My Virgin Valley opal seminar and claims for sale tour costs $200. This "tour" takes over 5 hours. There is an additional per person fee of $100 for larger groups than a family. This rate applies to non-mining guiding also, but no additional per person charges as I am not talking opal mining and legal specifics there. I'll guide you like my best friends to specific interesting places you want to see. Things such as, but not limited to, lakes, faults, playas, canyons, caves, and hot springs. I don't lead "Indian artifact" hunting expeditions, pictures are all you can take on the refuge. Wildlife is not chased but is always seen as we go about. You're expected to obey the laws. I'm not an outfitter guide in the sense that I provide all of your camping supplies and services. Call for special accommodations help if you require these, and I can do my best to make it happen. Round trip airport pickup from Reno or Boise is offered for an additional $600 fee. Accommodations in Denio Jct or further transportation are separate from this "get you here" shuttle service. Nine hours round trip drive to Reno for is the reason why the expense is high. Reno is the closest car rentals. Please understand unless your tour is prepaid, I may not offer this service anymore. I certyainly can NOT promise to help you if you call after arrival here and expect me to show up on short notice off schedule. PS Due to thieves, my schedule is not published.
Moon rise over the mining district looking East toward the Purple Fire claim group (SOLD) and the Swordfish claims from the dam on one of the Dufferena ponds. You are looking out to and over the refuge boundary to the east toward Big Mountain which is a large shield volcano forming the eastern edge of the Virgin Valley caldera. There are many extinct volcanos within sight of the valley rims.
Blocks of the pretty pink variegated carving sandstone from the Old Lemac quarry are available on site. Tons of small pieces for carvings ready to ship. Quarry with proven reserves is for sale.
Swordfish Mining has new opal prospects for sale and I take you there myself not just send you a map with GPS coordinates you could easily get lost from out here. You can be mining opals in less than 24 hrs. I'm a friendly source of local information, not a total substitute for legal research at the county and state level, but I can teach you how to do that. Experienced in the actual local geology of ancient desert sea shores and dry island to forested valleys by volcano deposits which are faulted and warped by repeated seismic events. My years of digging here give a real feel for any individual claim or mine. All of the original faulted open rich deposits have continued to produce opal. (Links back there if you just want to get digging as fast and cheap as possible.) This business was started legally from on site in Virgin Valley, not thru the mail like others might try.
The opal beds form an uneven stack of lenses and layers several hundreds of feet and millions of years thick. Finding opal takes skill, luck, and the willingness to keep going. I've spent thousands of hours searching out and mining these claims. I don't provide maps with all the claim names, or open areas, other than on the opal seminar tour of claims. If you've already decided which claim(s) to buy. I still charge $100 to show off one claim without the whole tour which is then refunded if you follow thru with purchase. The cost of test digging days is taken off the claim price also. The tour is separate from the sales trip unless you want to buy at the end of the tour.
It takes quite awhile going around to the various claims passing on my quality personal opal information. If we're running around to all the claims for sale; there isn't enough time to walk but a couple, let alone test dig each one for possible precious opals. We're looking for which one will entertain you for years, not which one will pay to buy it up front. That is a buyer problem, not an opal problem. You have to compete with the third world for fast money. All the claims might hit on the next shovel, but It's mine alone until you buy the place. We walk and talk then look at the dirt on the way by to small exploratory cuts on the layers that contain opal elsewhere for sure. You should expect to have to work to find gem opals which are still the exception even here the best place in America to find them. I see trace and let tourist take some samples. Some I keep to cut as it is my mine. When the tour is over most folks have made their decisions which ones they'd want to see what was in, or why they don't is clearly discussed and value is gained. I help more people decide not to buy, or just entertain them for a day with knowledge, as sales I make by being honest. Everybody has been impressed with their tour guides' capability. After being sold, I sell them they are not shown to anyone else.
Thanks in advance for paying the $200 seminar claim tour fee before we leave. Only tours prepaid prior to my suspension of tours will be accepted. You can pay with Paypal. This price is for your family or a couple of miners. For additional prospectors or larger groups the cost is $100 each. A group of four separate miners would be $400. Test digging is $200 a day per head which is only refunded on the purchase price any claim. Larger groups take your larger vehicle and you drive too. Mini-lectures will be given at several locations throughout the caldera complex. Arrangements for taxi service from Reno is $300 each trip. (Me and a Subaru). If you end up out here, call me to see if I am available before you leave cell phone service territory.
