CALIFORNIA RAND SILVER MINING COMPANY RANDSBURG DIVIDE, KELLY, “BIG SILVER”
1925: ”On April 12, 1919, the discovery of the ore bodies now being worked by California Rand Silver Mine was made by Jack Nosser and W. H. Williams. The original outcrop of the ore occurred only about 30 feet from a well-traveled road on the Juanita claim, a gold property. The outcrop contained abundant cerargyrite, assays of surface material showing some 300 oz’s of silver and 3 oz’s of gold per ton. Much of the earlier work was done by leasers.
During its early life, the California Rand Silver Mine was literally without a dump. The initial work consisted of an opening in the Shaft Vein which was 17 feet wide, 22 feet long and 75 feet deep, commencing at the surface. All of the rock which came out of this hole was high grade-ore which was shipped direct to the smelter, producing over $300,000.
Kelly Silver Mine
Ore was struck on only one of the leases, that operated by Mr. E. T. Grady. This lease which was only 120 feet square and 450 feet deep is credited with a production of 1,487, 742 ox’s of silver and 5430 of gold from the 18,222 tons of ore which were mined during the life of the lease.
The silver deposit was at first generally accepted as a freak which would not persist with depth. But as its true nature became known, the surrounding ground was subjected to intense exploration, some forty to fifty shafts being sunk within a radius of less than a mile. These shafts vary from fifty to 1,100 feet in depth, probably averaging 350 feet. Prospecting apparently reached its peak in the feverish activity which pervaded the region during 1922 and 1923.
During the life of the Pittman Act with its guarantee of $1.00 per ounce for domestic silver, the operators of the California Rand Silver Mine made every possible effort to produce as much silver as possible. It was during this period, that much, of the high-grade ores of the deposit was exploited.
The expiration of the Pittman Act in 1923, with the resulting decrease in the value of the silver produced, apparently made but little difference in the operations of the California Rand Silver Mine, though it must have noticeably increased the lower limit of value of ore which could be profitably milled. The decrease in the price of silver, however, has a deterrent effect on the exploration of surrounding properties.
The California Rand Silver Mining company started the erection of a 100-ton flotation mill in September, 1921, and on December 15 of the same year it commenced operations. Later, the capacity of the mill was increased to 400 tons per day.
The latest reports from the camp indicate that the California Rand Silver properties have been unable to keep the development of ore sufficiently ahead of the production to keep the mill running at full capacity, so that commencing early in the spring of 1924 the mill was being operated during only one shift each day.
This property is operated by the California Rand Silver, Inc. whose head office is in Bakersfield. This company holds eleven claims of fractions surrounding the California Rand Silver Mine, as well as nine claims which are under lease to the St. Lawrence Rand Mining Company.
*** This Assay report is for the Kelly Silver Mine with kay Lapham’s dad's name on it. Her dad, George Chanz and 2 others leased and worked the Kelly from 1938 until the war stopped all mining for precious metals They moved to San Luis Obispo when Kay was 4 1/2 years old so her dad could work in the Chromium mine. All he ever knew was cowboying and mining. Later on he worked on the construction crews on the Railroad. All Kay’s cousins on her dad's side were born in the Randsburg area because his brothers and brother in laws also worked in the mines. One of her uncles by marriage was born in Randsburg in 1897.
Photo Courtesy of Kay Lapham
The California Rand Silver Mine is developed by approximately seven miles of drifts and crosscuts, and by a number of shafts, all of which have practically been abandoned except the No. 1, the No. 2 and the No. 6.
The No. 1 shaft (2 compartment) is inclined at an angle of seventy three degrees to the horizontal, roughly following the dip of the Shaft Vein. It extends down to the 11th level, a vertical depth of 660 feet below the collar of the shaft. Throughout its length it is in schist of vein matter. It is dry at the bottom.
The No. 2 shaft (2 compartments) is vertical, extending to a depth of 1003 feet. The shaft, excepting a small thickness of overburden near the surface, is entirely in schist. Water was
struck at a depth of 715 feet, 5000 gallons per day being produced. The 14th level is at present the lowest level connecting with the No. 2 shaft.
The No. 6 shaft (single compartment) on the northern part of the property is also vertical. It is 785 feet in depth and has a little water at the bottom. It entered the schist at a depth of 560 feet below the collar, the material above that point consisting chiefly of Rosamond sandstones with a small thickness of overburden near the surface. Levels are cut at depths of 610, 660, and 720 feet. As yet none of the workings have connected with the workings of the main mine to the south.
In the main mine the levels are somewhat irregularly spaced down to the 11th level, the level interval being about 60 feet. Between the 11th and 14th levels, the level interval is 100 feet, although as yet only the stations have been cut on the 12th and 13th levels.
From the time of its discovery in April 1919, until April 1, 1924, a period of nearly five years, the California Rand Silver Mine made a gross production of gold and silver worth $10, 152, 666. 90. This figure is based on the smelter returns for the ore and concentrates shipped. The milling recovery for the gold is about 75 per cent and for the silver about 90 per cent. The value of the silver was based on the current market prices at the time of production. The details of production of the property to April 1, 1924, are given in the following table. (See California Rand Silver Excel file.)
At The Kelly Silver Mine
1939 or 1940
Kay Lapham’s dad, George Chanz (farthest to the left, holding the carbide light) Photo taken around 1939 or 1940.They’re getting ready to descend into the Kelly Silver Mine for a day’s work!
Photo Courtesy of Kay Lapham
An examination of the figures given in the table shows that the gold-silver ratio in the milling ore is approximately 1 ounce of gold to 264 ounces of silver, whereas the ratio for shipping ore, (high grade) is 1 ounce to 441 ounces of silver. This is suggestive, as are the erratic gold assays obtained in many parts of the mine, that the gold and silver have been deposited by different solutions, a conclusion already reached as the result of microscopic study.
The distinction between milling and shipping ore is directly dependent on the market value of silver at the time of production. Previous to June, 1923, when as a result of the Pittman Act silver was worth $1.00 an ounce, ore had to contain 70 ounces of more of silver to be considered shipping ore. Ore worth less than $70 per ton is milled before shipping. Both ore and concentrates are smelted at Selby, California.
The California Rand mill has a daily capacity of 400 tons of ore. The mill is equipped with crushers, 2 ball mills, 2 pebble mills, 2 classifiers, flotation cells and settling tanks.
The following figures, based on the ore milled previous to June, 1, 1923 will serve to indicate the milling efficiency.
Ore Milled, tons……………………………………………………………97,274
Average mill heads, per ton………………………………………………..$17.51
Average mil tails, per ton……………………………………………………$2.00
Average concentrates, per ton……………………………………………$332,.93
Ratio of concentration………………………………………….……….21.45 to 1
Extraction…………………………………………………..………88.62 per cent
The nature of the concentrates may be judged from their content of 5 per cent to 6 per cent of arsenic and 2 ¼ to 3 ¼ of antimony.
The cost of mining, milling, and marketing a ton of ore from the California Rand Silver Mine, including fixed charges is $12.09 per ton (under the conditions existing in the spring of 1923). The cost is distributed as follows:
Smelter treatment……………………………… ..……………………………….69
On the basis of 88.69 per cent extraction, and costs as they existed in the spring of 1923, the ore must possess and initial assay value of practically $14.00 per ton before it can be exploited at a profit.
The present (January 1924) ore production amounts to from 360 to 375 tons daily. A total of 303 men are employed, 129 underground and 174 on the surface.”–Hulin
December 16, 1918: “STAMPEDE FOR SILVER LOCATIONS IN KERN COUNTY – Loraine, Dec. 16. – Silver in the Randsburg? Yes! And that all round miner and prospector, Wade Hampton Williams, of the Amalie mining district, Kern County, with John W. Kelly of Bakersfield, are the lucky ones to bring it in. Letters from Mr. Williams state that the new find is some 16 miles from Randsburg (believed to be near the Fremont Peak). From pannings and crude assays the rock runs better than $60 silver and about $4 gold. When samples of the ore were brought into Randsburg, no one needed a second look. The stampede was on, and claim staking in all directions was natural.
As in all rushes, the further sinking or working on the original strike was over for the day. The owners were crowded out to give ‘em a chance to make their own sampling.” — Bakersfield Californian ( Editors note–see also aritcle from Oxnard Daily Courier, January 21, 1921, which also indicates that the silver was discovered in December of 1918) It is possible that as the stike was made on the Juanits claim, that it was kept quite until financing could be arragned and negotiation with the owner Paul J. McCormick Esg. could be made in order to keep the price of purchasing the Juanits at a low leveL)LETTER IN THE COLLECTION OF BARBARA McCORMICK
Randsburg, Cal. April 22/19
Mr. A. J. McCormick
I received your telegram yesterday. I was please at the outcome of the investigation. I wish you would send me the map I left it in your office. Another matter I have in mind, I have three claims joining a claim you have over east of us I believe the name is Janeta or pronounced in United States Waunita. I think I can wild cat these to a party from the city for cash, of course I would not expect to get a very big price but I don’t consider they would demand a very big price for I don’t think any of us will ever do the assessment work on them. I know that I will not, let me know if you want to put your claim in. I remain yours very truly. J. W. Kelly.
6000 OZ’S PER TON. THE KELLY SILVER MINE WAS SO RICH THAT IT WAS CALLED ‘THE MINE WITH NO TAILINGS PILE’!
July 16, 1919: “MINE SALE STIRS FINANCIAL CIRCLES –RANDSBURG IS AGAIN COMING INTO HER OWN. –Small Interest in Rand Divide Holdings Sell for $50,000. Property is Rich In Gold and Silver – Bakersfield Men Chief Owners in Sensational Strike.
Bakersfield business and financial circles were eagerly discussing today the sale of a small interest in the Kelly mine, near Randsburg, for the sum of $50,000 cash. The interest disposed of was part of the holdings of Miss Edith Coons and Mrs. J. W. Kelly, amounting to seven sixty-fourths of the Rand Divide Mining Company, which owns 21 claims, carrying heavy values in both gold and silver. Local business men and the original locators are the sole-owners of the mine, and it was reported on authority of one of the owners today that this small interest was all that could be obtained.
With the sale today the present market value of the mining property is established at approximately $500,000. It is understood that s price far in excess of this has been refused for the property. In view of the fact that the deepest works have attained a depth of but 16 feet on a 20 foot vein, this is considered one of the highest prices ever offered for a mining property, in the state. Values which have run high in both metals from the small sample which Hamp Williams knocked from the two foot ledge protruding above the ground have continued to increase with depth until assays have shown returns of more than $2500 a ton. One of the interesting phases of the strike has been the uniformity of the gold content, as compared with the silver, the ratio of values being three of silver to one-0f-gold.
