Apex, a station on the Oregon Short Line Railroad north of Dillon, has given its name to a large and remarkably unmineralized district in relatively low elevations between the Big Hole and Beaverhead Rivers. This area is also called the Nogo district. While some of Montana's leading placer camps and active lode mines were in the Pioneer Mountains to the west, the Apex district has no history of placering and an almost insignificant lode mining history. Only one mine in the district has reported any production. The Millionaire mine was active for five seasons between 1911 and 1921. It was reported to have shipped some oxidized lead ore with silver and gold values. The mine produced 112 tons of ore which yielded 11 ounces of gold, 2,556 ounces of silver, 313 pounds of copper and 52,747 pounds of lead. Nearly half of this production occurred in 1911 (Geach 1972; Sahinen 1935).
BOUNDARIES OF THE DISTRICT
Because the Apex district is so far overshadowed by the active mining districts to the west, little notice was given to it in the mining literature. Since the nearby Birch Creek mines shipped their ore and concentrates from the Apex station, Wolle (1963) and several other writers included the Apex district with the Birch Creek mines.
The district's boundaries may best be defined as those established for its neighboring district and not for intrinsic reasons of its own. However, these boundaries coincide with geographic features on the west where the Birch Creek district abuts the Oregon Short Line and on the east along the Beaverhead River. Figure 1 shows the district boundaries.
HISTORIES OF SELECT MINES
The Millionaire mine is listed in the
Montana Mine Index i
n 1911 - 1913, 1916, and 1921. The mine was reported to have shipped some oxidized lead ore. The mine's location is no longer available (Sahinen 1935).
Although not historic, the Sodak mine is mentioned here because it is on state land. The South Dakota Uranium and Milling Company (SODAK) leased the property and mined manganese. There is no record of production.
Bowman, A. H. and Barclay Craighead
Montana, Resources and Opportunities Edition
, Vol. 3. Department of Agricultural, Labor and Industry, Division of Publicity.
Geach, R. D.
1972 "Mines and Mineral Deposits (except fuels) Beaverhead County, Montana",
Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, Bulletin 85
Sahinen, Uuno M.
1935 "Mining Districts of Montana", Thesis, Montana School of Mines, Butte.
Wolle, Muriel Sibell
Montana Pay Dirt.
Sage Books, Athens, Ohio
Work Projects Administration (WPA) Mineral Resources Survey
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.