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White Tail Deer Mine

White Tail Deer incline shaft

White Tail Deer shaft / whitetail shaft / whitetail deer  shaft



By March 13, 1881, a forty foot shaft had already been developed on the claim. In November 1885 the Probate court ordered 1/2 of the Whitetail Deer Claim, be sold as part of the estate of Matthew Crooker. Two months later, on January 4, 1886 another probate sale was declared also, on ½ of the Whitetail Deer Claim this time as part of the estate of James A. Nolley .On December 3 1886 the Tombstone newspaper reported an unknown party offered $10,000 in cash and $20,0000 in a bond for mine, but there was a problem that the claim over lapped the property owned by Charles Anshultz. It was hoped the buyers would acquire the Anshultz land as well.  In May 1887 the Copper Queen Consolidated Mining Company purchased the White Tail Deer Claim for $10,000 and on August 24 the company applied to patent the claim. During this time a short incline shaft was sunk around 50ft. in depth and some rich ore was mined, but the area soon became inactive.


     In 1903 Louis, Linol . Doma W. Birdno and Robert Boggs leased the property and began to clear out the old incline shaft of debris. After six months of work the lessees shipped 75 ton of ore running close to 25% copper. The ore was mined in a crosscut driven towards the Wolverine workings. The mine soon quieted down and it was not until 1910 when a Charles J. Lundvall took the leases and began sinking a shaft using a gasoline powered hoist. By July 10, 1910 the vertical shaft was 45ft. deep. Later in the year drifting was done trying to intercept the older workings from the incline shaft. Work continued and 1,073 of crosscut was driven during 1911 and in 1912 a large orebody was discovered on the 100 level (sometimes called 150 level) on the Sweepstakes Claim. 1915 was a productive year and 4,975 tons of ore were mined.


     The lease ended in 1915 and the Copper Queen began to develop the mine and sunk the shaft 161ft. deeper and purchased another gasoline hoist.  On April 7th a fire destroyed the surface facilities at the mine burning the headframe, change room, and hoist house. The shaft timbers were partly burned and the hoist was damaged. Quickly, the mine was restored and in August 1916 ore was struck on the 200 level.  To provide ventilation and a secondary exit a connection was made with the Wolverine mine workings (probably from the 200 level Whitetail Deer to the 400 level of the Wolverine#2 shaft by a raise). Mining continued until 1919, when low copper prices forced the operation to shut down even with ore in sight. After two years in 1921 the mine was reopened and the shaft was sunk 300ft. to the 500 level and a total depth of 602ft. The 200, 400 and 500 levels were developed and by 1922 the mine had 19,625 tons of copper ore as reserves. This mine continued to be operated through the 1920s often by lessees. Ore was discovered on the 400 level in 1928. Information on the Whitetail Deer mine becomes sporadic.  The mine continued to operate off and on until 1941. Phelps Dodge resumed operations for the duration of World War II.  The mine ceased operations around 1945.  The headframe was removed during the 1960s and taken to the San Xavier Mine, belonging to the University of Arizona. It still stands there today. The shaft itself was filled in 1964.  During the 1990s, little of interesting could be found at the site except a rusting double drum hoist.

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