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Lane Mine (Sorba Mine), Darwin Mine (Anaconda; Bernon Mine; Defiance Mine; Essex Mine; Independence Mine; Intermediate Mine; Rip Van Winkle Mine; Thompson Mine), Darwin, Darwin District, Darwin Hills, Inyo Co., California, USA

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 36° 16' 48'' North , 117° 34' 23'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 36.28, -117.573055556
A former Au-Cu-Ag-Pb mine located in sec. 18, T19S, R41E, MDM, 1.3 miles NE of Darwin. The mine was discovered before 1880. MRDS database stated accuracy for this location is 10 meters. Updated description and position N36.27990 W117.57296 by Richard Muster.

NOTE: This is one of several mines incorporated into the "Darwin Mine" of the Anaconda Corp. It was also later incorporated into the group termed the "Darwin Mines," owned by Mexicanus Colorado Inc.

In 1945 The Anaconda Co. purchased the Bernon Defiance, Driver, Essex, Independence, Lane, Lucky Jim, Promontory, Rip Van Winkle and Thompson mines, and other small properties In the Darwin quadrangle and the Columbia mine at the south end of the Darwin Hills in the Coso Peak quadrangle, and they have operated some of them from 1945 to 1955.

The Company „Project Darwin LLC“ acquired the Darwin mines and 58 patented mining claims in 1996. The company is looking for investors to re-start the Darwin mines.

Rocks at the mine consist of lime-silicate strata interbedded with dark-blue crinoidal and fusulina-bearing limestones. Local rocks include Carboniferous marine rocks, unit 2 (SE California Carbonate Assemblage).

Workings include underground openings comprised of 2 shafts at 800 and 600 feet deep, and 2 shallower shafts west of the main shafts, which were worked until 1909. Then an adit was driven about 1,300 feet long. The shafts are now inaccessible.

The Lane mine has a recorded production of 11,944 tons from which was recovered: 1,547 ounces Au; 75,866 ounces Ag (6.3 ounces/ton); 38,738 pounds Cu, and 1,820,888 pounds Pb. The total production was probably greater than the above figures because for some years it was included in the Darwin group.

The Lane Mill is nearby at N 36.281821 W 117.571138. It was built in 1898, re-built several times and was in operation till 1942.

Mineral List

8 entries listed. 7 valid minerals.

The above list contains all mineral locality references listed on This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.


Knopf, Adolph (1914) The Darwin Lead-Silver Mining District California, USGS Bulletin 580-A.

Kelley, Vincent Cooper (1938), Geology and ore deposits of the Darwin silver-lead mining district, Inyo County, California: California Division Mines Report 34: 543.

Wilson L. Kenneth (1943), Tungsten deposits of the Darwin Hills Inyo County, California Economic Geology: 38.

Butner, D.W. (1949), Investigation of tungsten occurrences in Darwin district, Inyo County, California: US Bureau Mines Report of Investigation 4475.

Norman, L.A. & Richard M. Stewart (1951), Mines and mineral resources of Inyo County, California: California Journal of Mines and Geology (Report 47): 47(1): 18-223.

Hall, Wayne Everett & E.M. Mackevett (1958), Economic geology of the Darwin quadrangle, Inyo County, California: Calif Division of Mines Special Report 51: 32-33.

Hall, Wayne Everett & Edward M. Mackevett (1963), Geology and ore deposits of the Darwin quadrangle, Inyo County, California: USGS Professional Paper 368.

Murdoch, Joseph & Robert W. Webb (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 338.

Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California: 46, 102 (map 3-6).

USGS (2005), Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS): U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, loc. file ID # 10188099.

Mineral Availability System (MAS) database file # 0060271913.

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