Homestake Silver Bullion

Discussion in 'Bullion Investing' started by ussaty, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. ussaty

    ussaty Senior Member

    Does anyone know where to find 5oz. or 10oz. bullion bars of silver from the Homestake Gold mine in Lead, SD?
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  3. quick dog

    quick dog New Member

    You might want to ask someone at Homestake Mining Company.

    Homestake Mine was not a big silver producer. I am surprised that the have silver bars from that mine. I wonder if the silver actually comes from one of their other operations?
  4. Bonedigger

    Bonedigger New Member

    Homestake is now CLOSED... (In Lead, SD that is)
  5. quick dog

    quick dog New Member

    I assumed that USSATY knew that the mine in Lead, SD was closed. I also assume that Homestake Mining Company sells bullion, and that if they have silver bullion, it originated from another mine. Even the famous Black Hills Gold doesn't come from the Black Hills. When the Homestake Mine was going strong in the late 60s, Black Hills Gold jewelry was made from South African gold.
  6. Bonedigger

    Bonedigger New Member

    Actually, the state just purchased it to maintain in the hopes they can entice the National Science Foundation (or something like that) into building an underground Super-Collider. As far as Black Hills Gold, I know of an outcrop near "Black Fox Campground" which yeilds pretty high grade ore.

    Here is a sample.


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  7. OldDan

    OldDan 共和党

    Get out of here! The very idea, you should bite your tongue. :secret:
  8. ussaty

    ussaty Senior Member

    Yes, Yes, whew! I didn't expect so many responses so quickly!

    Well to correct a few fallacies I do know that "Homestake" is now closed (as of 1998), and yes they did produce large amounts of silver, just not that much in comparison to gold. I do know that silver bullion bars do exist from the Homestake mine, I just can't find them. Hence my original question, does anyone know where to find bullion silver from the Homestake mine?
  9. quick dog

    quick dog New Member

    Is there something wrong with calling them?
  10. quick dog

    quick dog New Member

    Does anyone know if the underground workings are flooded? Unless someone is paying through the nose to dewater the mine, I am sure that it is filling up with ground water. I was underground in the late 1960s when they still operated trains. It was an "E" ride, better than anything at Disneyland. The elevator (man-skip) fell in free-fall during the middle part of the descent to the 4,500-foot main working level. In those days they were mining at 6,000 feet. I believe they eventually drove exploration sgafts to 12,000 feet, but I am not sure.

    South Dakota School of Mines ran a physics experiment station at the lower levels for many years. They were detecting bizarre atomic particles (radiation) in big tanks of water. I believe that certain types of (cosmic) radiation pass through the earth. The physics experiments were designed to detect and document sub-atomic particles. I am sure that this stuff is old-hat now days.

    In those days we were all doing real engineering problems and research on an IBM 1130 computer. It had a wopping 64K memory. The cpu and peripherals filled an air-conditioned room. There were paper tape drives, banks of wide magnetic spools, card readers, and three-foot-high stacks of striped (18"x11"?) connected and folded computer sheets!

    Only the computer technicians were allowed in the computer room. Card-punch operators punched your cards (program deck) from hand-written programming sheets given to them by the users (us). If you had a comma out of place, or a single character was missing from a thousand command program, the computer would "dump" your file. When was the last time anyone ever saw a "computer dump". It was brutal.

    Now pale and plump little computer geeks think they are fabulous computer wizards when they manipulate extremely powerful programs (mostly games) that were written by dozens of proficient programmers, over a period of years. The geeks manipulate extraordinarily powerful computers that even Einstein probably never imagined. Monkeys on typewriters.

    Sometimes I feel like a blacksmith telling NASA about making wagon wheels.
  11. Bonedigger

    Bonedigger New Member

    Yes, it's flooding now. Homestake has graciously kept the pumnps on, but those cost money. Steps in South Dakota and is in the process of buying the location, Open Pit and all.

  12. quick dog

    quick dog New Member

    That will only last as long as the politicians don't know how expensive dewatering a deep mine can be. I'll bet that SD doesn't have the money (or political will) to keep that place dry on a sustained basis.

    Does the Spokane Mine still exist? My thesis area, down in the granite pegmatite region of the Black Hills.
  13. Bonedigger

    Bonedigger New Member

    Yes, but it's pretty well grown up the last time I was deer hunting in the (Custer) area.

