any ore. What I found, besides a few patches of thin snow, were a few small pieces of purplish blue (or lavender) dumortierite, which I'll show later. These chips, and a few similar ones lying around on the ground below the chute, were a different color than the standard purplish red (or rose) dumortierite I've always seen in the area, and it made me wonder if the bluish color indicated anything significant to the miners, or if it was just a chance find on my part, or if it indicated a possibility that the upper workings were entirely in the purplish blue variety of the mineral.

An adit next to the ore bin. 
A few of the cables going from the upper workings to the ore bin are bolted into the outcrop above the adit.

Closer view of the opening to the adit, its door more than half open.
Looking at the upper workings from the ore bin, the cables strung overhead.
At this point, we decided our hike and prospecting of the area was done for the day, so we didn't make it up to the upper dumps. We saved the area for later.

Instead, we had this view of the upper workings when we stopped at the Humboldt Queen (mentioned here) before driving on to Rochester Canyon.

Google Earth view of the entire Champion Mine area.

Related Posts:
Friday Photo: Dumortierite
The Road to the Champion Mine
Rock Walls at the Champion Mine Lower Workings
Dumortierite at the Champion Mine, Nevada

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