aka Carter Creek aka Frying Pan Basin

Dillon, located 60 miles south of Butte, has historically been a ranching and railroad community. No important placer or quartz mines were developed in the vicinity. However, several small, isolated mining areas are located near Dillon (Winchell 1914; Wolle 1963). The mines of Carter and Hoffman Creeks in the Ruby Range are 10 miles southeast of Dillon. Ore occurs in veins cutting limestone or lying along the limestone - gneiss contact. On Hoffman Creek the Log Cabin claim has chalcopyrite and pyrrhotite and the Mayflower claim has magnetite, quartz and calcite in a vein in limestone. On Carter Creek the Ursa Major claim has magnetite, calcite and quartz in a contact vein and in the adjoining Attorney claim chalcopyrite and pyrrhotite are in a quartz gangue. These claims contain some copper ore. Few or none of these mines has ever achieved production (Sahinen 1935; Winchell 1914; Wolle 1963).

The Frying Pan Basin is seven to ten miles northwest of Dillon. It showed some placer activity in 1933, but the production did not merit listing in the Minerals Yearbook. When Lyden (1948) examined the area, he was unable to locate any evidence of placer activity. The area has rhyolitic volcanic ash mingled with rhyolite flows. The nearly pure white ash has been used in a few buildings in Dillon and Butte (Lyden 1948; Winchell 1914; Wolle 1963).

Graphite deposits near Dillon lie chiefly on the ridge between Van Camp Creek and Timber Gulch near the southwest end of the Ruby Range. The deposits are about 15 miles by road from Dillon. On the Faithful claim, seams of graphiterun parallel in marbalized limestone while on the Lucky Boy claim the seams are in the underlying quartz, mica and garnet schists. Another outcrop in this claim is in irregular seams on both sides of an intrusion of graphic granite. West of this dike the graphite is chiefly in veins and along faults not parallel with the bedding. Considerable high grade graphite deposits occur at the Crystal Graphite Co. claims which are in the Ruby mining district (Winchell 1914; WPA 1941).


The Montana Mine Index lists Dillon as a sub-districtof the Ruby District. Sahinen (1935) discusses the Dillon district mines in Carterand Hoffman Creeks to the southeast of the town of Dillon and in the Frying Pan Basin to the north of the town. The Crystal Graphite Company property in southwest T8S R7W isheld by Winchell to be in the Dillon district, but most other sources place it in the Ruby district.


Crystal Graphite

The Crystal Graphite mine, located at the common corners of sections 29, 30, and 31 T8S, R7W, is the only mine in the Dillon district to achieve recorded production. It is listed in the Montana Mine Index from 1935 to 1938 and was discussed earlier in the mining literature in 1903, 1904, 1908, and 1918. The Crystal Graphite mine generally held to be located in the Ruby District and not in the Dillon District. The mine is discussed in detail in the Ruby District Geach (1972).


Geach, R. D.

1972 "Mines and Mineral Deposits (except fuels) Beaverhead County, Montana", Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, Bulletin 85}.

Lyden, Charles J.

1948 "The Gold Placers of Montana", Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Memoir 26. Montana School of Mines, Butte.

Sahinen, Uuno M.

1935 "Mining Districts of Montana", Thesis, Montana School of Mines, Butte.

Smith, Lewis A.

1932 "Chromite", Minerals Yearbook, 1932, U. S. Bureau of Mines. p. 300.

Swallow, G. C., J. B. Trevarthen and Jacob Oliver

1891 Reports of Inspectors of Mines, State of Montana, year ending November 30th, 189}. Journal Publishing Company, Helena.

Winchell, Alexander Newton

1911 "A Theory for the Origin of Graphite as Exemplified in the Graphite Deposit near Dillon, Montana", Economic Geology, Vol. 6, pp 218-230.

1914 "Mining Districts of the Dillon Quadrangle, Montana and Adjacent Areas", U. S. Geological Survey, Bulletin 574}.

Wolle, Muriel Sibell

Montana Pay Dirt Sage Books, Athens, Ohio 1963.

Work Projects Administration (WPA) Mineral Resources Survey

1941 Montana Mine Index, An Alphabetical Index Arranged by Counties, Districts and Mines of Information on Montana Mines from 1867-1940. Montana School of Mines, Butte.