Belmont Mill

Belmont Mill

The Tonopah Belmont Development Company got its start in Tonopah in 1902, before developing mines and constructing two large mills there. As ore declined after 1916, those mills were closed in 1918 and 1923. Two years later, the TBDC purchased lead-zinc claims in McEllen Canyon and in spring 1926 work started on a new mill. In May, the TBDC purchased the Cornell Mine, 1¾ miles above the millsite, which became the Belmont Mine. The Belmont Mine showed favorable prospects, and a 9,200-foot aerial tramway was also constructed to connect the mine to the new mill. On August 20, 1926, the new 75-ton Belmont Mill was placed into operation, making it the first mill to operate in the White Pine District since 1892.

By December, the mill was increased to 100-tons and both high grade lead ore and ore concentrates were being shipped to the Nevada Northern Railway at Kimberly. Nevertheless, harsh winter conditions forced the mill to close on January 5, 1927. Only minor assessment, maintenance, and development at the Belmont Mine continued for the next couple years due to decreasing value of lead. In 1929, the TBDC ceased work for themselves in favor of leasing the property. The mill was used again until about 1931, when it was closed again due to the Great Depression.

In 1939, the aerial tramway and mill underwent repairs and were placed back into operation. The failing TBDC sold the property in September 1940, but successive owners continued to produce silver and lead ore into World War II, before closing again. Operation began again in June 1949, lasting intermittently until 1967, when the mill closed for the last time. In the late 1970s, the site was officially abandoned.

In 2007, the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest took ownership of the Belmont Mill, and in 2012 some restoration work was done to better preserve the historic millsite. It remains one of the most remarkable mills standing in Nevada, and is well worth the trip.

White Pine District
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Belmont Mill