The Frog Pond Basin mining district covers rugged mountainous terrain between the Sapphire Mountains and the Anaconda -Pintler Wilderness Area. Although the district has seen little activity, the primary mining efforts have been at the upper end of Bush Creek, one of the headwater streams of the Bitterroot River, and the East Fork of Rock Creek which flows from the southern end of the Sapphire Range. The first recorded production came from the Gold Leaf mine in 1910. Some ore was shipped in 1929 by the Gold Leaf and Miller mines. The last recorded production was from the Gold Leaf in 1940 (Sahinen 1935; 1940).
Frog Pond Basin district is underlain by rocks of the Belt series. The Idaho Batholith is exposed a few miles to the south and to the west of the district. Mineralization occurs in veins which were mined for lead-zinc sulphides and siliceous gold (Sahinen 1935).
BOUNDARIES OF THE DISTRICT
Sahinen (1935) places the Frog Pond district 38 miles by road southwest of Philipsburg. Little else is written to define the district. Figure 1 shows the Frog Pond district as an area around its major mines which includes the Kent and Condon which are on both sides of the Rock Creek - Bitterroot divide.
HISTORIES OF SELECTED MINES
The Gold Leaf mine, also known as the Lutz, is located in Section 14, T3N, R17W, about .75 mile south of the Montana Prince. In 1910 the property shipped some lead carbonate ore containing values of gold, silver, and a little copper. In 1929, the mine was reported to have shipped some lead ore, but no return figures were reported. The mine next shipped 10 tons of ore in 1940. The return on the load was only 7 ounces of gold, and 31 ounces of silver with a total value of $267. The mine is developed through an adit with 1,600 feet of underground workings. While the native rock is granodiorite, the ore is quartz with a little pyrite and galena (Sahinen 1957; Gilbert 1935; Pardee 1918).
Kent and Condon
The Kent and Condon property consisted of three unpatented claims one mile east of Medicine Lake in the drainage of the East Fork of Rock Creek. In 1934 the mine employed four men extracting gold ore out of a 1,500 foot adit and a 200 foot incline shaft. As the Little Klondyke, the mine recorded production in 1934 and 1935 (Gilbert 1935; WPA 1941).
The Miller property which was active in the 1910s, was reported to have shipped some gold - zinc - lead ore in 1931. The mine reported production from 1929 to 1931 and again in 1938 (Gilbert 1935; Pardee 1921; WPA 1941).
The Montana Prince mine is located in the southwest corner of section 11, T3N, R17W near the crest of the Sapphire Range. It is developed by a long adit driven to the east. The ore appears to be quartz with some pyrite and sphalerite. There is no record of production in the mining literature. When the mine was examined in the late 1950s, it had been out of operation for some time (Sahinen 1957).
The Tiger mine was first mentioned in the mining literature in 1905. However, its first recorded production did not occur until 1931. This was followed by production in 1935, 1938, 1939 and 1940 (WPA 1941).
Bowman, A. H. and Barclay Craighead
Montana, Resources and Opportunities Edition
, Vol. 1. Department of Agriculture, Labor and Industry, Division of Publicity.
Gilbert, Frederick C.
1935 "Directory of Montana Mining Properties",
Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Memoir No. 15
. Montana School of Mines, Butte.
Hauck, Elizabeth C.
The Story of Moose Lake
. Private Printing.
Pardee, Joseph Thomas
1918 "Ore Deposits of the Northwestern Part of the Garnet Range, Montana",
U. S. Geological Survey
, Bulletin 660-F pp. 159-239;
(abst.) Washington Academy of Science Journal
, Vol. 8, p. 290.
1921 "Phosphate Rock Near Maxville, Granite County, Montana", U. S. Geological Survey, Bulletin 715-J, pp. 141-145; (abst.) Washington Academy of Science Journal, Vol. 11, No. 16, pp. 393-394.
Sahinen, Uuno M.
1935 "Mining Districts of Montana", Thesis, Montana School of Mines, Butte.
1957 "Mines and Mineral Deposits: Missoula and Ravalli Counties, Montana". Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Bulletin No. 8.
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.