DEVELOP WITHOUT EXPENSE—That the mine development has been conducted practically without expense is shown by the fact that every pound of roc taken from the shaft now being sunk has given satisfactory returns, the lowest values running higher than $46 a ton. With a comparatively small force of men six carloads of the valuable mineral is now being shipped out each week and this output will be increased when proper transportation arrangements can be made with the railroad company.
Kelly Silver Mill 1930's
Ideally located within 400 yards of a spur track and with a water line touching the edge of the property the Rand Divide Mining Company has entered the field of production under the most favorable conditions ever before faced by a mining corporation in California. Finds of rich mineral-bearing strata’s have heretofore been confined to places far distant from well-worn trails and the expense of development has from necessity entailed the construction of roads and other improvements with perhaps years of delay in securing transportation facilities.
READY MADE TOWNS—These features have been eliminated in the latest strike, and in addition there are two ready-made, but depopulated towns nearby, build during the tungsten boom of two years ago. With the drop in tungsten prices working the mines ceased suddenly and the one-time busy little cities became suddenly silent. Atolia once the home of several hundred prosperous miners and their families is located less than three miles from the Kelly mine, while Johannesburg is but a mile and a half distant.
That there yet lives romance of the hills sufficiently strong to lure men from the comforts of life to desert solitude is shown by the streams of arrivals daily making their appearance since news of the big strike, at first carefully guarded, became generally known. Hastily written notes to “partners” of other fields soon brought the vanguard of searchers for hidden wealth that has added the picturesque to western life for generations.
Some of these veterans of desert and hill have been present at every important strike in the west for a half century. Silently they have began making their appearance in the little town of Randsburg, then ensued a careful study of formation, inclines, dips and other conditions, upon which the professional prospector stated his all. Some little dissatisfaction, voiced by the old-timers, was dispelled with an inspection of the mineral-bearing rock being taken from the deepening shaft, and a hasty scramble for locations rapidly followed.
RANDSBURG SHOW NEW LIFE—That Randsburg is again coming into some of her past glory when miners scoured the hills nearby in search of precious minerals – and found them – is shown by new life which is now animating the mountain town. Perserverence to a degree unknown to the average person has characterized the attitude of a goodly number of pioneers who have never lost hope that eventually the true wealth of the district would be revealed. Randsburg today presents one of the few instances in mining history where hanging to a desolate hope is about to be rewarded.
The discovery of the Kelly mine, which electrified mining circles, was made by Hamp Williams, son of one of California’s most picturesque prospectors and famous throughout the west. Williams with his partner, Jack Nosser, had been engaged in prospecting in the immediate vicinity of the present strike for years. Confident in the belief that valuable gold deposits were there to be uncovered they had devoted their attention to this metal until silver prices attained a figure which made the white metal profitable. With the tuning of their attention to silver the find came quickly, and it is one which geologists declare is the mother lode of the Sierras.
DISCREDIT MINING THEORIES—Inspection of nearby prospect holes, some within a few feet of the rich vein which has invited exploration since the beginning of time, proves again the fallacy of mining theories insofar as formation and other so-called favorable conditions are concerned. The present mining claim was staked out a quarter of a century ago by the late D. J. McCormack (sic), father of Superior Judge Paul McCormack (sic), of Los Angeles. The claim being purchased by the present owners a short time ago for a comparatively small sum.
Numerous leases have been made by the Rand Divide Mining Company and the hum of activity, silent for so many years, is again heard echoing across canyons and wafted to oblivion out upon the Mojave Desert.” –
UNDERGROUND WORKINGS OF THE KELLY SILVER MINE
Bakersfield CalifornianJuly 26, 1919: “RICH STRIKE SILVER MADE AT RANDSBURG. Randsburg, one of the old gold camps of California, and which was kept alive the past ten years through the production of scheelite, has come to the front by a strike of rich silver ore. Some samples of the rock have found their way to Kingman. It is the same class as the oxidized ores of the Wallapai district, being a shaley quartz with horn silver scaled over the surface and through the cleavages of the rock. It is said to carry an average-value of above $300 per ton in the assorted ore and that the streak is quite large and continuous for a long distance in the surface crop.
The Yellow Aster, which made millionaires of a number of men, was found by men who knew little of mining, but who finally found a way for its development and the establishment of gold’ production. For years the country below it had yielded placer gold and the whole surrounding country was worked over with dry placer machines. The mine was composed of a mass of veinlet’s covering a small butte, a large part of the vein and country material being milled. The surrounding country for miles was worked for its gold and eventually the miners began panning out tungsten and another industry was added to the industry of that country. Silver was unknown until last week, when the new find was made. – Mohave County Miner and Our Mineral Wealth
August 4, 1919: “70 TONS OF RANDSBURG ORE WORTH $70,000 –KELLY’S MINE SHIPS ROCK OF ASTOUNDING SILVER VALUE—Two Cars of “High-Grade” Pass Through Here En Route to Smelter –Assays Average $1000 Per Ton – Richness of Ore Increases With Depth; Company Will Incorporate—Four additional carloads of ore from the Kelly mine at Randsburg passed through Bakersfield Saturday, en route to Selby’s smelter, and two of these cars were filled with high grade ore of fabulous value, some of the assays running as high as $5000 and $6000 a ton, with an estimated average value of $1000 a ton. A guard in the person of Constable Dave Thompson accompanied the shipment, and J. W. Kelly arrived here yesterday on his way to the smelter where he will receive the ore and turn it over for reduction.
The seventy tons were mined at a depth of from 30 to 35 feet, and the ore was sacked in exactly eight days.
From the shaft, which is in reality a pit, about 21 feet square, 17 cars have now been shipped, the total value of which, according to actual smelter returns and estimates based on assays at the mine is in excess of $125,000.
These 17 cars have been shipped since June 15, the mining all being done without modern machinery of any kind.
INSTALLING COMPRESSOR—An air compressor is now being installed to facilitate the work of drilling and other modern equipment will be added. Superintendent Kelly is expecting to arrange for a shipment of two carloads per day shortly, and until it is determined whether or not a mill will be erected to treat the ore on the ground.
Ore mined outside the high grade ledge is now averaging about $100 a ton, the value steadily increasing with the depth. The returns from the firs car showed a value of $44 to the ton. From the seventy cars the value was $118 per ton, the values of the successive cars steadily climbing.
EXTENT OF LEDGE UNKNOWN—Seemingly there is no waste in the output of the mine, every pound of ore from the grass roots down proving to be of shipping value. So far, the extent of the ledge is unknown, neither the foot of the hanging wall having been located. When the shaft is down 50 feet, an effort will be made to determine, by crosscutting, the extent of the ore deposit.
MANY LEASES MADE—Some fifteen different leases have been made and the flat upon which the mine is located, and the adjacent ridge are now the scenes of much activity.
Among those interested in leases are a number of Nevada mining men, and all of them declare that there is no silver property in Nevada that is comparable with the Kelly mine.
WILL INCORPORATE—At a meeting of the major number of the owners of the mine, held in Randsburg last week, it was decided to incorporate the company under the title of the “Californian Rand Silver, Incorporated,” and Anderson & Barton are not taking the necessary steps to that end.
There are some fourteen or fifteen owners in all, forming a closed corporation and with no stock to sell.
KELLY ENTHUSIASTIC—John Kelly, who with Mrs. Kelly, left for the smelter last evening, said: “I try not to be overly enthusiastic, but we have progressed far enough now to demonstrate that the mine is one of the richest yet discovered. Every pound of rock is worth milling, and the values have increased to astonishing proportions. A gratifying thing to me is that the mine is owned entirely by Kern County people to whom will go the profits.”
A sample of the ore was left yesterday at Hughes’ drug store and is on exhibition there. It weighs 21 pounds and contains $160 in silver.” – Bakersfield Californian
August 20, 1919: “$175,000 FOR AN EIGHTH OF KELLY MINE IS REFUSED—Wired Offer From San Francisco Not Attractive to Any Owner – Blanc and Thomas To Syndicate Leases—New Town of Hampton Is Laid Out: Daily Train Service Soon (Special to the Californian) Randsburg, Aug. 20—The latest item of interest in this fast –reviving mining town, in connection with the Kelly mine, is the offer of $175,000 cash for a one-eighth interest in the property. The offer came from mining men in San Francisco to E. T. Grady by wife, but no one of the owners of the mine found the amount attractive enough to enter into negotiation for a sale.
The main shaft is now down 48 feet, and drifting and cross-cutting will be begun at 50-foot level, when it will be ascertained how wide the ledge is, the present shaft, despite its size, not yet having disclosed that information. The ore still continues to show fabulous values. Cars 26, 27, and 28 will be shipped out tomorrow, the new machinery greatly facilitating the production. The last returns received were on Car 17, which netted $9,000.
More than 20 leases have been made by the company, or agreed upon, and the main dyke and the flat below, are scenes of busy activity. Wally & Nixon on the dyke to the south, have uncovered ore of good quality, the rock increasing in richness from day to day. This is the lease for a half interest of which E. L. Blanck and Harry W. Thomas pain $1500.
Messrs. Thomas and Blanck have now acquired, by lease and purchase, 1587 feet on the dyke and flat, one of these properties being but 300 feet north of the big shaft. They propose to syndicate their claims and a number of well-known citizens of the county will associate themselves with the organization to develop the properties.
THE TOWN OF HAMPTON—The early erection of a boarding house, rooming house and residences for the force employed on the big mine, has made it necessary to create a townsite so as to insure some regularity in locating new buildings as are sure to be erected around the mine. The site chosen is on the sloping flat between the mine and the railway track and about five minutes’ walk from either. The proposed town has been christened Hampton, in honor of Wade Hampton Williams who discovered the silver values in the located ledge. Surveyor Dickinson is now laying out the streets and the greasewood is being cleared away.
The company has purchased a number of buildings, including a hotel, work shop and residences at Atolia, and has contracted for their removal to the new town.
Randsburg will continue to be headquarters, it being the wish of the mine owners not to disturb those engaged in business there, but it is considered certain that there will be buildings erected about the quarters of the men employed at the mine, probably 100 or more within the next few months, and the town has been laid out as a regulatory precaution. The site is just over the line in San Bernardino county.
DAILY TRAIN SOON—Mining operations are now handicapped by the poor train service, only three trains a week now reaching Johannesburg, but the railway company, under the stimulus of a rapidly increasing business has appealed to the Railroad Commission for the privilege of establishing a daily train service, and such service is promised by September first.”—Bakersfield Californian
October 23, 1919: “THE KELLY MINE NOW A FIXTURE,, and to date the producing marvel of the past fifty years, started prospecting on a scale hitherto undreamed of on the Mojave Desert sections of San Bernardino, Kern, and Inyo counties. Prospecting and development work is actively in progress in every direction in within a radius of 100 miles of the old camp (Randsburg), and rumors of finds are of daily occurrence. The deeper is goes. The richer in values is the true story of the Kelly mine, as the smelter returns bear eloquent testimony.
