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Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mine

The Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mine, formerly and historically the Cresson Mine, is an active gold mine located near the town of Victor, in the Cripple Creek mining district in the US state of Colorado. It is the largest current producer of gold in Colorado, and produced 211,000 troy ounces of gold in 2014.[1][2] It was fully owned and operated by AngloGold Ashanti through its subsidiary, the Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company (CC&V).[3] In June 2015, AngloGold agreed to sell the mine to Newmont Mining Corporation.[4] The purchase by Newmont was completed in August 2015.[5]

Cripple Creek & Victor
Cripple Creek and Victor Mine - Victor Colorado.JPG
Cripple Creek & Victor open-pit
Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mine is located in Colorado
Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mine
Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mine
Location in Colorado
LocationTeller County,
near Cripple Creek and Victor
CountryUnited States
Coordinates38°43′38″N 105°08′40″W / 38.72722°N 105.14444°W / 38.72722; -105.14444Coordinates: 38°43′38″N 105°08′40″W / 38.72722°N 105.14444°W / 38.72722; -105.14444
CompanyNewmont Mining Corporation
WebsiteNewmont Mining website

The mine is an open pit operation. The gold is recovered from the ore by heap leaching. CC&V's heap leach pad is one of the biggest in the world.[6]

The mine has a visitor center[7] with displays about modern mining procedures, historical photos, ore and core samples, and mineral uses.[8] Visitors can tour the mine with advance reservation through the Victor Lowell Thomas Museum in Victor, Colorado.[9]


The ore is in altered and brecciated volcanic and volcanoclastic rocks of Oligocene age and predominantly quartz latite composition. The Cripple Creek volcanic complex is surrounded by Precambrian gneiss, granite, and quartz monzonite. The gold occurs as disseminated micrometre-size free gold and as gold-silver tellurides, or telluride minerals. Gangue minerals include pyrite, quartz, and fluorite.


Gold mining in the district begun in the 1890s, mostly as underground operations, chasing high grade veins. Over 23 million ounces of gold have been recovered from the district since 1890.[3] At 2012 prices ($1600 per troy ounce [10]), this would be worth around US$37 billion.

Warren, Harry & Frank Woods entered the Victor mining scene in when they purchased the Mount Rosa Placer and incorporated the Mt. Rosa Mining, Milling and Land Company on January 9, 1892. This would later become known as the Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mine.[11]

Most of the Cripple Creek properties were consolidated into the Golden Cycle Mining and Reduction Company, and the Carlton Tunnel was completed in 1941. This 6.5 mile long tunnel drained the district down to 3,000 feet. The roasting-cyanidation Carlton Mill opened in March 1951. This mill also tested the first carbon adsorption-desorption process.[12]:110–111,113

The current open cut operation dates back to 1995.[3] The operation became part of AngloGold in March 1999, when the company acquired the Independence Mining Company and thereby 66% of the mine. AngloGold merged with junior partner Golden Cycle Gold Corporation in 2008 and thereby acquired the remaining 33% of the project.[6][13]

The mine is a low-cost, low-yield open pit operation, with grades well below one gram of gold per tonne of ore. In recent years, 2008 and 2009, the mine accounted for 5% of AngloGold Ashanti's worldwide production. It is the company's only active operation in the United States.[6] In 2008, the State of Colorado and Teller County granted the mine a mine-life extension.[14]

Production and grade of the mine have steadily declined over the last few years, while the total production costs have risen from US$372 an ounce in 2007 to US$475 in 2009. The mine employed 562 people in 2009, of which 367 were permanent employees.[14]

In August 2015, the mine was sold to Newmont Mining Corporation.[5]

Cresson VugEdit

On 24 November 1914, Dick Roelofs was supervising the exploration of the mine to the 1300 level, when a large gold-filled vug was blasted open on the 1200 level. The next day, Roelof, a mine owner and an attorney explored the "cave of sparkling jewels". The vug measured 14 feet wide, 23 feet long, 36 feet high, which took a month to empty, and yielded 60,000 troy ounces of gold.[12]:78–80

Two "Aladdin's caves of gold" were discovered in August 1953, on the 3100 foot level of Ajax Mine, Battle Mountain. Sylvanite and Calaverite covered the walls. Mine superintendent M.H. Grice stated, "It is a sight a mining man may see but once in a lifetime..."[12]:114


Town of Cripple Creek and CC&V (Cresson) Mine, 2012
High-grade Calaverite (gold telluride) ore from the Cresson mine. Specimen size 2.6 x 2.1 x 1.1 cm. Individual calaverite crystals up to 9 mm, in frosted grey quartz.

