Mine Tales: Octave mining property now for sale
The Octave Mine was named after eight investors who initially developed it in the late 1890s. It is located along the southwestern base of the Weaver Mountains, about 10 miles east of the Congress Mine.
Established at 3,300 feet in elevation was the small town of Octave with a peak population of 3,000 people. The town included company houses, saloons, a hospital, gambling halls and a stage station.
The mine was located about 2 miles south of the rich placer gold strike known as Rich Hill discovered in 1864 and subsequent placer gold deposits in the Weaver Mining district that yielded $1 million in gold in the 1880s.
A series of underground shafts was sunk with 200 miners employed to extract the gold from a vein averaging a width of 2.5 feet. The country rock in the district is made up of granite, schist and quartz diorite with gold found mixed with the galena, chalcopyrite and pyrite.
By 1905, the mine workings were operated by the Octave Gold Mining Co.
A decade later, the discovery of the 1,100-foot deep Joker shaft contributed to the Octave Mine’s extensive workings, including several thousand feet of drifts.
A 40-stamp mill of 120 tons capacity manufactured by the Union Iron Works of San Francisco netted its owners a monthly profit of $50,000. Also on site were a concentrator and cyanide works.
Ore from the mine was treated using a variety of processes, including amalgamation, table concentration and cyanidation. The cyanide plant was capable of handling 250 tons of ore daily.
A.E. Hurley operated one of the first integrated gravity concentration and cyanide plants at this location in Arizona. Between 1904 and 1907, 150,000 tons of ore were treated.
By 1912, operations ceased at the Octave Mine due to a lack of profit.
Operations resumed in earnest in 1928 when the Octave Mines Co., owned by H.C. Gibbs of Boston, reorganized the operation as the Arizona Eastern Gold Mining Co.
A small flotation plant was built on site and production of 9,000 tons of ore at a profit of $90,000 was the net result until operations were again suspended in 1930.
Total production of the Octave Mine between 1895 and 1929 was $1.9 million.
Renewed production at the Octave Mine began in the mid-1930s when the American Smelting, Refining and Mining Co. (ASARCO) leased the mine.
Mort Pratt oversaw a 100-ton mill on the property.
The production record from 1934 until the mine’s shutdown by government decree in 1942 by Limitation Order No. 208 issued by the U.S. War Production Board: 193,000 tons with an average gold valued at $11 per ton.
At this juncture, the total output of the Octave Mine was about $4 million. After World War II many of the buildings were razed to reduce taxes.
The mine was later reopened by leases including P.R. Robertson and R.O. Mierstheimer of Boise, Idaho, in 1959 and exploratory drilling conducted by International Gold and Minerals Ltd. in the 1980s.
As of April 2015, the historic Octave mining property is on the market for $4.9 million. It includes 266 acres of patented claims surrounded by BLM land.
It is advertised with 25 miles of tunnels and a 3-mile-long main gold vein with offshoots.
The Octave Mine is credited with having produced 202,500 ounces of lode gold while the surrounding placers in the Weaver district have thus far yielded a recorded minimal 104,000 ounces of gold.