Upper No. 2 A 20.66 Acre Unpatented Lode Gold Mining Claim
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Upper No. 2
Financed Pending
Operation Type : Lode Mine
Serial Number : MT105226411
Length of Workings : Two shafts and over 500 feet of drifts, 100 ft of crosscuts and 150 ft of raises.
Mining Claim Size : 20.66 Acres
Comodities : Gold, Silver, Lead
Price : $6,500
Financing : Up to 6 Months
Deposit : 20%
City : Helena
County : Broadwater
State : Montana
Zip : 59601
Features and Amenities

Historic Upper No. 2 Lode

20.66 Acre Lode Claim - Confederate District - Broadwater County, Montana

The Historic Upper No. 2 Lode Mine for sale, a 20.66 Acre Unpatented Lode Mining Claim. The claim is located just outside of Helena, Montana and has been properly marked. All claims have been carefully surveyed, mapped and researched. MT105226411

The Upper No. 2 Lode has more than roughly 500' of workings.

The Upper No. 2 Lode claim covers the Upper No. 2 Lode vein, an exceptionally rich deposit. The vein shows visible signs of copper and Gold. The Claim covers a full 20.66 acres. Only the adit is open and accessible, but it’s a rich, gold producing mine. The Upper No. 2 Lode Mine Appears to have a shaft from the top of the mountain going down into the workings at the back of the mine. The shaft was not open when we last inspected the mine. Because of the flooded shaft in the middle of the mine we were not able to continue down the main drift to the end where the shaft from the surface may join the workings.

The Upper No. 2 Lode is a short drive out of Helena. A dirt road winds up into the hills and right to the claim. This is an old area but there is plenty of traffic on the road from locals. A truck can easily make it to the mine. The road runs to the base of the hill below the mines. There is a good spot for parking near the base of the dump, in a small clearing below the mine. The claim covers a full 20.66 acres, and has been written to cover the general trend of the lode.

The main mine adit was cut higher in the back and lower in the front in order to self-drain each year during the spring runoff. We were unable to find the early history on this mine. There is no mention of this mine in any literature or reports for the area. In fact we discovered by accident. While staking placer claims along the creek we stopped for lunch below this mine and happened to look up at the hillside and saw the dump. We then looked at our maps and found one map that actually showed the adit. It does seem to be shown on some Topo maps but not all. The shaft on the top of the mountain is not shown on maps but we know it is there from hiking the ground and following the dump on top of the hill.

There is more than 500' of workings in the main drift of the Upper No. 2 Lode. When we found the mine we hiked to the top of the dump and found it littered with specimens showing visible signs of copper and visible gold. Why these were thrown out is a mystery. Without any reports or documentation of the mine it is anyones guess as to why seemingly good material was thrown out on the dump.

When we visited it the mine there was almost not water in the mine except at the shaft in the middle of the intersection of drifts. The shaft is completely flooded and although there are plywood boards accross part of the shaft they were so water logged we did not attempt to cross. The plywood is rotten and would have collapsed. We could walk to the end of on drift and could see the drift on the opposite side had a cave in about 50 feet along that drift. The Main drift does continue on past the intersection and we could see about 100 feet beyond the intersection before the drift turned so we don't know exactly how far the drift goes or if there are other workings beyond there. The Gold and copper vein is visible along the main drift in a couple of places and can be mined to making a quick profit.

The dump offer another good mining opportunity. As stated above, sitting on the surface of the dump is material with visible gold in it. Crushing and panning this would yield good gold. Sampling shows the tailings are consistent with the gold and silver inside the mine. The previous miners used the best technology of their time but they left a huge amount of good ore behind in the dump. 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 and mixed in with the quartz are some nice garnets.

At the base of the hill sits an old cabin in a field. There is plenty of area to park vehicles and stage equipment.

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

One mine is included in this claim. The mines are on the Upper No. 2 Lode. The Shaft on top of the mountain is currently caved and can be dug out and inspected, but the surveyors have documented only the part of the mine that is open. The portal on the open adit was partially caved and the opening was small. A person could get inside but it was difficult so while the surveyor's were on site they have dug out a few more feet so the opening is more easily accessible. The new owners will want to continue to dig out more so it is easy to just walk in to the portal. Opening the portal more will also help to dry out the mine. A dry mine is safer than a wet one. We estimate it would take about a day for 1 or 2 guys to dig out the portal.

