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Elk Gulch Project
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Montana, Elk Gulch Vermiculite Mine For Sale.

This property consists of eighty-five (85) BLM mining claims near Dillon, Montana.
A significant investment by Montana Mining LLC (Nevis) has allowed the mine and mill to become production-ready.

A full due diligence report is available for qualified buyers or joint venture partners. Contact below.

Montana Vermiculite mine for sale

Montana Vermiculite Mine Claims MapIntroduction:
The vermiculite deposit at Elk Gulch, near Dillon, Montana has many characteristics necessary to become a major source of vermiculite concentrate product. A contiguous block of 85 mining claims owned by Montana Mining LLC (formerly HPS Mining) comprise the known resource. All of the data available at this time suggests that the vermiculite deposit at Elk Gulch has the potential for development into a significant source of commercial vermiculite. The vermiculite ore is relatively high grade and contains a range of particle sizes that can produce Number 1 through Number 5 sized concentrates. There is no evidence of asbestos contamination within the ore body.

Montana Mining LLC is proposing a prudent development plan. A significant investment by Montana Mining LLC (Nevis) has allowed the mine and mill to become production-ready.

Montana Vermiculite Mine for sale

Executive Summary:
Vermiculite is an industrial mineral that is widely used in a number of products and applications. The United States has traditionally been the largest consumer of vermiculite and until the early 1990’s was the world’s largest producer of the mineral.
Some uses for vermiculite:
* molded shapes bonded with sodium silicate for use in:
    - high-temperature insulation
    - refractory insulation
    - fireproofing of structural steel and pipes
* soil conditioner
* as loose-fill insulation
* packing material, valued for its high absorbency
* suitable as a substrate for various animals and/or incubation of eggs
* lightweight aggregate for plaster, proprietary concrete compounds, firestop mortar and cementitious spray fireproofing
* as an additive to fireproof wallboard
* component of the interior fill for firestop pillows, along with graphite
* carrier for dry handling and slow release of agricultural chemicals
* soil additive for plants, together with perlite for potted plants
* growing medium for hydroponics.
* means to permit slow cooling of hot pieces in glassblowing, lampwork, steelwork, and glass beadmaking
* used in in-ground swimming pools to provide a smooth pool base
* used in commercial hand warmers
* used as a sterile medium for the incubation of reptile eggs
* light-weight insulative concrete [1]
* used in AGA cookers as insulation
* used in explosives storage as a blast mitigant
* used to absorb hazardous liquids for solid disposal
* used in gas fireplaces to simulate embers
* used as a coating/impregnation on fiberglass sleeve, tape, rope and fabric to increase the useful temperature range and to add  abrasion resistance.

Due to the presence of an asbestiform mineral in the vermiculite ore found near Libby, Montana, the world’s largest vermiculite mining and milling operation ceased operation in 1991. (NOTE:Elk Gulch vermiculite ore contains no asbestos or deleterious impurities.)

That closure caused an imbalance in supply and demand that continues to this day. Much of the premium priced vermiculite concentrates now must be imported from China and South Africa, and domestic vermiculite consumed in the western United States must be obtained from mines in South Carolina and Virginia.

Montana Vermiculite Mine

The scarcity of premium sized vermiculite concentrates and the absence of a source of vermiculite in the western United States forms the basis of a significant business opportunity.

The deposit of vermiculite ore located at Elk Gulch, near Dillon Montana, contains a large amount of recoverable vermiculite that is not only of excellent quality but also contains the larger size particles needed to produce the premium priced products that are now only available as foreign imports. Elk Gulch vermiculite ore contains no asbestos or deleterious impurities. Currently, 85 contiguous claims cover the known and probable extent of the Elk Gulch vermiculite deposit.

Proven reserves are known to contain at least one million tons of vermiculite, with an indicated total reserve of over 3.6 million tons of ore. Excellent quality vermiculite concentrates have already been produced and marketed from a now inactive milling operation located on the Elk Gulch claims. Montana Mining LLC is currently seeking joint venture partners or outright sale to fully develop this valuable property.

Vermiculite ore body figures

Mining ventures have traditionally carried a significant amount of risk due to the uncertain viability of a mining operation versus the high costs of exploration, acquisition and development. The Elk Gulch project has characteristics that should reduce and almost eliminate risk.
These include the following:
· The Elk Gulch group of mining claims owned by Montana Mining LLC are long standing, unencumbered, and generally acknowledged to contain the essentially all of the vermiculite ore body.
· The exact location of a significant body of ore that can be immediately mined has already been defined by drilling. Past drilling and sampling of the deposit indicate a proven reserve of over 1 million tons of vermiculite ore with a grade of 25.8% vermiculite. At an assumed recovery rate of 50% and an average selling price of $135/ton for 90% concentrate, the indicated value of recoverable vermiculite approaches $200 million. Suggested probable and possible reserve estimates indicate a potential value several times greater.
· It is probable that significant amounts of vermiculite can be produced at Elk Gulch under the provision of an existing Small Miners Exclusion.
· A small pilot-plant milling operation has been successfully operated and produced products that have been sold to customers in Arizona, California, and New Mexico. Repairs and upgrades to the mill are now being completed and the mill can quickly be put into production to generate cash flow.
· An upgraded milling operation should be able to produce the larger sized Number 1 and Number 2 products currently not available in the United States except as imports.

