Arizona Department of Mines and Mineral Resources

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Stamp Mill Demonstration

Beginning March 2010, the 5-stamp mill at the Museum entrance will be run several times on the second Saturday of each month between 11 am and 2 pm excluding the summer months. The stamp mill is from the Swallow mine, northeast of Wickenburg, in Yavapai County. The project of dismantling, transporting, rehabilitating, and making the stamp mill operational took 18 years. For the seven-year period leading up to the mill becoming operation the project was completed by a team of volunteers under the supervision of Charlie Connell.

The Swallow mine was first worked in 1890. The stamp mill was used to crush gold-bearing ores and amalgamate the fine gold onto copper plates. The mill is 19 feet tall, and the large drive wheel is 7 feet in diameter. Each vertical rod (stamp) weighs 850 pounds. The stamps drop 82 to 85 times per minute from a height of 6 to 8 inches.

Come see, feel, and hear this dramatic artifact from Arizona’s mining past. Our stamp mill is one of only a few “operating” stamp mills in the U.S. A mucker and other historic mining equipment will also be demonstrated.

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