National Expansion & Reform Stafford's Gold Mining Industry The Mining Process

The Mining Process

With the exception of the Eagle Mine, most gold removed from Stafford mines was dug from pits. Eagle was one of the few Stafford mines with tunnels or shafts, which were constantly plagued with water seepage. Gold was usually found as flecks in decomposing white or pink quartz. Once dug, laborers used mauls to break the chunks into small pieces that were then broken even smaller in stamp mills or arastras. Once most of the matrix had been crushed and removed, the remaining gold-bearing material was mixed with mercury and heated. The gold bonded to the mercury and was drawn off. Additional heating vaporized the mercury leaving the gold behind.