Ibex Springs Ghost Town and Talc Mine
In the mid-1930's the final era of mining in south Death Valley started when a John Moorehouse filed 16 talc claims just north-west of Ibex Springs. Moorehouse managed to process 1100 tons of talc from the claims by 1941 largely from the Moorehouse Mine. Sierra Talc Company took over and leased the claims in the mid-1940s from Moorehouse and by way of extensive ore body development were able to produce 62,000 tons of ore by 1959. The mine was worked off and on through 1968 but the talc seams were largely worked out years earlier.
Ralph Morris operated four claims in the same area called the Monarch group from 1938 thru 1945 at which time the Sierra Talc Company leased these deposits as well. These claims were largely worked out later in 1956 by the Southern California Minerals Company.
South of the Monarch a third group of claims claimed the Pleasanton group started up in 1942 and were later also worked by both The Sierra Talc Company and the Southern California Minerals Company thru 1959. By 1968 all real mining had stopped in the area.
Of all the mines the Moorehouse is the best representation of talc mining in the area. The mine is made up of three distinct levels with the lower two being lode mining activities with adits, ore chutes, and tramways. These structures are quite unusual and make for interesting photo opportunities. The upper level was strip-mined and left as is.
At Ibex Springs area there are quite a bit of greenery and palm trees, living shacks, cookhouse and outbuildings from the 1940-1950s. All are in rather heavy decay, however, stewardship of the structures has been taken over by the Mojave River Valley Museum according to the sign on site. The old mining site is located 5.3 miles due west of CA-127 on Ibex Springs road, about two miles south of Ibex Pass. A four-wheel drive vehicle is required. As always please be good stewards of our mining heritage and take only memories.