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Seller: 1849claims (352) 100%, Location: Boise, Idaho, Ships to: Free Local Pickup, Item: 124190307066 There are several photos. Please allow them a moment to load then scroll down. All photos were taken on the claim People often ask, "what's your BEST mine?" My inventory changes periodically, but currently, this it it! The Argonaut is the largest and possibly richest mine I've ever located. Nearly 5,000 feet of underground workings on Eastern Oregon's motherlode belt. The Argonaut is flanked by some of the state's most notable mines, including the North Pole and Columbia. All draining into the rich gravel of Sumpter and Cracker Creek The first thing you see when you drive onto the claim is this old miners cabin. Not too shabby, considering it's probably sat abandoned since World War II. This is how it looks today... And this is how it looked in 1939. It's the building on the far left. Also note the covered trestle leading from the mine to the dump pile. Not much left of the trestle, but the dump pile is huge. In fact, about the size of a football field. In the 1930's, the lower mine entrance was protected by a building... It's gone now, but the mine is still intact. A very solid portal. Water has pooled at the front, but the tunnel dries as you go back. Mines typically have a slight forward slope for drainage. The tunnel runs about 2,000 feet into the mountain, then branches off into various drifts and winzes at the ore body. Sadly, I have no photos of the lower tunnel. I explored this mine 25 years ago before there was an enclosure, since then, a former claimant added this accessible gate. A cool bonus. I was tempted to cut the lock, but decided to leave it secured. You can add your own lock. By the way, this is not a Forest Service gate, which allows YOU to control the access, as long as you keep it secured. One great thing about Argonaut, it's well mapped. As the new claimant, I'll show you where to get high resolution mine maps When I explored the mine in the mid 90's, I recall it being vast and maze-like. In the 1930's the claimants did a fantastic survey of the ore blocks. I'm sure they were livid when the War Production Board shut everything down in 1942. A close-up of the lower left corner of the map. When gold was $35 an ounce they projected a profit of $416,990. Today that number would be closer to $20-million The owners sent three carloads of ore to a smelter in Tacoma. The results averaged one to two ounces per ton. Back to the tour. As you head uphill, you'll come to the mill building. This was a gravity fed flotation mill. The original mill blueprint Most of the components are gone, but the old ball mill is still here. Too darn heavy to cart away. The road continues uphill and runs behind the mill... Watch for these ore car tracks and that's where you'll find the upper portal. Snow probably crushed whatever wooden structure was here and some of the overhead rock has sloughed into the portal. The mine is still accessible, but you have to climb over the debris, which felt a bit dicey. Seeing the gate crushed under boulders definitely gave me pause. The upper adit is the original mine and has an additional 2,000 feet of tunnel. Lots of timbering and a little muddy. The water doesn't drain as well with the debris blockage. I ventured about 300 feet back and decided to turn around. I could have kept going, but the crushed gate got into my head. I'll leave that adventure to you. Be careful. The gold runs in contact zones of brecciated argillite and quartz. I pulled this chunk off the dump pile. Gold and pyrite at my finger tips. Plenty of water for mining. This natural spring cascades down from the top of the claim... and combines with more spring water running from the lower adit... to form the headwaters of Cracker Creek. If you know the Sumpter Dredge, that's Cracker Creek Speaking of creek, an important note on access. About two miles below the mine, there's a washout. Over the years, off-roaders have created an alternate route across the creek, but you'll definitely want 4WD to get past this spot. I made it in a Nissan Xterra. The road beyond is fairly smooth. I keep hoping the Forest Service will repair the road, but the washout does limit traffic to the mine, and that's probably a good thing. All corners monumented and a location notice at the lower portal. You'll pass this little cabin just before you reach the claim. Because it's well away from the mine, it may have been the powder house. It's empty now. MORE INFO ON THE CLAIM The Argonaut Lode Claim is 20.66 acres of Forest Service managed land in Baker