The Bozeman district apparently saw little of the traditional placering and lode mining of other areas in the western part of the state. Indeed, no mining was reported in the area until the Twentieth century and then the first deposits to be exploited were corundum and not precious metals. Other materials extracted from the area include marble quarried from the Manhattan area, and limestone for cement extracted at Trident (Reed 1951).

Several miles west of Gallatin Gateway corundum deposits were discovered in 1901 and 1902. In 1903, these deposits produced 400 tons of corundum concentrates. These deposits were again investigated in the 1940s due to a war-time shortage of imported corundum (Reed 1951).

In 1919, the Anderson mine yielded some gold and silver by amalgamation. The mine was not in an organized district, but was said to be in the Madison Range between Manhattan and Spanish (Sahinen 1935).

In 1933, some placering occurred near Salesville (Gallatin Gateway). Officially, 2.5 ounces of gold were recovered, but more may have been recovered. The gold was apparently "flood gold" and of limited quantity (Lyden 1948).


There is no location-specific information dealing with the Bozeman district in the mining literature. The district as defined by the AMRB (1994) is composed of those areas in Gallatin County excluded from the Bridger and West Gallatin districts (Figure 1). It is bordered on the east by the Park county line.


The only precious metal mine mentioned in the area is the Anderson mine. The mine was referred to in passing and no specific information is available.

Bozeman Corundum

The Bozeman Corundum deposit is located in section 31, T2S, R4E on a flat, northeast trending ridge end about 12 air miles from Bozeman. The deposit was located in 1902 and first worked by the Bozeman Corundum Company. About 1,000 tons of rock was sent to a nearby mill at the Gallatin mine. The Bozeman mine closed after the closure of the Gallatin mine left it without a mill. The mine was developed in two groups. The northern deposits were explored by 14 trenches, a shaft and two short adits. The southern deposits, 600 feet southwest, contained 16 trenches, four pits and one adit. In 1944, the U. S. Bureau of Mines reopened three adits and bulldozed about 4,000 feet of trenches (Heinrich 1948).

Gallatin Corundum

The Gallatin Corundum mine is located in sections 22 and 23 in T3S, R3E on Elk Creek about five air miles south of the Bozeman deposit. The mine was first worked in 1901 through 1903. The mine produced 350 tons of corundum concentrates from a 2,100 pound per day rated mill at the mine. However, the mine failed to show a profit and was closed. The mine was idle until 1943 when the U. S. Bureau of Mines did some exploratory work. The mine was then purchased by the American Abrasives Company. In 1944-1945 part of the mine was explored by the Industrial Minerals Corporation. The mine was again explored in 1945 by the Metal Reserve Company for the purpose of milling a test lot of the ore. Test showed that a majority of the corundum could not be used for grinding wheels as was proposed (Heinrich 1948; Clabaugh and Armstrong 1951).

The mine was explored for a length of nearly a mile and a width of 400 feet. The southwest end is developed by the Sunset shaft which has short drifts in two directions and four trenches. The central portion contains the Elk Adit which has drifts and crosscuts that extend 350 feet to the southwest. Across Elk Creek are three adits and four trenches. The northeastern group has the Bureau of Mines shaft which was 100 feet deep and has 109 feet of drifts. The collapsed Montana shaft is nearby; this shaft had levels at 40 and 65 feet. The lowest level extended 200 feet west and connects to an open-air raise. In all the mine was said to have about 1,900 feet of excavations (Heinrich 1948; Clabaugh and Armstrong 1951).

The Gallatin Corundum mine has also been referred to as the Montana mine, the Fuller Corundum mine, and the Industrial Minerals Corp. property. The term Elk Creek deposits is also widely used (Clabaugh and Armstrong 1951).


Abandoned Mine Reclamation Bureau (AMRB)

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

Clabaugh, S. E. and F. C. Armstrong

1951 "Corundum Deposits of Gallatin and Madison Counties, Montana",

Contributions to Economic Geology 1949-50

. U. S. Geological Society, Bulletin 969.

Heinrich, E. William

1948 "Pegmatite Mineral Deposits in Montana", Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology,

Memoir 28


Herbort, Dale

1986 "Cultural Resource Investigation on the Middle Creek- Hyalite Reservoir Area", prepared for the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation by GCM Services, Butte.

Lyden, Charles J.

1948 "The Gold Placers of Montana",

Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Memoir 26

. Montana School of Mines, Butte.

Reed, Glenn C.

1951 "Mines and Mineral Deposits (Except Fuels) Gallatin County, Montana", U.S. Bureau of Mines,

Information Circular #7607


Sahinen, Uuno M.

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