Gold and Mineral Mines of Montana

Historic Lost Horseshoe

20 Acre Placer Claim – Lowland District – Jefferson County, Montana

Lost Horseshoe 20 Acre Unpatented Placer Mining ClaimThe Historic Lost Horseshoe Placer Mining Claim for sale exclusively by Gold And Mineral Mines of Montana LLC, a 20 Acre Unpatented Placer Mining Claim. The claim is located just outside of Basin, Montana and has been properly marked. All claims have been carefully surveyed, mapped and researched. MMC #240955

 

This is a remote Montana gold mine. Rock Creek, 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 river bed material. The higher benches are also old river bed material. Gold And Mineral Mines of Montana LLC is lucky enough to have several claims on this historic creek. 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 various districts in the county, now seemingly dormant, cannot be regarded as worked out or abandoned but only awaiting renewed interest. (H.G McClernan 1976)

 

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, sapphires and possibly some relics to be found on the claim but the primary commodity will be gold.

 

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. The higher benches also hold gold and are old river bed material. So don't forget about all that virgin ground on the benches.

 

There is direct road access to this claim and room for staging, parking and other operations.

 

The best gold is on bedrock. Rock Creek was mined by hand in the late 1800's. There is still good gold in the creek, benches and on bedrock on this claim. 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 Lost Horseshoe is in an area with rich gold mining history. More than $3 million has historically been taken out of the district. 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!! Ene 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 Lost Horseshoe is located in the northeast quarter of section 18. Lost Horseshoe 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, RV 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. Benches on both sides of the creek are virgin ground and old river bed material.
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, sapphire, 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 Basin, approximately 13.5 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 if desired.
Resources Year round water, grasses, sage and trees
Structures on claim None
Elevation Aprox. 6400 feet

USGS Information

Economic information about the deposit and operations

Operation TypePlacer
Development StatusPast Producer
Commodity typeMetallic
Commodities
  • Gold- Primary
  • Silver - Tertiary
Nearby Scientific Data
  • Cretaceous volcanic rocks
  • Unconsolidated Alluvium
References USGS Database - 10148940, 10019422

Mining District Information

Lowland District

While it is likely that the Lowland mining district was discovered by placer miners, little information is available regarding the origins of the district. In the 1870s the area was known as the Ruby district. The Ruby and Kit Carson mines, located along Rock Creek, appear to be the source of the placer gold.
The district is just west of the small community of Bernice on Interstate 15 between Butte and Helena and is within the Boulder batholith. The bedrock of the district is predominantly dacite and rhyolite of Tertiary age. Tuffs, welded tuffs, breccias, and flows date from the volcanic activity during the Tertiary.
In 1938 more than 1,900 fine ounces of gold... continued to operate until 1941 working gravels with 18 to 25 cents per cubic yard. Total gold recovered was valued at $296,590 (Lyden 1948; WPA 1941).
Prospectors were active in placer mining in the 1870's, but it wasn't until 1884 that Mr. Graff (first name unknown) located the Ruby mine, believed to be one of the sources of the placer gold. However the monetary returns from themine were dismal, as the ore was of poor grade and the cost of getting it to the smelter was high. As a result, little or no development occurred.
Between 1908 and 1920 The mines produced 10,796 oz of gold, 176,292 oz. of silver and an unknown amount of copper. The 'Dirty Thirties' saw a renewed interest in panning for gold... There is a lot of gold to be found in this area, but only because the bedrock is closer to the surface than in most areas.

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