(above left) Leftover core samples from
extensive drilling and assay program conducted by Canadian mining company
Sage Gold. In a news release dated November 6, 2008, Sage said
they completed 19 diamond drill holes totaling 9,048 ft. on the Gold Hill
site. They also drilled and explored another vein, the Old Coup Vein, which
they said paralleled the main ore vein.
A glimpse of life at Gold Hill was offered by the developer
of Tonto Hills, Emmett Graham, who frequently explored the area. "There were
ruins for a blacksmith shop, bunkhouse and a boarding house near the
tunnel," he said. Newspaper reports from March of 1935, a time of
heavier mining activity at Gold Hill, indicates a cyanide plant was
added to the 25-ton stamp mill. Owners had spent $ 40,000 rehabilitating
the mill, putting in roads and increasing production. "Some of the ore
is being shipped direct to the smelter," the article states, "but the
greater part is going through the mill." Ten men were employed at the
time, with the mine superintendent, R.B. Van Buskirk, who was formerly
mine superintendent for the Andes Copper Mining Company in Potrerillos,
Chile, South America.
(Above) Main tunnel entrance, which branches off to the right
and intersects up and down vertical shafts, pictured below (right) level
building sites near the main tunnel
About the interior of the mine's main shaft: As you enter
the main shaft, it goes straight into the mountain several
hundred feet and deadends. Just before the end, there is a
tunnel that goes off to the right (see photo above)
As you proceed down that tunnel, it curves gently to the left
and you come to a number of ore chutes coming down from above,
and a bridge of thick timbers. (see photo above, left)
There's a very deep vertical shaft under the bridge, and upon
crossing the bridge, there is a large intersection cave, which
has vertical shafts going down approximately 150 feet, and also
vertical shafts going up, with fairly-recently assembled wooden
ladders. You'll see a panorama to the left that shows the
height of this "stack" of intersecting tunnels. There is
evidence of railroad tracks in the tunnel at some time, but the
rails and ties have been removed.
Note the blue ribbon on the wall (photo left). This is a marker
and assay point where the entire mine was mapped by Sage Gold.
When hiking up the mountain, you'll see deep open vertical
shafts which have been covered over with thick wire screen to
prevent accidental falls. Early history accounts mention a
number of vertical shafts from the top, which may have been
There's a cold breeze coming out the main shaft indicating quite
a depth of tunnels. Air in the main shaft seems good, although
air quality below has not been determined. It's interesting to
note in old newspaper accounts, one story from the Phoenix Daily
Herald, July 3, 1894 edition "Four of the men employed at the
Portmanteau Mine at Gold Hill, operated by Superintendant Frank
Nicholson, arrived from that camp and will remain to celebrate
the Fourth of July. Work has been suspended in the
meantime for the reason that the air in the lower levels have
become foul and will be purified during the suspension.
The main shaft is down 250 feet and shows a good body of ore all
the way down. Another prospect shaft is down 50 feet which will
cut the vein at about a hundred feet."
This is one of the few published references about life at the
camp in those days. The Phoenix Daily Herald reported that
there are a number of rich properties in the Cave Creek district
but they "only await capital to develop them." In a
published newspaper article in November of 1934, Alfred Lewis
wrote "George McManus has encountered a rich vein of ore
near Gold Hill. The vein is reported to be from two to five
inches wide. He is installing a small mill and plans to
reduce the ore as he develops the property."
first view of Gold Hill, as you come over the saddle. 117 acres of
your own private playground! There is notonly the gold potential,
but stunning scenery to explore, and even some wilderness home sites,
and Gold Hill spring, historically used by the miners for a century and
Looking to the South from Gold Hill has Carefree's Black
Mountain in the distance and Mexican Hat wash in the foreground
(above right photo)
Mature trees and plants around Gold Hill Spring. The
spring has historically been used for over a century by the miners,
who piped water down from the springs for use in the boarding and
bunkhouses, as well as mining needs. The spring is in the background
up the hill.
(above left) Mexican Hat
Wash near the bottom of the photo marks the original burro path which
miners used in the 1800s.
