Colorado Gold Claim For sale

Montezuma Mining Claim

Mine Details

Commodity: Gold, Lead, Silver
Location: Colorado, USA
Terms: For Sale
Price: $39,000

Seller Website

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This is one of the largest mines we have ever located. Jumping in at a documented 12.8 miles of drifts, raises, winzes and cross-cuts. The two levels that are on the claim are the Original, or 1st level, and the the 6th Level (by the ore bin). Both mines have had gates and culverts installed which keeps them from the any potential blockage or cave ins and allows for easy lock up access. Gates are extremely expensive to install so to have these already on and ready for your lock is a huge bonus.

This mine is a gold mine, the silver was ancillary. Between 1881 and 1913 the mine recovered an estimated 50,000 ounces of gold, its one of the reasons it never slowed down even with the silver crash in 1893. The gold is evident on the claim, there are literally tons of gold/quartz/pyrite ores just lying on the ground at the 6th level. The surveyors filled a five gallon bucket with high grade ores that weighed in at a hefty .63lbs. This doesn't even speak to what can be found underground.


Located in San Miguel County, Colorado, USA - near Ophir


The Montezuma-Carribeau Mine is a very old and rich mine site set in the heart of Colorado’s historic Ophir Mining District. The mine has a documented history of producing gold and silver from 1881 to 1993, the mine produced from 1881-1936 consistently. The history of the mine is intrinsically tied with that of a 22 acre patent just to the west of the site. The mine has been broken up into 3 main sections. The 13th level, which is at the river level and is on patented property. There is native silver and gold at the mine just in the separated tailings.

The 1st level and the 6th level are contained on this claim. The 6th level is the major working entrance, although there is some access from the 1st (Original) level. There are over 67,800? of workings in this mine. That is 12.8 miles of drifting, crosscuts, raises and winzes. Stoping was not accounted for in this figure.

There is a hike required to access the mine. This hike starts just below the massive tailings dump that can be seen for miles. An old mule trail switchbacks up to the mine, running past the tram station, processing station and the old tipple. This road puts you right at the top of the 6th level. A similar trail zig zags up to the 1st level.

Both levels are currently open and have a gate already installed. Having a gate pre-installed means you can secure your workings, minerals and tools from the general public. The mine camp at the 6th level has ample room for staging gear and equipment.

The ores on the outside of this mine and stunning and epic and contain massive amounts of free milling gold and silver. We did not see much lead which may be because that was worked in the lower levels down towards the 13th level.
There is more than enough gold in the tailings alone to make up for any inconvenience you may have in accessing the mine. This is one of the key mines of the district and has the gold on the outside to show for it. With gold like this on the outside, one can only imagine what might be found in the depths of the workings.

The Montezuma Mine was originally located in 1878, near the apex of the lode that would be come to be known as the Smuggler Lode. The 1st level, as it came to be known was the original location of the claim. By 1884 the mine had been producing thousands of tons of silver and lead ore along with a lot of gold. Old historical documents show that the gold was processed at the lower or 6th level as they shipped all of the silver and lead down to be smelted in Leadville.

Somewhere around 1896-7, a larger mining company began digging in near the river following placer gold and silver bits. They called this mine the Carribeau, named for a lake or sea in Europe. They worked in and hit the Smuggler vein at a lower instance. Unlike the upper mine, these claimants immediately patented the property once they were producing ores. Around 1900, the Carribeau, working up, intersected with the Montezuma as they worked down.

The details are unknown, but the Carribeau sold out their interest to the Montezuma. Law had already established ownership of lodes at the apex of the vein. With that in place they would not have legally held the mine for long.

On or around 1901, the unpatented Montezuma was sold along with the Carribeau (now known as the 13th level) to some investors from Boston for $350,000.00, in 2014 figures that is equal to $9,649,437.26. This was not wasted money, the mine was noted for expansive reserves of gold, silver and lead. The new company installed a double battery of stamp mills and began pushing all of the ores out to the 13th level and processing at that point. The mine kept working under a few various entities until 1936, still shipping ore, when the economic crisis brought on by the rise of Nazi Germany and the anti-mining rhetoric from FDR caused what was thought to be a temporary closure. While the mine was still worked intermittently in the 60s and 70s, it never came back to a full bore operation. Eventually, people forgot how to take gold from the mines and it was left as it sits.

The lower level, or 13th level in addition to being on private patent, is a flooded mess and completely inaccessible. The 1st level appears open and accessible and the 6th level is accessible and has a great little gate on it to keep the curious out and your ores in.
The access to the mine is up a series of narrow switchbacks that wind up the mountain. Eventually they end up at the old 6th level, with the old ore tipple. Another winding trail runs up to the 1st, or Original level. The roads could be traveled with a motorcycle or a narrow ATV. Attach a small trailer to that ATV and you can run your Ores out. Alternatively, a Notice of Operation could be filed and the road could be widened and improved to accommodate full sized vehicles.

There is plenty of room at the 6th level to park multiple vehicles. Its a large and open flat with expansive views of the valley and the city of Ophir along with Ophir Pass.

This is a key mining site in the golden square of Colorado (Silverton, Telluride, Ouray, Lake City) and the rich San Juan Mountains. If you like Colorado, and you like gold and deep, rich mines, you need to own this property.