Consolidated Virginia & California Pan Mill

Consolidated Virginia & California Pan Mill (HMXTM)

Location: Virginia City, NV 89440 Storey County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 18.73', W 119° 38.843'

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Upper end of Six Mile Canyon (Mill Street), Virginia City

— Comstock Historical Marker No. 12 —

Built in 1874, the mill went into operation in January of 1975, and was destroyed later that year in the great fire of October 25th, but was quickly rebuilt at a cost of $350,000. The Con Virginia Pan Mill was built by Pacific Mill and Mining Company, whose owners were the Bonanza firm of Mackay, Fair, Flood and O'Brien. Located by the Virginia & Truckee Railroad yard, the mill has 60 stamps, 40 pans, 20 settlers and four agitators; and could process 250 tons of Bonanza ore a day. As ore volume increased in the Con Virginia & California mines, the mill proved inadequate and the Bonanza Firm was compelled to build a second mill called the California Pan Mill at a cost of $500,000.

The California Pan Mill was the largest mill ever built on the Comstock and consisted of 80 stamps, 46 pans, 20 settlers and 4 agitators with a capacity of processing 380 tons of ore a day. The Con Virginia & California Pan Mills worked the ore by a method known as the Washoe Pan Process. An amalgam of ore, salt, copper sulfate and mercury were used to separate the gold and silver from worthless pulp. Heat was later applied to cook off the mercury. The process did not always collect all the gold and silver, and up to 15 and 20 percent of the values remained in the pans that went into the coffers of the Bonanza Firm.

[Photo captions:]
[Left] Consolidated Virginia Pan Mill, [Right] Inside the California Pan Mill.
Marker Number12
Year Placed2009
Placed ByMarshall Earth Resources, Hugh Marshall, Virginia City, Nevada
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 3:24pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)11S E 271752 N 4354761
Decimal Degrees39.31216667, -119.64738333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 18.73', W 119° 38.843'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 18' 43.80" N, 119° 38' 50.58" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)775
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2001-2099 E St, Virginia City NV 89440, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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