SILVER BELL MINE
The Silver Bell Mine claim consists of one (1) unpatented lode claim covering 20.66 acres on federal land managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The claims covers the historical Silver Bell Mine which was mined for gold, silver, and base metals.
The claim has four (4) shafts and several prospect pits, tailings, and ore piles.
I took 3 samples of the outcrops and tailings of the NW shaft. The best sample ran 127 ppm silver, 1.8% copper, and 8.9% lead. All three samples had decent silver. The actual vein probably runs hotter than what I sampled and could be located with a little work. I didn’t have time to sample the other shafts.
The Silver Bell Mine is located in Elko County, Nevada home to some famous large (+1 mill ounce) gold mines including Rain, Leeville, Marlboro Canyon, Generator Hill, Kinsley Mountain and Long Canyon.
There has been a flurry of exploration in this area in the last decade which has produced a greater understanding of the area’s geology and potential. We have several good reports of nearby projects- including some drill results.
Location and Access: Starting at Wells, Nevada take I-80 East for 14 miles. Take Exit 365 towards Independence Valley. Turn right (south) and drive on Fr 435 Rd for 0.6 miles. Take the second left and drive on a dirt road for 14 miles to the southern base of the Wood Hills foothills. The mine road is a right turn heading north to the mine for 0.87 miles.
GPS Coordinates: Lat: 40.945711° Long: -114.782112° (Silver Bell Mine NW shaft).
Mining and Exploration Potential: The Silver Bell 2 Mine is in limestones which have been thrust over older metamorphic rocks (marbles). There is a string of silver mines in the foothills areas.
But recently, the lower plate marbles and metamorphic rocks are also mineralized.
This could be either a small production opportunity or part of a larger exploration play.
The veins are in shear zones and trending faults. The shear zones could open up and have some decent tonnage and grades – some of which could be mined with surface methods.
Finding and defining these veins could be relatively straightforward. Soil and rock sampling and geophysics would be effective and cheap.
In the near term, at least 10,000 tons of economic ore could be developed.
In Nevada, you often see high grade silver on top of gold deposits. The Wood Hills has had intense interest from exploration companies due to the proximity of the Long Canyon Gold deposit – which Newmont purchased for over a billion dollars.
Elko County, Nevada is one of the premier mining jurisdictions in the world and any discovery made here will generate significant interest among the dozens of mining companies active in the county.
Lafayette District: The Silver Bell Mine is located in the Lafayette Mining District which covers the Wood Hills mountain range and parts of Independence Valley (east) and Clover Valley (west).
The Lafayette District was discovered in 1925 and shipped a small amount of silver-lead ore. Asamera Minerals staked a claim block in the late 80’s.
In 2013, NuLegacy Gold drilled the Wood Hills to the north of the claim with some decent results. Canyon Gold also has a project in the Spruce Hills nearby. We have the Spruce Hills geological report which is very good.
The Long Canyon Mine, discovered by AuEx Ventures, is located in the nearby Pequops. Long Canyon was purchased by Newmont for $1.2 billion in 2011. The importance of Long Canyon was that it was a traditional Carlin style deposit – found far outside the Carlin trend. This potentially opened up whole new areas in Nevada that might host these desirable deposits which have produced 200 million ounces of gold.
The Lafayette District, where the Silver Bell claim is located, is 15 miles to the west of the Pequops.
Regional Geology: The Silver Bell Mine is located within the Basin and Range physiographic province. The Basin and Range province covers most of Nevada and consists of narrow NE trending mountain ranges between flat, arid valleys and basins.
Local Geology: The Lafayette District covers the Wood Hills mountain range. The southern end of the range is Ordovician (450 mya) limestones which were thrust on top of older, Cambrian (540 mya) marbles and metamorphic rocks.
Both the upper plate limestones and the lower plate marbles are mineralized. The contact between the two plates (underneath the limestones) should have enhanced mineralization and could be the best drill target.
The veins in the Lafayette District are in shear zones and trending faults.
The best assay I got of the vein material ran 3.7 ounces per ton silver, 1.8% copper, and 8.9% lead. Altogether this would make the material $446 per ton. I suspect there are higher silver-gold areas which would be even better.
Hall, Shawn, ‘Old Heart of Nevada, Ghost Towns and Mining Camps of Elko County’, University of Nevada Press, 1998.
Lapointe, D, Tingley, J.V., Jones, R.B., ‘Mineral Resources of Elko County, Nevada’, Bulletin 106, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, 1991.
Tingley, J.V., Lafayette District Report, Nevada Bureau of Mines, 1984.
Nevada is consistently ranked as one of the top mining jurisdictions in the world for being mining-friendly and continuing to produce major discoveries. If Nevada was a country it would be the 5th largest gold producer in the world (after Australia, Canada, China, and Russia). Nevada is home to the Carlin Trend, the Cortez Trend, the Walker Lane Trend, the Getchell Trend and many other prolific gold producing regions. In addition to gold Nevada also has major mines producing silver, copper, lithium, iron ore, magnesium, gems and many other minerals. Nevada is 85% owned by the federal government and most of this land is available for claim staking. This means some of the best mining ground in the world is open to small prospectors – a very unique situation. There are many mining companies active in Nevada and therefore, multiple potential buyers for any discovery you make. Canadian based junior exploration companies are particularly active in Nevada.
Why Buy a Claim?
Buying a claim is a great way to get started in mining and prospecting. Buying a claim that is professionally staked reduces your upfront work and the risk of making a mistake on your paperwork or in the field. Our claims are in areas with historical mining activity and most have numerous pits, shafts, and adits to explore. Finding these claims takes lots of research that is already done for you. The best place to find gold is where people have already found it!
I have been working in mineral exploration in the southwestern United States and Alaska for 18 years. I have co-founded four junior mining companies and managed numerous drilling and exploration projects. I have worked with large and small mining companies and know what types of projects they are looking for that can be advanced by small prospectors. I have also worked on small hardrock production projects. I usually try to find claims that have known high grade veins that can be produced and that also have some exploration upside. We stand by our claims and fix any problems that come up. We can also help you with your annual filings. All our claims have a BLM serial number and can be found on the U.S. BLM MLRS website database. We hire the same professional claim staking companies that the large mining companies hire and all the claims have professionally drafted and accurate maps.
How is ownership of the claim transferred?
Ownership of mining claims is transferred with a Quit Claim Deed which we prepare. We pay all claim transfer fees and file the claim transfer paperwork with the BLM and Elko County. The BLM takes about 2-3 weeks to process the claim transfer (Quit Claim) and register the claim in your name. The Elko County Recorder usually take 1-2 weeks to return the recorded Quit Claim Deed. Once the transfer is complete we will send you all the original documents including the file stamped Quit Claim Deed, the original location notices and claim maps.
How Much are the Annual Claim Fees?
The BLM charges a $165 per claim annual maintenance fee which is due on September 1st each year. The BLM fees can be paid online through their claim management portal. Elko County requires that a Notice of Intent to Hold form is filed the first year by Nov 1st along with payment of the recording fee of $12 plus $12 per claim.
If you own less than 10 mining claims you can qualify for a waiver of the annual maintenance fee by filing a Small Miner’s Waiver. However, the Small Miner’s Waiver requires that you perform $100 in labor or improvements on the claim each year.
Claim fees for the 2023-24 assessment year have been paid.
International buyers must either have dual US citizenship and US address or have a US entity or company to own the claim.