RIO TINTO

NAME: Rio Tinto
COUNTY: Elko
ROADS: 2WD
GRID: 1
CLIMATE: Snow in winter, hot in summer
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Spring, Summer, Fall
COMMENTS: Rio Tinto is just a few miles southwest of Mountain City.
REMAINS: A few houses, and the school. UPDATE: As of Aug. 25, 2009, there is a private property gate across the road up to the mine site. The school and some of the houses can still be seen from the road.  Otherwise the only other open road heads back into the public land along the canyon and passes by an old Chevy pick-up and some old sheds on private land. Still worth the visit since Mountain City and Patsville are right nearby. And the road to the site is in awesome condition. - Jared Du Bach

Not much left here. The government came in and cleaned up a few years ago, and many of the old building were moved shortly after the demise of the Rio Tinto mines back in the 50's. The Tremewans who own the grocery store in nearby Mountain City pulled out a few boxes of photographs for us showing the town in its original state. I only wish I had taken notes... The largest building remaining is the school, pictured. Most of the other building were quite trashed and not very picture worthy. For more pictures of the area please visit dave.crockett.net. Submitted by: Ryan Crockett

 

Rio Tinto has the distinction of being one of Nevada’s last boomtowns. It also has the distinction of being named after the Rio Tinto copper mines in Spain that produced ore for 3,000 years. Credit is due a Franklyn Hunt who for years prospected throughout the west. It was Hunt who found traces of copper a few miles south of Mountain City. He filed his claims but no one except the Davidson brothers, Walt and Jack, had faith enough in Hunt to scrub stake him. This they did with the belief their faith in Hunt would someday pay off. And it did. For years, Hunt predicted the ore body would be found at 250 feet. He finally found copper in 1932 at 227 feet. The ore assayed as high as 47 percent. Announcements of the strike started a rush to the area and revived the nearby town of Mountain City and created the town of Rio Tinto. The onset of World War II hurt many mines in the West but Rio Tinto flourished because of copper’s strategic nature. With the decrease of the price of copper during and after World War II led to the eventual closing of the mines. All operations ceased in 1948 and the town became a ghost town. The most impressive ruins in the town are those of the concrete school and the huge mill just above the town. A must see for ghost towns enthusiasts.

HBC

 


Rio Tinto
Courtesy Ryan Crockett


Rio Tinto
Courtesy Ryan Crockett


Rio Tinto
Courtesy Ryan Crockett


Rio Tinto
Courtesy David A .Wright


Rio Tinto
Courtesy David A .Wright


Rio Tinto
Courtesy David A .Wright


Rio Tinto
Courtesy David A .Wright


This structure was the school. Friends Gil and Graham inspect the fallen facade that once was an archway with the engraved school name, the pattern discernable on the face of the structure above the stairs and doorway.
D.A. Wright photo.


Rio Tinto
Courtesy David A .Wright


Rio Tinto
Courtesy David A .Wright


Rio Tinto School
Courtesy David A .Wright


Rio Tinto School
Courtesy David A .Wright

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