The Holy Moses Extension Claims consist of eighty (80) acres of contiguous lode Mining Claims in the Creede Mining District. These claims have been staked with note of the potential direction of ores and the value of intercepting workings on the already well documented rich metallic lodes. The Mines are located on the eastern slope of Campbell Mountain.
The Holy Moses Extension is on public land managed by the United States Forest Service. The claims address all portals and existing workings which have been developed over the past 120 years. The patented Holy Moses Shafts at the ridge line of the mountain have been determined to be inaccessible and unfeasible for any sort of mining efforts. Thus, the only way to work any of the massive ore bodies which have been defined by numerous geological reports dating back to the 1890’s, is to access the ore bodies from a horizontal standpoint.
The Outlet Tunnel, the Holy Moses 2 Tunnel and the Carbonate Tunnel were all driven to intercept ore bodies that are otherwise not economical to develop. These portals represent the only access to the ore bodies which are largely unmapped and undefined, but which have produced many millions of dollars in primarily silver values. Gold and Copper has also been a byproduct of ores taken from the Outlet Tunnel and the Holy Moses 2 Tunnel.
There is no mill site on the properties. Most ores were hand separated and then shipped to the Phoenix Mine north of the Holy Moses Extension.
The Property has not been worked or assessed since 1960. The mines were held by King Solomon Mining company from 1950 until 1991-1992. The last year of assessment work was logged in 1992 and the claims were considered abandoned in 1993.
Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc surveyed the site in 2017 and determined that the mines did indeed have potential for development. This assessment was reached by the abundance of gold and silver bearing “waste” rock which was abandoned in massive quantities all over the sites. The fact that such rich ores were being discarded speaks volumes to the quality and quantity of ore remaining in the mine workings.
Another item noted by Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. surveyors was that the mines have not been addressed since at least 1960 for any sort of development or mineral value. The King Solomon Mining Company did only assessment work until they abandoned the claims in 1992.
The Holy Moses Extension property has a well documented history of production which waned while silver prices ebbed and dipped.
The mines were working when silver was just a few dollars an ounce in the early 1960’s, but as costs increased, the mines were again abandoned. The Holy Moses Extension is an anomaly in the fact that it never went to patent, there were Mineral Surveys in 1800’s and 1900’s, but the final paperwork and tasks were never completed and the sites were never patented.
Today the Holy Moses Extension Mines are the only view into the Holy Moses and Phoenix veins that surround them. The Holy Moses Patent Property has long since been noted as unworkable due to the deep shafts and sharp cliff faces. The Phoenix Mine ran out of ore in the 1950’s. The lodes and veins in between the two are accessed by the Holy Moses #2 and the Outlet Tunnel. Both of which were last addressed in the early 1960’s. There are no noted reserves, blocked or inferred, but there are also no geological maps of the area or mining company documents that speak to the development. All of the information at hand is second hand from anti-mining biased USGS reports.
The Holy Moses Extension property can be broken up into 3 main sections by the portals on the property.
The Carbonate Tunnel is located east of the Outlet Tunnel, high on a steep slope with bedrock outcrops on the northeast end of Campbell Mountain. There are no structures or foundations remaining at the site. Surveyors noted rail of heavy gauge extruding from the portal. The portal has been blocked by slough and loose rock from above. Waste dumps show some galena, copper and pyrite.
The Carbonate Tunnel was driven between 1880 and 1900 as near as can be estimated. The drift was punched in to intercept the Holy Moses Vein. Between 1880 and 1900 the miners cut out 4 small prospects either before or after driving the Carbonate drift 100 or so feet (according to historical reports) in a northerly direction, towards the Phoenix Mine and deposits in that region.
It has been theorized that the miners were searching for another vein or hoping to intercept another leg of the Holy Moses vein. This is strictly theory. The drift was not reported as open or closed in 1912 when it was assessed by mining geologists.
There is some rail evident extruding from the workings, indicating that cars were used for dumping ore. There is roughly 10,000 tons of waste rock visible on the hillside which is extremely steep. It is impossible to know how much of the waste dump has been lost over the past 100+ years due to weather and degradation.
The Holy Moses #2:
The Holy Moses #2 is an extension and extrusion on the Holy Moses vein. The Holy Moses Shafts are positioned on private property and the shafts are collapsed, destroyed and completely unusable. In or around 1890, the Holy Moses #2 was driven and intercepted the Holy Moses vein.
“The Holy Moses No. 2 is a long crosscut adit, whose portal is about 3,700 feet north of the portal of the Solomon adit. It encounters the Holy Moses vein about 1,050 feet west of the portal. The elevation of the portal is 9,850 feet, or about 550 feet higher than the level of the Solomon adit. About 1,200 feet of drifts are run at this level. A short distance southwest of Holy Moses No. 2, about 500 feet higher and at an elevation of about 10,350 feet, the Holy Moses No. 1 tunnel is driven.
At this level the vein is followed about 700 feet. The workings of this level are connected by a long upraise from the Holy Moses No. 2 adit. This upraise was not accessible in 1912. The canyon of East Willow Creek is sunk in the Willow Creek rhyolite, and all the workings of the Solomon level and of the Holy Moses No. 2 are in this formation. At tunnel 1 of the Holy Moses mine the footwall is the Willow Creek rhyolite and the hanging wall the Campbell Mountain rhyolite. Farther north the Campbell Mountain rhyolite forms both walls.
