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Our method of mining is open pit, but before we can mine we go through a rigorous operation of bonding through the BLM. This makes it to where anything we dig already has the money put up and a plan of how it will all be reclaimed and restored when we finish mining.
We feel a deep connection to the Nevada landscape that we live in and spend so much time in. A lot of people wonder why we live out here where there is nothing but to us it is our home and this desert is everything!
Our day-to-day operations involve mining and processing the turquoise. We have to extract and process every single piece of turquoise by hand and this is consumes the majority of the time spent.
My personal field of specialty is in mining, and prospecting. I’m a large part in deciding where and how to mine the turquoise as well as prospecting for new mines.
The first Otteson to work with turquoise would have been my great grandpa Christian Otteson, he briefly owned a turquoise mine in the San Louise Valley of Colorado in the 1910’s, but the real pioneer of our operation today was his son, my grandpa, Lynn Otteson. My grandpa made his way out to the Tonopah, Nevada area specifically in search of turquoise, he opened up many mines we know of today with nothing more than a pick and a shovel.
I think the most unique aspect to our claims is that we have an incredibly diverse variety of top grade turquoise. Every turquoise mine is unique in itself from every other turquoise on the planet, we have the largest variety of these unique turquoise mines that can consistently put out high grade natural gems.
I always liked digging turquoise as a kid but I didn’t actually understand it and have a drive for it until I was much older. When I was 19 I was given an opportunity by my dad to try to develop my own mine, and I worked it by myself for a summer, and during that summer I truly fell in love with the entire process and I’ve never looked back.
Tristan Otteson Interview from Bahgsu Jewels on Vimeo.