The Carmelita Mines and Mill is a remote gold mining property located in the Harquahala Mountains, roughly 70 miles west of Phoenix, Arizona. The Carmelita Mines and Mill site is a Gold mining camp that was last recorded as being worked in the early 1930s. The mines and the region have a long and detailed history dating back to the 1840s. The primary commodity of the mine is native gold that has been broken from ledges and exposed veins by hand and crushed using crude arrastras.
The Carmelita Mining Property also includes the Alaska Mines, which are also noted for gold and some platinum production. The Hela (Gila) monster shafts, are a part of the Alaska Mines, which produced gold at an average of 1.5 ounces per ton. These mines were re-surveyed in the early 1930s and absorbed into the Alaskan Mine Claims. They produced gold for a few years before being shut down by the War Act. The “Alaska” mines are known for rich, wire gold produced from wide quartz ledges.
There are various outcrops and ledges in the low sage around the mines that show the same coarse gold that has been worked in the area for almost 200 years. The mines still have extensive worth and gold values are self-evident with an examination of the property.
The “main shaft” of the Carmelita was inaccessible due to degradation of cribbing and infrastructure around the mines. It will require some clean up and work to be put into work ready condition.
The Mines are located on the south western end of the Harquahala Mountains. A region that has developed some of the largest gold mining operations in Arizona. A good 4-wheel drive road leads past the mines and a short, but very rough road breaks across a wash and right down to the old flat where ore was sorted and brought to the ranch for crushing.
The claims cover a series of quartz veins, referred to as “ledges” which run the length of the property. The veins have been lightly worked in most areas and some native gold can be found with a little effort by following the veins.
In some sections, the veins have been more seriously developed. The so called “main shaft” is one of these areas. A reported double compartment shaft of some 250’, in 1960 it was said to have collapsed timbers and be filled with water at or around 150’. This assessment matches with what surveyors reported in 2017 assessments, with exception of the water which was not observed.
There is also the Water Shaft on the claims. By all accounts, appears to be only a well, but with a reported inexhaustible supply of water. Enough to reportedly run a 25 ton per day mill.
The mines boast a significant, well documented history and have never been “played out” instead, they have fallen victim to bad luck, scheming and treachery which has caused them to be undeveloped by today’s standards.
The area is extremely arid and would be assumed to be dry but for the water table which is penetrated by the shafts and can provide whatever is necessary for the mines.
Surveyors reported many outcrops of quartz running through the property, some as wide as 4’. These outcrops can be worked, and bits of native gold can be extracted.
There is minimal road repair needed to access the mines with a full-size vehicle. 4-wheel drive vehicles can carefully navigate to the mine entrances.