Historic Midwest Gold Mines

Historic Midwest Gold Mines

Mine Details

Commodity: Gold, Silver
Location: Colorado, USA
Terms: For Sale
Price: $200,000.00

Seller Website

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There are notes of well over 8000′ of workings with the Midwest Tunnel acting as a portal to these workings. With this information and documentation, this may qualify as the largest unpatented property in the district. This is a gold and silver mine and has produced consistently while open.

The mine closed in 1965-6 when Colorado Fuel and Oil changed directions, moving out of mining properties. The claimant of the time intended to work the property with his brother, but tragedy struck as his brother was killed in a nearby mine. Disheartened, the bulkhead doors were shut and the mine was closed to allow for a period of mourning. The intent was for the mine to re-open. However, that never happened. While the mine remain sealed for the next 40-50 years, the EPA decided to remove all of the tailings from the workings. There was nothing to incite this except for a federal agency with too much money and too little oversight. The result is what you see today. A large mine that shows nearly no tailings at all.

The mine is documented as having assayed samples of over 6 ounces gold to the ton. In addition to being an exceptionally rich, and large mine underground, this claim covers a host of historic buildings that are in excellent condition.

Creede boasts a great historical society and I’m sure they would be happy to help out any efforts to revitalize a mine in this epic district. A steep and well graded road runs north out of Creede, and is signed as the Bachelor Loop Road. At about 10800ft. after passing numerous old mining artifacts, and approximately ¾ of a mile up the road, we arrive at the Midwest Mine. The site was reclaimed in 2004. All pre-existing tailings have been removed and capped. There is a grass field planted where the tailings used to be. It doesn’t look natural and definitely distracts from the historical flavor of the area. This is a wetland, nasty area full of mosquitoes, even when cold. That said, the buildings have been well preserved and while the entrance to the mine requires a dig out, the rest of the site is relatively intact. Just don’t expect to be digging up any bottles or relics. The Surveyors reported the discovery of a small creek that runs just below the mine.

With that in mind, this is one of the most impressive claims you will ever see in the area. The mine is a massive intrusion that was, according to documentation, cut in on a wide vein of gold. This was in the lower workings, which reportedly connect with the upper workings. These drifts working the top and bottom of the vein.

A steep and well graded road runs north out of Creede, and is signed as the Bachelor Loop Road. At about 10800ft. after passing numerous old mining artifacts, and approximately ¾ of a mile up the road, we arrive at the Midwest Mine.

On the claim, at the main camp, there are three buildings and one outhouse. We found a 20’x40’ separating building. This is the Main building that the track runs into. The building is very stable, wood construction with corrugated steel exterior. Inside the building the windows are boarded up, and there are thousands of boxes of core samples. There are two separated rooms; one contains an era correct refrigerator. The core samples are stacked 2 to 4 feet deep in the building and the floor cannot be seen. It would be simple to secure the doors and this building.

We also found a smaller home type building that has a main room and a side room. Approximately 12’ x 10’ in size. This building is also in great shape, estimated build time is 1940s, judging by the door, floor and wall construction and materials. This building is also secure, with boarded up windows and working doors. This would be simple to secure as well. The building is full of Core Samples, similar to the other buildings. At least 3000 core samples, some still in boxes.

The last building appears to be a workshop of some sort. The door is loose and would need work to secure. Approximately 1960s era construction. It has a few hundred core samples in it.

All of the buildings have been reinforced with corrugated steel and are open and accessible, all in excellent condition. In addition to the buildings there is an outhouse near the existing rail line. This is original and likely 1910-1920s construction. It has not been molested and is not “dug out”.

There is a sign, noting a brief, if uncomplimentary history of the site. The main goal of the sign is to boast at the feat of how the EPA, along with the Colorado division of Reclamation removed all of the historic tailings and resurfaced the area. Basically destroying the historical landscape and violating the context for the sake of spending a few dollars on a mine that was causing no issues. It is disconcerting to not be able to examine any tailings, as the history of the mine indicates it is over 8000 linear feet of drifts and stoping intercepting gold and silver deposits. This sign also verifies a depth of 2500 feet (minimum).