Past production figures since 1995 were:

Year Production Grade Cost per ounce
1995 76,587 ounces
1996 174,600 ounces
1997 228,164 ounces
1998 230,300 ounces
1999 231,000 ounces
2000 248,000 ounces
2001 214,010 ounces
2002 224,988 ounces
2003 [15] 283,866 ounces 0.67 g/t US$ 199
2004 [15] 329,030 ounces 0.61 g/t US$220
2005 [15] 329,625 ounces 0.62 g/t US$230
2006 [16] 283,486 ounces 0.54 g/t US$248
2007 [17] 282,000 ounces 0.53 g/t US$269
2008 [17] 258,000 ounces 0.49 g/t US$309
2009 [17] 218,000 ounces 0.46 g/t US$376
2010 235,000 ounces


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Active Mines in Colorado Colorado Geological Survey website, accessed: 6 July 2010
  2. ^ FACTS ABOUT COLORADO MINING Archived 2010-06-22 at the Wayback Machine Colorado Mining Association website, accessed: 6 July 2010
  3. ^ a b c About CC&V Archived 2010-05-22 at the Wayback Machine Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company website, accessed: 5 July 2010
  4. ^ "Newmont to acquire CC&V mine from Anglogold Ashanti," Engineering & Mining Journal, July 2015 p.4.
  5. ^ a b [1] Newmont completes purchase of Cripple Creek & Victor gold mine, accessed: 9 August 2015
  6. ^ a b c United States 2008 AngloGold Ashanti country report, accessed: 5 July 2010
  7. ^ "Contact Us". Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company. Archived from the original on 5 December 2014. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
  8. ^ "Cripple Creek & Victor Visitor Center". Visit Cripple Creek. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
  9. ^ "Tour the Current-day Cresson Mine". Victor, Colorado. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
  10. ^ Gold price
  11. ^ "City of Victor, Colorado - History". City of Victor, Colorado. Retrieved 10/4/2011. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  12. ^ a b c Voynick, S.M., 1992, Colorado Gold, Missoula: Mountain Press Publishing Company, ISBN 0878424555
  13. ^ US gold operation’s life-of-mine extended, published: 2 December 2002, accessed: 6 July 2010
  14. ^ a b United States of America: Cripple Creek & Victor Archived 2011-09-12 at the Wayback Machine AngloGold Ashanti website, accessed: 11 July 2010
  15. ^ a b c Annual Report 2005 Archived 2011-07-19 at the Wayback Machine AngloGold Ashanti website, accessed: 11 July 2010
  16. ^ Annual Report 2006 Archived 2011-07-07 at the Wayback Machine AngloGold Ashanti website, accessed: 11 July 2010
  17. ^ a b c Annual Report 2009 Archived September 12, 2011, at the Wayback Machine AngloGold Ashanti website, accessed: 9 May 2010

Further readingEdit

  • Cross, W., and Penrose, R.A.F., 1895, Geology and Mining Industries of the Cripple Creek District, Colorado, USGS, Washington: Government Printing Office
  • Lindgren, W., and Ransome, F.L., 1904, Geological Resurvey of the Cripple Creek District, Colorado, USGS Bulleting No. 254, Washington: Government Printing Office
  • Lindgren, W., and Ransome, F.L., 1906, Geology and Gold Deposits of the Cripple Creek District, COlorado, USGS Professional Paper No. 54, Washington: Government Printing Office

External linksEdit