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Nuggets to Neutrinos (eBook)

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Very few mines in the world ever produced gold continuously for morethan one hundred years. The Homestake Mine was one that did, producing 40million ounces of gold from 1876 through 2001, when the quest for the yellowmetal was brought to an end for good. Over the next few years after the minewas shut down, tens of thousands of ounces in additional gold were recoveredas mine facilities were systematically decommissioned, and the mill site wasreclaimed and converted to an open-air museum.For more than 125 years, the Homestake Mine helped support thelivelihoods of countless numbers of people who were directly or indirectlyaffiliated with the mine. Sadly, some of these people lost their lives or werephysically impaired while working at the mine or in support of the mine.Fortunately, a lasting legacy evolved from the dedication, loyalty, andperseverance of each of these people and every other person who was everassociated with the mine. This living legacy continues to evolve with thetransformation of the mine into a deep underground science and engineeringlaboratory.The Homestake legacy began to unfold in August and September 1875when the Bryant, Blanchard, Smith, Gay, and Lardner parties discovered richgold placers in Deadwood Gulch. What they found was mostly Homestake gold,weathered and worn to nuggets and dust. Fred and Moses Manuel, alongwith their partners, Henry C. Hank Harney and Alexander Alf Engh, werelatecomers to Deadwood Gulch, arriving in February 1876. For the most part,these four men were more interested in finding the source of the placer gold orthe lode gold. Their prowess and diligence paid off. On April 9, 1876, MosesManuel and Hank Harney discovered a rich quartz outcrop upon which all fourmen located the Homestake lode claim.The Black Hills was still a part of the Great Sioux Reservation then, pursuantto the Fort Laramie treaties of 1851 and 1868. The Teton Sioux, alsoknown as the Lakota, probably werent the first American Indians to have apresence in and around the Black Hills. Notwithstanding, the Fort Laramie treaties specified the boundaries for the Great Sioux Reservation and the BlackHills were included within that description. It wasnt until the Manypenny Agreement was signed on September 26, 1876, and ratified by Congress on February 28, 1877,that the boundaries of the Great Sioux Reservation were modified, thereby excludingthe Black Hills from the reservation and allowing the miners to have a legal presencein the Black Hills. Toward the latter part of 1877, the California capitalists George Hearst, J.B. Haggin, and Lloyd Tevis acquired the Homestake and Golden Terry miningclaims from the Manuel brothers, Harney, and Engh. From that point forward,the California capitalists and their various other investment partners engagedthemselves to try and acquire most all of the mining claims along the HomestakeBelt, providing there was good ore and the price was right.Their acquisition strategies included such methods as outright force, costlycourt battles litigated by the best lawyers, acquisition and control of preciouswater rights through separate companies, fair land purchases, creation orconsolidation of mining companies, and acquisition and control of competingcompanies through accumulation of company stock. In other cases, theHomestake capitalists prevailed by simply waiting until the other operatorswent broke or some other opportunity presented itself to allow acquisition ata bargain price. Aided by their money, skill, and shrewdness, the Homestakecapitalists were very successful in fulfilling their passions and paving the roadwayfor future generations at the Homestake Mine.

Very few mines in the world ever produced gold continuously for morethan one hundred years. The Homestake Mine was one that did, producing 40million ounces of gold from 1876 through 2001, when the quest for the yellowmetal was brought to an end for good. Over the next few years after the minewas shut down, tens of thousands of ounces in additional gold were recoveredas mine facilities were systematically decommissioned, and the mill site wasreclaimed and converted to an open-air museum.For more than 125 years, the Homestake Mine helped support thelivelihoods of countless numbers of people who were directly or indirectlyaffiliated with the mine. Sadly, some of these people lost their lives or werephysically impaired while working at the mine or in support of the mine.Fortunately, a lasting legacy evolved from the dedication, loyalty, andperseverance of each of these people and every other person who was everassociated with the mine. This living legacy continues to evolve with thetransformation of the mine into a deep underground science and engineeringlaboratory.The Homestake legacy began to unfold in August and September 1875when the Bryant, Blanchard, Smith, Gay, and Lardner parties discovered richgold placers in Deadwood Gulch. What they found was mostly Homestake gold,weathered and worn to nuggets and dust. Fred and Moses Manuel, alongwith their partners, Henry C. Hank Harney and Alexander Alf Engh, werelatecomers to Deadwood Gulch, arriving in February 1876. For the most part,these four men were more interested in finding the source of the placer gold orthe lode gold. Their prowess and diligence paid off. On April 9, 1876, MosesManuel and Hank Harney discovered a rich quartz outcrop upon which all fourmen located the Homestake lode claim.The Black Hills was still a part of the Great Sioux Reservation then, pursuantto the Fort Laramie treaties of 1851 and 1868. The Teton Sioux, alsoknown as the Lakota, probably werent the first American Indians to have apresence in and around the Black Hills. Notwithstanding, the Fort Laramie treaties specified the boundaries for the Great Sioux Reservation and the BlackHills were included within that description. It wasnt until the Manypenny Agreement was signed on September 26, 1876, and ratified by Congress on February 28, 1877,that the boundaries of the Great Sioux Reservation were modified, thereby excludingthe Black Hills from the reservation and allowing the miners to have a legal presencein the Black Hills. Toward the latter part of 1877, the California capitalists George Hearst, J.B. Haggin, and Lloyd Tevis acquired the Homestake and Golden Terry miningclaims from the Manuel brothers, Harney, and Engh. From that point forward,the California capitalists and their various other investment partners engagedthemselves to try and acquire most all of the mining claims along the HomestakeBelt, providing there was good ore and the price was right.Their acquisition strategies included such methods as outright force, costlycourt battles litigated by the best lawyers, acquisition and control of preciouswater rights through separate companies, fair land purchases, creation orconsolidation of mining companies, and acquisition and control of competingcompanies through accumulation of company stock. In other cases, theHomestake capitalists prevailed by simply waiting until the other operatorswent broke or some other opportunity presented itself to allow acquisition ata bargain price. Aided by their money, skill, and shrewdness, the Homestakecapitalists were very successful in fulfilling their passions and paving the roadwayfor future generations at the Homestake Mine.


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  • Released:
  • Categories: History
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Xlibris US
  • ISBN-10: 1543480187
  • ISBN-13: 9781543480184

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by steven t. mitchell

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