There's Still Gold in Idaho's Hills

By Tom Bacon

A small gold mining and milling company in Idaho's Silver Valley has struck gold again in a couple of old, largely played-out mines in central Idaho. The New Jersey Mining company reports that sample drilling in an old mine near Elk City Idaho has turned up  as much as half an ounce of gold per ton of rock.

The firm bought mining claims in the mountainous area from another exploration company just two months ago.

The news of the high-grade gold discovery near Elk City follows by just a few days a strike in the old McKinley mine in the same general area. Both mines are in the Nez Perce National Forest east and south of Grangeville, Idaho. The region once had more than 20 mines in the gold rush days dating from the late 18-hundreds.

While most exploration now involves stripping away huge volumes of rock to get at near-surface gold deposits, the New Jersey company is more a niche operation, buying up and drilling holes in old mining patents largely ignored by the larger firms.

New Jersey president Del Steiner said the new Eastern Star operation at Elk City is a claim patented more than a century ago with virtually no exploration since then. His company operates a custom milling plant near Kellogg, Idaho in at the middle of active silver mines. If the firm finds marketable amounts of gold in the old mines, it'll fetch more than 12-hundred dollars an ounce in today's market.
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