Latitude / Longitude:
35°00′06″N 118°10′08″W / 35.00167°N 118.16889°W / 35.00167 -118.16889
2,713 ft (827 m)
Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
Gold Town is a former settlement in Kern County, California. It was located 9.5 miles (15 km) north of Rosamond, at an elevation of 2713 ft (827 m). Fleta, California is 0.62 miles northeast of Gold Town. Mojave, California is 1.44 miles to the north. Gold mines exist within 2 miles to the north and south of Gold Town. These mines include: the Golden Queen Mine and Elephant Eagle mine on Soledad Mountain south of Gold Town , and Whitmore Mine and Treasure Mine on Standard Mountain north of Gold Town. KHXT-FM (Mojave) radio tower, at an elevation of 3,028 ft (923 meters) above sea level, is 1.56 miles southeast of Gold Town. The California Aqueduct Road is located about 5 miles to the west of Gold Town.
From the early 1900s to 1980s, the Golden Queen Mine was active on and off, using open pit, underground works, and heap leaching. About +100,000 tons of tailings were created over the years. Due to erosion since, some of these tailings reached the alluvial fan surface. The tailings contain elevated levels of arsenic. “Significant potential human health risks to the community and regional environmental impacts may have resulted from release of arsenic-bearing tailings into the waters of the state and airborne sources.” according to the Bureau of Land Management.
Today, Gold Town exists only as a grid of dirt roads and a few abandoned buildings and mines in the desert off the California State Route 14. Silver Queen Road is the main paved road that connects Gold Town to the California State Route 14.
Construction has begun to re-open the Golden Queen Mine. Commissioning is planned for 2015. This is part of the Soledad Mountain Project. Open pit mining, cyanide heap leaching, and Merrill-Crowe processes will be used to recover gold and silver from crushed, agglomerated ore. The heap leach pad for the mine will be located near Gold Town, according to Kern County Planning and Community Development Department.