The Broken Handle Mine is known to originally been a part of the Stevens Mine group, which encompassed over 2700 acres prior to 1900. When the company dissolved, the patents were transferred, and the claims were allowed to lapse. The Broken Handle was one of such lapses.
The mine is said to have been worked from 1941 through 1970 with no reported production. It is assumed that the owners were producing good gold as the property was paying for itself and claim owners were self-sufficient. The last reported activity is from 1970 in a Bureau of Mines Annual Operator report in which the owners described a drift of 950’ with various other drifts, the ores are gold, and gold in pyrite and limonite.
There are various other gold mines higher up Stevens Gulch from the Broken Handle which have reported gold values. For this reason, a placer claim has been made over the flat of the river below the lode mining claim.
Mining logic dictates that gold will settle at flats or in riffles where gravity is not a factor in moving the gold in the water. Therefore, the flats should provide at least some opportunity for gold recovery as well as interest in the water for use in the mining operation.
The primary value in the claim is in accessing the lode workings. The mine has not been examined, mapped or open since at least 1983. Local accounts reported that an undefined mining company purchased the property from the prior owner in 1980 with the intent of developing the gold veins as the price of gold was rising.
By 1983, the price of gold had dropped, and the company had closed the portal as required by Forest Service guidelines. The company held the claims until the early 1990’s when the company either dissolved or released the claims.
The mines have sat in such a state until acquired by Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. in 2015.
The Broken Handle is located on the east slope of Kelso Mountain and in the heart of the Argentine Mining District.
Gold values in the waste dumps were reported at 1.4 oz/T with some silver values. Values in the workings and on the veins were not available due to the lack of access.
The mine is located on a county-maintained road known as Stevens Gulch Road (CR 321). This road also provides access to the Grays Peak Trailhead which is popular in the Summer months. The mine is located near the end of the road at an elevation of 11,200’. There is good parking on the claim, and the road is accessible via 2WD. 4WD will be required to cross the creek and park on the mine waste dump. There is limited parking on the waste dump, not more than 4 vehicles including equipment.
Mining claims are very rare in the area and do command a premium for their potential for Gold and Precious metal recoveries. The town of Silver Plume and Georgetown are less than 10 miles from the mine and can provide most necessities.