In May 1900, the Homestake Mine produced $185,000 worth of gold ore every fifteen days, according to The Sumpter Miner. In order to maximize production at the mine, a new cyanide plant would soon be installed and was expected to double the mine’s production. At the time, the mine was “600 feet wide and over a mile long” and employed approximately 1,500 men.
The Homestake Mine was first discovered by Fred and Moses Manuel, and Alex Engh and Hank Harney in 1877. It was later purchased by another trio of men—George Hearst, Lloyd Tevis and James Ben Ali Haggin. Hearst took control of the property late in 1877 and hauled in much of the equipment by wagon.
The mine operated until 2001 with the exception of a brief closure from 1943 to 1945 due to World War II. The closure came as a result of low gold prices.
At the time of its closure, the mine reached 8,000 feet deep and produced nearly 40 million ounces of gold. Following its mining days, the mine was sought after for its underground structures for researching neutrinos. The mine is now known as the Sanford Lab, after philanthropist T. Denny Sanford who contributed $70 million toward the project.