Historic Roosevelt Gold Mine
20 Acre Lode and 20 Acre Placer Claims – Quartz Creek District – Gunnison County, Colorado
Overview of the Claims
Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. is proud to present the Historic Roosevelt Gold Mining Claim. This is a 20 acre lode and 20 acre placer mining claim for sale exclusively through Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. The claim is located just outside of Gunnison, Colorado and has been properly staked and marked at all corners. All Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. claims have been meticulously surveyed, mapped and researched. Field work is completed by our own experienced, well versed Mine Survey Team.
The Roosevelt is a lost treasure. A mining claim of epic proportions. The mine is a massive undertaking that includes nothing less than a large, branded and gated adit entrance, a double battery (10 stamp) mill, a power station and much, much more.
Despite the massive size and output of the claim, the mine is relatively undisturbed due to its location on the opposite side of a wide running river. This river once drove the power plant that can be seen from the road, if you keep a sharp eye. The location currently allows for only foot access. This makes mining a bit difficult, but if someone gets serious and files a Notice of Operation, a new road could be cut and a bridge installed across the river for access. The roads on the claim are all still there, they are just inaccessible.
The sheer size and capital outlay it took to create a mining operation like the Roosevelt is astounding. Typically this is something you would only find on patented mining claims, but this claim is indeed available.
A short but steep, 0.8 mile hike is required to get to the entrance of the mine, but it is well worth it. The tunnel entrance boasts extensive craftsman rock-work and is stable and solid. The gates into the mine are locked and secure (keys given only to claim owner). It is located in a dense forested area. The foot paths are narrow, but well defined.
The mine is a massive beast, boasting at least 2200′ of linear drift workings to a huge lode that measured up to 3 feet wide. From this lode, a series of drifts and raises lead over 800′ down into the depths of the mine. The ores are rich gold and silver. Some early reports also noted platinum, but not in measurable quantities.
Outside of the mine there are thousands of tons of tailings. Some processed, some not, some waste and some high-grade that never made it across the river.
The mine closed reportedly in 1919 amid controversy with the owners. A typical case of too much money and too much greed. The mine has not operated on a commercial basis since this closure.
There is a wide river below the mine where the tailings have dumped in. Also many, many other old gold mines are up stream from this. For this reason we have also put a placer claim covering the river and the water output from the mine. The river has many soft banks with dark, black sands and bits of gold. Its a dredger or sluice box paradise.
“The Roosevelt Mine, located three miles below Pitkin, opened in 1907 with a great deal of promise and operated into the 1930’s (sic). It was an attempt to reach the very rich Camp Bird, I. X. L. and Gold Ridge mines at depth. It was also meant to drain the shafts of some of these mines so the richer ores could be worked on. There was great interest in reaching those veins at depth through the Roosevelt aka Copper Mountain tunnel. A massive effort went into reaching the veins. If they ever reached any of those veins at depth is unknown.”
Our surveyors were unable to explore the entirety of the workings. At the 1300′ point, their air monitors dipped from 20.8 to 19.0, while still a good level of oxygen, they decided not to risk going further. A small oxygen tank or canned oxygen would be advised for further exploration. It’s always better to play it safe.
From a 1916 report – “The majestic empire of the Western Slope”
“The Copper Mountain Tunnel (or Roosevelt Tunnel as it is usually called) is at present about 1,800 feet into the mountain and only about 400 feet from the Roosevelt vein, which is one of the first of the larger ore deposits which the tunnel will tap. The vertical depth the tunnel will attain on the vein is about 800 feet, affording immense stoping facilities, and as the vein at the outcrop shows an ore body of 19 feet in width, it is apparent that with the tapping of this vein the company will become a producer second to none in the district.
Assays from the surface of this vein have shown values from $4 per ton in gold and about 8 percent copper up to $377.10 (18.24 ounces) per ton in gold (1916 price of gold $20.67 per ounce) and as the ores, as is the case in every other mine in the section, will increase in values with depth, it would appear that the company’s future success is assured.
