The Constitution is a very important and rich silver and gold mining property located in the famous Silver Belt of northern Idaho. In the company of mega-mines such as the Sunshine, the Hecla and the Bunker Hill.
The Constitution operated from at least 1906 to 1968 in a commercial capacity. The commercial side operated in the north end of the gulch and was a patented site. The south end of the property, which is the current site in question, was further developed after 1946 by a 950’ drift which was then called the main level. This drift runs into two hoist rooms and shafts. These shafts access all of the levels of the mine, from the surface down to the 2000’ level. There are 11 levels in all with at least 1000’ of drifting on each level, some levels such as the 200 and 1000 have over 4000’ of workings.
There is a well-documented history on the property and a very detailed geological report on the mine created in 1951 by noted Geologist Gillingham. This report was requested by the owners of the Bunker Hill mine, Spokane-Idaho and Sullivan Mining and Concentrating Company. The report showcases assay values and is highly complimentary of the values in gold and silver in the mine.
The mine is known for its silver production, in many cases well over 100 oz/T in silver, this hosted in Galena based ores. It also has substantial gold values, which have been largely overlooked for the pricing of silver vs. gold. Today with gold prices much higher, many mines in the area are being re-opened and worked for the gold values they contain.
Surveyors noted gold deposits in at least two separate and defined veins in the mine. This gold appears native and is not necessarily intermingled with the galena, but does occur in the same quartz gangue.
This property is rare and valuable in the fact that there are many active and producing mines still operating in the area. The value and deposits are well known and some mines have been operating for well over 100 years with no plans for end of life.
The surface of the Constitution site was razed and leveled by the EPA in 2006 as part of a superfund grant. Much of the waste dump and the tails were moved to the northern side of the property and buried under compostable waste. As a result, there is little to no waste dump outside of the Constitution portal to give any indication of the size of the operation.
The mine workings are overall in good condition. There was no bad air reported. The mine is wet and the workings have filled with water. The internal headframe and wooden shaft collapsed at the main level in 2015-2016 and blocked the main shaft. This blockage will need to be removed before there is any access to the subsurface workings.
There is a collapse on the north and south ends of the main level, limiting total accessible workings in the mine to roughly 2700’. If the collapses were cleared on both sides, there is documented to be over 6000’ of drifting and work on this level alone.
This mine could be developed on a small scale initially as the property is developed and shored up. There is a mill on-site, which would aid in permitting for future development and usage.