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Full text of "Report on the Vanderburg mine"

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Report on the 
VANDERBURG MINE 



THE LIBRARY OF THE 

UNIVERSITY OF 

NORTH CAROLINA 

AT CHAPEL HILL 




THE COLLECTION OF 
NORTH CAROLINIANA 



Cp553.li 

¥22h 



REPORT 



YANDEEBUEG MINE 



JAMES T. HODGE. 



NEW-YORK : 

QEOBQR F. NBSBITT AND CO., FiUNTBIiS, OOBNBB OF WALL AND WATHtt STBBST8. 

1853. 



REPORT 



VANDERBUKG MINE 



JAMES T. HODGE, 



NEW-YORK : 

OBOBOB I*. NBSBITT AMD 00., PBINSBRS, OOBNBR Off WALL AMD WASBB STB1BT*. 

1853. 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/reportonvanderbuOOhodg 






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REPORT 



VANDERBURG MINING COMPANY, 



EEPOET OF THE VANDERBURG MINING COMPANY, FORMED UNDER THE 
GENERAL LAW OF THE STATE OF NEW- YORK, REGULATING MINING- 
COMPANIES, &e. PASSED FEBRUARY 17, 1848, WITH AMENDMENT OF 
JUNE 8th, 1.853.. 



The property of the Vanderburg Mining Company is situa- 
ted in the County of Cabarras, State of North Carolina, ad- 
joining what is known as the Phoenix Mine, distant twenty- 
two miles from Charlotte, the terminus of the Charlotte and 
Columbia Railroad, and seven miles from Concord ; and consists 
of the following-named parcels or estates . 

The .Vanderburg Mine, containing. . .250 acres. 



Barhart Mine and Estate, containing. .. .156 



u 



" Plunkett " " .... 90 " 

" Hagler " " .... 80 " 

" Barnhart Mine and Estate " ....50 u 



Total acres .626 



4 



Being a tract, in the aggregate, equal to one square mile ; 
these several parcels lying adjoining, and on the north, souths 
east, and west of the lands embraced in the property of the 
Phoenix Mining Company, as will be seen by the accompanying 
plan, made from actual survey ; a copy of which is in the 
office of the Company, No. 35 Wall Street, Room No. 10. 



REPORT. 



To the President and Directors of the Vanderburg Mining 

Company. 

Gentlemen : 

I have, the last month, made a survey of the property be- 
longing to the Vanderburg Mining Company in North Carolina, 
and herewith send you a map I have prepared of the same, on 
which' the principal veins and important features of the pro- 
perty will be found plotted. 

The main track comprises several estates, now consolidated 
into one : it has an extreme length north and south of about one 
mile and 100 rods, and east and west is nowhere less than 
200 rods. It bounds the yjroperty of the Phoenix Mining Com- 
pany on the north and east, and it must have upon it the ex- 
tension of all the veins worked by this company. 

It is about six miles from Concord, in Cabarras county, to 
which place the North Carolina Railroad will be in operation 
next spring. 

The surface of the country is elevated ; it is moderately 
hilly, fertile and well watered. The principal tract is about 
equally divided between farming and timber land. The growth 
is mostly oak, with growths of small pines. Many of the large 
yellow pines are intermixed with the hard-wood growth. 

The rock formation is greenstone, seldom seen out-cropping, 
but exposed in loose pieces over the surface, and reached below 
by mining operations. It passes into a highly ferruginous 



6 



hornblende rock, with which is associated a little serpentine and 
epidote. The slate belt of this region lies further east ; the 
granite belt is on the west, extending beyond Concord. 

A great number of metalliferous veins traverse the green- 
stone, pursuing a general course north fifty degrees, to north 
sixty-five degrees east. They consist of quartz, with which 
are associated sulphate of barytes, spathic iron, and pyritiferous 
iron and copper. Gold has been found disseminated so 
abundantly through the vein stones, that explorations upon 
them have been extensively carried on at times when mining 
operations were little in favor, capital not abundant, and when 
the ores were necessarily transported several miles to the 
nearest mill. 

