Three Kids Mine is part of Southern Nevada’s mining history. It is locate near Lake Las Vegas at trail mile marker 9.0 to 10.5. There are several deep open pit mines where manganese ore was mined then processed in a mill on site. Mining was activity from around 1917 until the plant was closed in 1961. The site has sat idle for 48 years. It was used in two movies over the years and has been an eyesore for most of the 48-yrs. Plans are now afoot to clean up the area and turn it into a master planned development of some 1250+ acres. The development is currently known as “Lakemoor Canyons”. The project is in the planning, review, approval stage and will require many permits.
The following is an except out of the Review Journal dated May 12, 2005. The article is written by A.D. Hopkins and talks about the Merle Frehner family history….
During World War I the Three Kids Mine, the remains of which are visible southeast of Sunrise Mountain, was producing manganese ore. Harry (Frehner) hauled the ore to the Las Vegas rail yards behind a 10-horse team pulling three heavy-duty freight wagons and a feed cart, hooked one behind the other. “When reaching the east end of Fremont Street, Harry drove straight up the center to the depot, then south to an unloading platform. Crowds of people would line the sidewalks to watch the long outfit go up the street.” (This would have been between 1914 and 1918.)
The following notes and statements come from an article printed in the “MINING CONGRESS JOURNAL dated October 1944….”The three Kids Mine near Las Vegas, owned by the Manganese Ore Company, wholly-owned subsidiary of The M.A. Hanna Company, has proved to be the largest open pit deposit of good grade manganese ore available in America, Vice President M.C. Lake of the ore company said in a recent statement.”
The milling plant next to the mine was owned and operated by the Defense Plant Corporation and as of this writing had produced several thousand tons of high grade manganese nodules. The plant had not yet reached full production according to the article.
Other items of interest from the article are: 1.) Part of the process involved leaching a processing pulp …”in a series of seven thickeners, the first two of which are acid-proof construction and 250 feet in diameter, thus making them the largest acid-proof thickeners ever constructed.” 2.)The “manganese sulfate salt which is roasted in a rotary kiln 360-ft. long and 11-ft 3 inches in diameter, to yield a calcine of Manganese oxide and sulfur dioxide gas.”
The article from the Mining Congress Journal also had multiple photos of operations at the mine. Steam shovel loading dump trucks; beginning of the open pit mine operation; Drilling being done by churn drills and rock drills; mining pit with stock piles of ore and mill.
Do you know the names of the two Hollywood Movie productions that took place at Three Kids Mine????
The first one I’m still researching. It was filmed after 1961 and involved the blowing up of the mill/plant during filming. I’m told it was in the early 1970’s? Does anyone know…please help me out.
The second film/movie was released February 5, 1987. It was shot entirely on location in Southern Nevada. A major battle scene and shoot out occurred at the Three Kids Mine site. The name of the movie is “CHERRY 2000” – a 1987 science fiction cult film starring Melanie Griffith and David Andrews. My personal review of movie would make it a “B” movie, acting was not so hot, plot was questionable; but the scenery of Southern Nevada was great. The Three Kids Mine shots show some of the remaining structures from the mining days. The big 250-ft concrete thickeners look like alien structures in the film. The movie pops up every now and again on HBO, don’t waste your money renting a DVD.