In 1889, Nicholas C. Creede, E.R. Taylor, and G.L. Smith strayed a short distance off the Rio Grande River, one of the San Juans’ most heavily traveled wagon routes, and began prospecting East Willow Creek. In May, while the snow was still melting off the north-facing slopes, they encountered notably rich specimens of silver ore in the drainage. They began systematically searching the west slopes overlooking the creek, and found a bonanza vein which ensured them great riches. In the excitement of the astonishing discovery, Mr. Creede uttered the phrase “Holy Moses”!
When the Creede district experienced a revival of mining in the late 1890’s and most of the large operations boomed, the Holy Moses attracted little attention. Then, around 1900, the Second Chance Leasing Company attempted to make the mine pay once again. Because the surface facilities associated with the series of stopes and shafts on the vein were in disrepair and difficult to access, the company drove a tunnel from the flank of Campbell Mountain to intersect the old workings at depth.(The Holy Moses #2 Tunnel) They drove the tunnel 1,300 feet and struck the dark and quiet stopes that held rich ore in times past. For several years the company extracted ore left by the previous operation and sent it to the Soloman Mill for concentration. The Second Chance operation ceased work after several years of high grading the most profitable ore, and the Holy Moses was abandoned again.
The Outlet Tunnel was originally covered by the Ada group of claims, as noted by Emmons and Larsen in 1923. They reported:
The Ada group of claims is on East Willow Creek, about 2 miles north of North Creede, east of the Soloman vein. The Outlet tunnel, which pierces Campbell Mountain at an elevation of 9,600 feet, is driven northwest for 1,172 feet and was designed to prospect two small veins that crop out on the ridge above. The country rock belongs to the Outlet Tunnel quartz latite.
About 300 feet from the portal the tunnel crosses a vein that strikes N. 40° W. and is nearly vertical. This vein carries 1 inch of rich ore composed of galena and zinc blende and said to contain 70 percent of lead and 21 ounces of silver to the ton. At 440 feet from the portal there is a second vein that strikes west of north and carries a little silver. At a point about 950 feet from the portal the rhyolite is shattered and contains blowholes in which lead and zinc minerals occur. About 1,000 feet from the portal the tunnel encounters a third vein, which strikes nearly due north and dips 65°-85° W. This vein is followed along the strike for 260 feet. At one place 75 feet north of the point where it is crossed by the tunnel it is 4 feet wide and is said to carry 10 percent of lead and about an equal amount of zinc.
The sulfides, galena and zinc blend, are enclosed in green clay that fills spaces around fragments of the country rock. North of this point the vein is thin, at some places not over an inch wide. Southward from the main tunnel the vein is followed for 250 feet. In this portion it strikes S. 15° W. and dips steeply west. Some minor fractures are encountered in the workings west of this vein. About 1,057 feet from the portal of the tunnel a thin fracture dipping steeply west carries a seam of galena about half an inch wide.
The two small veins exposed on the cliff above are supposed to be cut in the tunnel. They are about 50 feet apart on the surface, and one is exposed at Holy Moses No. 2 ore bin. It is a very thin iron-stained fissure that strikes N. 20° W. and dips 54° W.
Mineral Survey No. 8924A and B was conducted on the S.A. Beddall, Great Eastern, and Valley Queen Lodes, and Schuylkill Mill-site on May 3, 1894. At the time of the survey, the adit labeled the Outlet Mine on the USFS PBS map was about 500 feet long, and its portal was on the Valley Queen Lode. F.P. Rosengarten owned the claims. The Outlet claim was staked in 1903 by J.W. Skinner.
Mineral Survey No. 18348A and B was conducted on the Ada, Ada No.l, Ada No.3, and Outlet Lode claims and Outlet Mill-site on June 10, 1907. By that time, the Outlet Tunnel was about 1,200 feet long with over 300 feet of side drifts. The portal was on the Outlet Lode claim, and the side drifts were on the Ada No. 3 claim. J.W. Skinner and others owned the claims. This mine was apparently inactive for most of the first half of the 20th century.
In October 1955 Outlet Mining Company planned to enlarge the 1,156-foot-long Outlet Tunnel from the existing 4-foot-wide by 6-foot-high opening to 7 feet wide by 8 feet high. Additionally, they planned to drift 1,000 feet north to intersect the Phoenix Mine through a 600-foot raise, and to drift along the vein 2,000 feet to the south. In 1956 a raise was driven from the Outlet Tunnel to a winze developed in the Phoenix Mine
About 600 tons of ore (worth $23,000 after smelter deductions) was shipped from the Outlet Tunnel. Seven men were employed. A $108,506 DMEA (Defense Minerals Exploration Administration) grant was awarded to the Outlet Mining Company and Sublet Mining Company for exploration work at the Outlet Tunnel. Outlet Mining Company was owner, Sublet Mining Company was the listed operator, and Gormax Mining Company was a sub-lessee. The owners and operators included Paul Snyder, Charles King, Gavin Skinner, and James Muir.
In 1957 the Outlet Mining Company shipped 75 tons of ore worth about $2,642 (162 units of lead- $421; 1,776 oz of silver-$ 1,598; and 120 units of copper-$623). Five men were employed. The Outlet Tunnel was listed as a producing mine in 1960.
No production is recorded from the Outlet Tunnel after 1960. In 1985 the last known owner of the unpatented mining claims that included the Outlet Tunnel was the King Solomon Mining Corporation (P.O. Box 10022, Santa Ana, C A 92711, Henry Muir- President). The last year of assessment work on the group was 1992. These claims were abandoned in 1993.