There is a 1960s construction; wooden entrance 15–20 feet long over the mine portal, the back-filled dirt does not come out of this wooden cover. From the portal there is a length of track extruding almost 25 feet before it splits, continuing both south and east. The Eastern leg of the track runs to the edge of where the tailings used to be. Assumption is this was completely waste tailings. The other leg of the track runs out and into another building. Also 1960s construction. Likely for shipping of the high grade ore. There is extensive area for staging on site.

Thru this property runs a very well .defined contact vein between rhyelite and porphyry-rhyolite formations. (Steven* indicates two (2) parallel veins). The vein can be traced for nearly a mile,.indicating it to be of major importance. The vein strikes diagonally across Nelson Mountain be-tween the two major producing vein systems in the district…the Amethyst and the Solomon-Holy Moses. Nearly 2,000 feet of this vein is located on the Neff property and with the greatest depth of the vein. Ore, of the sulfide or oxidized types, has been found at points along the vein for 3,700 feet.

Historical Documents on the Midwest
In 1969 New Midwest Mining, Ltd. was seeking $180,000 in funds to rehab the mine and reach a proven mineralized zone. The estimated total cost of the project was $380,000. The owners, who had 67 years of combined mining experience, were committed to place $200,000 of their own funds to the project. The following are excerpts from the USGS DMEA files:

The first work of record on the Midwest fault was done in the 1890s near what is now known as the Edith shaft. A shipment was made from the structure assaying 28 oz. in silver, 1.5 oz. in gold; this ore came from a shallow shaft. In the years following a shaft was sunk on the Edith lode and the Knauss tunnel was driven to intersect the structure at a lower depth and connect with the Edith shaft. There was no production from this tunnel and assays from this highly altered zone are low in value. In the early 1920’s Elwood Neff drove a tunnel from Nelson Creek drainage at 10,460′ elevation turning on the structure and developed a small body of sulfide ore but had no production from this tunnel. With this encouragement another tunnel was driven by the Midwest Mining Company at a depth 210′ below the Neff tunnel and near Nelson Creek under the guidance of Mr. Elwood Neff. The portal of this tunnel entered the hanging wall of the fault, on a strike of 30° West of North, struck the foot-wall at approximately 150′. Then followed the footwall a distance of 900′ with steadily increasing mineralization though at its furthest point still in a highly argillized structure. At this time, 1929, operations ceased and work of any nature on the structure has been sporadic and the main tunnel has not been further extended.

King Solomon fault to the East. It has been exposed through surface trenching and shallow shafts and tunnels a distance of nearly two miles. The crushed and faulted zone is wide and highly mineralized, where exposed, with barite, quartz and limestone the main vein gangue, (barite is a conspicuous mineral in all the high grade silver deposits in the Creede area). The fault has a northwest-southeast trend with the country rock or host rock being. Campbell Mountain Rhyolite in all exposures. The displacement of the fault is not known as a contact with other flows is not exposed. The fracture produced by this fault is widesand brecciated allowing a generous passage for the miner-alizing solutions. Silver values steadily increase in exposures to the North. The host rock, Campbell Mountain Rhyolite,. is the host rock of all the deposits presently being developed in Bull-dog Mountain and Emperius Mines property at this time.

It is believed extending,the Midwest tunnel Northwesterly on the structure will uncover an .enriched silver zone of considerable scope under the Knauss tunnel, as all sampling points to in-creased enrichment with added depth. The Midwest tunnel is in’a highly altered zone of the structure with a depth, at its furthest penetration, of slightly over 300′. It will gain depth steadily Northward and will be approximately 680′ below the Knauss tunnel on completion of proposed exploration. Related structures, both East and West, have proven highly profitable beneath the argillize zones.

