The Antelope district is on both slopes of the John Long Mountains, a relatively low mountain range that divides the Flint Creek drainage from the Rock Creek drainage just west of Philipsburg. The district contains numerous outcrops of Algonkian sedimentary rock with small intrusive masses of igneous rock. Several deposits of low grade ore are known, but only the Mountain Ram lode has been developed (Sahinen 1935; Emmons and Calkins 1913). There was no early placer activity reported (Lyden 1948).

The Mountain Ram appears to be the only lode mine in the district and was first developed in 1913 by Ed Brown. Although several carloads of ore were shipped, the return from the smelter was less than the shipping charges.

Due to the rise of gold prices in the Depression, some gold placer mining took place in the district at the Alder placer, the Corpp placer and the Rocky Point placer. This limited production was reported in 1934 (WPA 1941).


Sahinen (1935) places the Antelope Creek district about 12 miles by road southwest of Philipsburg. Lyden (1948) discusses the Antelope Creek mining district as being on Antelope Creek, a north-flowing tributary of Rock Creek. Figure 1 shows the district as described by Lyden (1948) which is essentially the Antelope Creek drainage.


Mountain Ram

The Mountain Ram mine on the south fork of Antelope Creek is connected to Philipsburg by 12 miles of wagon road. Although the mine was discussed in the mining literature in 1903, 1907 and 1911 there was no reported production or development. In 1913 the mine was described to Emmons and Calkins (1913) by Ed Brown as consisting of several drifts, inclines and crosscut tunnels. About 160 feet from the portal the incline is connected by chutes with an adit level driven at an elevation of 60 feet below the portal of the incline. Approximately 190 feet below the apex the lode was displaced by a fault. A few carloads of oxidized and sulfide ore were reported to average $5 per ton in gold. The unoxidized ore consisted of pyrite, quartz, calcite and barite. The return on the ore was not sufficient to pay transport and milling. The mine worked a bedding plane 5 to 20 feet thick in the Newland formation of Beltian age. The mine also reported some limited production in 1935 and 1940 (Winchell 1913; Emmons and Calkins 1913; Lyden 1948; Sahinen 1935; WPA 1941).

Placer Activity


Montana Mine Index

lists some limited placer production in 1934 from the Alder placer, the Corpp placer and the Rocky Point placer (WPA 1941).


Calkins, Frank Cathcart, and W. H. Emmons

1915 "Description of the Philipsburg Quadrangle, Montana",

U. S. Geological Survey, Atlas, Philipsburg folio

(no. 196).

Emmons, William Harvey and Frank C. Calkins

1913 "Geology and Ore Deposits of the Philipsburg Quadrangle, Montana",

U. S. Geological Survey, Professional Paper 78.

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.

Winchell, Alexander Newton

1913 Montana School of Mines, Vertical files. Butte.

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.