The Ajax Mining Property is a 40-acre lode mining property located near the Watseca Mine in the central region of the Rochester District which is known for gold and silver production.
The Ajax mine is reported to be largely a silver producing property with some gold found in epithermal veins.
The Ajax mine consists of a series of caved or blocked surface portals. The extent of the required rehabilitation is unknown, but the shafts were reported to be 200’-400’ in depth and intercept an ore body containing high-value galena with values of 36 oz/T AG on average. The vein is reported to be 1.22 meters wide or a little under 4’.
At the surface, the portals are evident, however, the surface dumps do not appear to qualify for the documented underground workings. Samples were taken from the surface of high-grade quartz with galena and some gold. The assays returned values from 11 oz/T AG to 80 oz/T AG. Gold returned a trace value. The lack of dumps would indicate that most material was shipped for processing, material is not shipped unless it has value, which would infer that most of the dump was high-value.
The property sits amidst the Rochester district and high plains with very sparse vegetation and little to no tree cover. It is barren and prone to high winds.
The general strike of the vein is noted as N 40 E and the dip is 40 NW, the claims have been written to cover the expected and documented vein as it has been intercepted from decline shafts.
The mine has not been addressed or even properly surveyed since at least 1980 when Jeffery S. Loen documented the mine as open and accessible. The main shaft is not currently accessible. Surveyors report that the headframe and part of the ore bin have been cut and pushed into the portal. Elsewhere on the claim, the surface timbers and rail indicate the locations of the shafts, but they are intentionally collapsed, at least at the surface.
The collapse and destruction of the headframe and ore bin are not part of a formal reclamation but more than likely local ranchers and cowboys who are infamous for destroying mining artifacts in an attempt to safeguard their cattle from falling in.
The workings have not been addressed since at least 1980 when they were noted as open, decline shafts that descend “hundreds of feet”. In 1914, the last comprehensive survey of the district was completed, and the mine was not mentioned. This could be because it was very small at the time, or more likely, it did not exist.
Regardless, the expenditure to run shafts hundreds of feet to intersect high-value silver and gold deposits speaks well of the return that was garnered.
The mine is thought to have shut down with the War Act, this ascertained by general dating of the machinery and equipment left at the site.
The mine is accessed on public roads and requires only a high clearance 2WD vehicle. Wet or snowy conditions will make this significantly more challenging.
The site should be viewed as a development-stage silver mine with extensive valuations and undocumented reserves. The surface dumps, while small, show high value and the lack of dump volume would indicate that nearly all material was shipped off for processing.