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Georgetown Canyon Mine

Georgetown Canyon 1

From April 1906 to October 1907, 16 association placer mining claims were located on the phosphate deposits of Georgetown Canyon. The Utah Fertilizer & Chemical Manufacturing Company (UF&CMC) was incorporated January 29, 1908, specifically to purchase the mining claims at Georgetown Canyon and other places and to develop mines on the phosphate property (Campbell 1923). The UF&CMC applied for and received patents for all 16 placer mining claims in 1912, 1915, and 1916.

The first known report of mining-related activity in Georgetown Canyon was in 1909 (Gale and Richards 1910). On the Superior Extension placer mining claim, the UF&CMC put down two tunnels, each having a southeasterly trend, one about 125 feet long and the other less than 30 feet long (Richards and Mansfield 1914).

In 1928, the UF&CMC sold all interests in the 16 patented placer mining claims of Georgetown Canyon to the Stockholders Syndicate of Los Angeles, California (Campbell, 1928).  From its purchase of the 16 patented placer claims in 1928 until 1953, Stockholders Syndicate did only upkeep work on the property with no mining of phosphate ore.

Georgetown Canyon 2

In 1955, the 16 patented placer mining claims of Stockholders Syndicate were sold to Central Farmers Fertilizer Company (Hansen 1964). The company was a large farm cooperative made up of smaller farm co-ops throughout the south, midwest, and northwest United States and southern Canada (Emigh 1959). Soon after acquisition of the property, the company announced plans to begin a $7.5 million project to construct a processing plant and open a mine in Georgetown Canyon. In fact, construction started on a processing plant with an electric furnace and kiln in the Canyon in 1957. By late 1959, all underground mining had been abandoned and by 1960, the new open pit was approximately 3,000 feet long, 100 feet wide, and 100 feet deep (Fletcher 1960).

Open-pit mining progressed until 1963. The Georgetown Canyon Mine has not produced phosphate ore since 1964; however, the mine ownership has changed hands several times since then.

In 1992, Nu-West Industries, Inc., bought the Western Co-Operative Fertilizer, Ltd, and formed a wholly owned subsidiary named Nu-West Mining, Inc., to replace the co-op with the Conda Partnership. In 1995, the Conda Partnership was dissolved and all of the mine properties were assigned to Nu-West Mining, Inc. In October 1995, Nu-West Industries was acquired by Agrium, Inc., a Canadian firm based in Calgary, Alberta.

Source: A History of Phosphate Mining in Southeastern Idaho, William H. Lee 2000. 

Staff Contacts

Mining Project Coordinator
Michael Rowe
DEQ Pocatello Regional Office
444 Hospital Way #300
Pocatello, ID 83201
(208) 236-6160

More Information

Community Involvement Plan for the Georgetown Canyon Mine Site (June 2015)

Consent Order/Administrative Settlement Agreement and Order on Consent (February 2014)

Other Information

History of Phosphate Mining in Southeastern Idaho (William H. Lee, 2000)

Related Pages

Selenium Investigations in Southeast Idaho