In the near vicinity of the Roosevelt mine the Midnight Mining Company has opened up a rich vein of gold-copper ore and as this vein has a trend towards the holdings of the B. I. M. Co. it is expected that this vein will be tapped by the tunnel and the vein in its entire length be drained and not only will the B. I. M. Company have ownership to a large part of the vein but at the same time it will give the Midnight Mining Company an opportunity to mine its ore which up to this time on account of the heavy flow of water in their shaft has been impossible. The tunnel, in its onward course will tap several other known veins such as the Camp Bird and the Gold Ridge until it reaches its terminus at the I. X. L. mine, which is considered one of the most valuable and important of the company’s holdings. At the I. X. L. mine is an immense deposit of ore, averaging from $2.60 to $6.00 per ton on the surface, to $37.50 and $90.00 at a depth of 80 feet. The vein has been opened up by a crosscut tunnel at a depth of 40 feet, showing the vein to be 43 feet in width, and extending for several thousand feet. The general formation is a positive indication that the I. X. L. will be one of the best mines in the state, but, on account of the porphyry dikes and talcy deposits, with which the vein matter is associated, which gives water easy access to the workings, they realize the necessity of operating this mine through the Copper Mountain tunnel, and they are eagerly pushing the tunnel work forward with that aim in view.
On the Gold Ridge claims a very rich vein was discovered on the surface and several shafts and tunnel were driven endeavoring to open up and determine the trend of the vein. In tunneling, ore was found to contain values in gold and silver to the amount of $18.28, with considerable copper, and as assays showing up to $25,000 per ton in gold (1250 ounces per ton) and as high as 40 percent in copper have been found, they feel sure that the Gold Ridge mine will prove exceptionally good, and as it is but a short distance from the I. X. L., it can be easily worked through the Copper Mountain tunnel which will tap these veins at a depth of upwards a thousand feet. The Camp Bird mine, which is also owned by this company, is at present being worked by leasers under royalty.
The work in the Copper Mountain tunnel was first started by hand, but later a small steam compressor plant was installed and the tunneling pushed forward with machine drills. It was, however, realized that the steam plant was of insufficient capacity and as the company in the meantime had acquired title to the water right on Quartz Creek, a hydro-electric plant of over 400 horsepower capacity, involving an expenditure of about $30,000.00 and containing the most modern and up-to-date electrical machinery was installed. New equipment in the way of transformers, motors, compressor and ventilation fan were also installed in a new stone building at the entrance to the tunnel, which was completed in 1915, and at present the company is in position to drive the tunnel onward with great speed, at the same time as they have ample power for all mining and milling purposes. Electric lighting system has been installed in the buildings owned by the company, and electric power can also be used for the tramming of ore and for lighting the mine. Besides all power for their own use the company has over 200 horsepower electricity to dispose of to other mines in the district.
As is the case with most mining enterprises the company has been handicapped by lack of sufficient funds, but if the investing public was fully aware of the unusual possibilities and merits this company possesses, as well as the scrupulous care, economy and business tact used by the management, and were familiar with, the character and class of men at the head of this enterprise they would not hesitate to affiliate themselves with this company and aid in bringing success to this worthy enterprise which undoubtedly will ere long “make good” and give its stockholders liberal and ample reward. The company is backed by business men from the Eastern states and the president is the well known Col. R. B. Anderson of St. Louis, Mo., with offices at 5 1 8- S 19 Metropolitan building, who will be pleased to give any further information about the company that may be desired.”
1923 From – Pitkin Public School District Number Five, Issue 5,
“The Roosevelt Mine, under the direction of A. P. Nelson, was driving its tunnel into Copper Mountain to cut the Camp Bird and I. X. L. veins at depth. The company had recently purchased the mill from the Sandy Hook mine, and it was almost re-assembled on the Roosevelt property along Quartz Creek and ready for operation.”
From Minerals yearbook 1938
“The Manhattan Mining & Leasing Co. operated the Roosevelt Gold Mines Co. property under lease from June 25 to September 1, 1937, and then suspended business. The company treated 300 tons of ore in the 25-ton hydroelectric stamp-amalgamation mill on the property. The ore was mined chiefly from the Camp Bird claim in the Roosevelt group, but some was obtained from the Chicago-Climax mine and Little Jessie dump nearby.”
National Bureau of Mines Surveys, 2015, Gold Rush Expeditions Historical Research Division, 2015.
Pitkin Public School District Number Five, Issue 5, page 63.
Gunnison County, Colorado; the majestic empire of the Western Slope, page 61.
Hughes, H. Herbert / Minerals yearbook 1938
Accessibility and Location
Documented workings are well over 2200′, not including substantial stoping and other work. All of the other mines have since closed or been bulldozed. This tunnel represents the last known opening into these workings.
The historical value could not be more. There is good history of the mine that has been passed down since its inception and much to be learned from exploration of the workings and the area around the mine.
Accessibility and Location
Access is currently by foot only. There are wide and open roads on both sides of the river, but no current connection.
The mineral value is the highest possible rating. This mine is noted for extensive gold and silver production. Gold is said to have been 2-5 ounces per ton, but some shipments from the mines on the other side of the mountain, of which the Roosevelt was driven to intercept did bring up to $25,000 per ton, and that was when gold was around $20 per ounce.
