Gold and Mineral Mines of Montana

Historic Hidden Gold

20 Acre Placer Claim – Elliston District – Powell County, Montana

This is a remote Montana gold mine. A tributary of the Little Blackfoot River, which runs through the middle of the claim, provides plenty of year round water for all your mining needs. During surveying gold was easily found in the material by panning. The valley bottom is old creek bed material. The higher benches are also 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, sapphires, and possibly some relics to be found on the claim but the primary commodity will be gold.

 

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 are several large gold mines upstream which are owned by Gold and Mineral Mines of Montana LLC

 

The road that gives direct access to this claim has a limitation to the width of vehicles and the months that the vehicles can be run on the road. Vehicles 50" wide are allowed on the direct access road and it connects to the regular forest service road which has room for staging, parking and other operations.

 

The best gold is on bedrock. Little Blackfoot River 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. Huge amount of info not listed, so if your interested in a gold placer mine feel free to give me a call or text at 406 219 1497. Ken

 

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 Hidden Gold Mine is in an area with rich gold mining history. During the 1910s and 1920s with a total production of about $200,000, with $70,000 of this coming from gold and the remainder from 90,000 ounces of silver, 700,000 pounds of lead and 90,000 pounds of copper But 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 places. It didn't seem to matter that the new place 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 and hostile Indians 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 or if it was already mining metals and minerals needed for the war effort the mines 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 never came back, economic conditions after the war were not good enough to reopen the mines and the 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'.
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 Hidden Gold mine is located in the southeast quarter of section 1. It is the closest claim available to Elliston on Little Blackfoot River. Hidden Gold claim is about 5626 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 any vehicle 50" max width 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.
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 sapphire, tourmaline, 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 Elliston, approximately 9.25 miles
Access to the Claim A very good dirt road breaks off from the Interstate and runs all the way onto the claim.
Parking and Staging on the Claim Claim is situated so it allows for parking of vehicles that are up to 50" wide if desired.
Resources Year round water, grasses, trees
Structures on claim None
Elevation Aprox. 5626 feet

USGS Information

Economic information about the deposit and operations

Operation TypePlacer
Development StatusPast Producer
Commodity typeMetallic
Commodities
  • Gold- Primary
  • Silver - Primary
Nearby Scientific Data
  • Cretaceous volcanic rocks
  • Boulder batholith and broadly related stocks
ReferencesUSGS Database - 10022801, 10011750, 10094895, 10221488

Mining District Information

Elliston District

The Elliston mining district is about 20 miles west of Helena and south of the Little Blackfoot River. It includes the town of Elliston which is the first town on the Northern Pacific Railroad west of the Continental Divide. The mining district includes the town of Elliston but is generally south of the river in mountainous, heavily-forested terrain. Early reports on the district described about 15 productive mines, most of which were from five to 11 miles south of the town.
The geology in the vicinity of Elliston consists of an apparently conformable succession of limestone, quartzite and sandstone. The lowest formation is the Madison limestone which is overlain by the Quadrant quartzite, near the top of which occurs a bed of high-grade phosphate rock. To the south of Elliston rhyolites are present and persist on the flanks of the mountains to 6,200 ft. (Schrader 1929; Pardee and Schrader 1933)
The Elliston district began as a placer operation along the Little Blackfoot River during the 1860s ... Most of the production from the lode mining occurred between 1890 and 1908, at which point the total production was estimated at $2,750,000. However, during the first half of the 1890s, the town and the area's primary economic base was woodcutting. Cutting cord wood for the Anaconda Copper Mining Company's smelter at Anaconda employed more than one hundred wood cutters and it was during this period that the town of Elliston reached its peak in population and activity. However, in 1894 and again in 1895, fires destroyed the town(Lyden 1948; Robertson 1956; Wolle 1963).
Knopf (1913) reported that by 1911 there was little mining in progress in the Elliston district and throughout the region. Pardee and Schrader (1933) indicate that some sporadic mining occurred in the Elliston district during the 1910s and 1920s with a total production of about $200,000, with $70,000 of this coming from gold and the remainder from 90,000 ounces of silver, 700,000 pounds of lead and 90,000 pounds of copper (Pardee and Schrader 1933).
Robertson (1956) reported periodic mining activity in the district since then, although no important mines have been developed. He estimates the total production for the district at somewhat more than $3,100,000. During the period from 1909 to 1954 the district marketed about 7,600 ounces of gold, 149,000 ounces of silver, 98,000 pounds of copper, 1,560,000 pounds of lead and 197,000 pounds of zinc (Anderson 1990; Robertson 1948).

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