The immediate goal of Montana Mining LLC is to develop the Elk Gulch property into a profitable vermiculite mining and milling operation to provide the vermiculite industry 25,000 tons per year of all sizes of commercial vermiculite, as well as to form the basis for an exfoliated and processed vermiculite products business. Montana Mining LLC is currently seeking joint venture partners or outright sale to develop the Elk Gulch project.

Vermiculite Mine For Sale

Location and Geology:
The Elk Gulch vermiculite deposit lies at the southwest extension of the Ruby Range and borders both Beaverhead and Madison Counties. Elk Gulch lies approximately 14 miles southeast of Dillon that, in turn, is approximately 60 miles south of Butte on Interstate Highway 15. Actual driving distance between Elk Gulch and Dillon is approximately 22 miles.

Recent mining and milling operations are located in the northern half of Section 11, T9S, R7W in Beaverhead County. The vermiculite deposit lies on land administered by the Bureau of Land Management. Elk Gulch is easily accessed during most of the year by means of improved dirt roads. However, these roads are not normally maintained during winter months and are frequently impassible to wheeled vehicles.

The vermiculite ore is found in Precambrian metamorphic rocks and has been formed by the alteration of biotite in gneiss and schist. A detailed examination of the geology of the Elk Gulch area was made by Dick Berg of the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology in 1995.

According to Berg, unlike the ore bodies at Vermiculite Mountain (near Libby, Montana) and Phalabowra (South Africa), the vermiculite within the Elk Gulch ore body occurs as pods, lenses, and irregular zones in the metamorphic rocks. The ore body that has been exposed by the mining operation indicates significant small scale folding and faulting. Mining experience and drill hole sampling indicate that the thickness of the ore zone is typically 20-35 feet thick. The ore zone appears to primarily surround ultramafic intrusive rocks (e.g. peridotite), but this may be a reflection on resistance of the ultramafic intrusive to weathering and to choice of drilling targets.


Montana VermiculiteOre Reserves:
There are three groups of mining claims that cover the deposit. The oldest group of claims is a contiguous block of 65 claims that lie almost entirely in Beaverhead County. These claims, together with those staked by Stansbury and later awarded to Montana Mining LLC as part of the foreclosure, are here referred to collectively as the Montana Mining Group of claims. Additional mining claims have been located adjacent to this group of claims under the name of Soil Enhancements Inc.

Although some small surface exposures can be found on some of these claims no drilling or other developmental work has proven ore outside the Montana Mining claim area.

Several companies have calculated ore reserves in the Montana Mining Group claims based on drill hole samples. The first reserve analysis was made by Montana Resources Incorporated in 1991. In 1992 another resource analysis was independently calculated by Martin Foote for the Knife River Coal Company. Foote used analyses of drill hole samples that were obtained during 1970, 1975, and 1979 by DeKalb Mining Company; in 1989 by Mineral Products (MPI), and in 1992 by Knife River Coal.
Unfortunately, analyses were not available for many of the drill hole samples so a significant amount of data used in Foote’s calculations are visual estimates and point counts. Be that as it may, the following ore reserves were calculated using a 10% cutoff:

In 1997 Dillon Vermiculite conducted another drilling campaign. Most of this drilling took place along the east side of the ridge running south from the current pit. The results of this drilling program were summarized in a report authored by Mike Garverich and a copy of this report is included in the Appendix of the PDF report that is available for qualified buyers or joint venture partners. (See contact information below.)

Stansbury Holdings Corporation purchased Dillon Vermiculite in 1999. Soon afterwards, Stansbury summarized the Elk Gulch resource as follows: “Two major drilling programs have been performed and the estimated amount of ore ranges from 8,000,000 tons at 15% to 5,869,000 tons at 35% vermiculite.

An evaluation of drill hole data performed in 1992 indicates mineral deposits of 7,311,336 tons of ore at an average grade of 25.3%. Averaging these values, the data suggest that with an overall recovery of 67% and an average value of $100/ton, the deposit may yield up to $127 million of marketable concentrates. At a production rate of 50,000 tons per year, the calculated mine life is 25 years.”

Ore Characterization:
The grade of vermiculite ore within the Elk Gulch ore typically ranges from 50% upward. Since the vermiculite thus far mined has occurred in pods, lenses, and zones it is difficult to establish an “average” Elk Gulch ore. The analyses of 10 samples of outcropping ore and mill feed collected over a period of 8 years have been averaged to yield the data shown in the table below. It is believed that these 10 samples are fairly representative of the ore body as it is presently understood.

vermiculite sizes table

Vermiculite size graph

The size distribution of the vermiculite ore appears to be consistent even though the grade of the 10 samples ranges from 26% to 94% vermiculite. The size distribution within all 10 samples is shown at right. It should be kept in mind that a large number of variables must be taken into account in order to profitably mine and beneficiate vermiculite ore, so the data shown here does not necessarily describe actual mill feed.

Contacts for this project:

Primary Contact:
Bill Blomgren
E-Mail: bblomgren@socal.rr.com
Phone: 661-298-2960
Cell: 818-424-2955

Secondary Contact:
Karen Stout
E-Mail: krstout50@ieway.com
Phone: 509-926-6068
Cell: 509-993-1065






contact owner below


Out Right Sale
contact phone numbers or
e-mail below





Bill Blomgren

Phone: 661-298-29605
Cell: 818-424-2955


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