The vein which has been most worked, is traced across a 
considerable portion of the Phoenix tract, and the whole of the 
Vanderburg, by a succession of pits sunk along its line of out- 
crop. On both tracts the mining upon it is prosecuted to a 
depth requiring steam power for the extraction of the water 
and ores. It has yielded rich bunches of gold ore near the sur- 
face \ and throughout the vein gold is diffused in such quantity, 
that the heaps of ore now tying upon the surface, are valued 
at not less than $2 per* bushel by the former proprietors of the 
Vanderburg mine. Many of the specimens extracted, present 
a beautiful show of coarse gold, such as are not often found at 
the best mines in the State. As in depth the vein is more 
pyritiferous than near the surface, it is not unlikely the pro- 
duction may continue to greater depths than is usual at mines 
deficient in the yellow sulphuret of iron and copper. At Gold 
Hill, in the same vicinity, gold is abundant in the pyri- 
tiferous ores to the greatest depth yet reached, which is 340 
feet. The deepest workings on the Vanderburg are only 100 
feet. Pyriious copper ore is found in such quantity that the 
mine may fairly be regarded as a copper mine, and when further 



opened by lower levels than the present workings, may reason- 
ably be expected to produce largely of this ore. From my 
•survey of the mine, sections of which accompany the map, it 
will be seen that the whole extent of the underground workings 
is only 176 feet, horizontally, and but a small portion of this is 
at the depth of the bottom of the shafts ; with so great a length 
of vein, the workings can be regarded as little more than super- 
ficial. The thickness of the vein varies from three and a half 
feet down to a few inches. It is more regular than the veins 
in Guilford county. It is remarkable for its smooth walls and 
the u comb ?? like character of its vein-stones. This feature, 
and the occurrence of the materials making the vein in parallel 
layers, which is also noticed here, are regarded by miners as very 
favorable signs of a good vein ; of itself, this vein is sufficient 
to jiistify the establishment of mining operations on a liberal 
scale, without reference to the other veins, some of which I 
now proceed to notice. 

The next vein towards the south-east is eighteen rods distant, 
and pursues a course nearly parallel with the first, so far as it 
is exposed by the pits opened upon it. The material thrown 
out appears well as gold ore, and is encouraging for further ex- 
ploration. The ground is favorably situated for opening the 
mine to advantage ; as it can be proved for this season at little 
expense, it will be advisable to do this as soon as a mill is in 
operation for grinding the ores. 

The third vein in this direction is called the " Orchard Vein ;" 
having received this name* on the Phoenix tract, frpm which it 
passes into the Vanderburg. It is on the latter, about eighty- 
three rods south-east of the second vein just described. On 
the Phoenix, its course is about north 64° east ; approaching 
Plum River, it curves more to the eastward, and its line of out- 
crop is very crooked. This is in part owing to the unevenness 
of the surface, which, in connection with an underlay or dip to 



8 



the north-west, somewhat flat on the surface, would give greater 
irregularity of outline to the out-crop of a vein, than belongs to 
its true course. Many pits have been sunk along this vein on 
the Vanderburg ; a shaft, also, from which a large amount of 
material has been taken out, as is evident from the size of the 
waste heap remaining ; and a short adit has been driven into 
the hill on the south-west side of the track. On the Phoenix 
two shafts have been sunk upon the same vein, and a whim is 
now in operation working it. My only means of forming an 
opinion of this vein, were the general reputation it has ; the 
extent of the former operations, which corroborate its favorable 
reputation ; and the appearance of the stuff remaining upon the 
surface. The rock forming the country, is greenstone with ser- 
pentine intermixed. The production of gold, I learn from good 
authority, was considerable, though the ore was of variable 
character. Pyritous copper was met with in such quantity, 
both upon the Phoenix and Vanderburg, that one would be well 
warranted in sinking deep shafts, in expectation of finding this 
ore in abundance. In very superficial pits, at the workings 
farthest to the north-east, near the spring and large poplar noted 
upon the map, the indications of good copper are very favor- 
able, and here would be a convenient point for sinking upon 
the vein, and taking off the surface water by a short adit. 
Were a new company to be organized for working a portion of 
the mines of this tract, Plum Run would make a convenient- 
division, and leave sufficient territory to the south-east of it. 

To the north-east of the first vein* described, another vein of 
importance is found, about fifty-seven rods distant. It has 
been worked on the lands of Julius Vanderburg, adjoining the 
Company's tract on the north-east, by surface digging, and by 
a shaft forty feet deep. It is said to have produced good gold 
ore. On the other side the property bordering the Phoenix 
Company's tract, the same vein (probably) outcrops on a little 



brook, called Monkey Branch* Both gold and copper ores 
are here found loose in the banks of the stream ; and not- 
withstanding the prohibition of the former proprietor, the 
place has been with some a favorite resort after freshets for col- 
lecting little " nuggets" of gold. All applications for right to 
Wash the deposits have been steadily refused. From the in- 
formation I gathered from one who has been accustomed 
to the business of gold washing in this region, I am of opinion 
the vein along this part of Monkey Branch will be found a very 
valuable one ; and the copper ore met with in the stream, which 
I found myself, are strong evidence of a workable vein of this 
metal. 