From an upcoming segment on Fox News "The Property Man with Bob
Massi. The property has been featured on world-wide media and many are
amazed that this remote site is right in the city of Scottsdale!
Portion of the vein above the main
tunnel. (above right) Sage Gold from Toronto drilling almost
two miles of core samples on Gold Hill
Arrastra Mill, similar to one originally
used at Gold Hill. These devices have been documented as early as 5 BC.
Heavy coarse rocks with chains or cables on them, are slowly pulled around
the circle by burro, mule or oxen, usually for 15 hours a day. Ore is
thrown into the circle to be slowly crushed by the rocks. Most of the
mines in the Cave Creek District originally used these crude devices to get
the gold. This arrastra is preserved as one of the Mining Exhibits at
the Cave Creek Museum and was discovered
completely covered with silt. Most arrastras are never found in one piece,
since gold hunters will tear them apart to look for bits of gold stuck in
crevices! The Arrastra at Gold Hill no longer exists, having been partially
washed away in the bottom of Old Coupe canyon, so named for an old
car wreck that lies in the bottom. Another rich vein was found
nearby and a tunnel was dug, angling toward the main vein. See
more photos below of the "Old Coup" shaft, the wrecked auto and
spectacular Old Coupe Canyon and Mexican Hat Wash
(above left) The old
coupe. There is an amazing story about this automobile related
in the book "Cave Creek and Carefree, AZ" by Francis Carlson
(Encom Press) It says that back in the 1930's, one of the miners
was able to get this car up the rugged canyon with the intention
of using the engine and transmission to power a jury-rigged ore
processing machine. They attached a long machine belt to the
car's drive shaft, which was connected to parts of an old
washing machine-and created a kind of mechanized ore processor
tub. When it finally gave out, the old car was left in the
canyon, where the ore vein was named after it, the Old Coupe
Vein. (above right) The car has since been battered and tumbled
by water rushing down the slot canyon in the occasional storms.
(Photo below left) Looking up from the Mexican Hat
Wash. (below right) Near the Old Coupe tunnel
Executive Summary for Gold Hill:
SEDAR documents indicate that in March 2008, Sage Gold of Toronto
exercised an option to earn a 50% undivided interest in the mineral
rights of Gold Hill. Subsequently, this agreement was
cancelled when Sage Gold signed an agreement on 1/14/10,
relinquishing any future interest/profits generated from the Gold
Hill Mine. They have no current or future involvement or interest in
While land owned by the luxury golf and resort community of
Desert Mountain surrounds Gold Hill, there is a perpetual access
agreement filed with Maricopa County. First part of the access
is on a US Forest Service Road # 3409.
How large a mine could this be? The Apex Rule says you can
sometimes follow the ore veins wherever they go, even under someone
else's land. Based, however, on the current ore projections, Gold
Hill is an excellent candidate for a small to medium-sized mining
operation. Basic permitting needed to start,
according to the Arizona
Dept. of Mineral Resources, should be possible, but as you move up
the milling process, for example using
Flotation Mills and requiring chemicals such as cyanide, the degree of difficulty
for permitting goes
up. The former geologist for Sage Gold, who knows the property well,
believes in the project and feels you can make money on it today.
Sage tried to exercise an option to purchase 50% of Gold Hill but
could not come to terms with the owners, who then decided to put it
on the market.
Experts have theorized that the mining of Gold Hill, ideally, would
be hard-rock mining, with the ore concentrated on-site and transported for
The video tour on Vimeo.com
is an excellent overview of the property. It can be accessed at:
https://vimeo.com/user17674522/review/101178890/f7e49d9b93 Links to other
documents are below.
In addition to mining potential, this land
is zoned R-43, for homes on one-acre, by the City of Scottsdale. As
an interesting point, after a mine is played out, there are a number
of other uses for them around the country such as archival storage,
security installations, underground or partially-underground Green
housing, radon treatments, solar and wind farms, parks and
The sellers are sensitive to the need for
due diligence on the buyers part and are willing to grant an
extended close of escrow for that purpose, as long as the results
are shared with them and filed as a mineral report with the Arizona
Dept. of Mineral Resources.