Currently, the adits' portal is small due to a portion that has caved in, this opening is large enough for people to get inside and wouldn't take but a few hours to dig open completely. Once this is opened a locked gate would be required by law to prevent people from going inside and getting injured. Inside the mine it is about 5' wide and 5' - 6' tall. The drift is directly on the rich ore body that runs the length of the main drift. There is still a lot of ore visible even though a lot of ore has been previously mined. The Main drift of the mine extends more than 250' and has two drifts off of it which makes the total over 500' of workings.

The fact that such rich samples are so easily found right from the start make this mine an easy one to begin making a profit from right away. The workings are impressive, the entrance on the main drift is small currently but could quickly be made larger. Surveyors did see the pure gold and collected several samples which we currently have in the office. The surveyors did see a lot of good rich gold ore with some native gold and as mentioned the gold bearing vein material is visible and can be removed and processed.

The Upper No. 2 Lode Mine is located in the southwest quarter of section 16. It is short drive from Helena to the mine. Upper No. 2 Lode claim is about 4800 feet in altitude.

Gold And Mineral Mines of Montana Upper No. 2 Lode

Upper No. 2 Lode Main Drift Diagram

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 A pickup truck can get to the entrance of the main mine drift. There is plenty of areas to park for staging below the mine.
Tailing Present Surveyors estimate well over 6,000 tons.
Depth / Length 500+ feet.
Minerals in the Mine Historically mined for gold and copper. Minerals of quartz, pyrite, galena, gold, silver, black sands with rare earth minerals would be expected. There isn't any history specifically for the Upper No. 2 Lode mine. Gold will be the mineral to mine from the Upper No. 2 Lode and there is a lot of very rich ore at the mine. The dump of the mine and the veins in the walls show a lot of fine native gold.
Foot traffic at the mine Plenty of vehicles driving by on the road.
Last Worked Unknown.
Number of Mines 1 Lode
Nearest city with amenities Helena
Access to the Claim A dirt road breaks off from the highway and leads all the way to the mine.
Parking and Staging on the Claim There is a large flat area south of the claim that could be used for parking and staging.
Resources Year round water in the creek at the road, grasses, sage and trees.
Structures on claim 1 cabin
Elevation Aprox. 4800 feet
Total Workings Over 500 feet of workings documented which are cut along a gold rich ore body. Two drifts going in opposite directions come off the main leg. The air quality is good throughout the mine as far as we were able to go. The mine is solid rock so minimal timbering is needed. At the present there is no timbering inside the mine and very little material has fallen inside.

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 (Bergendahl and Koshmann, 1968).


USGS Information

Economic information about the deposit and operations

Operation TypeLode
Commodity typeMetallic
Commodities Gold- Primary
Copper - Primary
Silver - Tertiary
Lead - Tertiary
Zinc - Tertiary
Nearby Scientific Data Grayson Shale, Newland limestone, Empire shale
References USGS Database - 10148954, 10269253, 10148620, 10400178, 60001035, 10221185

Mining District Information

Confederate District

The Confederate mining district, containing some of the richest placer ground in Montana, lies on the western slope of the Big Belt Mountains between Helena and Townsend east of the Missouri River (now Canyon Ferry Reservoir). The Confederate district continued to produce gold, through both lode mining and dredging, at least into the late 1940s (Malone et al. 1991; Wolle 1963; Lyden 1948).
The principal rocks underlying the Confederate district are sedimentary, including shales of the Spokane and Greyson formations, as well as limestones of the Newland formation. These are cut by diorite and quartz diorite dikes, stocks, and sills. Narrow quartz veins, found along fractures in the diorite and along bedding planes in the shale, contain most of the high grade gold ore. Ore values decrease with depth, and few mines have been developed deeper than 150 feet. In addition to the quartz veins in the shales, the diorite contains "low grade mineralized shear zones" (Sahinen 1935; Pardee and Schrader 1933; Reed 1951).
The rich placer gravels of the drainages were deposited during the interglacial stages of the Pleistocene period. Their distribution suggests that the common source of most of the placer gold in Confederate and White Creek is a series of quartz lodes on Miller Mountain on the divide between the two drainages (Pardee and Schrader 1933; Reed 1951).
White Creek is a subdistrict of Confederate, located in a parallel canyon to the north and west. Following the initial discovery in 1865, the camp was active for close to 20 years ... (Lyden 1948).
Total production for White Creek is estimated at $1 million to $1.5 million. One of the richer terraces averaged $10/square yard, or $500,000 in all (Pardee and Schrader 1933; Lyden 1948).
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