The Kelly mine, down 129 feet in working shaft, is better than ever as regards ore body and values. It is no longer a question of making a mine, but how much richer it will grow as depth is made. So patent is this fact that the Tonopah money is in evidence in large juicy chunks. The Tonopah capital, dubious, if not actually disbelieving when the Kelly mine was struck, is not satisfied that development work on an extensive scale will warrant the securing of options on ground in the vicinity of proven ground, and the Tonopah Company is putting money in, and starting work on an extensive scale. The Bakersfield syndicate, operating five leases and owning interest in several others, are working overtime and express confidence in the future, as every indication points to the fact that they are on or in the ore zone. Optimism is the ruling tone, and development work is being pushed to the limit on every lease.”–Barstow Printer
November 22, 1919: “MR. AND MRS J. W. KELLY AND MISS EDITH COONS are now in the new house at the mine, constructed especially for them.” Bakersfield Californian
December 21, 1919: “THE KELLY SILVER MINE, AT RANDSBURG, CALIFORNIA – Rich Silver Oreshoot Outcropping on Surface in Well-Known Mining Camp Making Important Production –Property Yet to be Developed – Many Leases Working Adjacent Ground (By Jay A. Carpenter, Mining Engineer)
A mine that paid $9(5+1),000 in dividends from the sage-brush roots, that to the 50-ft. depth had no dump, everything mined being shipped to the smelters and yielding $9(5+1),000 in dividends to the owners, is a discovery of interest to the mining industry. This unusual development occurs in a district noted for its gold production from 1895 to 1915 and for its output of tungsten from 1915 to 1918, and now probably distined to become known for its silver production.
The Kelly silver mine is situated one and one-half miles east and south of Randsburg, Cal. Though Randsburg is in Kern County, and the principal owners of the mine are from Bakersfield, the county seat, the mine itself is just over the line in San Bernardino County. A branch line of the Santa Fe railroad runs past the mine to its terminal at Johannesburg, which is only a mile to the northwest. The station of Searles, on the Southern Pacific R. R., from which a branch goes to the potash fields at Trona, is only twelve miles away and connected by a good auto road. Not only is the rich Kelly Mines fortunate as to its location near railroads, but its proximity to other advantages makes it like unto the mine upon with the prospector builds his fairy castles of sudden wealth, and like the mine that the engineer travels incessantly to find, but seldom sees.
Just a quarter of a mile below where, since the day’s of 49, the rich horn-silver ore of the Kelly mine has been trampled over but lay unnoticed, the Santa Fe road put in a siding years ago; and a half-mile away the Sierras Power Co. strung its high tension line from the Sierras to Los Angeles. An eighth of a mile away the water company that supplies Randsburg had laid its pipeline leading from the pumps at Squaw Springs. Kern County had brought its paved roads around Randsburg to within a half mile of this spot. Two miles away by road is Randsburg, with abundant labor to work a mine and stores at which to supply materials. Though the region is a mountainous sage-brush covered country of 3,700 ft. elevation, less than 200 miles away by quick train of good auto road are the orange groves and Los Angeles, the promised land of the successful Southern California prospectors.
At this spot, about the first of April of the present year, two prospectors, Hamp Williams and John Nosser, sat down to rest on their way back to Randsburg, little thinking how soon they or their backers J. W. Kelly and Miss Edith Coons, would read the rewards of two years’ patient search for a mine. A chance piece of rock broken off by one of them led to a discussion as to whether it contained antimony or silver. Two samples of the croppings were mailed to Mr. Kelly at Bakersfield. The returns showed $ (5+1)0 in gold and 43(5+1) oz. of silver in one and $30 in gold and 32(5+1) oz. silver per ton in the second. As the cropping proved to be on the end of an old claim worked years before because of a gold vein on it, but on which exemption of labor had been filed during the war years, Mr. Kelly obtained an option to buy the claim, known as the Juanita, for $5000, and Williams and Nosser located all the open ground available, giving them over a dozen claims. To make the first shipments Williams and Nosser each sold a half of his quarter interest to compensate for his share of expense. Alfred Harold, editor of the “Bakersfield Californian,: was one of the fortunate purchasers of an eighth interest for $1,000.
PHENOMENAL PRELIMINARY SHIPMENTS –The first two cars shipped from the surface netted over $40 per ton. By August 19, twenty-eight cars had been shipped from a hole 18 by 20 by 50 ft. deep. As yet it was a mine without a dump. The 1,180 tons shipped contained 405 oz. of gold and 174,722 oz. of silver. Estimating gold at $20 and silver at $1.10 per oz. the gross value of the ore was over $200,000, of which over one-half was clear gain to the owners. Two small cars had returned $(5+1)0 per ton net, one 50-ton car had brought a $21,000 check, and the average value per ton shipped had been over $168. The daily assay sheet for July 30 is remarkable in that the eight samples taken that day did not vary widely and averaged $1,528 per sample.
While this remarkable record was being made, Hamp Williams and John Nosser again sold one-half of their remaining interest in the mine to Bakersfield people, but this time for $50,000 each. Mr. Kelly sold three-eighths of his interest for $100,000 and Miss Coons one-quarter of her interest for $(5+1)(5+1),000. Thus in the space of six months the two prospectors, the ex-sheriff and the ex-assessor of Kern County have amassed comfortable fortunes.
The mine is locally known as the Kelly mine. The first name chosen was the Rand Divide, as the mine is in the Rand district on the dividing line between Kern and San Bernardino counties. However, as another company of the same name was operating in the Divide district in Nevada, the incorporated name was changed to the California Rand Mines Co.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DISTRICT—The country rock surrounding Randsburg is principally granite or granite schist. The Yellow Aster mine, discovered in 1895, operated first a 30-stamp mill, then a 100-stamp mill for over twenty years in the treatment of the ore from a wide zone of enrichment in the granite schists that constituted a low-grade amalgamable gold ore, but contained also, some rich stringers. The immense glory hole of this mine is one of the sights of the district, and its production of millions bespeaks its importance in the history of California gold mines. Today a small crew is working under the direction of Rose L. Burcham, one of the original owners, and seeking to get under another favorable surface showing in the large acerage held by the company.
About three miles way from the Yellow Aster, in the unaltered granite, are the tungsten mines of Atolia, noted for their pure scheelite ores. During the high price of tungsten from 1914 to 1919, Randsburg was filled to overflowing with prospectors, miners, and speculators. The old-time miners of Randsburg saw the “heavy spar” that had troubled them in their stamp batteries and on their plated for years make quick fortunes for those who first realized the value of the mineral. With this example still before them, 1919 found Randsburg without a custom assay office, and the miners depending on the gold pay for prospecting and assaying. Anyone traveling from Randsburg to Atolia could not fail to observe on the left-hand side of the road a prominent quartz reef with lay unprospected except for gold. It was on this reef that Willams and Nosser made their discovery of rich silver ore, at a low point on the reef which had been a trail and road for years.
CHARACTER OF DEPOSIT—The quartz reef is on the foot-wall side of a rhyolite dike, about 200 ft. wide, which outcrops through the granite schist on a N.40 degrees E. course for nearly a mile. Dikes of white, fine grained rhyolite are rather common in the district, but the others do not show as great width or as great silicification as does the one that led to the discovery of the Kelly mine. The cockscomb reef that shows up so plainly in the accompanying photograph is nearly all quartz. It is a red color, due to iron oxidess , but the clean quartz is very dense, hard and blue in color with considerable fine pyrites. This quartz is in sharp contrast to the great amount of white quartz found as float or in innumerable veins cutting through the granite schist in all directions. The white quartz veins are as a rule barren, but many of them have been worked for free gold.
The country around Randsburg and Johannesburg is dotted with head frames and small custom mills. The vein on the Juanita claim was of the free –gold variety. It strikes N.55 degrees W., and its projected point of intersection with the N.40 degrees E. quartz reef is just where the Kelly mine opened up its ore body.
KELLY MINE THOUGHT TO BE ON JUANITA VEIN.—Many of the miners and engineers who have looked over the ground believe that the Kelly orebody is on the Juanita vein, and have taken leases or purchased claims along the strike of this vein. Other miners and engineers are as confident that it is on the reef vein, and as quartz containing a few ounces of silver has been found along the reef in a couple of places, these men have taken leases all along the reef both to the north and south of the ore body. Both sets of lessees have the unspoken fear that the main orebody may be a local enrichement at the intersection of the two veins; however, twenty-five sets of lessees are all sinking to depths of from 50 to 100 ft. and then crosscutting, each with the gread hope that quick wealth lids just ahead.
January 15, 1920: “SHIPMENTS OF HIGH GRADE continue from the Kelly Mine and values show steady increase as depth is made.
Pending the results of the core drilling work (see Osdick Mine), lease work on the Kelly and contiguous ground is slowing down, as the core drilling will determine the mooted question of depth, aside for the Kelly mine workings, which at 177 feet are in pay ore, most of it high grade.”–Barstow Printer
January 29, 1920: “Reports from the Kelly silver mine carry the same old story, “greater values are depth is made.” The shaft at 180 feet developed the highest grade as yet struck, and the sulphide deposits are not in evidence yet. During the last ten days exhaustive examination of the mine proper, and the surrounding property has been made by experts representing a syndicate of capitalists, who desire to purchase all the available ground, and, if possible, the mine as part of the proposed deal.
In conversation with a member of this party, or syndicate, the writer was told the mine, so far developed, is “beyond doubt” the silver producing wonder that has discovered within the last 50 years and that “in his judgment, within five years the camp will be one of the largest on the coast.” This means that deep mining will be prosecuted and that a smelter or other reduction process will be installed on an extensive scale.
That an offer has been made for the property, as is now under consideration by some of the owners is exact fact, but so far as being made public, no information has been given out to the general public.
J. W. Kelly and confreres have ordered a fifty-ton electric hoist to meet present demands, and it is somewhere on the road under transit. Three full shifts are working and as rapidly as is made additional men are being added to the working force. The mine, at this writing, is down 210 feet, and still in ore, mostly high grade, with all ore, and no waste below mill grade.
A dividend, said to be $140,000, will be divided prior to February 1st, and old Jack Nosser is en-route to Bakersfield to get his. J. W. Kelly left for Los Angeles on Sunday on a business trip, and to visit Mrs. Kelly, and Miss Edith Coons, who visiting the beach at Santa Monica.”–Barstow Printer
April 24, 1920: “HIGH-GRADE ORE AT 200 FEET AT RANDSBURG—The California Rand Silver Mining Company has uncovered high-grade ore on its fourth level at 200 feet, on its east cross cut at 110 feet from the shaft, according to J. M. Jameson, who is in Randsburg today. The ore assays as high as $294 to the ton, and the new strike is presumed to be a continuation of the rich ledge found on the third level at 150 feet.