- Gold Hill consists of 6 major patented claims that were
consolidated together in 117 acres with fee simple ownership.
- The strike at Gold Hill was even covered by the San
Francisco Chronicle. After the deposits were discovered in 1874, a British
company took ore by burro down the Mexican hat wash, where Desert
Mountain is today, to the Town of Cave Creek, then to Prescott by
wagon, San Francisco by rail, and to England by ship for smelting.
The town of Cave Creek was started in 1877, three years after the
Gold Hill discovery.
- The mine has never been worked on a large scale commercially.
The company that owned the property and consolidated the 6 claims
into one parcel, had plans for a major commercial startup around
1890, but plans were shelved because of a global depression, and
never later, developed.
- Sage Gold of Toronto spent several years
starting in 2007, drilling almost 2 miles of test
cores and they agreed with earlier studies by a company called Pro Met, that
there are about 380,000 tons of proven, possible and probable ore at an average
of .27 troy ounces of gold per ton. Using a conservative estimate, if gold were $ 1,500 an ounce, each
ton would be worth $ 360 minus extraction costs, which could amount to $ 50 a
ton or more. Gold, of course, has broken through the $ 1900 an ounce threshold
in August, 2011. One of the principle questions has always
been "is there another ore body below the existing one?" One
of the geologist who worked extensively on-site with Sage Gold,
mapped the exisiting mine, and did assays at key points. He believes
those assays show more of a defined ore body than core samples
that Sage Gold did on the perimeter of the property.
Technical Geological Summary for Gold Hill:
"Gold Hill resembles the look and
geology of Butte, Montana" -Geologist C.W. Gabrielson
Some of the earliest professional and
scientific observations of the mine were done by C.W. Gabrielson, who
was immeasurably impressed with the area. He noted the geology of Gold Hill,
located in schist, intruded by a granite porphyry of Proterozoic age,
in many ways was similar to that of the prolific ore bodies of Butte,
Montana, where mines have been producing thousands of tons of ore for more
than a century. Gabrielson had a strong opinion that the vein and ore
deposits could run to significant depths, alluding to 5,000 feet depths on
rocks of similar structure! In a summary to the then-owner of the mine,
Gabrielson concluded many years ago, "you have a good, worth while property.
Properly handled, it is destined to become one of the profitable mines in
His studies were later used by the
ProMet Services, Inc. geologist, Mike Price, who came up with the proven,
probable and possible ore amounts of 380,000 tons. This was calculated from
mappings of the area and it was broken down thusly: Proven reserves at
Gold Hill to be 30,000 tons at 0.27 troy oz per ton of Gold, probable
reserves were announced to be 150,000 tons at .27oz/Au/ton and possible
reserves of 200,000 tons at .27oz/Au/ton. ProMetServices, Inc. which
did exhaustive research on the property quotes "this property does indeed
have unusual potential for development together with fortuitous
circumstances of convenient location, access (and) clean old workings. (Pro
Met documents available on pdf file below)
Toronto's Sage Gold drilled
nearly 2 miles of core samples in 2007-2008, and found the vein systems
are related to northwest to southeast-trending fault system. The Main
East vein structure was found to be linear, vertically-dipping with a
strike length of 840 feet exposed from a ridgeline elevation of 4,300
feet to 3,620 above sea level. Sage Gold's webpage on Gold Hill
quotes the following information: The Gold Hill property comprises
six patented mining claims located in Maricopa County, Arizona and is
located in schist intruded by a granite porphyry of Proterozoic age. The
mineralized fault structure has a strike length exceeding 4,000 feet and
has been delineated by numerous exploratory surface pits, development
tunnels, shafts, and adits. The highest grade in the recent 2008 channel
samples assays is 31.7 grams of gold per tonne (0.925 ounces per ton)
over a width of 1.2 metres and the highest grade grab sample is 54.8
grams of gold per tonne (1.598 ounces per ton) . The following samples
represent channel sample assays of greater than 10 grams of gold per
tonne over the specified widths. All assays are reported on the Sage web
Sage Gold's overview continues: "Sage also
completed a thirty three element ICP (induced couple plasma) analysis of
the sample material for base metals and trace elements. The geochemical
analyses indicate that there is relatively low amount of base metal
sulphides and that an average ratio of silver to gold is 3.74. A
series of parallel veins trend northwest – southeast and occur within a
