9. MINERAL LANDS AND MINES.
The principal mines along the route were those in the Slate Range district and the Johnson district, Ivanpah, the mines on Lynx Creek, near Prescott, and the mines in the Black Hills, near Camp Verde.
The Johnson district is near Desert Springs, and all the leads discovered are composed of lead and copper. Nothing has been done toward developing the district; no assays have been made, and the mines are not valued very highly. Several specimens were obtained and have been added to your collection.
The mines near Prescott, on Lynx Creek, are worked only for free gold. But little has been done here except to prospect in a rude manner. The old Mexican arrastra is used, and with it the ore yields from $20 to $45 per ton. Some of the shafts are down 25 feet and show well-defined walls nearly vertical.
The vein-matter is very much disintegrated, most of it crumbling easily in the hand with a slight pressure. Assays have been made several times by assayers at Prescott, but their results were so unsatisfactory that they were not given. The whole bed of the creek has been dug over, and in some places quite rich deposits of placer gold have been found. The prevailing opinion is that the placer diggings have all been worked over once, probably by the race of beings the record of whose existence consists now only in the curious ruins occasionally found and the fragments of pottery scattered over the country.
At present but very little is being done here; a few prospectors who are able to obtain sufficient water are taking out a little gold, but only enough to purchase supplies with which to live. The Indians have killed several miners, and small parties are consequently deterred from locating here. Nearly all the creeks and ravines near Lynx Creek show gold in small quantities, not enough, however, to cause any extensive operations to be inaugurated; and the few mills that have been started are now deserted and have been for some time. With improved methods of working these deposits they may in time be made to pay, but the supply of water is limited, and this will always prove a great drawback to anything like extensive operations.