The company purchased the mine in 1995. The property consists of three parcels totaling 550 acres of fee simple title. Also included are 440 acres of adjacent mining claims.
The Brown Bear gold mine is located within the Deadwood - French Gulch Mining District of Trinity County, California, approximately 30 miles west-northwest of Redding. At the brown bear mine, approximately 400 to 500 thousand ounces of gold were produced during the period from 1876 to 1950 from a series of quartz veins that range in thickness from 18 inches to 20 feet.
Although no calculated ore reserve exists at this time, a number of attractive exploration targets have been developed by extensive exploration. The presence of several ore grade exposures of veins in old workings indicates that ore does exist. Based on prior exploration and production it is logical to assume that the results of a well designed exploration program will result in production of between 50 and 150 tons of ore a day on a continuing basis with a grade of between 0.5 and 2 ounces of gold per ton.
The Deadwood - French Gulch mining district is one of the larger gold districts in the State of California having produced 1.5 million ounces. The Brown Bear mine has had the largest production in the district having produced between 400 and 500 thousand ounces from ore that averaged 1 ounce of gold per ton.
The district was first prospected in 1849. The first lode deposit, the Washington mine was discovered in 1852. The initial discovery of what would become the Brown Bear mine, two miles to the west of the Washington, was made in 1873 and mining began in 1876.
The most significant period of Brown Bear production continued until 1912. Since that time, production has often been intermittent with the last production in 1950.
Much of the success of the mine in the 1920's and 1930's can be attributed to E.E. Erich, a Stanford, 1918, trained geologist and mining engineer who was involved with the mine for over fifty years. During the period from 1930 to 1938, Erich successfully demonstrated the theory that ore was localized at vein intersections by developing and mining two ore shoots at projected vein intersections within unexplored portions of the property. The two ore shoots had a total production of 8,600 ounces of gold.
Closures of the mine can be attributed to rising cost with a fixed gold price and failure to focus on specific exploration targets. Drifting often continued past a good target with the hope of finding a bigger, richer vein (the price of gold was increased from $20.76/oz to $35.00/oz on January 31,1934).
Gold values are not evenly distributed within veins and large portions of the veins contain only traces of gold. Ore grade values are confined to shoots within veins. Old mine maps indicate that shoots containing over 5,000 ounces of gold have been mined at the Brown Bear mine. Highest gold values were found at the intersections of veins or cross faults near contacts between the "birds-eye" porphyry and dark carbonaceous slate of the Bragbon formation. Many local concentrations of specimen gold have been found within veins.
Prior exploration and a review of existing data have developed a number of attractive targets. Surface sampling, trenching and shallow rotary drilling by Santa Fe Mining developed nine attractive targets. Not all of these targets were drilled, however five of the nine targets did return favorable drill results. The Belmont area, where a number of ore grade intercepts were encountered in several holes, gave the greatest encouragement. One five-foot interval assayed 0.80 oz/ ton gold. This target lies at a depth of approximately 65 feet.
Over the past 100 years, this property has never been publicly offered. The sales that have occurred have been between parties who shared one primary basis for valuing the land. That was gold mining.
With historic gold production around 500,000 ounces, the unexplored deposit holds great potential, however it may remain an untapped dream.
In a Trinity County, noted for its world class fishing, rugged mountaineering and other recreations, the Brown Bear's future can be in your hands.
Historic buildings remain as a legacy to the town of Deadwood. The bunk house, dining hall and smaller remnants of a flourishing mining camp stand in a state of arrested decay. You choose their future.