Proterozoic age porphyritic granite that intrudes a sequence of schists
and argillites. Veins are exposed on the surface over a distance in
excess of 1.5 kilometres (4,920 feet). The veins are delineated by
exploratory pits, tunnels, shafts and adits. Historical workings from
the period 1884-1898 resulted in a 90 metres (300 foot) haulageway with
three production raises. Several exploratory winzes and underhand stopes
were also developed along with four shafts which have since caved in. In
the main haulage tunnel, driven within the East vein structure, oriented
almost north-south, veins are exposed over a length of 100 metres (328
feet) with the greatest density of quartz veins occurring over a width
of about 55 metres (180 feet) The Company has not yet conducted
sufficient exploration to define the indicated and inferred mineral
resources. As such, the potential quantity and grade disclosed above is
conceptual in nature based on sampling of underground workings at the
Gold Hill property. The sample results are relevant in that they
represent the most recent work conducted on the property. The
reserve/resource categories predate NI 43-101 and given that there has
been no feasibility study completed on the property these reserve
categories should be defined as inferred, indicated and measured mineral
resources. Further exploration may not result in the discovery of
additional mineral resources."
"All resource estimates quoted herein are
based on prior data and reports obtained and prepared by previous
operators. The Company has not completed the work necessary to verify
the classification of the mineral resource estimates. The Company is not
treating the mineral resource estimates as NI 43-101 defined resources
verified by a qualified person. The historical estimates should not be
relied upon. The Company has not completed a feasibility study and there
is no certainty that the Company's planned operations will be
economically viable. Sage intends to verify the historical results
through an underground sampling program followed by underground drilling
to test the lateral and vertical extent of the vein structures."
Despite their years of drilling,
Sage Gold never filed a formal mineral report with the Arizona
Department of Minerals. The report is not legally required. Sage
preferred to keep the findings to themselves. However, after the
drilling program, Sage Gold announced that they wanted to enter into a
partnership on the property with the current owners. The two
parties were never able to reach a mutually-satisfactory agreement.
Resources and Research Links: Require Adobe Reader
This large file contains everything we have, except for the recorded
easement. (50 pages), or you can specify the document listed below.
See a letter from the 1960s, where this geologist compares Gold Hill to the
geology of Butte, Montana. Good overview of the area, and on the second page,
the technical geological history.
page letter from 1981. ProMet did geological and metallurgical testing. An
excellent overview of Gold Hill and it's potential. First documentation of the
possible ore reserves in this letter.
article on the history of Gold Hill, plus an early map of the area. Carefree
Enterprise is no longer published.
on some of the latest drilling that was done on Gold Hill by Sage Gold, a
Canadian company. They are no longer associated with Gold Hill.
from various assay reports and letters on the projected reserves at Gold Hill.
8-page overview letter on what it would take to ramp up production and conduct
full-scale mining operations at Gold Hill.
of various assay reports from Jacob's Assay Office in Tucson, Iron King Assay in
Kingman and others.
Copy of recorded easement for perpetual access
to Gold Hill across private land.
"Gold bears the confidence of the world's
millions, who value it far above the promises of politicians, far above the
unbacked paper issued by governments as money substitutes. It has been that way
through all recorded history. There is no reason to believe it will lose the
confidence of people in the future."
Oakley R. Bramble
"Gold was not selected arbitrarily by
governments to be the monetary standard. Gold had developed for many centuries
on the free market as the best money; as the commodity providing the most stable
and desirable monetary medium."
Murray N. Rothbard
After watching the short video tour on
youtube.com, be sure to hit the "Back" button on your browser. For better
resolution, when watching the video, please click on the "480p" at the
bottom of the screen. Slight pauses in the running of the program may be
normal. Just featured by CNN Money
on the buttons to watch the recent TV news coverage
Sage Gold's Last Overview of the Gold Hill project after extensive
drilling in 2007-8. Concentrations found as high as .925 oz/Au per
See London's Daily Mail Gold Hill feature!!