Take it easy
  Antelope Springs Mercury Mines

N40.14900 W118.17000 Buffalo Mountain quad


We Visited: 2/13/2016
Our Breakast: Breakfast skillets at the Cowpoke Cafe in Lovelock
Our Supper : Cheeseburgers at Top Gun in Fallon


Directions: North from Fallon for 56 miles on US 95 and then east on I-80; Head north 6.6 more miles to Coal Canyon Road exit; East and the south on Coal Canyon / Stillwater road for about 13 miles; east on Antelope road and start poking around the area.

From Fallon: 76 miles


Mercury sure isn't as romantic as gold or silver, but it generated a lot of interest in this particular area, beginning in 1912 and continuing off and on in the late 1920's, during World War Two, and even past that..

The Relief or Antelope Springs district is 22 miles east of Lovelock by fair desert road cia Coal Canyon. The quicksilver deposits are at the south end of the East Humboldt Range. The quicksilver deposits were discovered in 1912. A 12 pipe retort was erected in 1914 on ground later owned by the Pershing Quicksilver Co., a subsequently a similar retort was built on another property 1 1/2 miles east. The two retorts operated until 1919 and are said to have produced 200 flasks of mercury. Interest in the district was revived by the boom in mercury mining in 1927, and several companies were financed. The Nevada Quicksilver Mine, Inc. in 1928 was one of the largest producers of mercury in the United States. The Mammoth property was added to its holdings in 1929. The reduction plant built in 1928 consisted of a rotary kiln, 3 feet in diameter and 40 foot in length, which dust precipitating and mercury condensing equipment. The capacity of the plant was 40 tons per day. For a time production was 600 flasks per month. The company ceased operations in 1931, and the mill was dismantled and the equipment sold several years ago. The property of the Pershing Quicksilver company 3 miles south of the Nevada Quicksilver Mine, inc. became active in 1926. A reduction plant was completed in february 1928. The company suspended operations in 1931 owing to a drop in the price of quicksilver. The property is equipped with a power plant consisting of an 80 h.p. and a 120 hp Diesel engine. Electric current is also purchased from the Sierra Pacific Power Co. Water is scarce in the region but enough for ordinary needs is pipes from Antelope Springs 2 miles away. The rotary furnace has a capacity of 85 tons. The mercury from condensers is run into a concrete launder that has an outlet into one of two submerged cast iron pots holding 100 flasks each.
-1936 Report, W.O. Vanderberg

The Lovelock Quicksilver Company has completed construction of a furnace at its mines at Antelope Springs. Four hundred tons of cinnabar ore are ready for the furnace and shipments of quicksilver will be started soon.
-1916 September 19, Reno Evening Gazette

We experienced first hand what the rains will do to the roads out here.

Out in the Antelope District, scene of recent quicksilver activity, torrential rains raised havoc with the roads, necessitating considerable work by county men and mine operators to put them back into shape. Waters roared down a narrow gully at the Red Bird mine, covering up a quicksilver furnace with several feet o debris and silt, and causing other damage.
1941 August 27, Reno Evening Gazette

Probably the only casino that was also a mining company.

Strategic metals are being mined by Reno Company
Bulk samples of cinnabar broken from a twelve foot face that is being mined from a lately-opened ore body in the Red Bird Mine is the Antelope Springs or Relief District in southern Pershing County and from which a pilot retort plant has been producing at the rate of a flask of mercury a day were exhibited lately in Reno. It was stated in a report to the Mining Press of Reno by Ervin J. Young, directing engineer for the Harold's Club Mining company that the company owns a Cottrell furnace, now in storage in Arizona, but may decide to install one of a different and more suitable type upon which it has an option.
1942 October 17, Reno Evening Gazette

Forty flasks of quicksilver were trucked this week from the furnace plant of the Harold's Club Mining company in the Relief district, southern Pershing county, to the Metals Reserve receiving station in Winnemucca. Heretofore the company has shipped its mercury to buying agencies in San Francisco, but a favorable price differential resulted from the recent establishment of the depot in Winnemucca, bringing about the decision by the management to deliver it's product to that point. During the past fortnight diamond drilling has been in progress at the Red Bird cinnabar mine of the Harold's Club company, a mile and a half distant from the treatment plant, which is situated on the leased and formerly productive property of the long-idle Nevada Quicksilver company.
1943 August 28 , Reno Evening Gazette


Bad roads and lots of interesting ruins. Seems like everyone had their own idea of what a retort should look like, so you will see all kinds of interesting ruins out here. The Bureau of Minerals has fenced off many of the deeper and more treacherous places, which is good for you. The map coordinate given is just a general area- there are mines and retorts and furnaces and stuff all over the place.

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