" Branch mining," or working the deposits of the streams, 
has been prosecuted to considerable extent in this region. A 
little run just over the boundary, in the farm of Julius Vander- 
burg, which crosses the continuation of the above described 
vein, as also that of the vein now worked by the Company, has 
afforded a considerable amount of coarse gold. 

This fact, together with that of the veins, which must have 
furnished this deposit gold, being actually opened, and pre-= 
senting highly encouraging features, ought to inspire strong 
confidence, and lead to the laying out of mining operations on 
a scale commensurate with the extent and promise of the pro- 
perty. With a mill upon the spot for grinding the gold ores, 
the expense of transporting these, which is always a heavy 
item, is saved, and according to the extent of the mill, its 
capability of grinding up the poorer ores to profit in larger 
quantities is increased, while the general expenses are reduced 
in proportion to the product. All mines furnish a much 
larger proportion of poor than rich ores. It is only those 
which are extensively worked, and provided with abundant 
machinery, that can make the great bulk of their products 
profitable. The difference in the returns must be very con- 



10 



siderable, when only the ores yielding one dollar or more per 
bushel can be made to pay the expenses of preparation, and 
vrhen those yielding twenty-five cents can be worked to profit, 
as is the case at some of the gold mines in Virginia. Few 
companies have so large a field for their operations, and one 
containing so many veins known to be productive, as the 
Vanderburg Company. 

Along the north-western boundary of the tract, are pits 
sunk upon another vein. This may be a continuation of the 
u Faggott Vein," which between these pits and the Hagler 
Lot, (belonging to the Company,) has been worked quite 
extensively. Several shafts were sunk upon this vein, besides 
an almost continuous line of pits, up to the boundary of the 
Hagler Lot, which the vein enters upon its northern line. 
Running in a direction about south, thirty-four degrees west, 
its course is obliquely across the longest dimensions of this 
lot ; separated from the nearest point of the main tract by only 
fifteen rods, this Hagler Lot, of about eighty acres, may be 
worked either under the same or a distinct organization. 

The out-crop of still other veins is marked by loose pieces 
of quartz and other vein-stones, near the eastern boundary of 
the main tract. These probably connect with the first and 
second veins described. Their position is noted on the map, 
and no work having been done upon them, a particular descrip- 
tion cannot be given. 

Beside the Hagler Lot is another tract of about forty-six 
acres, lying near the main body of the property of the Com- 
pany, on the northern side of the farms of Julius Vanderburg 
and Tice Reinhardt. The nearest point of approach is forty- 
live rods north, sixty- two degrees thirty minutes east of the 
extreme northern corner ; stretching thence to the eastward, 
the lot takes the continuation of the veins, which pass through 
the centre of the main tract, or through the farm of J. Van- 



11 



derburg. Several have been opened, and the extent of the 
pits upon no less than three of these veins indicate that here, 
too, they must have been productive in gold. Although this 
tract may not be at once required for the operations of the 
Company, it cannot but be regarded as an important accession 
to their resources. 

The " Plunkett" tract is a fourth lot, about two miles dis- 
tant to the southeast, on a stream called Rock River. This 
contains about ninety acres, and, I am informed, has upon it 
veins of a similar character to the others in this region. My 
time was too limited to give this the same examination as the 
rest of the property. 

With such resources— abundant territory, well located and 
containing numerous veins, all producing gold, and some cop- 
per ores also — the gold in many of the veins having, heretofore, 
under disadvantageous circumstances, extracted to profit, and 
the copper .ores having every appearance of increasing in 
quantity and value as the mines are worked deeper — the pro- 
perty of the Vanderburg Mining Company is likely to repay 
generously the capital and enterprise expended in its thorough 
development. 

Respectfully, I am, 

Yours, &c, 

JAMES T. HODGE. 
December 22, 1858. 



12 



REMARKS 



GOLD DIGGINGS IN THE VANDERBURG MINE 



NORTH CAROLINA 



A recent mining tour made with the President of the Com- 
pany, allowed me to view the mines and mining operations 
carried on at present, with great energy, in the county of 
Cabarras, State of North Carolina. The most positive argu- 
ments of the existence of immense quantities of precious metal, 
have already been laid before the public, and even a superficial 
examination of the mines and minerals, must convince the eye 
of a mineralogist, that the report lately published by the Presi- 
dent of the Vanderburg, does not exaggerate in the least the 
wealth that can be obtained from this mine. That the gold is 
there, needs no further argument, and immense quantities of it 
will be gained, if in time a judicious arrangement should be 
introduced, founded on practical science, and aided by the 
necessary funds and practical men. At present it is considered 



13 



sufficient to extract only the sands and earthy rocks ; and this 
is done in a way by which only a comparatively small quantity 
of the gold existing therein can be got. No regard is taken of 
that great, and in many cases predominating quality, that will 
not yield to the simple processes of washing and amalgation. 

