Nine prospectors led by Andrew A. Veatch organized the Cortez mining district
in 1863 after finding silver in central Nevada's Cortez Mountains.
Financier George Hearst invested heavily in the district's earliest development.
After initially shipping ore to Austin, the miners constructed a Washoe Process
pan amalgamation mill the following year and in 1865 installed Reese River
The Tenabo Mill and Mines Company, owned by an original claimant, Simeon
Wenban, acquired the mill in 1869, and processed ore from the Garrison Mine.
Sometime between 1869 and 1873, the company replaced its "turbulent and
riotous" Cornish and Welsh workers with Chinese immigrants. In 1886,
Wenban built a new mill with state-of-the-art Russell leaching technology. The
mill closed in 1892.
In 1908, a new mining company refitted Wenban's abandoned mill with
cyanide leaching technology and processed old mill tailings. The mill burned in
In 1923, the Consolidated Cortez Silver Mines Company built a new cyanide
leaching mill further up Arctic Canyon and processed ore from the Arctic Mine.
The mill changed to oil flotation technology in 1927 and was the top producer
in Nevada the following year.
In 1929, the mill closed. Small-scale mining continued sporadically in the
Cortez district until the 1980s, when high gold and silver prices reestablished
large scale industrial mining, this time as an open pit operation.
Hearst Invested in Early Mines
from Online Nevada
Prospectors founded the Cortez Mining District in 1863. George Hearst
funded its development. The district has had periods of prosperity ever
Photograph by S. Martin Shelton, courtesy of the Nevada State Historic
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