This is not a led rockhound collecting trip unless that is what was bought. You won't be picking up everything you see on every claim as that strips the claims of their obvious contents not dug yet. Opals don't just lay around anywhere on earth and the typical size of surface opal is probably going to be one I let you keep. We don't leave gems on the ground of course. Cutters I take home to cut. That's why I own claims. Best go to the fee digs where you can dig all day if your goal is maybe getting rough or several specimens. None of my claims are set up for public commercial fee digging yet, only bank for exclusive clients and lessors until the claims are sold.
Low sedans are not advised on the refuge 4x4 roads as larger rocks have to be driven around. Always carry a spare in the off paved roads world. Two wheel drive is all that is necessary to access most every claims during dry weather if you can dodge ruts. If you don't know where you are going, getting your car back can be damaging and expensive from the other rougher canyons I don't drive. Walk first to check your way is safe.
I made common opal discovery on every claim before staking the claims. The asking price represents what the claims are worth in comparison to the other gemstone claims here and for sale elsewhere in the west. I will trade for some needed items. All offers will be considered. Storage canisters delivered, mobile home, RV, motorcycle, Quad, high mpg vehicles, etc. I'm wanting functional items not expensive toys. Small equipment is fine to prospect with, but not to mine seriously.
A proven precious opal claim price depends on the quality and quantity of what was seen dug so far from that place on the contained bed by us in the past. Most of the remaining unclaimed ground is way to deep, or steep, to mine profitably. Availability of electricity, phone & Internet, and road access, along with any past development work and the location in relation to other proven commercial operations is taken into consideration. Most claims just never got dug into what I think are the possible opal layers for more than a few feet.
The odds are 100% you WILL find common opals and woods on my claims. People rarely talk about their opal production. Opal miners are a very secretive lot as a rule of survival. I have never heard any amounts of opal reported, other than those numbers reported to the State Minerals Production records for our taxes.
Claim groups are not usually broken up. These claims all have some topography to deal with. All have opal banks or seams present that will contain whatever opals made. It's mostly hidden underground. I've seen a mines' banks change within a few feet from twigs to nodules to nothing to veins to blacks worth thousands and back to an opal a week. No worked out claims here.
Opal is a gemstone that has been priced among the highest on earth. Our unique form of the popular gemstone usually comes as a fossil replacement. All claims do produce some forms of precious and common opals, and possibly the rare fossils in both soft and a harder opal. Most cab cutters grind off everything but the precious opal. Not all opals will cut gemstones, that's the story of precious opals everywhere. I live off the percentage that are stable and do cut fine gems.
+ + + + + SWORDFISH MINING'S LIST OF CLAIM OFFERINGS + + + + + Millsites from $1,000 and new opal claims start at only $2,000
NEW CONSIGNMENT #1: The existing certified claim is on the Bonanza Layers and has a sizeable amount of material to mine on it. It is next to the Bonanza to the East and up against the same mountain that the famous Virgin Mine was tunneled into. Again only small prospect holes on only one place in the bank have been excavated for exploration. Good dirt road up the hill to the canyon. Lots of activity in this area including the Opal Queen, The Bonanza Corp, and many others on their claims. Its a good claim with great prospects. I'm selling this for a friend who just can't make it out here from Florida every year to mine. I've never dug in this canyon,but would like to try.. Only $12,000,
The hill behind the private Opal Queen Mine in front of the Bonanza is where the claim is. I am not trying to sell the private Opal Queen claims.
Consignment #2 is on area of big wood deposited over by the highway. Bill is getting up in years and does not want to mess with the effort anymore. He has a Farmall front scoop and class C motor home to go with the 2 claims. I think there is a wedge of the most likely best opal dirt to mine there but most of it is flat land and hills to the "good" layer. A couple bumps and banks that have some opalization and big wood so far. This is NOT the Stone Tree claim. Only $15,000, or best offer for everything.
# 3 The Devil Fire C consignment. This is a proven precious opal producing group of claims buffer. Scott Ryals of the Opal Negra and myself walked them and we both found precious opal float; precious opal twigs, and opal chips. The claims command an entire prominence with definitive cuts on the various layers of outcropping opal dirt, yet was only dug on one small area. Exposed woods look real likely to be in pay layers just as the wood is across the valley in the Bonanza and Opal Queen mines in the layers they mine respectively. 4x4 access roads to the bottom and top end where there is a cut on the log layers. Power is at the foot of the hill. A very thick contorted Montmorillite deposit contains more trees and opalized hard common woods than those already laying on the surface surely. The mine owner, has shown me opal and wood and conk including precious opalized pine cones from there. $10,000.