County, Oregon. Township 8S, Range 37E, Section 19 NW. Oregon Mining Claim # ORMC 174476.The Argonaut mine generated a lot of excitement in the 1930's. Most mines near Sumpter date to the 1860's, so Argonaut was the 'new kid on the block', with virgin ground and high grade ore. In 1935, Sumpter residents Sam Proffett and W.W. Gibbs sold the prospect to Bascom Parker Sr (and junior) and F.N. Bonine. The Parkers extended the upper workings to 2,000 feet of tunnel and identified half a dozen veins. In 1939 H.C. Wilmot became the controlling partner and invested substantial funds to repair the road and add several buildings, including a flotation mill, which was moved from the nearby Balm Creek Mine. During this period they created the lower tunnel, known as the Wilmot Crosscut, which intersected the ore bodies 300 feet below the original workings. This added another 3,000 feet of tunnel In 1940, the Baker Herald ran a news story headlined "Big Strike of Gold at Argonaut - One of the most important in years". The paper interviewed H.E. Hendryx, Editor of the Oregon Mining Review. Hendryx was an old timer by then, but cut his teeth managing and engineering several of the area's high profile mines. Here's an excerpt. Keep in mind gold was valued around $35 per ounce at the time:From the first, the ore shoot has shown a rich streak of ore on the hanging wall side from a foot in width to as much as five feet wide. Along side the rich streak there is milling ore consistently carrying values of more than $20 in gold. At one point there is a width of eight feet sampling $26 per ton, with two feet of $200 ore and three feet of $85 ore. The hanging wall test samples at this writing, from the face of the drift return a rich streak, 18 inches wide, of more than $300 per ton. Sadly, just as Argonaut was starting to roll, World War II broke out and the War Production Board clamped down on non-essential mining. Post-war gold slipped in value and, like many other mines, Argonaut never recovered. Later in the 1960s a company called Baker Resources held multiple claims for about thirty years. They created a new adit north of the existing mines, but it's unclear if they ever returned to the old mines. The link below is an interesting video tour of Argonaut, made by a guy named "Ham". I don't know him, but he makes some awesome videos of local mines. The last few minutes of the video cover the newer adit which isn't part of this claim. It's higher up the mountain, collapsed, water-filled and would take a lot of work to reopen, so I skipped it. eBay won't allow a link, so you have to copy and paste this URL to your browser, or just Google Argonaut Mine and you'll probably find it.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcDM-SfBW4wI've held Argonaut for a few years thinking I'd keep it for myself. Long story short, too many irons in the fire. With gold returning to record highs, it seems a good time to let it go. When I explored the lower tunnel in the 90's I remember marveling over the "gold" inside. In hindsight, I was fresh out of college, didn't know much about minerals, and the "gold" I saw more likely was pyrite. I remember the lower tunnel seeming massive and running in several directions. I imagine it hasn't changed much. I wasn't aware of the upper adit back then, which is unfortunate. It probably was in better shape and would have been more enjoyable to explore. INFORMATION ABOUT THE AREA The nearest town to the claim is Sumpter, Oregon. It's a small town but has all the important amenities: hotels, grocery store, restaurants, saloons, post office, etc. If you need more resources, Baker City is about 30 minutes away. Baker City is known as the Queen of the Mining Towns and sits in the center of the Eastern Oregon Gold Belt; a one hundred mile long motherlode stretching from John Day to Cornucopia. This is where you find the BIG GOLD. Eastern Oregon produces monster sized nuggets. Stop by the US Bank branch in Baker City to see this display of lunkers, including the 80-ounce Armstrong Nugget. The Baker Heritage Museum is cool too, with a world class gem and mineral collection. Baker City loves it's mining heritage, and holds a Miners' Jubilee every July. ABOUT ME My name is Jeff and I located this claim. I'm always happy to answer questions, so ask away. I've been exploring old mines since childhood, and now my hobby is connecting abandoned mines and people who want to own them. Although I focus on mines, occasionally I find some great placer claims too. My background is in caving, so I enjoy exploring tunnels, yet do so with caution. As for the gold and other minerals inside