Gold and Mineral Mines of Montana

Historic Porter Mine

20.66 Acre Placer Claim – Red Lion District – Granite County, Montana

The Historic Porter Mine Mine for sale, a 20.66 Acre Unpatented Lode Mining Claim on federal land managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The claim is located just outside of Philipsburg, Montana in the Red Lion Mining District in Granite County, MT and has been properly marked. All claims have been carefully surveyed, mapped and researched. MMC #241852


The Porter Mine has an adit of several hundred feet.


The Porter Mine claim is 20.66 acres. The claim consists of a collapsed adit and a partially collapsed inclined shaft.


The Porter Mine Mine is a short drive out of Georgetown, MT. A dirt road winds up into the hills and right to the base of one of the dumps. This is an old and rarely visited area. The road runs to the base of the hill below the mine. There is a good spot for parking near the old cabin, in a small clearing at the mine. The claim covers a full 20.66 acres, and has been written to cover the general trend of the lode. There is an old cabin in disrepair.


When we visited it this past fall the adit was collapsed and we were not able to enter at that time. There is plenty of ore on the dumps. The Porter mine is low on the west slope of Cable Mountain, near the center of the Red Lion district. The mine is developed by two inclines and a short adit along a generally west-striking south-dipping vein structure in Hasmark Limestone. One small stope produced a few tons of oxide gold ore.


The tailings offer a good mining opportunity. Over the years some of the gold has washed down to the bottom of the tailings pile from the top. The previous miners used the best technology of their time but they left a huge amount of good ore behind in the tailings. In addition, sulfide ore was harder to treat back then and most times it was thrown out on the tailings piles at old mines. Some of the lode mines from the 1800's are full of gold to this day because the technology to process sulfide ore was not available back then so they threw it out and over time the ore has been sitting out in the weather oxidizing which then releases the gold. Many old mine dumps are very profitable for this reason alone. You'll find unprocessed gold ore throughout the hillside.


Huge amount of info not listed, so if your interested in a gold lode 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 Porter mine is low on the west slope of Cable Mountain, near the center of the Red Lion district. The mine is developed by two inclines and a short adit along a generally west-striking south-dipping vein structure in Hasmark Limestone. One small stope produced a few tons of oxide gold ore (MBMG Bulletin 84).

Native gold is widely distributed in the ore deposits. It occurs in small leaves or flakes in many deposits, but in the main it forms a fine dust included in quartz, pyrite, and arsenopyrite. The iron sulphides are nearly always somewhat auriferous. Native silver is an important ore mineral in the silver-gold fissure veins in granite and in the silver-bearing replacement veins in calcareous rocks. It occurs as thin sheets or as flakes which cut the quartzose ore, and has presumably been formed through the reduction of silver sulphides and other silver-bearing minerals. It is most abundant in the upper portion of the enriched zones of the lodes, but was encountered as far as 700 feet below the surface. Inasmuch as the unaltered primary ore in the lowest levels does not contain native silver, the mineral is probably wholly of secondary origin. Native copper is rare in the ores of this quadrangle. Silver and gold are the metals of chief commercial value in the Philipsburg quadrangle. Copper, however, is present in much of the ore and is a commercial asset in some deposits. Gold occurs presumably as the native metal, for the most part intimately associated with pyrite, arsenopyrite, and quartz. (Emmons and Caulkins 1913)

The altitude is 7,000 feet. The Porter Mine Mine is located in the southeast corner of section 22 and the northwest corner of section 26. It is short drive from Georgetown to the mine.

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 466)

Details about the Mine:
Access to the Mine The road is maintained in good condition to the base of the claim. Road on the claim to the adit, inclined shaft and cabin is passable when we visited. There is an area to park a camper or RV prior to getting to the mine. We advise utilizing a side-by-side or 4 wheeler on your first trip to the mine to see how the road is.
Tailing Present Surveyors estimate well over 5,000 tons.
Depth / Length Drift 1000 feet and couple of inclined shafts
Minerals in the Mine Historically mined for gold and silver and copper. Minerals of quartz, pyrite, galena, gold, silver, black sands with rare earth minerals would be expected.
Foot traffic at the mine Very little.
Last Worked Unknown.
Number of Mines Adits and cross cuts
Nearest city with amenities Philipsburg, approximately 14.7 miles
Access to the Claim A dirt road breaks off from the Interstate and leads all the way to the mine. Overall the road is in relatively good condition when dry. You will not be able to bring a camper or RV to this claim but there are plenty of camping areas prior to getting to the claim that an RV or camper can be parked.
Parking and Staging on the Claim Claim is situated so it allows for parking and staging of vehicles (ATV's, UTV's) if desired.
Resources Year round water in the creek at the main road, grasses, sage and trees. More than enough trees on the claim for use in the mine.
Structures on claim Cabin.
Elevation Aprox. 7000 feet
Total Workings Over several hundred feet of workings which are cut along a gold rich ore body. At the present time the adits are collapsed.