Shelter in the form of trees. Lots of timber for all purposes. Water, old buildings. As far as resources are concerned, this claim has just about everything.
Aerial View of Claim
Google Earth view of claim and boundaries.
Quick Overview of the Claim
|Number of Mines||1 adit|
|Access to the Claim||0.8 mile hike to adit entrance|
|Parking and Staging on the claim||No way at this time to get vehicles to the site. You can hike up and camp on the claim on some flat spots.|
|Resources||Shade, Wood, Water in river and running out of the mine, Reclaimed wood|
|Nearest city with amenities||Gunnison – 22 miles|
|Structures on claim||Mill site, power house, rock workshops connects to adit with amazing rock work|
|Relics on the claim||Old water flume parts, machinery, stamp mill (battery)|
|Elevation||9000 feet above sea level|
Weather data from nearby city – Gunnison
The Roosevelt tunnel is actually little more than a targeted cut to intercept a set of massive gold bodies. These gold bodies had been worked at the surface for less than 100′ but noted to be very rich and nearly pure.
At 2200′ there was a large, 19ft. wide gold ore body struck. Three separate shafts were sunk on that vein that were over 800′ deep each. There is considerable gold and quartz visible and likely much more.
Air quality degrades from 20.8 to 19.0 at approximately 1300′ and stays consistent. May need oxygen if operating without ventilation. No other gases identified within the mine. The spine and ribs are solid and there is no shoring. Wood has been used for small operation stations and ladders. This mine is ready to work, as is under casual use, but highly recommend full commercial production.
Roosevelt Mine Diagram
|Access to the Mine||Hike 4000 feet from the access bridge|
|Tailings Present||Some gold ores around, no high-grade piles. Good ore at the mill.|
|Entrance||Gated, cut into solid rock|
|Depth / Length||7000+ linear feet of workings|
|Minerals in the Mine||Gold, Pyrite, Quartz, Galena|
|Foot Traffic in the Mine||Light|
Very large site, amazed that this isn’t patented property. There are likely over 200,000 tons of material outside of the mine and above and below the mill. Some of the tailings have been processed, most not. Gold and silver are the main exports, but the big values are in the gold. The mill was a crusher and float and the material below the mill is completely worked. Water ran from lines 3 miles away in Pitkin for processing.
The mine has over 2200′ linear feet according to historical documents. This was before the primary gold lodes were hit. The mine was noted as dry in 1919, but hopeful that once they hit the big veins, the mine would also drain water. The mine drains a lot of rapidly flowing water today indicating that the ore bodies were indeed hit and likely worked.
This mine could easily go into full commercial production and produce a lot of gold.
Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. – 2015
- Gold – Primary
- Silver – Primary
- Copper – Primary
Comments on Mine/Production
One of the best standing examples of a full mine site yet found in Colorado. Gold came in values of up to $25,000 per ton, this is a no-brainer.
National Bureau of Mines surveyor report. Onsite visit 2015.
USGS information on the mine(s)
Disclaimer: This MRDS information is provided for reference only and does not represent the actual mine or the current state or mineral content or value. It should not be perceived as accurate or definitive. MRDS information should not be relied on as decision data, the MRDS system has not been updated in over 20 years. The US Bureau of Mines, who was responsible for mining site assessment was disbanded in 1994. USGS and MRDS information has not been updated in over 66 years.
- Gold – Primary
- Copper – Primary
Host Rock type: Plutonic Rock- Mafic Intrusive Rock- Diorite
Materials – Type of material
Limonite – Ore Malachite – Ore
Comments on the geologic information: Wide quartz vein
USGS Database – Roosevelt
Black sands and bedrock. It doesn’t get much better.
Deep and flowing, drop a sluice in here.
River in foreground, powerhouse in background.
Trail along the river to the mine.
Sands in the eddies.
Black sands and gravel ready for dredging.
The massive old power plant building.
Access into the power plant part of the building.
Old wood water pipe, only the bands remain.
A small trestle built for the water pipe.
Old gold screens from the mill.
The road to the mine.
The old blasting shack.
Thousands of tons of un-processed tailings.
An old trail across the tailings to the mill.
Mill and Trestle.
The old road to the mill.
The trestle from the road to the mill.
Looking at the mill from the road.
This is a big mill, without doubt.
A good shot of the massive mill.
The hopper could use some restoration.
All cams in place.
Uncommon maker of stamp mills.
Stamps are still in the mill.
Stamp mill workings.
Note patent dates on the bolting.
Most of the mill is still there, in one place or another.
