Gold and Mineral Mines of Montana

Historic English Bob

20 Acre Placer Claim – Bald Mountain District – Beaverhead County, Montana

English Bob 20 Acre Unpatented Placer Gold Mining ClaimThe Historic English Bob Placer Mining Claim for sale, a 20 Acre Unpatented Placer Mining Claim. The claim is located just outside of Bannack, Montana. MT105289069


This is a remote Montana gold mine. The English Bob Placer Gold Claim offers impressive mining opportunities. An extensive amount of gravel bars as well as the natural streambed support productive gold recovery the southwest hillside holds very good gold. The claim is suited for most types of gold mining activities from panning, sluicing and high-banking to metal detecting, dowsing and more. Dyce Creek runs through the middle of the claim, provides plenty of year round water for all your mining needs. During surveying gold was found in the material by panning. The valley bottom is old river bed material. The claim boasts excellent access and does get visitors driving through on the road. The claim was originally surveyed and sampled for rich, free gold deposits in the gravels.


The creek bed is over 600 feet on this claim and there is water year round. It is likely there is some native silver, garnets, and possibly some relics to be found on the claim but the primary commodity will be gold. The road to the claim is accessible from May through snowfall, normally late November. The road is maintained and is in good condition. 4-Wheel drive is not required. This is not a claim to pass up!


Dyce Creek offers a wealth of gravel bars and hard-packed streambed; ideal spots to high-bank, sluice, metal detect, or pan. It is likely there has been some work done after 1900 based on the remnants and items seen in the area. It is estimated by the surveyors that the claim has been worked intermittently in the early 1900's. No effort to mine for many decades is evident. The gold that you will find on this claim has been washing down from the mines, hills and gulches above and depositing and replenishing the gold on this claim. There is plenty of room to setup your sluice or highbanker and shovel material right next to it or bring it from the valley floor that is the old river bed. There is plenty of opportunity here!


There is direct road access to this claim and room for staging, parking and other operations. This is an unpatented mining claim for sale. Mineral rights only for recreational mining. The land is public land. This is not a homestead or land for sale.


The best gold is on bedrock. Dyce Creek is one of the creeks in the district that was mined by hand in the late 1800's. There is still good gold in the creek, benches and on bedrock on this claim. But there is also good gold all the way down to bedrock. The gold is deposited in pay layers. These layers have coarse black sands that act like false bedrock trapping the gold. Because of the coarse grains of the black sands they lock together and the gold, even though it is heavier, cannot penetrate deeper unless the layer is disturbed. when digging in the hillside you will come across some balls of clay. Sometimes these balls will have a piece of gold inside so don't just throw these out. The gold is mostly flat but it can be rough and the amount of black sands will fill your riffles in your sluice. What we found is using Gold Hog mats with the first stage angle at least 15 degrees and the second stage at 13 degrees will catch the gold and help keep the black sands from clogging the riffles. If you aren't familiar with Gold Hog mats head on over to their site. Don't skip Doc's YouTube videos.


The Bureau of Mines has estimated that demonstrated U.S. reserves of gold are 85 million ounces. Approximately one-half of the total resources are estimated to be by-product gold, while 40% of the remaining one-half (56 million ounces) could be mined for gold alone ... Most U.S. gold resources are in the nation's western states. About 80% of the U.S. gold resources are estimated to be in Alaska, California, Idaho, Montana and Washington. (Earthsearch, Inc. 1983)