Shipping at the rate of four and five cars a week is continuing from the mine, and new machinery is being installed to facilitate the work of exploration and development.” – Bakersfield Californian
Mineral Survey 5480, Independence Land District, Claim Amended November 25, 1919, Known as “Juanita”, “Uranium No. 8”, “Uranium No. 3”, “Uranium No. 2”, “Uranium No. 1”, “Uranium Fraction”, “Uranium No. 6”, “Uranium No. 5”, “Uranium No. 4”, “Uranium No. 7”, “Uranium No. 10”,Lodes, owned by California Rand Silver, Inc., Improvements consist of 18 shafts, 29 shafts and drifts, 1 Trench, 1 cut, 4 cuts and tunnels, 1 cut tunnel and drift, 1 incline, and 1 incline, drifts, crosscuts, winzes and upraise, Valued at $149,485.
Mineral Survey 5531, Independence Land District, Claim Surveyed March 10, 1921, Known as” K. C. N. NO. 1”, “K.C.N. NO.2”, “J. W.”, “W. H.”, “W. H. No. One”, “W. H. No. 2”, “W.H. No. 3”, ‘Wade”, Wade H. No. 1”, and “Wade H. No. 2” Lodes, owned by California Rand Silver, Inc., Improvements consist of 48 shafts, 5 trenches and 5 shafts and drifts, Valued at $22,325.
January 21, 1921: “NEWSPAPER MAN STRIKES BIG RICHES—John C. Wray, one time newspaper man of Ventura, and once the editor of the Free Press there, has been visiting his old time friend, C. B. Elwell in this city. Wray yesterday refused an offer of $125,000 for his interest in the Kelly mine at Randsburg on the division line between Kern and San Bernardino counties, form which he has an income of something lie $750 a month.
This change of fortune came to him only recently, as only a short time ago what he now draws a month would have looked like a fortune to him. He is holding his interest for $300,000 and may get it at that.
Wray gave Harry Chandler, editor of the Los Angeles Times, his first job as carrier boy, and hence may be said to have given him his start in life.
After leaving Ventura and going to other fields, Wray located in San Pedro, where he took hold of the Daily News. This he sold out in 1915 on account of his health, and went to Inyo County to recuperate. There he remained 14 months and during that time spent his time roaming around the country, with the result that he located several mining claims, sold later to D. Bisbee.
In 1917 Wray wandered into Randsburg. In October, 1918, he met John W. Kelly, formerly sheriff of Kern County, W. Hampton Williams a prospector, and Capt. Jack Nosser, an old time miner. In December 1918, Williams discovered a small silver ledge on the Atolia road, two miles northeast of Randsburg, and worked it long enough to determine the fact that a silver mine of value was buried somewhere in the vicinity of the cropping first discovered.
Intensive prospecting resulted in uncovering and developing of the now famous Kelly mine on the division line of Kern and San Bernardino Counties. The Kelly mine ground consisting of three full 20-acre claims, was located and recorded on March 4, 1919.
“When the Kelly mine was located Wray located the Coyote claim of 20 acres, which adjoins the Kelly mine ground or claim from which the big money has been taken during the past 16 months and has leased it on a fifty-fifty basis to John W. Kelly and E. L. Blanck a ———oil producer of Bakersfield, asking a substantial cash bonus when the papers were signed. ” – Oxnard Daily Courier
May 4, 1921: “CALIFORNIA RAND SILVER INC., reports development work for last month as follows: Cross cuts advanced, 188 feet; raises, 258; drifts, 340; shaft, 25; ore pocket on the tenth level, 23 feet; also made 45 feet in the new two compartment shaft, a total of 890 feet. Ore shipments to the smelter for the month were 32 cars.” – Bakersfield Californian
May 18, 1921: “RANDSBURG SILVER ORE MAY CAUSE 5 YEAR LITIGATION TO FIX RIGHTS—Possible Development Is Likely to Result in Testing Apex Law –Litigation
in which the “Apex Law” may be an important factor, and involving the ownership of silver ore deposits at Randsburg, is likely to arise between a newly-organized mining concern known as the Randsburg Silver Mining Company Incorporated, and the California Rand Silver Incorporated, if the former company, on an adjoining claim, known as the Coyote claim, discovers an ore body beneath a certain “mud” wall which the California Rand Silver holds to be the hanging wall in its mine, or if such possible ore body can be connected up with the ledges being mined by the latter corporation. Anticipating such litigation, the California Rand Silver has already addressed a letter to the new company suggesting than any ore that will be in dispute, or any money arising from its sale be impounded by agreement pending a decision, it is thought, can be had, under favorable circumstances, within a period of five years.
The new corporation, styled the Randsburg Silver Mining Company, was promoted by former Sheriff J. W. Kelly and E. L. Blanck. Mr. Kelly was one of the original stockholders in the California Rand Silver Mine, discovered by J. J. Nosser and Hamp Williams, but he has sold more than half of his stock, and the other half is under option to Mr. Blanck at a dollar a share. The latter has lately been selling the Kelly stock very rapidly, 40,000 shares having been transferred within a few weeks.
Development on the Coyote claim, the property of the new Kelly Company has been begun, it being the purpose to finance the work by selling stock to the public at 20 cents a share. The letter addressed to the new company by the California Rand Silver, in view of the long litigation which may arise, is as follows;
“As you have heretofore been advised by the directors of the California Rand Silver Incorporated, the directors of said company will, in its behalf and for its benefit, claim ownership to any ore that you may discover beneath that certain so-called mud wall, which we claim to be our hanging wall. As you hold a contrary opinion as to the law and your rights thereunder, we beg to submit to you this proposition for your consideration.
“That your interests and the California Rand Silver Incorporated enter into agreement that all moneys resulting from the sale of ore that may be taken by you from said Coyote claim, beneath said wall, be impounded pending litigation that will determine their ownership.
“Such course will result in a more speedy determination of the issues involved, rendering it probable that a decision by the United States Supreme Court may be reached within three, and certainly not more than five years.
“Should this proposal meet with your approval, our respective attorneys could prepare a form of agreement that without doubt would be mutually satisfactory.
By this agreement it would be unnecessary to waste valuable time on proceedings that, at best, would be preliminary and whereby the litigation might be extended for an indefinite period.” – Bakersfield Californian
May 20, 1921: “Tim Walsh is now engineer for the California Rand Inc. at Randsburg California. This company is shipping high grade silver ore. – Mojave County Miner and Our Mineral Wealth” -- Mohave County Miner and Our Mineral Wealth
JUNE 6, 1921: “NOSSER VICTOR BY FIRST COURT RULING – J. J. Nosser, Randsburg mining man, one of the discoverers of the California Rand Silver mine and heavy stockholder therein, won the first round in his fight for his stock with E. L. Blanck, well known Fellows merchant, when, on Friday afternoon, Judge Peairs quashed the injunction suit whereby Blanck sought to prevent Nosser from receiving his dividends on 40,000 shares of stock. Blanck will move again for an injunction on June 13, to affect the June dividend, but in the meantime the old prospector went down to the Security Trust bank, the mine’s depository, and under Judge Peairs’ ruling, received his dividend check for May. C. V. Anderson and Fred E. Borton represent the Randsburg man, while E. J. Emmons and C. D. Fenton have been employed by Blanck.” – Bakersfield Californian
June 28, 1921: “RANDSBURG MINE CASE HEARING ON JULY 11 –Whether J. J. Nossor (sic), one of the discoverers of the Randsburg silver mine, shall receive his dividend on 40,000 shares of stock, claimed by E. L. Blanck, and to determine ownership of which the suit is pending, will be determined by Judge Peairs on July 11, argument, having been heard late yesterday afternoon on Blanck’s petition for permanent injunction to keep Nosser from drawing the dividend. “ Bakersfield Californian
JULY 1, 1921: “NOSSER ANSWERS IN COURT ACTION INVOLVING STOCK IN FAMOUS MINE – Cites Deception of Claimant to Shares: Pathetic Story of Option Deal—J. J. Nosser, aged prospector and Kern County pioneer, one of the discoverers of the Rand silver mine, today filed an answer in department two of the Kern county superior court to the complaint of E. L. Blanch, wealthy broker and promoter, who is seeking to obtain control of 40,000 shares of stock in the California Rand Silver Incorporated, which shares are owned by Nosser.
Nosser’s answer specifically denied that Blanck has “performed the terms and conditions,” or “any part thereof” of an option of which the plaintiff alleges he is the holder, or of an alleged extension of such option, which the broker avers had been granted him.
CITES DECEPTION—The answer, which describes Blanck as a “manipulator of mines and mining properties,” alleges that in certain transactions, the time and place of which Nosser specifically describes, which the broker had with the prospector in connection with the alleged option, Blanck had “deceived” the defendant, and had “knowingly, falsely and fraudulently” represented to the aged man a condition in the mine that did not exist and a method of operation that was untrue, with the “intent to deceive and alarm” Nosser.
The answer then goes to relate the circumstances under which the alleged option was signed, and even the cold legal verbiage of the document is powerless to suppress revelation of the pathos of it.
DESCRIBE CIRCUMSTANCES—On or about July 31, 1920, the answer alleges, the miner acquiesced to the urgings and pleadings of the broker to sell an option on “40,000 shares” of the capital stock, and was induced to meet Blanck in Randsburg in the office of E. B. Maginnis, at which time the promoter had the contract prepared and ready for signature. The light in the room was insufficient, and the prospector was unable to read the document. Blanck told Nosser; the answer alleges, that the former soon had to leave for Los Angeles, and that the business of executing the contract must be hurried. Blanck then took the old man out on the porch of the building and outside the range of hearing of McGinnis (sic), and according to the answer, “insisted on reading the said agreement” to the defendant, “instead of permitting” Nosser himself to read the document. Nosser then stated to Blanck that his understanding of the agreement as read was that it called for an option on 40,000 shares of 80,000 owned by the old pioneer, and to this he alleges, the mining promoter assented and “assured” Nosser that the contract read by Blanck covered only 40,000 shares.
The aged miner, the answer relates, relying upon the “said representations” and “trusting to the plaintiff’s good faith,” signed the agreement, which proved to be an option for the entire 80,000 shares.
Nosser, a man of advanced years, who been a prospector for 44 years since 1875, disclaims familiarity with business methods and legal documents.” – Bakersfield Californian
July 8, 1921: “FELL 175 FEET IN RANDSBURG SHAFT BUT WILL RECOVER—Falling sheer from the landing on the ninth level to the bottom of the shaft, a distance of 175 feet, A. Herqueia, a miner in the employ of the California Rand Silver Incorporated, was picked up for dead early Thursday morning, but from investigation it appeared that his, most serious injury is a broken leg, and barring internal injuries, he will recover.