Walls below the mill.
Stunning entry portal.
Water and old rail.
Constant flowing water from the mine.
A large building remnant at the mine.
Door to the miners quarters off the mine portal.
Mining District Overview
Quartz Creek District Information
Reported production figures are sparse but the district produced 3,780 oz silver, 186 oz gold, 13,560 lb lead, and 150 lb copper in the years 1934-1943. As early as the 1880s the nearby town of Pitkin, situated on Quartz Creek was a bustling mining town with between two to three thousand inhabitants. In fact the mining town attracted more attention than any other camp in Gunnison County. (Hallowell, 1883, p. 125) & (Streufert, 1999, p. 36)
From a 1916 Report on the District
Pitkin is a thriving little mining town situated about 14 miles below Alpine Pass, on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains, 28 miles northeast of Gunnison, the county seat. Lying as it does in the center of the mineral belt of the county, it is an important supply point for the many gold, silver and tungsten mines in the district. The town has several general stores, bank, express and post office, hotels and various other business houses. Has a fine school, two churches and “The Pitkin Miner,” one of the best edited mining papers is the state, is published here.
Quartz Creek, one of the swiftest mountain streams in the state, runs through the town, and the city is kept clean by the steady streams of water that run down on either side of the main streets. Quartz Creek is well stocked with fish, and State of Colorado maintains the largest hatchery of mountain trout in the county a half mile below the city, and fish from this hatchery are sent to all parts of the world. Pitkin is a point that the tourist should not fail to visit, and the beautiful little city is one of the most ideal and attractive mountain towns, not only in the county, but in the entire state. (Nelson, 1916, p. 37)
The mines and mining properties in the vicinity of Pitkin have for a number of years been recognized as being of unusual excellence and value, and regarding the district, a noted geologist and mining engineer says as follows: “The northern end of the Gold Belt, near Pitkin, is well worth the attention of miners and capitalists seeking promising propositions. The geological conditions are all that can be desired for a gold district, consisting of granite, schists, etc., traversed by dykes of porphyry and other igneous rocks, and strong quartz veins. The average thickness of these veins is from two to four feet, .lying between walls of schist or gneiss, and showing at some points rusty quartz, containing good values in gold, and with depth passing into pyrites, with gold, silver, lead and zinc values. The geological condition is similar in many respects to the Cripple Creek gold district, and with depth it is destined to develop into a productive gold camp.” (Nelson, 1916, p. 60)
The Quartz Creek mining district is a broad area encompassing much of the upper headwater basin of Quartz Creek and part of the Continental Divide. The majority of productive deposits occur on the exposed rim of a large bowl-shaped erosional remnant of Paleozoic carbonate and marine clastic rocks. This remnant outcrops in the area between the town of Pitkin, on Quartz Creek, and Halls Gulch to the north near Fairview Peak. The northern end of the district includes deposits of gold-silver, tungsten, and molybdenum near Cumberland Pass. To the east the Quartz Creek district includes small precious and base metal deposits in Proterozoic rocks occurring east of Sherrod on the Continental Divide. Most production has come from replacement deposits in dolomitic beds. Production from vein-type deposits is appreciably less.
Replacement deposits of argentiferous galena, gray copper (tetrahedrite-tennantite), and possibly stephanite, have been the most prolific in the district. The deposits occur in a belt of exposed Paleozoic rocks known locally as the Pitkin lime belt. Lower Paleozoic rocks are exposed around the rim of a large erosional remnant which has been folded into a structural bowl, dipping from all directions into the drainage of Armstrong Gulch north of Pitkin. Most ore is in dolomites of the Ordovician Fremont Limestone, just below carbonaceous shales of the Devonian Parting Formation, although some ore occurs in the Devonian Dyer Dolomite or in the Mississippian Leadville Limestone. The ore bodies, which are generally irregular, contain galena and dark sulfides in an often vuggy gangue of calcite and quartz. Some ore has no gangue other than dolomite. The ore from these deposits contains secondary copper and lead carbonates.(Streufert, 1999, p. 36)
Nelson, A. P. (1916). Gunnison County, Colorado ; the majestic empire of the Western Slope: What it is and those who have made it. Pitkin, CO: The author.
Hallowell, J. K. (1883). Gunnison, Colorado’s bonanza co. Denver, Col: Colorado museum of applied geology and mineralogy.
Streufert, R. K. (1999). geology and mineral deposits of Gunnison county, Colorado. Denver, CO: Colorado Geological Survey, Department of Natural Resources.
|Discovered/ Organized||1870s/ 1880s|
|Noted Commodities||Gold, Silver, Lead, Zinc|