Early prospectors didn’t find all the gold in Montana. A gold nugget weighing about 2 pounds (27.5 ounces) is the largest gold nugget found in Montana during the last 80 years. The Highland Centennial Gold Nugget was recovered in September 1989 by the Stratton family while working a placer claim in the Highland Mountains south of Butte. The nugget is currently on display at the Mineral Museum at the University of Montana in Butte, Montana.
Montana still has plenty of gold. The following picture is a nugget found by Bob Cameron at the Old Discovery Placer mine near Lincoln, Montana, a property we are featuring for sale. Mr. Cameron found the nugget in the summer of 2008 using a metal detector.
As the scale suggests, the nugget weighs 14.9 ounces. Since that time at least seven other nice sized nuggets have been found there with metal detectors. I have found trace amounts of placer gold on the several occasions that I have played around on the location.
The current price of gold has spurred a modern day gold rush of sorts in Montana. In addition to the “Mom and Pop” operations springing up in the western part of our state, it seems high prices are attracting the attention of corporate America.
The famed Drumlummon mine of Marysville recently reopened after a ninety year hiatus, with the new owners finding a six foot wide gold-bearing seam only feet from the tunnel excavations of the old time miners. East of Missoula, Montana, near Rock Creek, plans are in the works for a gold mine that reportedly will produce around 7.6 million ounces of gold ore. As well, Bear Gulch near the ghost town of Garnet is seeing the redevelopment of mining activity. East of Lincoln, Atna Resources is in development stage for Columbia (former 7-UP Pete) mine.
Gone are the days of pick and shovel. Today many modern tools exist to help one find gold. I use a White’s IDX Pro metal detector and recently Bill and I purchased a Gold Magic mechanized panning system created by Century Mining of Columbia Falls, Montana. I truly enjoy looking for gold and even though it is usually a long process, as you can see from the picture, the payoff can be very big. So if you want a mining adventure, maybe Montana is the place to look.