The furnace and allied structures were too close to the banks of Coal Creek. The soil was too spongy to adequately support the weight of the works. Coal Creek flooded frequently, washing away diversion dams and/or inundating the entire operation, which was also too far from the ore body. The fire clay and sandstone used in the furnace lining, bosch, and hearth spauled, bubbled, and liquefied at temperatures lower than required in the smelting process. The power needed for furnace blast and related equipment came from a water wheel, with water supplied by mill races running directly from the stream bed. The water level in the creek fluctuated seasonably and with unpredictable flash floods. A steam engine acquired from Salt Lake City arrived too late to prove its value. Attempts to use both charcoal and coke (made from unsuitable coal), and the occasional use of "raw" coal and wood in the furnace, indicate that the riddle of inadequate and inappropriate fuel was difficult to solve.
An acute lack of circulating currency existed in the territory and little of it surfaced at the Deseret Iron Company. Laborers were credited on the company books for their services, against which they were to draw the necessities from the company store, which was also the church tithing office. Generally the labor credit exceeded the store inventory. Although there were some territorial and church cash appropriations, most of the help came in the form of labor tax assessments.
Weather in the area also was unpredictably bad and not conducive to sustained furnace operation. Snow, ice, drought, and grasshoppers had a deleterious effect. Extreme isolation, high marketing costs, and lack of personal and company supplies also impacted the problem.