Overview of the Mines
The English Bob Mine is in an area with rich gold mining history. As with all old mines and mining districts in the Western U.S., the old timers NEVER got it all! Why? There are many reasons for this and here is a short list of some of them.
1) In the mining camps 'News' of other 'Strikes' was always coming in and miners seemed to be eager to pick up and leave what they had for the new locations. It didn't seem to matter that the new location may not be as good or that by the time they heard of it there wasn't any open ground left for them to stake a claim. The grass is always greener was their belief.
2) Some new strikes were better because they had more gold or more water or easier access - remember back then there were no roads to these places.
3) Some new places were safer. Between outlaws, hostile indians and bears and other wildlife there was always something to fear.
4) When the USA entered the second world war congress closed all non-essential mines in the country. Unless a mine could switch to mining other metals for the war they were forced to close. Very few mines were allowed to stay open and operational. Those mines that closed stayed closed after the war for a few reasons - a lot of the mine owners died in the war and/or never came back, economic conditions after the war were not good enough to reopen the mines and the many owners held the claims hoping the economy would change for the better but most of these owners died before the economy made it economically viable to reopen the mines, many mines were forgotten and 'lost'
5) Comodity prices fluctuate and mines that were profitable at one point in time may not be later and as the prices fluctuate those mines can become profitable again to mine.

So why hasn't anyone claimed these mines now? Mainly the population wrongly believes there is 'no gold left'! If they only knew the truth the west would be flooded with people. Seriously, there is gold almost everywhere in the west and in places where there has been no history of production and places the old timers never found! The ground the old timers mined still holds gold for many reasons. First, the methods they used were not the best. Second, they were in a hurry to get rich and they looked mostly for the easy gold and threw out the material that held a lot of small gold. Third, they didn't have the ability to process some ores to get the gold. There are books written by people who had first hand accounts of the gold rushes, especially from the Klondike Gold Rush, and they talk about the miners only being interested in the big nuggets of gold and not 'wasting' their time on the small stuff. The women came behind them and picked small gold nuggets out of the 'waste' piles!! Even then that still left a lot of fine gold. Technology and knowledge is on your side now days. We know more and have equipment that will trap the big stuff but also the tiniest pieces even down to minus 400 mesh and smaller. Yes, -400 mesh is so small a single piece of gold that size won't look like gold. But a hundred of them together will!

Also think about the current state of the country and all that is going on, this could be your last chance to own a gold mine - your own bank. We sell a lot of mining claims and everyone tells us how happy they are with them. People first want the gold for the value but once they get out to their own claim they love the freedom they have to work and enjoy the great outdoors. Don't wait, get your own gold mine before it's too late. The English Bob mine is located in the southeast quarter of section 22. English Bob claim is about 6600 feet in altitude.

While it is sometimes said old mines have been 'worked out' as the saying means there is no gold left, the truth is "it is better to say they are worked over; it is also true that the primitive methods used and the wasteful haste to get rich indulged in, left much of the gold in the ground, so that improved methods ... will give even better results than those first obtained." (MBMG Open Report p. 466)

Montana is ranked 7th by the USGS for total gold production in the US and has 31 mining districts. Gold production for the 1800's to 1968 is 17.8 million ounces and large amounts of gold have been mined from 1968 to present. Geologists have predicted that based on the past and the geology of Montana that several large gold and silver deposits will be found and developed in the future.

Details about the Mine:
Access to the Mine You can drive a full size truck to the mine.
Tailing Present None. Loose gravels in the creek bed of small pebbles to larger boulders. Boulders are great places for the gold to hide as are cracks in the bedrock. Benches on both sides of the creek are virgin ground and hold a lot of gold.
Depth / Length Over 600 feet of creek bed gravels. 1320 feet side to side with gold bearing benches.
Minerals in the Mine Historically mined for gold. Minerals of garnet, quartz, pyrite, galena, silver, black sands with rare earth minerals would be expected.
Foot traffic at the mine Some
Last Worked Unknown
Number of Mines 1 Placer
Nearest city with amenities Dillon, approximately 19 miles
Access to the Claim A very good dirt road breaks off from the Highway and runs all the way onto the claim.
Resources Trees, Grasses, sage
Structures on claim None
Elevation Aprox. 6600 feet

USGS Information

Economic information about the deposit and operations

Operation TypePlacer
Development StatusPast Producer
Commodity typeMetallic
  • Gold- Primary
Nearby Scientific Data
  • Unconsolidated Deposit - Alluvium
References USGS Database - 10019757, 10220852