USGS Information

Economic information about the deposit and operations

Operation TypeLode
Development StatusPast Producer
Commodity typeMetallic
  • Gold- Primary
  • Silver - Primary
  • Copper - Secondary
  • Telurium - Tertiary
  • Bismuth - Tertiary
Length of workings1000 ft drift
Host RockCambrian, undifferentiated
ReferencesUSGS Database - 10245740, 60000358, 10019685

Mining District Information

Red Lion District

Activity in the Red Lion district, northeast of Georgetown Lake at the headwaters of the North Fork of Flint and Fred Burr creeks, began in the late 1880s when the Red Lion lode was located. By 1891 a 10-stamp mill was built on the North Fork of Flint Creek to work the mine's ore, but early milling efforts fell short and nearly half the gold values were lost (Swallow 1891).
Geologically, the sedimentary rocks in the district range from Newland limestone (Beltian) to the Madison limestone (Mississippian). The structure is complexly modified by a fault line which in the western part of the district brings the Newland Limestone in contact with the Jefferson formation. Beds are offset by many cross-faults with a general northwest trend. The granodiorite of the Philipsburg batholith cuts off sedimentary deposits in the northern portion of the district. Ore deposits occur as replacements in limestones, fissure-fillings cutting various sediments and as contact deposits in limestone (Sahinen 1935).
The Milwaukee Gold Extraction company was formed in 1901 and spent $60,000 acquiring all of the operating properties in the district. The Hannah mine and the Red Lion district as a whole were actively promoted by the company with reports of one vein 5 feet wide carrying $20 per ton in gold and another vein 60 feet wide carrying $15 per ton in gold. Plans were made for a new 100-ton amalgamation and cyanidation mill and a town site was platted; the new mill was to be a mile closer to the Hannah mine than the old Red Lion mill. This vein was 60 feet wide and carried 40 percent iron in addition to its gold values. A 3,800 foot long tramway was installed in 1905 to deliver ore from the existing Hannah shaft to the mill site. In the summer of 1906 a stamp mill and bunkhouses for the mill workers were erected. This marked the district's zenith; 200 men were employed and two mills were reported to be active. One of these mills was the rarely active 3-stamp Dougherty mill which was rated at only 40 tons per day. The other mill was the new Milwaukee Gold Extraction mill, but there was no evidence that any ore was actually run through the mill. No tailings were observed below the mill and the tramway showed rust but no wear. The investment in the development of the mine and mill exceeded the actual values of the available ore (Earll 1972).
In 1912 the operation was taken over by W. B. Rogers of Anaconda. The tunnel was extended to 600 feet and several shafts had been sunk on the vein. Mining at the Hannah was brought to a close by foreclosure in 1914. A new company, the Badger Montana Company, took over development of the mine after the foreclosure. On the Thurston claim 300 feet from the mill site an adit was begun which was projected to extend 700 feet to the Hannah vein. Unfortunately, little or no ore was found. The mill was destroyed by fire during World War II as part of an effort to extract metal from the mill for the war effort (Earll 1972).
Other important mines in the district include the Modoc, American Flag, Montana, Greater New York, St. Thomas, Golden Eagle, Flint Creek, Northern Cross, Yellow Metal, and Nineteen-Hundred. In 1912, the important mills of the district were the American Flag, Dougherty and Red Lion. All employed both cyanidation and amalgamation. The American Flag mill had a capacity of 50 short tons per day. The Dougherty stamp mill had a capacity of 40 short tons per day. The Red Lion 10-stamp mill could process 30 short tons per day (Hall and Rickman 1912; Wolle 1963).
The Flint Creek mine is located about 1,500 feet north of the Golden Eagle. Several tunnels, the longest being 1,000 feet long, were dug to find the source of rich quartz float. The adit cut a number of narrow veins and some were stoped. These veins were either fissure fillings or sheeted zones in quartzite. None appeared to be the source of the float. Ore was hauled out by wagon and treated in the Gold Coin mill near Silver Lake. The operation was said to have produced several thousand dollars worth of ore (Emmons and Calkins 1913).

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