Stage of Clean-up: Emergency Removal of Contaminants / Remedial Assessment Not Begun
Conditions at Proposal (April 30, 2003): The Captain Jack Mill (CJM) site is located in a narrow valley, roughly 1.5 miles south of Ward, and 14 miles west of Boulder, Colorado. Mining began in the area in the early 1890s. The mines and mills in the Ward area primarily produced gold and silver from low-grade ores. Camp Francis was started in the early 1890s as a mining town operated by the Big 5 Mines Company, which employed approximately 100 men. The Big 5 managed such mines as the Adit, Ni-Wot, Columbia, and the Big Dew Drop, and all of the combined ores from these mines came down to Camp Francis by way of the Adit Tunnel. Milling of the ore took place either in the Dew Drop Mill or the Big 5 Mill just south of town. Several hundred feet downstream of the mills were three other mines, the nearest of which is known as the Captain Jack, later called the Black Jack. These mills were still standing as late as 1927, and never processed large quantities of ore.
The Big 5 was reopened in the 1940s but it is unclear if they intended to produce ore from the mines or rework the tailings piles by the mills on the creek. Captain Jack, Ltd., acquired possession of the mill works area in March 1974, and received a Colorado Mined Land Reclamation Division (CMLRD) permit allowing for a captive mill (i.e., no imported ore) operation using a flotation process in May 1981. More...