Montana Gold and Silver Mine

Smuggler Lode Mining Claim

Mine Details

Commodity: Copper, Gold, Silver
Location: Montana, USA
Terms: For Sale
Price: Contact vendor

Seller Website

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Have you ever wanted to own your own ghost town? Well, your chance is now. The Smuggler Mine is not only a collection of mines and adits, but also an entire mining camp/town. The mine is a collection of interconnected workings. More than a mile of drifts and tunnels and a large volume of open stopes.

There are 17 buildings in various states of repair at current, included in this are as follows: Blacksmith/Assay shop, Multiple cabins, a miners Bunkhouse/chow hall, A few workshops with intact machinery, Mine Boss quarters (larger miners cabins and a few privies. Please see the map below for an overview of where everything is on the claim.

The Smuggler Adit is accessible but has a very small access point at current. It would only take a few hours with a shovel to re-open this. Based on the historical information #1 is believed to be the 200' adit referenced in historical data. The New Smuggler Adit is completely open with an intact and locking gate. The gate is solid steel construction and the adit portal is newer and very stable. The combination to the gate and locks will be given to the new claim owner.

Smuggler adit #3 is believed to be the "shaft" referred to and is actually an inclined shaft cutting into the some of the lower drifts. The Smuggler New Adit is a recent cut into what used to be only a prospect. The cut is believed to be 700', but is cut on an incline and has water over 5'6" only 240' back.

In 2009, core samples were taken that showed excellent gold values and reserves. Based on this, a 700' adit was cut on an old prospect to intercept the old workings and begin mining again. This work was completed by 2011 but we have none of the associated data.

Today the massive adit is locked up and gated. Its very secure and just adds to the value of this massive old mine camp. The mine is a decline and has water in it that gets deeper as you go back. This was obviously a noted issue and there is a series of pipes run into the workings. These are screened and ready to be hooked to a pump on the outside of the mine and pumped out. Our surveyors traveled into the water to about 5.5' before the water became too deep to navigate.

This is not just a full, producing mine, but also the entire mine camp that supported the workings. Very highly recommended for gold production and historical value.


Located near Sheridan, Montana, USA.


The Smuggler Claim consists of a large, documented and historical mine, and an entire ghost camp that used to support the mine. This is a site unlike anything else you will find, anywhere. The Smuggler has a long and detailed history, part of which is documented here. This is a documented gold producing mine that has been producing gold, silver and even a bit of copper since 1897. The mine today is more substantial than when originally documented. In 2010, A Mr. Hunt filed a notice of operation and opened up what used to be a prospect, into a 700' drift, 500' directly north, and 200' west to intercept the old Smuggler workings and take core samples of same.

The mine was originally claimed by John and Thomas Cavanaugh, James McDonnell, Mrs. Clara Conley and Carrie Herman in 1897. At the time the mine had a shaft only 18 feet deep. In 1904 the mine was in the hands of Edgar and Emma Fletcher who filed for water rights for a dam on Mill Creek. The next year the mine title was passed to Fred Fletcher. No production is noted for this early activity. In 1928 Alex Walker of Butte refiled the claim under the guise of the Smuggler Mining Corp., Walker constructed a water system from the dam near Johnson Creek to a point on the Emma B. claim where the water would be used to turn a 130 h.p. Pelton wheel with a head of 300 feet (Ryan 1988). It should be noted that this claim does not cover the Emma B workings that are higher on the mountain since they show no real value and were only used to facilitate the movement of water.

The majority of the buildings were built under the Smuggler Mining Corp ownership. Sometime between 1928 and 1933, and have been used ever since. There have been various improvements and additions over the years. Most of the buildings are still standing, but could use minimal restoration and upkeep work.

The Smuggler mine is located about seven miles from Sheridan on Mill Creek. It is developed by a 700 foot adit on the Smuggler vein with an additional 250 feet of drifting from the bottom of a 90 foot winze. Oxidized ore was milled on the property. When visited in 1988, seventeen log and frame structures, tailings ponds and four adits were observed(1933).

In the late 1920s the Smuggler property consisted of 13 unpatented claims producing gold and silver. The property was developed by a 117 foot shaft; two adits of 150 and 200 feet; 340 feet of drifts; 425 feet of cross-cuts; 450 feet of raises and 160 feet of winzes. The hydroelectric plant on the Emma B. claim powered a 100 ton amalgamation and concentration mill. This mill contained a crusher, a No. 54 Marcy ball mill, classifier, 3 Wilfley tables, motors, and pumps. Other improvements included 25 buildings including an office, assay office and cabins to house 45 people. The site had water, electric and telephone systems (1988).

Documented and recorded production covered only 3 years, a value of $24,117.03 in gold from 1930 to 1933. Roughly 1040 ounces. In today's dollars, that is equal to $1,142,196.00. It was noted in 1933 that the milling process allowed $4 per ton of gold to be lost to the tails. This is about 1/5 of an ounce per ton. Activity was suspended in 1934 while flotation techniques were examined. While the mine operated until 1942 and then again after 1950, no further production was documented or taxed.

There is no data on the sample values or production from the 2010 work but local processors from the Sunshine Mill in Montana report that likely 100+ tons have come from the Smuggler site for processing over the past 15-20 years.