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The Mines & Town Of Ruth Nevada

It was in 1868 that prospector, Thomas Robinson discovered gold in an area that is now known as the Robinson Mining District in Nevada. This mineralized area also contained silver and copper but nothing really became of these finds until the very late 1800's. A few small mines started up but most failed as the ore grades were just too low. Then in 1907 a mining engineer by the name of Daniel Jackling came to this area and then things started to happen. Daniel had been a mine engineer for the Bingham Canyon Mine in Utah where he had pioneered low grade copper extraction methods.

Up until this time, mining methods were small and unfunded and used older antiquated equipment. Daniels method of mining was massive open pit with the use of steam shovels and rail haul cars for hauling ore to be milled. Over time this mine consisted of three separet open pit mines. The first open pit mine to be dug was the Veteran mine followed by the Liberty and Ruth mines. Steam shovels and ore cars worked 24 hours a day. Inside the pit were fourteen miles of railroad, which operated until the pit trains were replaced in 1958 by trucks.

A mine of this size needed lots of workers so in 1910, the company set about getting a town built. One of the orginaly claim owners decided to call the town Ruth, after one of his daughters. The town was orgianly built a few miles away from where the actual open pit mine was however as time went on the house had to be moved because the ground they were sitting on had valuable copper ore under them that could be mined.

Ruth was a typical company town where the company owned the house and the workers paid rent. Unlike most mining towns, there were no saloons, brothels or gambling joints however the neighboring town of Riepetown was able to fill those needs. Most of Riepetown was destroyed in 1917 by a massive fire and although they started to rebuild, the town slowly faded away and became a ghost town. By the end of the 1920's, Ruth had a population of over 2000 people.

As with most mines back then there always seemd to be fires or explosions of some kind. In July of 1912, a mine explosion killed 10 workers and again in 1929 another two workers died from a blast gone wrong. Then in 1919, the mine saw hundreds of workers walk off the job demanding higher wages. After negotiations were settled with workers mining continued until 1933 when the Kennecott Mining company bought out the mine. Kennecott Mines owned the old Kennecott mine in Alaska which at the time was the largest copper mine in the world.

In 1978, Kennecott closed the mines, and in 1983 the smelter was also closed. Recorded production from 1908 to 1978 was more than 4 billion pounds of copper and 2.7 million ounces of gold. Then in 1991 another company called magna copper bought the old mine and started to mine some of the remaining ores however the mine was closed again in 1999 because of low copper prices. Then again in 2004 another company bought the mine. In 2010, the mine produced another 109 million pounds of copper and 73,000 ounces of gold and then in 2012, mine was acquired by by a Eurpoean copper mining company.