20 Acre Lode Claim For Sale or Lease

Historic Canyon Creek Mines and Camp

Mine Details

Commodity: Phosphate Minerals
Location: Montana, USA
Terms: For Sale, Lease Purchase Option
Price: $6,000

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Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. is proud to present the Historic Canyon Creek Mining Claim. This is a 20 acre lode mining claim for sale exclusively through Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. The claim is located just outside of Melrose, Montana and has been properly staked and marked at all corners. This previously abandoned mine has been meticulously surveyed, mapped and researched by Gold Rush Expeditions and shown to have excellent potential and value. Field work is completed by our own experienced, well versed Mine Survey Team.

Location and Access:

Vipond District – Beaverhead County, Montana
Contact us for exact coordinates


The Canyon Creek Claim is an easily accessible claim, located just outside of Melrose, Montana. These abandoned mines are noted historically for Phosphate production. What does this mean in terms of minerals? Phosphate minerals are minerals that contain metallics which have bonded with phosphates (usually organic). Examples of phosphate minerals are Turquoise, Apatite, and many gem crystals.

In an area well known for extensive gold, silver and tungsten deposits, this claim reports 100% phosphates and is estimated to have produced several hundred million dollars in profits prior to it being sold and subsequently mothballed sometime in the late 1960s. The mine has never really been abandoned, but held as an asset by various corporations including the US Forest Service.

The claim covers a massive grouping of mines with over 8000' of documented workings. Drifts, adits and winzes on three levels. Gold Rush surveyors located each of the three main level entrances, however, they are at current only minimally accessible. It wouldn't take much more than a guy, a shovel, and a few days to open up any of these levels and what you find after that is up to you. The claim is up on a high mountainside, but has great 4WD access roads all the way up from the years and years of operation. This is a standard lode claim, running 1500x 600 feet, encompassing 20.66 acres of prime acreage. The claim is written running generally east/west to capture all of the minerals and outcrops. The claim also covers all of the three primary entrances. There is substantial remnants of buildings, and mining support equipment from the 1890s to the 1940s all across the claim.

The access road to the Canyon Creek mining claim is very smooth and can be navigated by car along Canyon Creek until you reach the turn off for the claim. From that point there is a water crossing of a small, but flowing stream (was passable in late summer/early fall). From here the road gets a bit more challenging and should only be attempted by ATV or experienced off road driver with a competent 4WD vehicle. The road is cut on an old mining trail that hasnt seen much love in the past years. It has more than a few sections that are very steep and rugged. One road runs directly to the lower portal of this behemoth mine. There is an old gate, sunk into concrete, that could be locked up to prevent access, just past the creek crossing on the claim side. This was once a very high traffic road that was obviously well used. Today, after decades of snow, melt, sun and not much use have resulted in a road with a lot of rock fall and tree growth. It can be navigated, but it is rough.

The mountainside that the mines are cut into on a steep with many exposed, jagged rock outcrops. These outcrops likely helped the original miners locate the mineral outcrops that they chased into the mountain. The mines are positioned just above Lower Canyon Creek which looks to flow year-round.

Timber from old structures abound. There were no less than 7 buildings on the claim, possibly more. The miners that worked this claim left a lot behind. Gold Rush Expeditions surveyors found everything from cans, to bottles to old beds and car parts. There is also a virtual museum of old mining implements, drill bits and rail road stakes are more common than rocks on the claim. The Canyon Creek Claim includes several leveled areas for previous mining activity that could be rejuvenated for future mining.


Host/wall rock: Kootenai formation – conglomerate, sandstone, mudstone (purplish and green rocks are common throughout claim) and limestone. There is also what appear to be hematite, jarosite and limonite; though those are not necessarily consistent with the local geology. We observed some small veins of silver and lots of copper in the bits that we could see inside. There were iron veins with large quartz deposits present, which held small bits of gold where exposed. The extent of these veins and the amount of gold is unknown at this time. There are massive deposits of quartz visible inside and outside of the mine. How this interacts with the phosphates is unknown but we have a lot of images for you.

The host rock is mapped as gneiss, and gneissic rocks were observed in and around the tailings, but the massive amounts of quartz veining suggests the mine might have penetrated into the granodiorite that intruded nearby the claim area. The quartz is a good indicator of gold deposits. It is interesting that there are some gold bits visible as gold would not seem to usually form with phosphates. With that said, the creek is well known for placer gold production.

Additional Information:

The claim is nothing short of overwhelming. There is so much going on, on so many levels. The lower area where you can pull up to park has some timbers and other relics in the trees. As you follow the old roads up to the other workings (roads are actually faster as the mountain is steep and covered with loose shale), there are cut outs, small prospects and remnants of mining days gone. We noted drill steels and cable just lying on the old roads. The large camps and entrances are farther up the mountain. Area reported to be worked for Phosphates. Exact nature of these phosphates is undefined. We do know that phosphates bond with metals and provide some very interesting minerals, like Turquoise.


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