Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. is proud to present the Historic Erickson Gold Mining Claim. This is a 20 acre lode mining claim for sale exclusively through Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. The claim is located just outside of Keystone, Colorado and has been properly staked and marked at all corners. All Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. claims have been meticulously surveyed, mapped and researched. Field work is completed by our own experienced, well versed Mine Survey Team.
The Erickson was opened in 1880 when the price of silver was still supported by the US Government. It was opened between 1880-1888 by an adit and a shaft totaling roughly 400'. In 1888 the mine was surveyed for patent but for whatever reason, that is where the process stopped. The property was never patented or made private. The mine was mothballed in 1891 with the fall of silver prices and the Great Panic of 1893 saw t the mine become completely abandoned.
According to a local mining engineer, the mine was acquired in 1898 or 1899 by a German group of investors. They started operations on the mine which included opening 2 other adits on the reported ore strike zone. The goal here was not silver but gold.
The company drove a good bit of drifting. From some accounts, as much as 4000'. This included expansion of the existing workings. The company exported many tons of ore which was shipped from the mine, through San Francisco and from there to another processor. This continued from 1900 to 1915 with no reporting of what ores were being shipped and what the values were. Miners of the time suggested that they had hit upon a wide gold vein that has been intermittently sampled by some of the largest mines in Colorado.
From 1915 to 1921 there was no ore shipped due to an avalanche in 1915 which destroyed the road and one of the portals of the mine. The mine owners brought in their own engineers from Europe to repair the road and the portal. The US Bureau of Mines requested a report of the mine workings around 1918 and were ignored.
The mine shipped ores for another 6 years after 1921. By 1929 the mines were reported as being bulkheaded and closed.
In 1944, the mine was examined again by another group from Germany who may or may not have had relation with the prior company. Exploration and shoring work was completed but the mine was never re-opened.
A pioneering skier from Keystone reportedly explored the workings of the mines in 1974-5? He reported “miles of tunnels that went nowhere”. His assessment lends credibility to the reported work done in the early 1900s.
Surveyors reported large amounts of visible gold found in the discarded ores. Advisable to start by working existing dumps before getting underground to work the veins. Located in the Keystone/Argentine mining district.
History of the Mines
The Erickson is 3 miles southwest of Montezuma, on the southwest slope of Keystone Mountain, at an altitude of about 12,000 feet. It was discovered by J. B. Erickson in July 1880 and was worked from 1884 to 1888. During this time a shaft 125 feet deep and an adit reported to be about 250 feet long were driven on the vein. In 1885 20 tons of lead ore netted the owners $600, and in 1886 37 tons of unknown value was shipped. The vein strikes N. 45° E. and is nearly vertical. Most of the ore produced came from stopes above the 125-foot level of the shaft, but the ground was so heavy that the stopes became dangerous, large masses of ore and waste caving daily with little warning, and in 1888 work in them was abandoned. The ore in these upper workings reached a maximum width of 18 inches; in the adit, some distance lower on the vein, the ore seam was much narrower. The galena ore is reported to assay about 25 ounces in silver to the ton. The country rock of the region is the Swandyke gneiss, which strikes from north to northeast and is nearly vertical but dips steeply to the west in many places. The vein is on the line of tear faulting that formed when the Williams Range underthrust broke the overturned fold a short distance north of Tiger.