ATHOROUGH examination of Arizona demonstrates the existence of several great mineral belts, which extend for hundreds of miles through the Territory.

The main belts have lateral branches running in different directions, some parallel with the main ones, and others at different angles from them.

One of the main belts commences near the south-western part of the Territory, in the Colorado River range of mountains, twenty miles east of Yuma, and extending thence a northerly course through the county of Yuma, and far north, nearly, or quite through the county of Mohave.

This great belt, which is three hundred miles in length, includes the Castle Dome Mines, and many others through the river range to the east of Ehrenburg, La Paz, and the Planet, Johnson, and other mines south of Bill Williams Fork.

In Mohave County it includes the mines of the

[page 138]

McCracken district, the Sandy, and those of the Hualapai, Cerbat, and Peacock, and other mountain ranges.

Another of the great mineral belts commences near the southern line of the Territory, seventy-five miles south from Tucson, and includes the mines in the Santa Rita and Patagonia mountains, with a break between the Santa Ritas and the Santa Catarina mountains, and from the latter continuing north through the Santa Catarina, Pinal, Apache, Bradshaw, Walker, and Black Hill mountains, sixty miles north of Prescott, a total distance of over three hundred miles. This belt includes the Mowry, Trench, and Santa Rita mines, in the south, the Cañada de Oro, Silver King, Globe District, and other mines in the centre, and the Black Cañon, Tiger, Peck, Silver Prince, Senator, and other mines mentioned in the northern portion of the belt. This mining belt varies in width from ten to fifty miles, and it is almost safe to say that there is hardly one mile square in the whole belt which is destitute of mineral.

Another mineral belt, smaller than the two already mentioned, but equally rich, commences in the Cerro Blanco Mountains, near the Sonora line, eighty-five miles west of south from Tucson, and includes the Old Mine, the Ostrich, Sea Serpent Lode, Cerro Colorado, Picacho, Young America, Quajate, and other mines for a distance of about one hundred miles in length north from the Ostrich and Old mines.

[page 139]

Another mining belt commences in the extreme southeastern corner of the Territory, and includes the Chiricahua, Dos Cabasas, Graham, Cordilleras de Gila, and Steins Peak Mountains, and the Clifton Copper Mines on the north. The whole length of this mineral belt is nearly or quite two hundred miles. The lateral branches of these great mineral belts will not be specified, though many of them are equally rich in mineral as the main ones.

There is one other mineral belt, distinctively of copper, which crosses most of the others. The main ones described all have a north and south course.

The copper belt mentioned commences near the Colorado River, at the Castle Dome Copper Mines, and runs thence east for a distance of over six hundred miles, and nearly to the Rio Grande in New Mexico. This copper belt outcrops at intervals in enormous lodes, sometimes really mountains of copper, and includes prominently the Castle Dome Mines, the Young America, and others in the Silver Mountain district, the Globe Mine and others in the Pinal Mountains, and the Clifton Copper Mines in Arizona, and the Santa Rita and other copper mines in New Mexico.

The belt is from ten to fifty miles wide through its whole course.

From the foregoing brief description of the principal mineral belts of the Territory, the intelligent

[page 140]

and thoughtful reader can form some faint idea of the extent of the mineral formation of the country.

But no one can fully realize the vast probabilities of what the future has in store for the country, without making a personal and thorough examination, embracing its geological character, its topography, soil, climate, and the many peculiarities and conditions which must ever be looked for by those desirous of studying thoroughly all pertaining to new and undeveloped countries.

After more than two years'constant and continued exploration and examination of Arizona, the author feels justified in the opinion that in mines and mining, the salubrity of climate, etc., Arizona is the coming country of our continent, and that capital can there be invested with more certainty of long continued and profitable results, than in any other mining section of our country.

In regard to the selection of mines, and the management of mining operations, a word of caution and a few suggestions seem to be eminently proper in this connection. Capitalists should never purchase mining property without first making a most thorough examination of the mine and all its surroundings, either in person, or through a competent and trustworthy agent. It is not safe, however, as can be testified in numerous instances, to rely implicitly on a mere book worm, either as to the value or worthlessness of mining

[page 141]

property, no matter how high his position, or his many sounding titles conferred by colleges and universities. Scientific knowledge is all well as far as it goes, but there are a thousand things, more or less, connected with mines and mining that the mere bookworm can know nothing of but by actual experience.

The numerous instances, well known to the author, where eminent professors have at great expense examined and reported on mines, their reports costing thousands of dollars, have led to deplorable results, and ruined those who have put faith in them. The opinion of a well informed practical miner, with but a modicum of book knowledge, is more to be relied on as to the value, quality, and probable permanency of mines, than the opinion of the mere student of books without practical knowledge.

The perfection of mining is that of science and practicality combined, and this should ever be borne in mind by capitalists, and others, when looking for permanent and profitable investments, or for profits from mining labor.

Another most important matter connected with large mining operations is the selection of proper and suitable men as superintendents, financial agents, secretaries, assayers, foremen, etc. The practice of sending somebody's son, nephew, cousin, or friend, to fill any of these stations, merely to get rid of their presence at home, or to draw large salaries, is a most

[page 142]

foolish and unwise course, unless such persons have a thorough and practical knowledge of the important duties necessary for them to perform. Hundreds of mining enterprises have failed from this course of action, which, if conducted by practical and honest men, who understood their duties, would have been eminently successful, and fortunes would have been made, where bankruptcy and financial ruin was the natural and inevitable result.

If these suggestions should be heeded, the reports of mining failures would seldom be chronicled, mining operations would be reduced to a greater certainty, and the business would be fully legitimatized.


© Arizona Board of Regents