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Exploration & Mining, Inc.

Tombstone Yesterday & Today

Silver and other precious metals were discovered in the Tombstone Mining District in the late 1850s, and first mined in the late 1870s. Tombstone boomed, and by the 1890s, nearly 200 stakeholders mined separate claims in the District. There were a few large mines, including the Contention and Tough Nut, but most development was on claims sold by the square foot to owner-operator crews of two or three. Although many individual fortunes were made, large scale development was limited by the competing interests of numerous small holders, and their restricted access to capital.

Significant mining operations practically ceased before WWI due to declining silver prices and a series of financial panics. Cornish steam pumps brought in to allow mining of exceptionally rich silver deposits below the water table failed regularly. Subsequently, the U.S. exited the silver standard, driving silver prices down even further. Over 260,000 oz. of gold and 32.5mm oz. of silver were processed in the District during the period ending in 1923, along with commercial quantities of lead, zinc and copper. Geologists calculate that only approximately 25% to 40% of the available reserves have been mined from existing mines, leaving mineralization with estimated values of up to $5b. No reliable estimates are available for the deeper, below-the-water table mineralization, which could exceed these amounts. Furthermore, assays of scattered drill core tests reveal substantial shallow ore bodies and some alluvial placer deposits in the western portion of the District. At least one geologist contends the entire District contains precious metals equal to those taken from the Bisbee Mining District, which have exceeded $16b at current values.
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Placeholder Picture Tombstone, AZ mid-1900's - Courtesy of Google
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Mansfield-Martin Exploration & Mining, Inc.   |   P.O. Box 1218   |   Tombstone, AZ 85638
(520) 457-8404 (Phone)   |   (520) 457-8404 (Fax)   |