Montana Lode and Placer Claims For Sale

Hard Luck Lode & Placer Mining Claims

Mine Details

Commodity: Copper, Gold, Lead, Silver, Zinc
Location: Montana, USA
Terms: For Sale
Price: Contact Vendor

Seller Website

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The Hard Luck Claims are a collection of a single lode and a single placer claim, located just outside Elliston, Montana. The two claims overlap each other and cover all of the workings of this historic site, both hard rock and placer operations.

The are very old, and very impressive. The high grade pile outside the primary adit is one of the richest the surveyors have ever reported. It consisted of native gold, silver, pyrite, some copper and quartz. The exact quote was “This ore is shocking amazing! Its money left on the ground!” The claim consists of a shaft, a few prospects, an adit, a collection of cabins and a very pretty old truck.


Powell County, Montana, USA - near Helena


The Hard Luck Claims are a collection of a single lode and a single placer claim, located just outside Elliston, Montana. The two claims overlap each other and cover all of the workings of this historic site, both hard rock and placer operations.

The are very old, and very impressive. The high grade pile outside the primary adit is one of the richest the surveyors have ever reported. It consisted of native gold, silver, pyrite, some copper and quartz. The exact quote was “This ore is $%cking amazing! It’s money left on the ground!” The claim consists of a shaft, a few prospects, an adit, a collection of cabins and a very pretty old truck.

The claim can be found at the end of a spur road that breaks off from the Ontario Mine. It’s a rough road from this point, but very passable with 4WD. The surveyors reported a double axle trailer came down and went back up the road while they were on site. A good, but not often travelled road leads all the way into the main mine camp. This mine camp is rarely if ever visited, its remote location even noted by the original prospectors who worked gold out of the mine in 1880.

The mine camp is set in a wide open meadow with substantial tree cover. There is an intact and stable cabin in the camp and one cabin that has fallen over. There is also a sort of low treehouse built into the bottom of some large trees across from the cabin. There is evidence that there may be some hunters that have used this as a base camp in the past. There is another old cabin out near the entrance to the adit. It has also mostly collapsed, but an old 1940s era refrigerator is still sitting upright in the old building.

The mine is impressive with substantial track that comes out and splits to dump the waste off one side and the high grade is stacked neatly on the opposite track. The old mine is nearly untouched as evidenced by relics and natural growth in the area. This was a substantial mine that produced a good amount of gold, silver and possible lead. The history dates the mine to being discovered in 1880, and worked up to 1950. It has very high potential and shows substantial gold values even just in the existing tailings. Very Serene and beautiful area. Large meadow and forest views.

History of the Hard Luck
The Hard Luck mine was located in 1880, the miners that worked it showed good gold values, over 5 ounces to the ton according to some accounts, but the mine was so far away from anything that it was not feasible to keep working it. Shipping the ores out took almost 20 days by mule and that was only 800lbs of ores.

Some history says the original miners worked the mine right up until the War Act closed it. Some says the original locators sold the mine in 1894 to some miners from Alaska who were looking for a producing gold mine. Regardless, the mine was developed a few feet a year until the War Act closed it in 1942. The actual production is not recorded, but the miners were working it day in and out. Thats not something you do for 30-40 years without making any money. It is estimated in 1942 that the mine consisted of a shaft of less than 100 feet and 2 adits, totaling less than 300?

In 1951 a group of four miners applied for a loan from the Defense Minerals Administration to develop the Hard Luck for zinc and lead, which were needed for the Korean War. However the lead and zinc concentrations were too low in the Hard Luck Mine, so the application was turned down.

The Defense Minerals Administration was established under the Defense Production Act of 1950 in response to the Korean War. It authorized the President of the U.S. to control the civilian economy so that scarce and/or critical materials necessary to the national defense effort would be available for defense needs.

The following is taken from the 1951 documents regarding the Hard Luck Mine:
Letter from the Defense Minerals Administration

The applicants have a vein in granite located in the Elliston district, Montana. No thickness is given of the vein and very little description is given of the vein and very little description is given other than that it contains gold, silver, lead, and zinc…a few veins in this general area are known to show fairly good mineralization, so that the property should be examined before it can be turned down.
Two prospectors drove the tunnel on this property some seventy (70) years ago but, at that time, the prices were so low that a successful operation from a financial standpoint could not be maintained. There is no record of production from this operation because, of course, at the time of the driving of the tunnel, the prospectors were looking only for gold, as the other products did not have any value. Adjoining the two quartz lode mining claims are two mining properties known as the Ontario and the Julia. Both of these were heavy producers. The ontario mine having produced approximately $2,000,000.00 and the Julia approximately $265,000.00.

Letters from the Lester Thompson (Miner)
History and Past Production
The mine is said to have been operated by two prospectors about 1880 and has been idle since that date.

Mine Workings and Geology
The development workings consist of several trenches, a small caved shaft and an adit 270 feet in length.
Inventory:

A compressor, liner, drills, bits, hoses, water tank, rails and car, powder, fuses, caps, gas and oil. In addition to the above, we have two completely equipped houses, ready for occupancy, both of which are in good condition.
No profit and loss statement is attached hereto because and by reason of the fact that we have not produced, but we have expended approximately $5,000.00 for labor and supplies in getting the property ready for production. The applicants herein are prepared to invest an amount equivalent to $7,000.00 by furnishing labor of all four members of the partnership and in furnishing the equipment valued at $8,600.00, and the money advanced by the Government will be used wholly and solely for the purchase of supplies for the continuation of mining and production from said property. There are two quartz lode mining claims involved herein, both standard use and, as heretofore shown in the application, with an existing tunnel of at least 270 feet, together with all necessary building for carrying on mining operations, and the necessary water supply therefore…There are a great many mountain streams immediately adjacent to the property and we have much more water than we will ever have any need for. We intend to use a gas compressor for power but we are ten miles from an electrical line, if it ever became feasible to use same. We propose to continue the tunnel and the estimated time required to complete the work proposed would be 120 days. We propose to do the work ourselves (four partners who are all miners) with the expectation that we would not have to employ more than one miner, whose wages would be $14.00 per day. We will do our own supervisory work, without cost. All existing facilities are in good repair and no expense sill be necessary to maintain them except for the usual wear and tear and breakdowns. We estimate this cost to run approximately $1,000.00 per month. We intend to build a compressor house at a cost of approximately $1,000.00. We will necessarily have to purchase additional powder and bits at an estimated cost of $300.00. We have our own equipment and do not propose to rent any – $2,000.00 per month. Fuses and caps approximately $500.00 per month. We believe that with the four of us working, and with the help of one hired miner, we can develop the property to the point where production is steady and that the property thereafter will adequately take care of continued mining operations. We believe that the $7,000.00 requested from the Government will all be spent within a period of 120 days after the commencement of production and we expect to be on a solid paying basis within the 120 day period.