  14. quick dog

    quick dog New Member

    When I was there in 1968-70, it was still private property. There were still bags of metallurgical reagents laying around. There was a significant dead area from acid runoff below the mine dumps.

    The one claim to fame of the Spokane Mine is that it was probably the first hardriock mine in the United States where an attempt was made to mine the schistose bedrock with a continuous mining machine designed for coal mining. back in the 1020s, the Spokane Mining Company hauled a continuous miner (probably German) from Ohio, hauled it up from Custer with a 20-mule team, and tried to lower it down the Spokane shaft.

    The mining machine was too wide for the timbered shaft, so they pulled out all the timbers and tried again. They fired up the big machine, but the rock was too hard and the machine could not handle it. So, they pulled it out of the mine and the cost of the experiment broke the company. The Spokane was never much of a mine.
  15. Bonedigger

    Bonedigger New Member

    Speaking of mining, did you happen to catch the (History) special "What the Romans did for us" which aired last week. There was a section about gold mining in Wales I believe. They mentioned the hill stripping techniques (water, gates, and sluces) and the apparent water-wheel discovered when some miners in the 60's attempted to reopen one of the old mines.

    It was incredible what they could accomplish with only human power and ingenuity. Definitely, not a good time to be a slave or indentured servant.

  16. quick dog

    quick dog New Member

    That's nothing. The Romans went into northwestern Spain where there were small placer gold deposits around a mountain. They enlisted slave labor, then excavated miles of underground tunnels throughout the mountain. They then constructed an aquaduct and brought water in from a great distance. They collected water in a reservoir, then released all the water at once through the complex system of underground tunnels. The water washed through the mountain, basically knocked it down, and washed out a lot of placer gold. The Romans then picked up the gold which washed out and collected in natural riffles on the ground.

    It was an amazing engineering feat, and apparently it worked. The Romans were able to recover a large volume of placer gold from a large low-grade deposit by a complex method, relying upon slave labor and focused hydraulic action.

    Now, I suppose People's Republic of China may be the best modern analog. The commies have had immense commercial success selling America and western Europe cheap goods manufactured by slave labor.
  17. Bonedigger

    Bonedigger New Member

    I recall reading the Romans (virtually) totally mined out the Iberian Peninsula. The evidence of this is heavy traces of lead and other trace metal in the ice caps from their smelting fires. It must have been a very rich area.

  18. Krasnaya Vityaz

    Krasnaya Vityaz Always Right

    Must have greatly increased the lead levels in the blood also and contributed to an earlier than usual death for someone with about a 30 year avg lifespan.
  19. Bonedigger

    Bonedigger New Member

    True, the "Hired Help" was expendable. BTW, I saw you collected model kits. Check this one out :)


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  20. quick dog

    quick dog New Member

    That's interesting.

    Be advised that there are only two world-class natural mercury deposits in the world. Idria, Spain and deposits throughout the northen California Coast Range (Coalinga to Calistoga). Mercury often occurs as a sulfide (cinnabar, etc) and would therefore require smelting for significant recovery. The alluvial gold of northern Spain would not require smelting. The rough gold would be recovered by gravity methods, and probably further refined by amalgamation. A lot of mercury would be released to the atmosphere during the amalgamation process.

    The lead component is interesting. I would guess that if the basemetals tied up in ice caps are derived from ore smelting, then it would probably have to be copper, zinc, silver, cobalt, nickel, or lead smelting. These metals typically occur as sulfide and oxides which would require smelting. I suspect that people were smelting base metals in other spots on the earth (Asia, central Europe, England, and the Middle East).

    Regarding deaths attributed to mining a smelting, the dangerous mining operations were mercury and cobalt. Women in the German cobalt mining areas would typically go through several husbands. Cobalt was very nasty indeed. Miners died relatively quickly and often.

    There may also be natural sources of basemetals and sulfourous gases. Volcanic activity produces basemetal sulfides and associated noxious gases. However, there is a popular trend to assign various global contaminants and environmental problems to the activities of man. I suspect that some of these attributions are in fact unfounded. These stories sell.
  21. Bonedigger

    Bonedigger New Member

    Do you recall the "Heinz 57" mine? It located between Hill City and Keystone, easily reached by the 1880 Train. It's told 57 different minerals were mined from it over it's productivity period.

    Now me, I'm a forester (SFASU, 82) who knows nothing about mining and not a very good one at that, but if I applied I'll bet I could find a job, this is the area to be in.

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