The Short Shift Gold Mine Property is a 60 acre lode mining site, located in the Melrose Mining District. The property contains two historic mill sites including a dedicated 5 acre mill site located just north of the main mining camp.
The Short Shift has a history of documented gold production. The District and the region in general noted for high grade gold deposits. The property was in production as late as 1980 by John and Dorothy Layton of Melrose, Montana.
The mine is laid out to cover all of the relevant workings as they are reported to exist under the surface. The headframe was recently cut, and there will be some work required to rehabilitate the main shaft. There are remains of three adits to the west of the main shaft.
These adits show heavy gauge track, but have all collapsed and will need to be dug out and rehabilitated. There is very little in regards to dumps at this site. This is interesting as the main shaft is at least 65’ as can be measured from the surface. The adits are also cut deep into the surface, but also show very little in dumps. It is assumed by surveyors that much of this material was removed and processed at one of the two mills. This is unsubstantiated except for the volume of tailings at the Short Shift Mill.
There is an older mill located south east of the main shaft on the trending of the vein and drift workings. The material at this mill shows quartz and some pyrites, this mixed in with chalcopyrite and some visible native gold in the chalcopyrite. It is of note that this mill has the only defined dumps on the property. Also of note is there only a small adit at this mill that does not appear to be large enough to quantify the dumps present. This may have been also moved to the mill for processing.
There is an underground blasting room where dynamite and other volatile supplies were stored. This is an interesting side note and not common in mining properties.
Roads and access to the site are open and accessible by most any high clearance two-wheel drive vehicle.
The site should be viewed as an excellent development option for a small to mid sized mining operation, at least for initial development. This mine will provide high grade, native gold in quartz. From assay results taken from discarded material, it can be determined that ore with a value of 1.5 ounces to the ton or less was being discarded as waste or for later processing. It can then be inferred that shipping material from the mine will come in well over 2 oz/T in gold.
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