Downieville: "Charley Johnson found it." Somewhere between 150 and 200 ounces of gold have come to daylight at Alleghany’s Sixteen to One mine during the last week.
“We won’t know exactly how much we’ve got until we put it through our high-grade mill,” explained mine President Mike Miller. “You can see the gold in the arsenopyrite, and this is better than the stuff we got an ounce per ton from.”
Miller guestimated the gold to be worth in the neighborhood of $63,000.
This is the first optimistic time for the mine since it daylighted 200 ounces about a year ago.
“We’ve had crumbs, teasers, since then,” Miller complained.
Downieville’s Charley Johnson found the seam using a metal detector. The area, some 500 feet from the “million dollar day” bonanza in “the ballroom” appeared attractive enough that miners quit pulling ore in order to prepare a larger operation.
“(Mine manager) Ian (Haley) said it looked good enough to stope on, so they’re all down there setting up,” Miller explained. “Naturally, we’re hoping this area continues to pay well.”
“We’ve got eight guys on contract now, and this month they’ll have a payday. Attendance is sure better when you’re in gold, but I’ve got to hand it to these guys for hanging in through the hard times.”
With the proceeds of this recent hit, plus the profit from the sale of 48 tons of heavy concentrates to a refiner, which proved to contain six ounces per ton, Miller hopes to de-water 200 feet of the mine and soon be working in areas untouched for 50 years.
“We’ve never come up dry metal detecting previous workings,” Miller noted.
Meanwhile, the mine has some cash to keep the creditors at bay.