The Tip-Top Mine is a gold property. It is situated twelve miles west of Hailey, Blaine county, in the center of what is known as the gold belt. The mine is thoroughly developed by an inclined shaft three hundred feet in depth, passing through three levels, from which project several wings. The ore is obtained to the extent of five hundred feet, with an average width of the tunnel from five to six feet. The ore consists of gold in iron and copper pyrites. The value of the gold is one ounce to the ton. A twenty-stamp mill is in process of construction at the mine, which will probably be completed and running before the publication of this volume. A four-inch water pipe two miles in length supplies the mill with water, which has to be raised nine hundred feet. The ore is treated by running it from the battery over copper-silver plates, where one-half is amalgamated. The remaining gold is concentrated by twelve frew runners and other concentrating machinery, which work can be effected with the result of a high percentage.
The outlay in developing the mine to its present stage and in erecting the mill is about one hundred thousand dollars. The plant is owned by John O. Packard, of Salt Lake City, and H. E. Miller, of Bellevue, a thoroughly practical mining expert. The work is under the direct superintendency of Captain James A. Lusk, a prominent mining man from Utah. Mr. Miller came to Wood river in 1881 and has assisted in the development of various mines, among which may be mentioned the Minnie Moore, which eventually proved to be the largest producer of all the mines in the Wood river country, yielding nearly as much as any four of the best mines in that section of the state. The amount of ore, consisting of galena carrying ninety ounces of silver, which has been shipped from this mine, is estimated at three or four million dollars, shipping value.
In 1883 this mine was purchased by an English company, who for a time afterward continued its operation; but at present no work is being done. They paid half a million dollars for the plant. It has an inclined shaft nine hundred feet in extent, with levels of one hundred feet each. Professor Blake, a distinguished metallurgist, said that this mine contained the largest body of galena ore he had ever seen in America. The ore is clear galena, carrying one hundred and twelve ounces of silver. For a length of three hundred feet the tunnel has an average width of eighteen feet.