Breckenridge silver mine could see new life this summer 

Old-school miners with hand tools and backpacks could soon be mining the woods east of Breckenridge. 

The U.S. Forest Service is reviewing plans for the Tony Mine on the Middle Fork of the Swan River. Silver claims there date back to the 1890s. In 2012 the new claim owners started with exploratory work, but there has been no active silver mining.  

Until this summer. 

If approved up to six miners would dig up to 45 days, June through October, unearthing up to one cubic yard of silver every day. They’ll be moving that silver by backpack to an existing dirt road, where a truck will take it to an off-site mill. 

The miners will live in a metal storage container. 

“Before we begin our environmental assessment of the proposed plan of operations, we want to hear from the public about what issues they would like to see addressed,” Dillon District Ranger Adam Bianchi says in a press release. 

The district is taking comments through June 25. Make yours online

More details from the press release: 

Waste rock will be left in unused portions of the mine adit. A 20-foot metal storage container would be placed on the existing access road and used for both tool storage and as a bunkhouse for workers. 

The White River National Forest deemed the proposed plan of operations complete in February and is now beginning an environmental assessment. Under the 1872 Mining Law and associated regulations, the Forest Service’s role is to analyze the proposed plan of operations to determine reasonable requirements to ensure that adverse environmental effects to surface resources are minimized as well as to comply with all applicable environmental laws.