The occurrence of gold in this mine is widely different from 
that in the diggings of California, and the processes sufficient to 
extract the gold of the California sands and quartz, are insuffi- 
cient for the extraction of the greatest part of the auriferous 
ores. 

It is easy to the practical metallurgist to show that a very 
great quantity of gold necessarily escapes in the rough pro- 
cesses of working which are now in use, and that by other pro- 
cesses, and better constructed apparatus, adapted to these ores, 
far greater profits could be obtained, without raising the ex- 
penses in the same ratio. 

The rocks through which the veins run in the Vanderburg 
mine, are talcose slate, as the hanging wall ; greenstone slate 
as the foot wall, often with sharp separation of the veins from 
the rock, almost throughout the whole mass of the rocks. Iron 
pyrites are disseminated in small brass-yellow crystals ag- 
gregating in greater number where quartz veins occur, and at 
the borders of the metallic veins. 

The ores of the veins are generally copper pyrites, (sulphu- 
ret of copper and iron, kupferkies,) intimately mixed with iron 
pyrites and copper glance, of the most beautiful peacock col- 
ors, and frequently in well-formed crystals. Some specimens 
show the valuable red copper ore, but only in small quantities. 
I obtained specimens of brown sparry and clayey iron ore, 
(Carbonate of copper, grunkupfererz,) as well as malachite in 
druses and nests. 

Iron occurs as pyrites in masses and single crystals, as car- 
bonate and aluminite. The latter show very frequently a 



14 



great degree of decomposition, great friability, a cellular, some- 
times lava-like, structure, with nests of fine crystallized quartz 
and other minerals. Some specimens which contain iron oxides 
and felspar together, illustrate a matter cf the highest minera- 
logical interest ; the iron oxides are in the shape of very thin 
lamellae, inclosing an empty rhombic -cell of exactly the same 
angles as the crystalline fissures of the grayish spar, which 
latter shows a very advanced state of decomposition. The 
simplest explanation of this very interesting fact is, that the 
iron oxide in solution filtered into the crystalline fissures of the 
spar, and combining with its constituents, formed these la- 
mellae, completing at the same time its decomposition. 

Wherever the iron oxides occur in that friable porous state, 
lining the holes of quartz or pyrites, (what the miners call 
honey-combs,) they are highly auriferous, and yield a great 
quantity to simple washing and amalgamating process. 

Another form in which the iron occurs, is a black, heavy 
powder, disseminated through the iron ores and auriferous sands ; 
it is magnetic iron, and occurs so generally along with the gold, 
that the diggers of the Ural, in Russia, Bohemia, Austria and 
other countries, consider it an indicator of the gold itself. 

The quartz of the mine show very frequently beautiful par- 
ticles of gold, mostly in fissures colored by ferruginous infil- 
trations, and near the junction with the adjacent rocks, seldom 
in the middle of the silicious mass. 

Wherever the quartz occurs in a cleft, rugged and broken 
state, intermixed and lined with earthy iron oxides, (honey- 
combs,) there the richest harvest of gold can be expected. 

The gold itself, disseminated through all the rocks of a wide 
district, is for the greatest part invisible, and held in close 
combinations with the pyrites of iron and copper, and is found 
in immense quantities at this locality. It is among the gold 
miners of Europe long ago well-understood, that even the 



15 



richest of the auriferous p3 r ntes yield only a comparatively 
small quantit}' of their gold to direct amalgamation. Other 
processes are needed to develop the golden treasures from the 
pyrites, and these processes are neither complicated nor expen- 
sive compared with their certain results. 

The pyrites of the Vanderburg mine are richer in gold than 
any washed in Europe, and as matters now stand, it can reason- 
ably be predicted, that by a more scientific and judicious man- 
agement, and only by that, the Vanderburg mine, of Cabarras 
county, will prove one of the best and most profitable enter- 
prises on which capital may be invested. 

C. LUDWIG RICHTER, 

Practical Metallurgist, 

From Berlin. 
October 30, 1858, 



FOR USE ONLY IN 
THE NORTH CAROLINA COLLECTION 

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