Gold Mine California: A Success Story of Governor Gold Mine
HISTORY OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL GOLD MINE IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY
After statehood, Henry Tift Gage (California’s 20th governor) came west from New York, where he was born in 1852, to seek his fortune. He found it in Acton.
Gage and his associates snatched up what proved to be the most productive gold mines in
Los Angeles county.
His most successful being the New York Mine (later named Governor Mine); By far the most productive gold mine in Los Angeles County in its heyday. Governor Mine was in production by the 1880s.
The Governor mine, with the largest gold output of any mine in Los Angeles County, has a yield valued at more than $1.5 million (between 1880-1942) - almost three times the yield of any other gold mine in Los Angeles County.
The Governor Mine closed in the early 1940s, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered a halt to gold mining in order to shift miners and mining equipment to working minerals needed for war material, according to state officials.
In 1950 the mill was dismantled and sold at an auction. Thereafter, Ownership of the mine went through several hands and no exploration has been pursued since 1942.
• Assays of several hundred dollars in gold per ton were made in high-grade shoots throughout the mine.
• Average values for much of the operating history of the mine exceeded $12 per ton over the total width of the vein.
• On the 400-foot level the ore returned $40 a ton over an 18-foot width of vein.
• Mining costs averaged about $4.50 per ton since 1932.
• The first mill reached a capacity of 60 tons daily in 1937.
• A large mill was then installed. By 1940, production had increased to 140 tons of ore mined and milled every 24 hours.
• Machinery included a jaw crusher and rolls at the mine, and a ball mill three-compartment amalgamation trap, classifier, conditioner, and four location cells (three rougher and one cleaner) at the mill.
• Governor Gold Mine produced 150,000 tons of ore (rock).
• The ore produced 1/3 oz. per ton of gold or 10 grams per ton.
GOVERNOR MINE SNAPSHOT
According to the State Mining Bureau’s annual report for 1892, the ore returned between $10 and $25 per ton in gold.
The deposit was first mined in the 1880s as the New York mine, yielding over $100,000 in gold. A five-stamp mill was then in operation.
in 1897 the vein was lost and the mine was closed. But better days lay ahead.
Governor Henry T. Gage’s New York Mine was inactive from 1897 until 1932.
In 1932 it was reopened by Francis Gage of the Governor Mines Company. By 1940, production had increased to 140 tons of ore mined and milled every 24 hours. The mine operated continuously until 1942.
Several tunnels were drilled, the principal one being 800 feet long and reaching a vertical depth of 320 feet. A 5-stamp mill was erected to crush the ore.
The main vertical shaft was deepened to 1,000 feet, and tunnels were drilled as long as 500 feet in each direction along the vein at vertical intervals of 100 feet.
The California Division of Mines reported that these workings were the most
extensive of any gold mine in Los Angeles County. Assays of several hundred
dollars in gold per ton were made in high-grade shoots throughout the mine.