The Midwest Mineral Property is located in Mineral County Colorado in the Creede Mining District. The property consists of four (4) contiguous lode mining claims, staked, and mapped to provide maximum coverage of the relevant locatable deposits in the area.
The Midwest Property is reported to have been discovered in 1899 on an outcrop of gold bearing chalcopyrite. No real development was executed until 1910, and the mine operated from that date until 2003 when John Jackson, the last known owner, let the property lapse due to old age and failing health.
The Midwest as it currently sits is the third incarnation of the property. The drift entrance is at 10,250 of elevation. This is actually the lower entrance. The original drift being the Colewood Tunnel which is roughly 10,450 and a few hundred feet north. The Colewood tunnel is largely unmapped but is reported to have a winze at 60 that drops into the current workings of the Midwest. There is also another collapsed drift behind the air/electric building. This portal suffered from a lot of slough and loose dirt. It was replaced by the current drift in 1953 or 1956.
The mine was worked for high grade silver, with reported values from 11oz/T to 60oz/T. In the mid-1960s, gold was discovered at a crosscut 1000 into the drifting. This crosscut was driven 1000 and showed enough value that Colorado Fuel and Oil (CF&I) and Homestake Mining purchased shares in the operation and invested many thousands of dollars into the renovation and development.
In 1982, Homestake, under the guidance of Mr. Jackson had cleared and shored all of the workings at the Midwest and were ready for commercial scale mining. Unfortunately, the gold prices were on a steady decline and Homestake was too over-extended on other projects to devote any more time to the project. They kept the property mothballed and in good condition up until 1993 when the federal government voided claims across the nation.
Some USGS reports state that there was no production from the property during its lifecycle. This is in contradiction to Johnson who stated that the property consistently provided $100-150k in gold and silver that was processed in Leadville. In his words, if we reported the output of the mine, we would have been taxed on it and all the regulations would have been required to operate the site.
Samples and assays on the property were taken from the Colewood Tunnel (collapsed) dump and handpicked from the remnants of the dumps at the Midwest. In 2010, there were thousands of core samples as well. Surveyors fished through these cores for specimens that showed metallic disposition and took these for assay as well.
There is excellent access to the site via established old mining roads that are currently used for touring and access to the upper mountain range. There are steep grades that may be challenging in wet weather and unpassable in snowy conditions.
This is an underground property. It is not suitable for open pit work. It is not suitable for surface working or processing dumps. Development will be progressed by opening up the established veins and fault deposits that have been identified underground. Stoping and packing out high grade ores for processing will be the general method required to make this property a profitable venture.
There are defined and mapped veins running through the property and various veins that have been intercepted but never worked on a commercial scale.
The majority of the dumps were removed from the property in 2003 when an EPA funded clean up, concerned with dumps bleeding into the creek, compounded and removed much of the dump. There are still some parts of the dump that can be found with a careful examination of the area.
Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. acquired the site in 2011, staked and mapped the surface in 2012 and held the site until it was sold in 2015. The buyers were unable to secure funding for development and the property was returned to Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. in 2017. It has not been addressed since that time.
The property is currently under a notice of Exploration with an active bond to allow for access into the workings to examine the geology and minerals as well as sampling. The primary drift is slated to be opened in Spring of 2023.