There were no eye-witnesses to the accident, but it is thought that Herqueia was overcome by the heavy air and that in seeking to signal the hoist man, he fainted on the landing and crumpled beneath the safety bar into the shaft. He is at the hospital at Randsburg and his condition today is reported to be favorable.” — Bakersfield Californian
August 21, 1921: “CLARENCE G. TALLIEUR, connected with the California Rand Silver, arrived here Wednesday for a few weeks’ visit before going to Randsburg to resume his duties as assayer for that concern.” – Bakersfield Californian
October 3, 1921: “For the California Rand Silver Mines Superintendent Fox reports development work for the week ending September 26 amounted to a total of 256. 5 feet, as follows: In the number one shaft, drifting, 81 feet; crosscutting, 95.5; raising, 25+1. The main crosscut on the eleventh level was advanced 42 feet; the face showing finely laminated gray schist. South drift 913 was advanced 35 on mill grade ore. The last two rounds show an improvement in the grade. South drift 450 encountered a small cross vein during the week and the drift has been turned somewhat to follow it, the values sufficient to warrant its development. Number two shaft was sunk 20 feet, making the total depth 415. The low footage was due to the fact that considerable work was done on the first and second level stations toward the completion of the pockets at those levels. Connection between the main shaft and the number two is being pushed on these levels, so that on completion of the mill facilities will be available for serving it with ore from the main shaft, sixth level up.
INSTALLING MACHINERY—Mill construction has reached the point of machinery installation. The ball mill has been received and is being installed. A second carload of machinery is expected daily. Plans for the new headframe at the number two shaft are being detailed. This headframe will be of steel. Provisions for dumping at two elevations will be made. The lower point of dumping will be for mill ore, the upper for shipping ore and waste. The shipping ore will be discharged over grizzlies and the lump ore will be hand-sorted, the cull going to the mill ore bin.
By this means an appreciable tonnage of relatively low grade ore will be removed from the shipping tonnage, thereby saving greatly on freight and treatment charges.
Production of the week remained the same as usual, 440 tons to the smelter.” – Bakersfield Californian
October 8, 1921: “Californian Rand Silver Incorporated, Superintendent John M. Fox reports for the week ending October 3, development work of a total 2 (5+1)1 feet, segregated as follows: In the No. 1 shaft; drifting 82, cross-cutting 89, raising 22; the main crosscut on the eleventh level was advanced 40 feet; raise No. 1017 from the tenth level is now in shipping ore of good grade. A new raise is being started from the tenth level to follow the same streak as that being developed by raise No. 1017. South Drift, No. 912 is still following mill ore, as is also drift No. 450. A winze will be sunk from the north drift ninth level to trace out a streak of high grade ore exposed at that point. No. 2 shaft was not sunk during the past week us lateral work on the first, second and third level prevented work in the bottom. The third level station was completed, and the first and second level pockets were holed through to their respective levels.
Mill construction is continuing steadily with a normal crew at work. The water shaft at Indian spring has reached a depth of 207 feet; an east crosscut is now being driven at a depth of 107 feet to cut the water thought to exist in that direction.
Production of shipping ore was maintained at the customary rate of 440 tons for the week, all of it being sent to the Selby smelter.’ – Bakersfield Californian
October 19, 1921: “FRACTURES SKULL IN FALL AT RANDSBURG—Randsburg, Oct. 19.—M. Trousdale a carpenter employed on the big 100-ton mill of the California Rand Silver, fell off a 12-foot tank and sustained a bad fracture in his skull. If no hemorrhage occurs there is a chance for his quick recovery. He came here from San Francisco.” – Bakersfield Californian
December 3, 1921: “CALIF. RAND MILL WHEELS TURNING—Completed in 3 ½ Months; Has Capacity of 100 Ton in 24 Hours.—Randsburg, Dec. 3,–The mill of the California Rand Silver Incorporated at Randsburg is completed. The machinery has been tested and the rock crusher is at work on one of the bins, and ore reduction will be in process here next week.
The mill has a capacity of 100 tons of ore each 24 hours, and it will recover the silver values by the flotation process, which means that oil is utilized. Its affinity for silver resulting in the gathering of the metal in the oil film on top of the water.
The work of mill construction did not begin until the middle of August. At that time Superintendent Murray N. Coleman, having selected his machinery, broke ground and the work has been rushed with all speed.
The cost of construction was in the neighborhood of $85,000, and with the water tankage and pipe lines and other equipment the investment is easily $100,000.
It is estimated that the company has in sight enough ore to run the mill 24 hours per day for a period of three years, and additional bodies of mill ore are being developed upon the ninth and tenth levels. It is the purpose of the company to mill ore of a less value than $40, the policy being to continue shipments of the higher grade ores.” – Bakersfield Californian
December 14, 1921: “JACK NOSSER TELLS STORY OF FINDING FAMOUS MINE – BY J.J. NOSSER –I came to Randsburg in November of 1895, and have ever since made the old camp my headquarters. It would make a very big book worth reading to put down half the events of this 26 years that led up to the finding of the big mine, thus putting Randsburg on the map as one of the greatest silver camps in history.
During these years I have divided my time between prospecting, leasing and working for wages. Search of color has taken me over most of Goler, Argus, Panamint and the Death Valley ranges of mountains.
The first event which led to the finding of the silver happened while I was in charge of a small tungsten property in the Stringer district, in November, 1897 (1917). Patrick Byrne, an old friend of mine, was working there at the time, and told me of some claims that he was interested in. The assessment work had not been done for two years, and Mr. Byrne requested me to relocate them and take him in as a partner, which I decided to do.
Sunday was a day off for us, so we made out plans to relocate this property the following Sunday. In the meantime, Mr. Byrne was fearfully hurt, and died the day we expected to do this work, November 6, 1917. Two weeks later, I wrote out notices and located the claims, placing John Kelly’s name on the location with mine. Mr. Kelly was not in camp at the time, having been away for several years. My hopes were that Mr. Kelly could raise enough money in hopes of uncovering “pay.” I knew that some good ore had been mined on the property in the early days of the Stringer and my hopes were high.
WENT OVER PROPERTY—February 6 Mr. Kelly came to Randsburg and I informed him of the property and my plans, and together we went over to the property. Kelly informed me that Miss Edith Coons of Bakersfield had been interested with him and W. H. Williams for several years prospecting without success. Consequently the old location notices were destroyed and new ones made out, putting Miss Coons name on as an equal partner.
This is how the first discovery received its name, the K. C. N. group, after Kelly, Miss Coons and Nosser.
Some six weeks later Kelly returned from Bakersfield with Mr. Williams, who, so Kelly said, wished to examine the property for Miss Coons and take samples. Several samples of the outcrop were taken, some of these samples assaying over $60.00 in silver. Mr. Williams immediately made the offer to sink a 50-foot shaft for an interest. This was agreed to, so work started at once.
At this time I was working for Val Schmitz, but at Mr. Kelly’s request quit his employ and started to work with Williams to speed the new shaft.
In these first few days of the silver, Mr. Williams took care of the windlass, sharpened tools, and while I drilled in the shaft, was away prospecting and locating ground adjoining, together with Kelly’s help.
Being in need of funds to continue the work, it was arranger that Kelly was to go to Bakersfield for the purpose of securing the necessary money. Meanwhile a letter was received by Kelly from a friend in Los Angeles inquiring about the Red Ochre deposits on Red Mountain. The letter requested Kelly to locate this ground if vacant, and to send in a 100-pound sample as soon as possible, and if pure enough, it could be mined and a royalty paid the locators. The next morning saw Kelly on his way to Bakersfield while Williams and I walked across to Red Mountain to locate the new claim. Mr. Kelly expected to be away four or five days, so Williams and I volunteered to do this work, and send in the samples. Six claims were located that day, and, tired out; we started on the return to Randsburg.
DECIDED TO RETURN—Several times in the past few weeks I had told Williams of a blowout that had showing similar to that found on the K. C. N. This deposit of rock was very little out of our way returning home, so we decided to go that way.
Years ago, someone had put in a small blast there, making a pit approximately three feet long, two feet wide and eight inches deep. I sat down in one end of the pit, and in a couple of minutes Williams came up and took his seat in the other end. Both of us sat there fully five minutes, too tired to make much of an examination, too tired even to talk.
Williams picked up several pieces of the rock and tossed them aside, and looked away toward town, as if the long walk was more on his mind that a new find. “Nosser,” he said, “this is the biggest and richest thing that I have ever seen. The ore from this pit will assay $1000 a ton or better.”
Together we built the first monument and located it, and carried three samples home from where the gallows frame of the California Rand Silver shaft number one stands today.
Knowing the ground well, I knew that the new find was vacant, except for a cross leas on the end ling of the Juanita claim, owned by Judge McCormick of Los Angeles, and open for location.
The next morning Williams and myself started in and located the now well-known Uranium group of claims. Scarcely were we through with this work before Mr. Kelly returned, wild over the assays. In the meantime we had found out that the Juanita claim owned by McCormick was going to conflict with our ground and to such an extent that its possession was necessary. Kelly immediately left for Los Angeles and secured a bond and lease on this ground which we eventually bought for $15.000.
HAD GREAT FAITH—I have been familiar with the Juanita claim for over 20 years, and helped Mr. McCormick extract gold ore from it on several occasions. McCormick always had great faith in this ground, and at one time offered to give it to me, but as all the gold in sight had been worked out it was worthless to me. I knew the big blowout but as there was a large ledge of antimony running parallel with it, I naturally jumped to the conclusion that it was all one and the same but in a slightly different form, and of no value to a poor man.
I became more convinced that it was worthless when in the summer and fall of 1911 one William Swift of Randsburg and two silver miners from Nevada procured an option on the Juanita and drove a tunnel into the dike 100 feet, and only 80 feet from this big deposit of ore. Their camp was situated some 40 feet south of this outcrop and in going back and forth to work at the tunnel walked over and around it for months.
Like many other prospectors, both Williams and myself were hard put for money at the time and it was necessary to raise money to carry out our end. Through the late Mr. J. M. Jameson, who had been county assessor for many years, we arranged to dispose of a small part of our interest, and we were thus provided with funds for carrying on the work.
I had general charge of the management of men, and developing work, while Williams took samples and watched the ores. Mr. Kelly meanwhile devoted his time to general affairs of the enterprise.
Kelly, Williams and myself followed this schedule until the shaft was down 50 feet and thoroughly timbered, gallows frame, viaduct and ore bins installed, and what is more to the point, $200,000 in read money in the bank from this great mine.
The subsequent history of the California Rand Silver Mine is common knowledge in the mining world, and I am writing only of its discovery. There has never been a moment from the beginning of the actual work, until the present time, when the mine did not continue to show bigger and I certainly consider it an honor to have been one of the discoverers.