Proposed exploration is indicated on Exhibit I by dotted red lines and numbers. Work would be undertaken in the following order:

(1) Construction of buildings and portal (2 months)
(2) Drifting (6′ x 8′ timbered) 100 feet to connect portal with the old Midwest tunnel (2 months)
(3) Renovating 500 feet of old Midwest tunnel to a 6′ x 8′ supported drift (3 months)
(4) Drifting (6′ x 8′) 2800 feet maintaining 50 feet from and parallel to the fault (20 months)
(5) Cross-cutting to the fault at 300 foot intervals for sampling, control and development – 450 feet (4 months)
(6) 3800 feet of core drilling to determine the ore zone at depth (6 months)

This vein was discovered by N. C. Creede and Charles Nelson in 1891 before Creede found the famous Amethyst vein. Creede gave up his Nelson Mountain holdings in favor of the rich Amethyst. In the winter of 1892, however, a Mr. Palmer found a rich pocket of ore at point 1 on the enclosed map. He shipped a carload of high grade lead sulfate ore which was reported to con-tain 1.5 oz. of gold and 28 oz. of silver. In order to better develop the vein, the Nause tunnel was driven at point. The vein at this level is well defined, eight to eighteen feet wide with considerable barite but little values. This, however, encouraged driving another tunnel farther down the hill at point 3. Financial difficulties stopped this work several hundred feet short of the vein.
In 1913 Elwood M. Neff became interested in the property. He decided to attack the vein where it outcropped in Nelson Creek, thus minimizing the expensive crosscutting. An old tunnel, at point 4, crossed the strike of the vein in the wash and did not discover it. Mr. Neff opened the vein with tunnel 5 and in 1921 discovered sulfide ore but not in commercial quantities. In 1924 he leased to the Midwest Mining Company and the Colewood Tunnel, later called the Midwest, was driven at point 6. This tunnel cut the vein at 166 feet and followed it for 909 feet. Ore in small quantities was found all along this vein and according to Larsen** contained galena, sphalerite, chalcopyrite and anglesite. The vein is from five to fifteen feet wide with the breast assaying 2% lead and 2 oz silver. Rich pockets along the vein, however, showed 20% lead, 12 oz. in silver and small amounts of zinc, copper and gold. Financial difficulties stopped work by Midwest and during the depression, Mr. Neff was forced to give up the un-patented Colewood claims. These are now owned by Mr. John Jackson and called the Gateways.

Development This property can best be developed in conjunction.with the Jackson claims. The objective of any development should be to gain depth. Steven lists this vein as a promising prospect in his paper. He states that “… by analogy with other more thoroughly developed veins in the district, the vein here might be more persistent and higher in grade at depth below the zone of argillized wall rocks.” The properties are ideally situated for gaining depth by tunneling rather than the more expensive sinking. The most obvious method would be extension of the Colewood Tunnel, or a parallel tunnel in the foot wall. This would give a depth of about 780 feet where the vein crosses the ridge. The ore body, by analogy with others in the area, could be expected to be 1,200 to 1,400 feet below the level of the Colewood Tunnel. Much of this depth could be mined by tunnels driven from East or West Willow Creeks.

I have known R. L. Wahl casually since 1944. I consider him a very competent mining engineer and mine manager, and a trustworthy. man. I have dealt with both Charles A. Davlin and Clyde H. Mathews several times, and have been favorably impressed with their general competence and character. I know John R. Jackson and Charles M. Steele very well, and count them both such good personal friends that I probably should disqualify myself from commenting on this request.

The geologic probability of discovering lead-zinc-silver deposits on the Midwest vein is excellent, but the extent or grade of any such deposits that may be found cannot be estimated from present data. Where I have seen the vein underground in the Midwest mine, the wall rocks are largely highly argillized and the mineralization is spotty. The general appearance is closely similar to the upper parts of the productive zones in the Amethyst, OH, and Bulldog Mountain veins to the west and the Soloman-Holy Moses vein to the: east. This part of the vein has a good potential at depth. Farther north in the area the company proposed to explore, the metal values they report from the Knauss Tunnel and nearby shallow workings accord with stories I have heard from a number of “old timers” at Creede and appear to be well founded. The spotty high-grade ore in this area is similar to local hot-spots found above the main producing zones of Other veins in the district. I fully expect the exploratory tunnel the company proposes will intersect the upper part of a mineralized zone comparable with the producing levels of other mines in the district. Whether the mineralized zone will contain ore-grade material of minable Width and length cannot be told without actual physical exploration.