the mine (or along the river) I leave the mining to you. I personally test prospect each of my claims and locate enough valuable mineral to validate the claim and make locating and prospecting worth a prudent person's time. I also invite you to test prospect any of my claims before purchasing to ensure your satisfaction. MY GUARANTEE I guarantee your claim will be rock solid, or I'll refund your money in full. I guarantee your claim will be located exactly where I say it is, won't overlap other claims, will be properly and legally staked, and located in an area legally open to mineral entry. Filing mineral claims is tricky. It takes a lot of research and experience, and there are many pitfalls for those who don't know what they're doing. All of my claims are processed by BLM adjudicators and vetted for mistakes, and I never sell a claim until its gone through this process and been listed on the BLM's LR-2000 database and assigned a serial number. The serial number of this claim is listed above in the section titled "more info about the claim". UNPATENTED CLAIMS Before bidding, please make sure you understand what an unpatented mining claim is. You do NOT own the surface rights of the land, only the mineral rights. You are allowed to camp on your claim for two week periods under dispersed camping rules, and if you are actively mining and wish to stay longer you can request permission from the managing agency (Forest Service or BLM). Other people are allowed to recreate on your claim, but they are not allowed to remove minerals, and you may post signs explaining this. Generally speaking, you are NOT allowed to build structures on an unpatented mining claim. Technically, you can, but the paperwork and bonding is so oppressive that few ever do. Prospecting methods such as panning, metal detecting, or sampling inside a mine generally require no special permission or permit, but other forms of mining typically do. The use of a dredge, bulldozer, or other mechanized equipment usually requires permission from the Forest Service or BLM in the form of a Notice or Plan of Operation. It's always wise to communicate with the managing agency before you begin mining. You are responsible for paying an annual maintenance fee of $165 to the BLM. This fee is due each year on, or before, September 1st. Fees have been paid on this claim for the year, and you will owe nothing more until September 1, 2020. You also have the option to file a small miners waiver, which allows you to pay only $15 in fees annually (instead of $165). To qualify, you must control fewer than 10 claims nationwide and agree to do $100 worth of labor to improve the claim. You also need to record paperwork with the county, which has it's own separate cost (anywhere from $15 to $85 depending on the county) The waiver method is cheaper but also a tad risky. If you mess up the paperwork, or forget to file, you can lose the claim. I'm happy to explain both methods fully. PATENTED CLAIMS Prior to 1994, you could convert an unpatented mining claim to a patented claim, thereby taking full ownership of the land and minerals. Unfortunately there's been a moratorium on patents since 1994, but many powerful people would like to see this moratorium lifted. PAYMENT TERMS In addition to the final bid price, a $250 processing fee is required of the winning bidder. This fee covers the filing of paperwork with the county and BLM, and offsets some of the expenses of creating a claim. I accept cash, checks, cashiers checks, or money orders. Sorry, Ebay doesn't allow Paypal for real estate transactions. I expect you to respond to my 'congratulations you've won' email within 24 hours of auction close and complete payment within a week. I generally don't offer financing plans or trades, unless you have something amazing to offer! As soon as your funds clear, I will record a quitclaim deed in your name with the county and BLM and send you a copy of that deed along with the original location notice, directions to your claim and GPS coordinates for the corner monuments. The claim is then 100% yours to hold as long as you want, sell, give away, or will to your heirs. Condition: I guarantee your claim will be rock solid, or I'll refund your money in full. I guarantee your claim will be located exactly where I say it is, won't overlap other claims, will be properly and legally staked, and be located in an area legally open to mineral entry. ALL BLM FEES PAID THROUGH SEPTEMBER 1, 2020., State/Province: Oregon, Seller State of Residence: Oregon, Acreage: 20.66, Featured Refinements: Gold Mining Claim

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