aka Mill Creek

The Heber district is located about three miles south of Anaconda on Mill Creek. The stream produced little gold and no production figures are available other than in 1934 when two operators recovered 10 ounces of gold. The only evidence of earlier placering is in Clear Creek which exhibits moderate stream and bench placers. The gold recovered in Clear Creek probably originated in the lodes worked by the Olive May and Spain mines. The most recent production in the Spain was in 1916 (Lyden 1948; Sahinen 1935).

The district, however, did make an important contribution to the mineral development of the area. Water from the area was sent by the 15 mile Anaconda Fluming Company flume to the smelter at Anaconda. Cord wood and mine timbers were cut and milled along Mill Creek and transported to Anaconda and Butte by the "Loop" of the B. A. and P. railroad (GCM Services 1988).

Geologically, the upper Mill Creek area displays rocks from the Belt series covered by volcanics thought to be of Cretaceous age. The area exhibits some thermal features. Lower Mill Creek flows through an area underlain by a large granitic stock (Sahinen 1935).


Sahinen (1935) places the Heber district a few miles south of Anaconda on both upper and lower Mill Creek. Lyden (1948) cites Anaconda Copper Mining Company records as showing the only patented placer mines in the district to be in Sections 21, 22, 23, 26 and 27 T4N, R11W. Figure 1 shows the district as defined by the AMRB (1994) with the placer mining area delineated.


Olive May

The Olive May mine was listed in 1907 in the

Montana Mine Index

(WPA 1941).


The Spain properties which were composed of the Spain and McKinley claims, were owned by the Allen Gold Mining Company when they were described in 1910. From a 200 ft shaft on the Spain claim 1300 ft of underground development exposed a vein carrying gold, silver, and lead. The shaft was served by a steam hoist and compressor. Thirty men were employed extending a 700 ft adit (Walsh and Orem 1910).

The Spain mine was listed with recorded production in 1907 and 1916 in the Montana Mine Index (WPA 1941).


Abandoned Mine Reclamation Bureau (AMRB)

1994 Mining districts of Montana. Maps 1:100,000 and Map #94-NRIS-129. Compied and edited by Joel Chavez. Prepared by Montana State Library Natural Resource Information System (NRIS) for Montana Department of State Lands. Helena

Ferguson, Henry Gardiner and L. P. Benedict


Montana Bureau of Agriculture, Labor and Industry, 11th Biennial Report


GCM Services, Inc.

1988 "Cultural Resource Inventory & Assessment of Mill Creek, Montana", prepared for Anaconda Minerals Company by GCM Services, Butte.

1989 "Cultural Resource Inventory and Assessment of the Old Works Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA) Site", prepared for ARCO Coal Company by GCM Services, Butte.

1990 "Cultural Resource Inventory and Assessment: Rock Quarry and Access Corridor Opportunity, Montana Area", prepared for ARCO Coal Company by GCM Services, Butte.

Hill, James M. with introduction by Waldemar Lindgren

1912 "The Mining Districts of the Western United States",

U. S. Geological Survey Bulletin 507

, pp. 181-198, U.S. Government Print. Off., Washington, D. C.

Lyden, Charles J.

1948 "The Gold Placers of Montana",

Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Memoir 26

. Montana School of Mines, Butte.

Moore, Connie and Paul Anderson

1992 "Cultural Resource Inventory and Assessment: Two Mineral Exploration Areas in American Gulch, Heber (Mill Creek) Mining District Deer Lodge County, Montana", Prepared for Pegasus Gold Corporation by GCM Services, Butte.

Sahinen, Uuno M.

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

Smith, Marc B.

1979 "Archaeological Investigations in the Deep Creek-French Creek Locality, Deer Lodge County, Montana," Prepared for Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Game, Bozeman.

Walsh, William and William Orem


Biennial Report of Inspector of Mines for 1909-1910


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.