Jump to content
Nugget Shooter Forums

16 to One


Recommended Posts

Went to the gold show at Alleghany, CA and had the opportunity to tour the 16 to 1 mine. Awesome time and we met some great people.

Learned more about mining on the tour than I have reading and researching about it.






Link to comment
Share on other sites

The large map of the mines held some great info. The dots on the map are enriched areas and show the totals of ounces pulled from those locations. I questioned the structure that was surrounding the areas and the answer was right there, each one was near a curve in the vein. Duh.

This is the longest running mine in the USA.

Because of the cost to operate, they make most of their money selling slabs or cabs, specimens and carved quartz with gold figurines.



16 to 1.jpg




Link to comment
Share on other sites

I got busted loading some tailings...

Wet and slimy inside the mine. We went in the Zero level that had just been reopened and scanned with metal detectors. I told the wife to look along the tracks for samples, ;-) but they were submerged.






Link to comment
Share on other sites

Had some gold displayed from various mines, added one of my specimens to the display as the curator wanted one so made some coin while having fun.

Great people working the show, Rae Bell Arborgast grew up at the mine and has worked with the owners for over 40 years, her father worked the mine as well. She gave a great presentation on the workings and history of the 16 to one.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, here is a quiz. Do you know how to read a mine map?

They are 2 dimensional, those tunnels going down are coming towards you and the tunnels going up are moving away. The 16 to 1 (angled shaft to left) and the Tightener (vertical shaft on right) mines ran into each other and because there were no laws on the books on how to decide the case they chose to drop a shaft down the middle (light blue) between them. You can see who made out better with the deal.

16 to 1.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Of note, Rae mentioned the mine has over 50 miles tunnels, adits, shafts, etc. She thought this was a lot as she grew up there, found out the Empire Mine in Grass Valley has over 500 miles.

Interesting to see where they contacted a vein and chased it up and down. 

Tightner was named for the vein as it pinched out or "tightened", it was a joke until it sold to another person. Original owners worked the vein on the northern direction, pinched and they stopped mining. New owner on his first shot on the southern extension got over one ounce of gold.


Workmans comp is $85.00 per $100 for miners now in California. No wonder the mines are all shut.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 16 to 1 was one of the perks to living in Auburn as went on the various tours. Empire museum downtown is a good visit also,hope I got the name right. At the Auburn gold show around 89 they brought a acid etched football sized mass to display . They let Bob Doelker and I both hold it in our hands. Blood flowed from the sharp edges cutting into your flesh but so transfixed didn't feel a thing. In 91 they brought the golden dragon to our gem show here and amazing dragon likeness out of natural gold and 2 colors of quartz. Amazing place, They had a video shot underground-early 90s-with side scan colormetric enhanced side scan sonar and the HUGE mass found in the sidewalls. Still,a amazing place for sure and a great tour. John:yesss:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Of all the things I've lost...

Seems to me there's a fairly recent article / write-up (within the past year) about the 16 to 1 in ICMJ, Gold Prospectors or Pick & Shovel.. Can't recall which though, nor exactly what it's about beyond a history lesson.. Alotta help this is then I suppose, huh..? Sorry.. All I remember for sure is it was about a 'numbers' mine.. So if there's a 32 to 1 or 8 to 1 mine with interesting history, that may be the source of my confusion here..


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...