Pouring molten metal at the Golden Cycle Mill

Two men pour molten metal into a mold to make a bearing at the Golden Cycle Mill in El Paso County.

1906: Golden Cycle Mill opens as world’s largest gold mill.

1907: Coal dust explosion destroys large part of the mill.

1908: Mill reopens bigger and better.

1942: Mill pours its 10,000th gold brick.

1949: Mill closes. Golden Cycle company opens a new mill near Victor two years later.

1975: Golden Hill Recycle Project attempts to recover remaining gold from tailings. Partnership collapses within a year.

1988: City grows uneasy over increasing use of mill ruins by partying teenagers and Satanists.

1989: Australian Pacific Minerals buys mill site for $13.5 million in an attempt to recover remaining gold.

1992: Australian Pacific is unable to pay its bills and the land is returned to its previous owner: Fountain Creek Corp. Colorado Springs condemns property, owner demolishes remaining mill foundations, leaving original smokestack as a historical landmark.

1993: Environmental Protection Agency lists the tailings pile as a possible Superfund site, though the tailings are never officially listed.

1997: Gold Hill Mesa Joint Venture unveils a plan to mine the tailings, then develop the site as a neighborhood.

1999: Study by private engineering consultants hired by developers show the site can be built on without removing the tailings.

2004: Gold Hill Mesa gets city approval to build homes and retail space on the tailings.

2005: Ground is broken.

2019: Colorado Geological Survey experts say they can’t condone additional construction without new tests to determine settlement, liquefaction risks.

Source: The Gazette Archives

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