The big new mill will be finished and operating by the time this appears in print, and then the California Rand Silver will begin to show what a truly big property it is, and will continue to ship ore from the rich veins that the horn silver blowout led Williams and myself to discover.” – Bakersfield Californian
February 13, 1922: “PRIZE SILVER ORE CAR FROM RANDSBURG: “Randsburg, Feb. 13.—Tonopah papers are boasting of a shipment of silver ore from Royston of 52 tons for which the smelter returns were $297 per to in silver and $8.(5+1)0 in gold, the owners receiving $1(5+1),231 for the car, and one paper there says that established a record for silver ore shipments.
But speaking of records, the California Rand Silver has just had returns from a shipment of 1(5+1) tons of silver ore that assayed $2934 per ton in silver and $1.80 in gold, the company receiving net for the 1(5+1) tons the sum of $44,744.9(5+1).
If Tonopah is offering a blue ribbon for prize shipments, Randsburg submits these figures for consideration.” – Bakersfield Californian
Mineral Survey 5691, Independence Land District, Claim Located May 28, 1922, Known as Uranium 11 and Uranium 12, owned by California Rand Silver, Inc. Improvements consist of 1 shaft, cross cuts and drift, valued at $12, 741.
July 28, 1922: “A suit involving 80,000 shares of stock in California Rand Silver, Inc., instituted last September by E. L. Blanck and J. J. Noser (sic), owner of the stock, has been settled out of court, Noser (sic) and Blanck will each receive 40,000 shares.”–Engineering and Mining Journal
August 19, 1922: “CALIFORNIA’S GOLD-MINING INDUSTRY RECOVERING– …During the first six months of 1922 the U. S. Mint at San Francisco and local smelters and refiners received …….silver during the first half of 1922 by the mint and local smelters and refiners, amounted to $1,440,842 valued at $1 an ounce, or $157,147 less than in the first half of 1921, when silver was valued at $1.09 per ounce, This decrease is due to the continued idleness of most of the large copper and lead producing mines, from which much of the silver mined in California is derived. The silver mines in San Bernardino County are increasing their output somewhat, but not sufficiently to counteract the loss in the output of copper and lead ores. The mines that now produce the most silver are the California Rand, Inc., the Grady Lease on the same mine, in San Bernardino County, and the Engles copper mine in Plumas County.”–Engineering and Mining Journal
August 26, 1922: “THE RANDSBURG DISTRICT continues to attract attention in consequence of the output from the California Rand, the premier silver producer of California. The Ben Hur, Belcher Extension, and other companies are active, and numerous corporations are developing ore.”–Engineering and Mining Journal
September 30, 1922: “AT THE ANNUAL MEETIING of the stockholders of the California Rand Silver Co. Inc., the following directors were elected: B. H. Sill, J. J. Nosser, W. H. Williams, J. A. Hughes, Alfred Harrell, E. T. Grady, F. B. Chapin, W. H. Coons, and Alex Ward. At the director’s meeting following the stockholders’ meeting officers were elected as follows; Alfred Harrell, president; Dwight L. Clarke, Secretary; J. A. Hughes, W. H. Williams, J. J. Nosser, vice-presidents; Security Trust Company treasurer. Production for the last year is reported to have been 14,000 tons of ore shipped; 33,000 tons milled; and net production $1, 327,623 for the year ending Sept. 1. The total net production of the property in three years was $3,305,540. The mill was constructed in 112 days at a cost of $110,000 and it produced concentrates of a gross value of $458,953 during the first nine months of operation.”–Engineering and Mining Journal
October 11, 1922: “BIG SILVER PAYS $25,000 In Dividends During September—Report To Stockholders Shows Camp’s Biggest Producer In Fine Shape—The following statement to stockholders outlining activities during the month of September, was issued by the California Rand Silver Corporation, known locally as the, “Big Silver” and on the outside as the “Kelly Mine”.
Bakersfield, Oct. 4, 1922
To the Stockholders of California Rand Silver Incorporated;
Herewith please find check for two cents per share covering regular dividend No. 33 totaling $25,600. With this dividend the total disbursement to stockholders since January of this year is seventy cents per share, or $896,000; and since organization $1.53 ½ per share, or a grand total of $1, 964,800.
ORE EXTRACTION AND ADVANCEMENT
During September, tonnage extracted was as follows:
Shipping ore, tons …………..…..962
Milling ore , tons ……………….4312
Waste, tons … ……………..…2352
Total extraction. Tons 7652
Advancements were as follows:
Drifts, feet ……………………1163
Raises, feet …………………….140
Crosscuts, feet …………………102
Shafts, feet ……………………..140
Total advancements, feet……..1505
During the month, sinking of our No. 2 Shaft was resumed as announced in last month’s letter and it reached a depth of 821 feet on the 30th ult.
The payroll for September amounted to $35, 109.53
Except for the shutdown of virtually two days occasioned by an interuption in the Yellow Aster water supply, the operation of the mill was substantially as heretofore reported
Total milled ore, tons ————————————4391
Daily average running time, tons ——————–168.24
Daily Average, tons ————————————146.37
Running time —————————–26 days, 2 ½ hours
Lost time———————————–3 days, 21 ½ hours
Average gold heads—————————————-1.66
Average silver heads————————————-14.02
Total average value —————————16.68
Average gold extraction———————————————75.30 per cent
Average silver extraction——————————————–93.36 per cent
Total average extraction———————————————91.45 per cent
Recovery per ton——————————————————-$14.34
Total recovery on 4,391 tons————————————-62,966.94
Average concentrate value——————————————-367.00
Tons of concentrates produced at $367.00————————-171.57
Cars of concentrates shipped, net————————————240
During the last days of the month the new machinery designed to increase capacity to 200 tons was put in operation.
Late in the month the mine commenced pumping from the new Teagle springs well, and is now being supplied with nearly 25,000 gallons daily from this source. The water is of high quality and materially improves the domestic water service of the mine.
Annual Meeting and Report
On September 14th the regular meeting of the stockholders was held and the following Board of Directors elected for the ensuing year:
Frank B. Chapin, Alfred Harrell, B. H. Sill, W. H. Coons, J. A. Hughes, Alex Wark, Edward T. Grady, J. J. Nosser, W. H. Williams.
Upon its organization said Board elected the same officers that have served you during the past year.
During September 945 tons of ore (23 cars) and 240 tons of concentrates (16 cars) were shipped. We call attention to the fact that the mine since discovery has now shipped over one thousand cars of ore and concentrates.
Receipts from the smelter were $174, 244.56.
After the payment of your dividend of $25,600, your company has on hand $383,127.85″– The Rand Miner
October 28, 1922: “Randsburg—RANDSBURG, ABOUT $14,000,000 WORTH OF ORE has been blocked out and developed in the California Rand mine at Randsburg since its discovery late in 1919, according to the annual report to stockholders, recently issued. Much of this has been shipped, but in addition to the shipments ore worth, $7, 728, 00 is blocked out to a vertical depth of only 518 ft. From the returns from this development the company has paid $1, 964, 800 in dividends, and on Oct. 4 had a cash balance of $338,127.”–Engineering and Mining Journal
November 11, 1922: “RANDSBURG, THE CALIFORNIA RAND CO. has distributed $1,964,800 in dividends since the company was incorporated. No. 2 shaft is 850 ft. in depth, and the capacity of the mill will be increased to 200 tons per day. The company has $383,000 in its treasury.”–Engineering and Mining Journal
December 2, 1922: “MINING DIVIDENDS FOR NOVEMBER—California Rand $0.02 per share for a total of $25,600.Engineering and Mining Journal
December 9, 1922: “RANDSBURG, THE CALIFORNIA RAND CO. will increase its mill capacity from 200 to 400 tons per day. The company has declared its regular monthly dividend of 2 cents, and an extra disbursement of 10 cent per share bringing the year’s dividends to $1,049,000 and the total dividends to $2, 11l, and 400 since incorporation.”–Engineering and Mining Journal
December 16, 1922: “THE CALIFORNIA RAND SILVER INC. operating at Randsburg, Calif. has increased its mill capacity from 150 to 200 tons per day by the addition of a new crushing unit delivering a finer feed to the ball mill. The grinding, flotation, and settling units will now be doubled, bringing the capacity up to 400 tons per day. The company’s annual report states that it has a reasonably assured tonnage of ore, assaying 20 oz. per ton, to supply the mill for 1923. As the rate of shipment is 1,000 tons per month to the smelters, 1923 promises to be a busy year. Some time ago the company announced the discovery of a vein at 600 foot depth in shaft No. 6, on the extreme north end of its property. The shaft was sunk over 500 feet in depth through a cemented granite wash before encountering the schist formation. New and heavier equipment is being installed at No. 6 shaft.
A “semi-commercial” furnace for smelting concentrate at the mine is being erected. Experimental work has resulted in the development of a successful process using trona as a flux. The present installation is preliminary to building a twenty-ton plant which will handle the concentrate from two hundred tons of ore per day.”–Engineering and Mining Journal
December 16, 1922: “THE FOX LEASE is installing new electrical equipment to continue sinking its shaft from the 700 to the 1000 level, at which point a crosscut will be extended east toward the new ore zone.”–Engineering and Mining Journal
December 30, 1922: “MINING DIVIDENDS IN DECMEBER—California Rand Silver –00.”–Engineering and Mining Journal
January 5, 1923: “PROGRESS ON THE NEW UNITS of the concentrating plant of the Californian rand assures completion on time.” – Bakersfield Californian
January 9, 1923: “RANDSBURG HAS MILL CONSTRUCTION RECORD – Randsburg, Jan. 9, — The mill of the California Rand Silver Incorporated, whose capacity was doubled recently from 200 tons to 400, is now running smoothly, and on Saturday actually treated 400 tons.
