North Fork Mine, California

  In researching spots to go exploring, I find little bits and pieces here and there about a particular spot that lead us to go and check it out. So lets see what we have found out about this little ol' mine.

  The Alta Newspaper from 1854 carried a reprint from a article in the Sierra Citizen which reported that the price of claims in the area were going for as much as $2,600 dollars and that this mine yielded $6000.00 in one week! In the 1870's a high grade ore pocket worth over $100,000 was found here.
  Located on Oregon Creek (which drains into the North Yuba River), the North Fork Mine tunnel was over 1 mile long and was worked till 1881. Now of course the mine has been reopened over the years giving the mining camp relics dating over quite a long period.

  We hiked to this site on an old road shown on the topo, but as we hiked the road became completely over grown due to the complete lack of traffic over the years and ended at a stream crossing just before we reached the mining camp.

Update: The North Fork Mine is now active;

  The Bullion River Gold Company announced on September 28, 2004 that it had started an underground exploration program at the North Fork mine near Forest City, California. The mine is located 30 miles northeast of Grass Valley in Sierra County and is directly adjacent to the producing Original 16 to 1 mine, which has extracted over one million ounces of gold from about one million tons, with depths reaching over 3,000 feet.

  The North Fork program consists of the rehabilitation of a 1,800-ft long access tunnel and a 10,000-ft underground diamond drill program. "This exceptionally high grade, historic gold producer deserved a very serious look for a long time and our expectations are equally high and demanding."

  The mine, which produced about 50,000 ounces of gold through 1932 at reported average grades of over 1 oz/ton, stopped production when its sole access collapsed. It was never re-opened. Historic sampling on the three underground levels yielded spectacular grades of up to 41 oz/ton with substantial mining widths of up to 45 ft.

  All of the historic mining equipment has been removed from the site and donated to the Forest City Historical Society and Tahoe National Forest.

Let's explore the North Fork Mine

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