Colorado Silver Boom

admin April 23, 2011 0

This was the golden era for silver mining in the history of the United States. Mining was done extensively in the state of Colorado in the late 19th Century. Over $82 million of silver was mined during this prosperous period. It had started towards the end of collapse of the gold mining era. The boom witnessed a milestone because the silver was bought by the American Government to compete with the rest of the world. The costs of silver slashed in 1893, which gave a fall to this venture. After this the mines were still under flood, the ore was other metals like zinc, copper, and lead. During this period, the population and wealth in Colorado soared to new heights.

Emigrants flocked to the mountains by inhabiting the districts, focused on building the history of the city. Silver mining brought in the rail lines and other transportation to the mountainous region, making the city rich in heritage and full of bustle. Early mines were discovered in the Central City-Idaho Springs district in 1859. This success was soon followed by that of the Montezuma District, Argentine Town, and Georgetown Mines. In these early stages the worth of mineral was shadowed by that of the gold rush of those times. But the real push to the mining was when the mining zones were discovered in the Leadville Rocky District. The district was a reservoir for lead, gold, zinc, and copper. It was at this time that the government passed an act for authorizing free silver coinage, which was passed to compete with the pressure of western countries. This started the early boom of silver mining and changed the scenario of the Rocky Mountain region. The population rush brought even more wealth to the city.

When the resources in the Leadville District started depleting and the prominence of the metal increased, the search for other ore zones began by following the then prevailing maps. In the quest, concentrations were found to be in heaps in the region of Aspen. Thus, next on the agenda was Aspen. The region was also flooded with zinc, lead, and copper. But even with the abating of silver, the mines did not lose their prominence. After the silver era, lead and zinc were continued until the mid 20th century for their economic importance and technical importance. Then in the line was the Gilman, which had been producing more zinc than all other minerals and was mined until the 1980s.

The Creede District is another point of mining, but had lesser quantities. Presently, silver in Colorado comes as the by-product of gold manufacturing from Cripple Creek and the Victor Gold Mine operated by AngloGold Ashanti at Victor. The highest productions of late are the 4.0 metric tons of silver in 2006.

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