October 4, 1923: “WITH THE EXPIRATION OF THE PITTMAN ACT (July 1, 1923) which guaranteed the price of silver to the producer at $1 an ounce, there were numerous predictions that the California Rand Silver Incorporated would greatly reduce their working force and cut wages. Neither of these predictions has proven true. The working forces of the Big Silver remain the same and wages are exactly what they were before the price reduction. It is timely here to mention the fact that the monthly reports issued by General Manager C. S. Meroney show the usual earnings and dividend checks are being mailed as regularly as the first of each month rolls around. This has, of course been made possible careful planning in advance for just such a contingency and by the employment of the greatest in mining and milling.”—Bakersfield Californian
November 3, 1923: “FROM THE DATE the board of directors authorized the mill enlargement, November 3; just 57 days elapsed until the wheels of the new unit were turning. This is said to be a record in mill construction. The cost of the new improvement was more than $60,000.” –Bakersfield Californian
December 22, 1923: “OFFICIAL CONFIRMATION OF THE RECENT strike made by the Californian Rand Silver Inc. mine has resulted in focusing of Los Angeles investors on this district.” –Bakersfield Californian
January 28, 1924: “A VERY ENCOURAGING LOOKING silver strike was brought in by the California Rand Silver company on its ninth level. Notices are now in the mail for the next regular meeting of the directors, to meet at the company’s headquarters, Hamptonville, the home of the mine.”—Bakersfield Californian
February 5, 1924: “BIG SILVER PLANS NEW DEVELOPMENT—Will Sacrifice Immediate Dividends to Insure Future of Mine—Randsburg, Feb. 5.—At a meeting of the board of directors of the California Rand Silver Incorporated, held at the mine on Saturday evening, it was decided, in view of the pressing necessity for doing more development work and for increasing the surplus of broken ore, to run the mill on a 100-ton basis, eight-hour shift per day, until further notice. This will reduce the value of the output of the mine and mill to about $48,000 gross per month, and, in view of the expenses over and above earnings, the regular 2 cents a share monthly will be temporarily discontinued after the March dividend is paid. This will be the first break in the dividend record of the company since January, 1920, the mine having paid to stockholders a total sum of $3,018, 400, including a distribution of $100,000 in September, 1919. In the monthly letter sent to stockholders the situation is set forth as follows:
“At the meeting of the board of directors, held at Randsburg February 2, it was ordered, by unanimous vote, that the resolution of January, 1920, provided for the payment of monthly dividends of 2 cents a share be rescinded, such order to become effective on March 4, following the payment of the monthly dividend on that date, and until further notice.
“With an unbroken record of monthly dividend payments of 2 cents a share extending over a period of four years and one month, and with 13 extra dividends of 10 cents a share during the same period, the whole amount in dividends totaling $3,018, 400, your board took this step with great reluctance, and only because the reasons set forth made it imperative.
“During the life of the Pittman act, which silver was bringing a dollar an ounce, much of the energy of the management was directed to extracting of ore in order to market our product at that advantageous price. When the Pittman act expired, in June of last year, all ore deposits easy of access had been pretty thoroughly exhausted and the management faced the problem of extracting 350 to 400 tons of ore per day to run the mill to its capacity.
“With the passing of the months, it became increasingly more difficult to produce the required volume of ore, so much so that during January the mill was idle 20 per cent of the time, due to ore shortage, thus also heavily increasing the milling cost. Mining costs are likewise increased under present conditions.
“Further, the necessity of producing a maximum quantity of ore daily is seriously interfering with the proper development of the mine, and established ore bodies are rapidly being depleted, without corresponding location of new deposits, a situation which, if permitted to continue, must inevitably result disastrously to future operations.
“Under these conditions, which were set forth fully and convincingly to your directors by General Manager Meroney, Engineer Walsh, Mine Superintendent Kehoe, and Mill Superintendent Coleman, your board deemed it sound business judgment to place in effect this policy, the same to be pursued so long as it is necessary: (1) To reduce milling operations to one shift per day of eight hours; (2) to build up an ore surplus that will insure the operation of the mill of the mill at full capacity when three full shifts shall be resumed, which will be at the very earliest practical; (3) to increase development work by at least 50 per cent over the present footage.
“With this program determined upon, pursuit of which means a temporary reduction of revenue to about $48,000 per month gross, it was deemed unwise and unsafe, with due regard to the future interests of the property, to continue, during the time of curtailment of mill operations, to pay dividends from the surplus funds on hand, funds which may very largely be required for proper development of the mine.”
ENGINEER WALSH’S CONCLUSIONS—The letter then goes on to say: “In connection with this adopted policy our engineer, Mr. Walsh, says in a report to the board; “The large bodies of ore near the shafts or center of operations have been thoroughly explored and a fair estimate can be made of the available ore, supply in this territory. The opening up of future ore bodies will require a higher proportion of development work than has been necessary in the past, as the unexplored territory lies farther from the center of operations.
“The development work during the past six months has proved satisfactory and three promising ore zones have been opened up, namely: the so-called gold zone on the eleventh level, the ore body on the seventh level in the old No. 6 shaft and the body in the 944 drift on the ninth level.
“At the present time there are about 8000 tons of broken ore in the mine. Of this amount 3500 tons are immediately available as the balance must remain until completion of the stopes.
“The present available stoping areas are such that the mine cannot supply a steady tonnage equal to the mill requirement except at excessive cost.
“Under existing conditions it seems advisable to carry on an intensive development program while supplying the mill with enough ore to run one shift.”
The monthly letter to stockholders quotes from General Manager Meroney’s report of expenses for January as follows;
Supplies, power, water, explosives
Insurance, corporation tax, etc…………………………..$33,769.21
Dividends in January……………………………………..…$153,600.00
Total January disbursements …………………………….$253,733.62
During the month the mine produced 7978 tons of ore, 3354 tons of waste, and 618,200 of water. The advancement was 991 feet.
Milling Operations—As to the milling operations, the letter says: “At the mill new equipment for the drying of concentrates, has been installed and is now in successful operation, very materially reducing the expense of caring for concentrates, as well as cutting down the freight charges
“Also Superintendent Coleman announces the discovery and adoption of a new and advantageous treatment of concentrates, more economical than that heretofore in use and one that yields the highest percentage of extraction yet attained. Tailings hereafter will show a loss of between 50 cents and a dollar only.
“Mill figures for the month are; Total ore milled 8,106 tons. Average gold heads, $1,961; average silver heads $16,143; total average heads, $18,104. Average gold tails, $0.607; average silver tails, $0.890; total average tails, $1.497
“Recovery per ton, $16,607; recovery on 8106 tons, $134,616.34; tons of concentrates produced at $240,552.57; tons of concentrates shipped (approximately), $106,776.96.”
Smelter returns for the month were $80,195.14. After paying the February dividend the company has on hand a cash surplus of $302.727.54.”—Bakersfield Californian
January 14, 1925: “DOUBLE SHIFTS USED IN RANDSBURG MINES—A busy scene will meet the eyes of New York financiers, interested in the pending California Rand Incorporated deal, when they arrive next week. Both the Coyote mine and the Fox lease are working two shifts and have made good advancement in the two weeks that have passed since the first bucket full of hard rock was raised. Work has been progressing rapidly in the Coyote mine on the 700 foot level, working west towards the Williams vein. The work on the Fox lease has been on the 775-foot level, working south, in quest of the Antimony vein.
With the closing of the proposed deal many cracker-jack miners of the west will return to the old grounds in anticipation of the reopening of a large per cent of the idle deep shafts. Most of them, it is felt, figure on doing their annual assessment and may see their way clear to dig up and provide for further development and advancement.” –Bakersfield Californian
March 25, 1925: “BIG SILVER OPTION IS NOT EXCERCISED—New York Interests Forfeit $25,000 and Decline to Purchase—The New York interests that took an option upon the majority stock of the California Rand Silver Incorporated at $2 a share, have, after a complete survey of the famous Randsburg silver property, declined to exercise the option, which, in a wife from New York, is declared to be at an end.
The determination not to go through with the deal carries with it a forfeiture of $25,000 posted with the Security Trust Company, and that amount will be distributed among the participating shareholders representing practically 1,200,000 shares of stock, or at the rate of about two cents a share.
The reason given for failure to conclude the deal is that the ore reserves in the mine failed to come up to the expectations of the option holders.
With the rejection of the option, it is the purpose of the management of the mine to begin an intensive development program which will include sinking the shaft to a depth of 500 feet additional with a view to opening up new ore bodies.” – Bakersfield Californian
March 26, 1925: “FLAGS FLY WHEN MINE IS NOT SOLD—Randsburg Rejoices That Big Silver Control Is Unchanged—On receipt of new here that the “Big Silver,” as the California Rand Silver Incorporated is locally designated, was not to be sold to New York interests, flags and bunting were displayed on business houses and homes, evidencing the sentiment of the people toward the present management of Randsburg’s big producing property.
Local mining men believe that the property at depth will prove to be one of the big mines in history, and the word that No. 2 shaft is to be deepened 500 additional feet was received by the business and wage-earning interests with great enthusiasm.
General Manager C. S. Maroney has just completed a modern steam-heated change room, has moved the blacksmith shop from its old location close to the mouth of the mine, will erect a 60 x 49 machine shop, is now building a trona warehouse and is relocating the company’ big lumber yard at a point closer to the mine shaft.
Coincident with the news that the mine is not to be sold came the report of encouraging development on the eleventh level north where a new ore body has been discovered.”–Bakersfield Californian
December 1, 1925: “BIG SILVER’S MILL ON ONE-SHIFT BASIS—Due to depletion of ore reserved and lack of discovery of new ore bodies in the last 90 days, the mill of the California Rand Silver, Inc. went on a one-shift basis today, thus reducing the daily tonnage and the company’s revenue by 50 per cent. The board of directors will consider the new situation at a meeting to be held on December 3.
Sinking of the main shaft has been resumed below the nineteenth level, where the station has been cut and the contracted 500 feet depth will be realized this month. To date no values have been disclosed in the shaft and Randsburg will await with keen interest the result of the cross cut that will determine whether or not there are additional bodies at depth.”—Bakersfield Californian
April 1926: “CALIFORNIA RAND SILVER, INC. –Nearest Dividend Paying Mine to Los Angeles Has Disbursed Nearly Four Million Dollars in Seven Years—Gross Yield Twelve Million – Reserved Largely Increased. Less than 150 miles from Los Angeles over more than one hundred miles of paved highway, is a silver mine that ranked fifth among producers in the United States in 1924 – the property of California Rand Silver, Inc., better known perhaps as the Kelly Silver mine, located in 1919 by John Kelly, now a resident of this city.
FIFTH AMONG PRODUCERS—In 1924 the principal silver producers of the country were placed as follows: Anaconda 8,345, 841 ounces; Tintic Standard, 4,205,463; Silver King Coalition, 2,551,104 ounces; Chief Consolidated, 2,536,417; California Rand Silver, 2,227,802; Tonopah Extension 2,058,366; United Verde, 1,830,953; Park Utah, 1,764,005; Federal Mining and Smelting, 1,679,394…..
FIRST SINGLE PRODUCER—It will be noticed that practically all of these producers, other the California –Rand, also largely produce other metals, with silver as a by-product. In some cases the results were obtained from more than one mine, in many cases from several. Thus, it may be said that California Rand Silver is the largest single producer of silver in the United States.
MAINTAINS FRONT RANK—It is not possible to define California position in 1925 owing to the fact that its fiscal year ends July 31, whereas other producers on the list use the calendar year. However it is fairly safe to assume that it maintained a pre=eminent position, since its production reached 2, 432,139 ounces, compared with 2,227,802 in the previous year. There may have been some improvement in the position of one or more of the great Utah lead-silver mines but for all practical purposes it may be safely assumed that the nearest dividend paying mine to this city still stands up in the first rank.
