Homestake Mining Company

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Share of the Homestake Mining Company, issued 15. July 1908

The Homestake Mining Company was one of the largest gold mining businesses in the United States from the 19th century through the beginning of the 21st. It was merged into the Canadian-based Barrick Gold Corporation in 2002.

Homestake's first and most famous operation was the Homestake Mine in Lead, South Dakota.

George Hearst, Lloyd Tevis, and James Ben Ali Haggin, bought the Homestake Mine property from its discoverers for $70,000, and incorporated the Homestake Mining Company, on 5 Nov. 1877, to operate it. They began selling shares in 1879 on the New York Stock Exchange, the first mining stock ever listed.[1]:31 Homestake would become the longest-listed stock in the history of the New York Stock Exchange.

The company diversified in the 1950s, operating or becoming the major investor in the Buick Mine, Compania Minera del Madrigal, Bulldog Mine, and United Nuclear-Homestake Partners. Subsidiary income amounted to $83 million of Homestake's $135 million in 1976.[1]:72–73


The Homestake Mining Company started with ten acres in 1877. Through land purchases and acquisitions of the Highland, Deadwood, Terra, Caledonia, and Father De Smet Mining Companies, the land area was increased to two thousand six hundred and twenty-four acres. The mine created forty-one miles of underground trams.[2]


In 1898 a lumber mill was built by the company in Nemo, South Dakota. A more modern mill was built in 1912 and ran until the 1930s when a new mill was built in Spearfish.[3]

Homestake Mining Company formed a hydro-electric plant in 1910 and another in 1917 referred to as Plant #1 and Plant #2.[4]


The Homestake Mining company uses a gold cyanidation technique that has been banned in many countries including Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Costa Rica and some Argentine provinces. In the United States Montana and Wisconsin have bans but courts in Colorado and South Dakota have ruled against bans.

Ore Production[edit]

1906 - 1,500,00 tons, $5,000,000

1925 - 1,589,701 tons, $5,999,074

1933 - 1,432,195 tons, $13,000,000


1880 - $450,000

1891 - $1,175,000

1899 - $1,175,000


1878-1884 Samuel McMaster

1884-1914 Thomas J. Grier


1914-1944 Edward H. Clark

1944-1960 Donald H. McLaughlin

1960-1970 John K. Gustafson

1970-1977 Paul C. Henshaw


1914-1918 Richard Blackstone

1918-1936 Bruce C. Yates

1936-1953 Guy N. Bjorge

1953-1957 Abbott H. Shoemaker

1957-1972 James O. Harder

1972-1975 Donald T. Delicate


  1. ^ a b Bronson, W., and Watkins, T.H., 1977, Homestake, San Francisco: Homestake Mining Company
  2. ^ Kingsbury, George Washington (1915). "History of Dakota Territory, Volume 4". History. S.J. Clarke Publishing Company. pp. 846–848. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  3. ^ Beardshear, Iva (June 2, 2015). "A profile of Nemo, South Dakota". "Some History of Lawrence County" (1981). Lawrence County Historical Society. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  4. ^ Parker, Bob; Mayer, Tom (1981). "Hydro-electric plants #1 AND #2". Lawrence County Historical Society. Retrieved October 25, 2015.