Mining District Information

Bald Mountain

Located about 23 miles northwest of Dillon and about 4 miles south-southeast of Polaris, the Bald or Baldy Mountain district centers around Baldy Mountain, the southernmost mountain in the Pioneer range. Placers were worked as early as 1869 on Dyer (Dyce) Creek, a south-flowing tributary of Grasshopper Creek, the most profitable year being 1908 when 100 ounces of gold were recovered from sluices (Geach 1972; Lyden 1948; Winchell 1914; Corry 1933).
Rocks in the area range in age from pre-Cambrian (Beltian), to Cenezoic, with the principal formations being Paleozoic, Mesozoic and early Cenezoic. The region was the site of intermittent deposition, chiefly in marine waters until Mesozoic times. In Cretaceous times the whole mass of sediments was slowly uplifted and folded. Late in the Cretaceous or early in the Eocene, igneous intrusion resulted in the placement of the Mt. Torrey batholith. In the Bald Mountain area this accomplished the metamorphism of some of the sediments and mineralization during the later phases of the intrusion. The Cenozoic is marked by long-continued erosion, resulting in the dissection of the raised range, exposure of the batholith and the enrichment of ores through weathering.
The area is characterized by the high relief topography of the Pioneer Range which has been carved by glaciers to form glacial valleys and cirques. Placer gold appears to originate in the quartz-gold vein in the felsite deposits above the gulch. Veins occur as strong, persistent bodies, comparatively wide and of tabular form, or in numerous intersecting veinlets in shear zones. Veins in limestone show considerable replacement of the wall rock. Ore is also found in contact and replacement deposits and disseminations in dikes. The ore is simple, consisting primarily of auriferous pyrite, limonite, or hematite with some sylvanite, gold telluride, or native gold (Corry 1933; Sahinen 1935).
The North Star mine was the first mine to be discovered in the Bald Mountain district. On March 16, 1864 A. Sullivan and A. L. Crouse discovered the mineral prospect. However, this mine location did not lead to a general development of the district.
The Old Faithful and Rothchild lodes were discovered on Dyce Creek by A. H. Odell in 1870. Odell treated the ore at the site in an arrastra which was mentioned as being still in use as late as 1891. The mine provided the first silver ore production in the district from 1876 to 1885. In 1892 the Dillon Mining Company built a 25-stamp mill to reduce the ore from the Dillon Mine. The company also worked the Old Faithful, Cable, Alice, Capital and New York mines. It was said in the 1930s that the district had not been thoroughly prospected and that "it is unlikely that the gold resources have been exhausted". In 1951 tungsten ore was found on the Little Hawk claim. By 1955 the Little Hawk Mining Company had erected a 150-ton mill to work the ore, but the deposit proved too low of a grade to operate profitably (Corry 1933; Geach 1972).
The majority of the district's production occurred prior to the the turn of the century before accurate records were taken. The Emerald Mine alone produced 1800 ounces of silver in 1875. The district produced $8,000 in 1880 and $51,000 in 1885. From 1902 to 1965 the district produced only 1,324 tons of ore. Half of the ore production occurred in 1939 and 1940 while three quarters of the gold recovered came from those peak years. In the Twentieth century up to 1965, the district yielded 348 ounces of gold, 3,418 ounces of silver, 4,986 pounds of copper, 80,901 pounds of lead, and 6,700 pounds of zinc. The aggregate value of the metals recovered was only $27,479 (Corry 1933; Sassman 1941; Geach 1972).
Sahinen (1935) states that the Bald Mountain district is at the south end of the Pioneer Range and that it is drained by Grasshopper Creek which flows through Bannack. Geach (1972), who calls the district the Baldy Mountain district, further refines the definition by stating that the district is that land between Grasshopper and Taylor Creeks, taking the region drained by Scudder, Dyce, and Taylor Creeks. Sassman (1941) places the mines of the Bald Mountain district on the southern slopes of Bald Mountain and along Dias (also Dyce or Dyers) Creek. Figure 1 shows the district as defined by Sahinen (1935) and Geach (1972).
The Faithful Mine, in section 24 on the east fork of Dyer Creek, produced some gold ore from 1879 to 1885 and again from 1915 to 1930.

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