DIVIDENDS NEAR FOUR MILLION –Since operations were commenced in 1919, a matter of seven years next June, the company has disbursed $3,987,200 in dividends, or $3.11 ½ per share upon 1,280 shares outstanding. By years disbursements have been as follows: 1919, 7 ½ cents; 1920, 24 cents, 1921, 52 cents; 1922, 84 cents; 1923, 54 cents; 1924, 35 cents; 1925, 54cents and up to date in 1926, 3 cents.
FIFTEEN MILES OF WORK—Up to July 31, 1925, development work had reached a total of over 15 miles, or to be exact, 80,729 feet. In the first year the amount completed was, 4,258 feet, and in the second year 7, 542 feet. In the following years work was speeded up very materially, the lowest footage being 15, 914 in 1921-22 and the largest 19,784 in 1924-25.
HEAVY TONNAGE HOISTED—The last annual report carries some interesting figures. For instance, the total of all material hoisted was 146,847 tons, of which 94,690 tons was ore and 52,117 tons waste, Water handled during the same period was 3,775,600 gallons, or at the rate of 10,334 gallons for each day of the year.
MILL RECOVERY HIGH—In the matter of mill recovery, California Rand has also earned place among the most efficiently operated mines in the United States. Extraction in 1924-25 reached an average of 93.8%. Gold values ran $2.70 per ton, with tailing loss of 52 cents, or recovery of 80.85%, while silver heads were $19.30, tailing 84 cents and total extraction 95.6%. The recovery per ton on ore of $22 was $20.64. Value of concentrates per ton reached $232.18. Total gross recovery from 88,554 tons was $1,827,548, yielded by 7871.53 tons of dry concentrate. In other words, the ratio of concentration was around 11 ½ tons into one.
SILVER VALUE 95%– Ore shipped contained 9,447 ounces of gold worth $179,736.97 and 2,482,139 ounces of silver, worth $1,704,357.24. Thus it will be seen that silver accounted for over 95% of the total income of the company and gold for the remaining less than 5%.
NEW EARNINGS $1,642,333—Total deductions from gross value of shipments reached $247,013.36 and included smelter penalties and deductions, $87,275.95; freight charges $81,041.72 and treatment charges, $78,659.69. This left net value of $1,637,080.85 to which was added $5,252.52, returns from 40 tons of shipping ore, making grand net total of $1,642,333.37.
GROSS YEILD TWELVE MILLION—Up till July 31, 1925, the mine had yielded 353,699 tons of ore, from which was extracted 39,697 ounces of gold and 13,017,476.50 ounces of silver, with gross value of $11,880,267.66, net smelter returns of $9,531,472.93 and dividend disbursements of $3.798.606.31.
RESERVES LARGELY INCREASED—It will be remembered that the property was under option last year to eastern capital and that it was generally reported when the option was abandoned that the mine did not show sufficient reserved to justify the prince asked. Some bearing upon the “in and out” character of the mine is gathered from the last estimate of reserves. In March, 1924, ore in sight was placed at 74,400 tons of average value of $22.08 based upon silver at 65 cents per ounce. Between February 1, 1924 and July 1, 1925, production reached 118,138 tons of average grade of $22.14. In other words, the production in the succeeding seventeen months exceeded the estimates of ore in sight by no less than 43,738 tons and yet on the latter date ore in sight was placed at 85,500 tons, averaging $21.39 containing gross value of $1,893,000. Put in another way, the mine, while taking out the 74,400 tons estimated as in sight in February, 1924, placed and additional 132,238 tons in sight.
HISTORY IS REMARKABLE—Considered from any angle, California Rand Silver is one of the most remarkable successful silver mines in the world. When it is remembered that it was located but seven years ago, on a well-traveled trail within sight of the Yellow Aster mine, a notable old gold producer of Southern California, its record is all the more arresting. Many a time whispers have carried the rumor that the mine had run out or ore, but as the years go on it seems to maintain its production at a very satisfactory level and ends up each year with additional reserves in sight. Recently a great strike was reported from the 1100 level on the Williams vein and while details have not been confirmed officially, it may safely be accepted as important. Rumor says that on that level is a face of ore 30 feet wide, with average values running up to $200 a ton and streaks that will far surpass these values. Be that as it may, there is every reason to support the belief that California Rand Silver, out yonder in our own back yard, will long maintain its position among the great silver producers of the world.” — Southwest Mining New Service
October 1, 1926: “YESTERDAY AT RANDSBURG, the chief producing silver property was compelled to shut down, some 125 men were thrown out of employment, and disbursements ranging anywhere from $25,000 to $40,000 per month for labor and supplies, will cease. The profitable mining of silver at the present market rate of 57 cents is not possible under conditions there, and naturally a mine like any other business, cannot operate at a loss.”—Bakersfield Californian
January 5, 1927: “DEATH NEAR FOR JOHN W. KELLY –Advices From L. A. Say Ex-Sheriff Has but Few Hours to Live—At noon today a private wire came from Los Angeles to the effect that J. W. Kelly, whose injuries were chronicled in The Californian yesterday, was sinking rapidly, double pneumonia having set in. The information received was that at best the former Kern official could live but a few hours.
Further details as to the manner of the accident are to the effect that Mr. Kelly was on his way to Randsburg with his driver and that a tire blew out near Saugus; and while repairs were being made, Mr. Kelly left the car and in passing around the machine, a truck coming from the other direction struck him and dragged him for a considerable distance, fracturing his skull both at the forehead and at the base of the brain. He never regained consciousness.
John W. Kelly was born in Missouri 67 years ago and came to California in his early manhood, mining for a time in the northern part of the state, but in the late 90’s during the gold excitement on the desert making his home at Randsburg. There he was likewise engaged in mining and in the transfer business.
IN PUBLIC OFFICE—He was elected constable of the desert town in its hustling days and in 1900 he was chosen county supervisor from the First supervisorial district. His wide acquaintance in the county and his good record as a peace officer at Randsburg and as supervisor made him an eligible candidate for sheriff and in 1902 he was nominated for that position by the Democratic convention and thereafter was successful in the general election. In 1906 he was re-nominated and re-elected, serving the county most acceptably as head of its peace force for a period of eight years, when he voluntarily retired from the position, being succeeded by Thomas A. Baker, now justice of the peace of this township.
Mr. Kelly’s tenure of office was an exciting one. It was during that time, under his direction, that the big gambling games of Bakersfield were put out of business, and it was also in his first term that a desperate battle with outlaws took place at the Joss House in Chinatown, in which two of his deputies, T. J. Packard, and W. E. Tibbett, were killed.
IN DESERT MINES—Following his retirement from politics, Mr. Kelly engaged in the mercantile and oil business in Maricopa and subsequently returned to Randsburg to resume mining there. He was one of the locators of what is now commonly known as the “Big Silver”, the property of the California Rand Silver Incorporated. Engaged in prospecting a short distance from the present mine, attention was directed to the deposit where the famous silver mine is now situated, and Mr. Kelly, J. J. Nosser, W. H. Williams and Miss Edith Coons were the original locators of the claims where the mine was developed. Mr. Kelly is still a member of the board of directors and a large stockholder in the property, and in addition to that, has acquired other mining interests, among them a profitable lead and silver mine in the Slate Range, which holds promise of becoming a very heavy producer. It is commonly accepted that he has accumulated a fortune in his ventures in the desert mines.
HAS WIDE ACQUAINTANCE—Mr. Kelly is a member of the Elks Lodge of this city and of the Eagles. He has a wide acquaintanceship throughout the county and is held in high esteem by the citizenship generally. His immediate family consists of his wife and one daughter both residents of Los Angeles.”—Bakersfield Californian
January 7, 1927: “JOHN W. KELLY RITES TO BE HELD SATURDAY—Funeral services for the late John W. Kelly will be held at the St. Francis church, Los Angeles, at 10 o’clock Saturday morning, and interment will take place in Calvary cemetery. The Los Angeles Elks will officiate at the grave in behalf of Bakersfield Lodge No. 266, of which Mr. Kelly was a member. A number of Bakersfield people will journey to the south to pay their last respects to the dead pioneer, and the Bakersfield colony in Los Angeles will largely attend the service.”—Bakersfield Californian
March 30, 1929: “THE CALIFORNIA RAND SILVER INC., Randsburg, California, C. S. Meroney, general manager, has suspended dividends. The only ore in sight in the mine now is low grade, worth about $9 per ton, but work will be continued as long as the discovery of ore is considered possible. The company has moved some of its equipment to a property north of Yucca, Arizona, for exploration purposes and pending favorable showings may take over that property.”—The Mining Journal
September 30, 1929: “HENRY W. KLIPSTEIN HAS PURCHASED the equipment and realty of the California Rand Silver, Inc., Randsburg, California, presumably for the H. W. Gould Company at San Francisco. Work on the property ceased last March, when the low value of ore and the decreasing price of silver made operations unprofitable. During the last few months of operation, work was confined largely to mining ore between the surface and the so-called barren zone between the twelfth and fourteenth levels. The new owners will attempt to open up new ore to the north and south and will let leases on a royalty basis. If enough ore is accumulated, the mill will be placed in operation.”—The Mining Journal
3-15-1931: “THE CONSOLIDATED METALS CORPORATION, A. W. Frolli, general manager, 762 Mills Building, San Francisco, California, reports a net profit for 1930 of $121,299.71, after deduction of $199,082.42 for current expenses and taxes, and $7,865.96 for depreciation. Its receipts for that period were $238,197.75 from the sales of ore, $94,644 from the sale of the Kelly Mine, and $886.84 from miscellaneous sources. In April the company purchased the Oceanic Mine, which produced an average of 85 flasks of quicksilver a month until December 1. The furnace is now producing 150 flasks a day and is expected to maintain this production for several months. In October it acquired the Bishop Creek gold Mine in Inyo County and has developed approximately 70,000 tons of ore, averaging $12 a ton. Mining and milling costs are estimated to be $7 a ton. The Bishop Creek Mine is equipped with a 75-ton flotation mill and it is planned to double its capacity this spring.”—The Mining Journal
OWNED AND OPERATED BY WORTLEY CONSOLIDATED MINES DURING 1930 AND 1931( See Santa Fe Mine, Red Mountian)
August 15, 1931: “FOLLOWING THE PROVISION OF JOBS for about 50 leasers at the Kelly-Rand mine at Randsburg, California, announcement has been made that the mill on the property is to be augmented and used as a custom plant. It is understood that cyanide equipment capable of handling 150 tons daily has been ordered, this to be added to the 400-ton flotation plant, and placed in operation by September 1. The Kelly-Rand mine is now owned by Homer L. Gibson and L. E. Main, Pasadena and Los Angeles capitalists, and Roy A. Hardy, Reno mining engineer. Gordon Cole has been placed in charge as general superintendent. Underground operations are to be conducted through the No. 6 shaft.”—The Mining Journal
THE OWL, MR. SECURITY & GOLDMINERS OUTPOST
701 Highway 395, Red Mountain, CA
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