Indian Leader Iron Mine & the Ill-Eagle Mine, California

Indian Leader Iron Mine;

  According to a 1912 mining report;  No iron ore has been mined in this district, at the Indian Leader Iron Mine only enough work been done to meet the requirements for patent. 

  The Indian Leader Iron Mine is located on the Gray Eagle Claim, owned by the Indian Leader Iron Mining Company. The mine consists of one main shaft with drifts at two levels, both of which day light on the surface. Several stopes and chambers have been excavated at points where shoots of gold ore were found. A stamp mill, with settling vats, was built on the slope just to the north of the main shaft. 

  The mining operation got it's water from cottonwood springs over 20 miles away. A pipe line was run from the springs to the mine. Since the mine had been idle, the pipe fell into disrepair, it was repaired in 1909 to bring water to the mine in a effort to reopen the mine.

  Although considerable gold was been taken from the mine, the ore eventually became too scattered and scarce to pay for operations. At the present time there is no way of utilizing the iron ore of the district, It is way too far from transportation lines, and even if a railroad was built, the cost of transportation to the nearest furnaces would eat up the profits.

As with most mines...........the Indian Leader Iron Mine was reopened;

  According to a 1945 mining report, numerous bodies of iron ore occur in a belt of sedimentary rocks (chicks dig geology talk) over a quarter mile in width. In 1942 the USGS drilled samples and estimated that there was about 70,000,000 tons of iron on site.
  The mine is currently operated by the Riverside Iron & Steel Company. The ore from a open cut is loaded onto trucks by a steam shovel, then loaded into a jaw crusher, then processed down to a 1" size . The crushed ore is then trucked to Indio where it is shipped to the California Ship Building Company for use as ballast in Liberty Ships. 40,000 tons of ore have been shipped to date.

Ill-Eagle Mine;

  The Ill-Eagle Mine was owned & operated by Imperial Metals Inc. The principle work at the Ill-Eagle consisted of a 2 compartment shaft that sank to a depth of 650 feet, with tunnels at six levels. The mine was operated on and off from 1924 up till 1940. In 1939 a 100-ton concentration and floatation plant was built at the site. The mill operated from July 1939 till Jan. 1940, recovering a value of $53,706 consisting of .39 ounces of gold, 8.30 ounces of silver, lead 13.6%, and copper 4.5%. Total production of the property was $200,000. 
  The mine shut down in 1940 and all of the mine and mill equipment were removed.

Let's explore the mines

Back to California Desert Page