Date of Award


Degree Type

Bachelors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Geological Engineering


The history of mining in Butte is woven about three of our principal metals. The gold placers first attracted the attention of miners in 1863, and reached their peak production in 1867. Silver was the second metal mined, and this operation required the erection of large mills with a consequent increase in mining activity that made the district a prominent producer. Although the presence of copper in the silver ore had been known, the credit for the first development of the copper veins is due Senator W. A. Clark. The original Colusa, Mining Chief, and Gambetta claims were developed to 1872. The ore was freighted by wagon trains 400 miles to Corrine, Utah, thence by rail eastward, some of it going to Swansea, Wales. The cooper production of the "richest hill on earth" has mounted to ten billion pounds.