The Swallow Mine is located approximately 14 miles east of Wickenburg, Arizona in the Castle Creek Mining District which is part of the Bradshaw Mountain Range. The area also contains one of the most famous gold mines in Arizona history, The Vulture Mine. The Vulture founded the town of Wickenburg and played a key role in the early development of Phoenix by financing the city’s first highway.
The Swallow consists of 26 Federal BLM claims and a 13 acre patented claim for a total of 533 +/- acres. The mine has a documented past production history for gold and copper which was produced from the mine’s main workings, The Swallow, The Golden Wonder, and the Moonlight.
In the 1890’s, high grade ore outcroppings which contained up to 3 ounces of gold per ton and copper in excess of 20% was discovered on the Swallow. Shortly afterwards, The Swallow was put into production and rich gold and copper ore was transported off site by horse drawn wagon for milling and processing. Other discoveries were made in the area, a number of mines began producing and the Castle Creek Mining District was born. In addition to the famous Vulture Mine and other major gold discoveries in nearby Prescott, the region quickly established it’s reputation as a leading producer.
A 10 stamp mill was built to process the ore and in a short period of time, a small community developed with over one hundred families working and living on the claims. The Swallow was chosen as the location for their little one room school house and today, the old school house still stands along with the original assay building which is a registered historical site. The original mill has been restored to full working condition and is on display and used in mining demonstrations at the Arizona Mining Museum in Phoenix Arizona.
Initially in the early years, mining was done by following the rich high grade copper and gold outcroppings protruding at the surface. Even with the inefficient and comparatively crude methods of extraction and recovery, the earlier miners still managed to get a net gold recovery of 0.31 ounces per ton and a copper recovery of 23%.
The Swallow was in production intermittently for a total of 3 years interrupted by World War I, World War II and the Great Depression. Records show a total of 8,300 tons of ore was mined which produced 2,640 ounces of gold and 3,800,000 pounds of copper.
Over the life of the mine, considerable documentation and numerous geological studies exists from earlier operations including geological evaluations done by Phelps Dodge Corporation and Cypress Minerals Corporation, see: Geological Reports. These records allowed current management to save many months of exploration work and lay a foundation to design an accelerated targeted drilling program for the purposes of identifying an economically viable ore body and put the Swallow into production.