Ghost Towns, Mines, and More!


The Mina Mine is a cinnabar mine in central Nevada. Cinnabar is the ore of mercury, a metal which is liquid at room temperature. The mine was originally part of the Lost Steers claim, but little development was done until 1919 when the mine was sold. The new owners built a two-pipe retort. The ruins of this retort can still be seen on the slope behind the current mill building.

The mine was worked sporadically until 1939 when it was purchased by the Mina Development Company. In 1940 the miners struck a rich new vein. Over the next few years the mine produced somewhere between 1200 to 1300 flasks of mercury.

A notch cut into the hillside leads to the mine portal, which has caved in. Nearby is a row of shop buildings, including the blacksmith’s shop and an assay office.

Just past these shops is mill building. This structure was built in 1929 by the Nevada Almaden Quicksilver Company, and featured a 30-ton rotary furnace. The mine has been idle since 1943. The rotary furnace and other mill equipment are gone, and the mill building is in poor condition. Some sort of underground chambers have collapsed, causing the concrete floor to buckle and cave in.

North of the mine portal are two small cabins. These cabins are quite old and may be from the earliest years of activity at the mine.

The main camp at the mine is a cluster of four building located in a small valley a little farther down the canyon. These structures are in various stages of decay. The largest and most interesting is a long, narrow building. This building has multiple doors, and a covered porch runs the entire length of the building. Apparently this was a bunkhouse with individual rooms for the miners.

I found that the bunkhouse had recently been repaired, just enough to keep it from falling apart. I saw similar repairs at several other mining camps I visited. It seems that some group or agency is making an effort to preserve these historic sites.

I visited the Mina Mine in 2020 and I’ve produced a video about this interesting site:

Posted February 2021.

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Mina Mine, NV