The Devil Fire Claim are the far side top disturbance. Photo looking East across The Last Millsite and Fairy Fire claims towards the Opal Showers, Devil Fires, and Sunnysides.
# 4 These two claims are next to 2 proven mines. Patented ground is adjoining these side by side claims down a wash and up across a hill. The opal from this area is smaller but some of the most stable fire opal that is found in the valley. By that I mean; the yellow, orange, red, fire opals with some precious are inter-mixed when you find a pocket. I proved the middle claim in an old cut. The basalt in opal is rare here and I have found several pieces as surface finds on this outcrop also. One claim does show the opal coming out of the layer that goes under all the other claims. The "best" camping secluded access one is also the easiest to dig one. $9,000
The Jeweled Saddles looking north. The view from the top
# 5 Another slice of the bottom layer of beds. Off the side of other proven and still held mines. Cuts were made on wood and opal showings from 50 foot above all the way down. 4x4 Road runs thru it. I use all or two wheel drive it, but most others would never get there without four wheel drive, or not slip in the ruts down the clayey roads. This one is a placer claim which has slightly different measurements but is still approximately 20 acres. With a nice flat camping site with a great view by the seldom used access road up a back canyon. $10,000
# 6 The other side of the hill that has been worked over more but they only found logs so far. I think they called it wrong. One single lode with a good passable 4x4 road to it. There are logs eroding out of the hills on both sides of the fault here. POC opal has been mined here before. Lots of big woods like the Joy Lu 55 has and on other Joy Lu claims. Claim group in negotiations.
#7 The Eagles Nest. This claim is actually in a canyon on a paying fault. It was re-mapped and staked to accommodate a disabled person. I was saving this one for myself. You can drive to the cut that has common woods and some opal coming out. There is a cut to the top of the hill and the claim runs up the canyon half on hill and half on seasonal creek. Easy access to Virgin Ranch Rd. Wonderful secluded camping spot where wild Indians would not be a problem. 5,000.
#8 The Glutes. This was going to be my buffer next to that last one. No high hill on the fault but it has a side creek that cut all the overburden off a hard layer under montmorillite with woods coming out.. Silcrete or Chert underlies both claims. Just like the roof on Rainbow Ridge, maybe. Right off Virgin Ranch Rd also has access across highlands from the Bonanza side of plateau.
2 Millsites are in various places on power and phone service lines, such as the Black Opal Millsite about a mile from the pond, or John's place which is a quarry site and located next to the Bonanza Millsite. Either for 1,500 Winter special of 500 off ends in March, or a new one can be can be staked for you for $1,000 plus fees somewhere else back in the mining areas.
I hope condensing the list made it easier. I will consider time payments, such as; 50% down and the balance in monthly payments at 3% annual interest, with owner financing, for 2 years. I wish to be paid on contract with a promissory note, but you will own your claims from the sale date on to work. I'm known for continuing to help my clients after the sale. Not for free if you want my professional mining help, but help getting settled in, easy questions with no sweat involved - no problem - free.
There are only so many viable places to dig for opals left out here. Just anywhere will not work. Most of the mining districts' 45,000 or so remaining acres (includes all current claims and patents) is unminable over the hill or under these mesas. You'll see that when you take the tour. Claims located right next to commercial grade properties of gem material that have excellent potential, versus further away prospects that are not proven are priced differently. If there is a history, or are precious black opals currently being mined from a pocket on the claim the cost skyrockets. A 1/100 share in the Bonanza were kissing $10,000 before the Borasco, and now sell around 7,500. Mrs Lockheed lived at the Swordfish, not at other fee dig sites she leased. If you look at her camp photos of the guests' tents, they are pitched on my Swordfish claims, not a mile away at the Rainbow or Bonanza. Which she also ran as the mine manager.
My prospects all have THE montmorillite clay banks that contain opal here. This Nevada state gemstone claim will be yours. These claims were thoroughly title researched, are legally monumented with wood posts when they were mapped and have had annual upkeep. The wild burros don't always leave the 4x4's in stone monument "scratching" posts upright (usually). 2x2 posts disappear the first time. They like to chew on them for some reason, so don't use pressure treated with arsenic stakes to be nice to the burros. Certification papers with maps are recorded in Humboldt Co. and with the state BLM branch office. None of my claims are infeasible to immediately go dig on with hand tools and prospect. All have vehicle access or a just a short walk to the boundary.
I can show you PRECIOUS OPALS that I mined from each of my proven claims. If you want to go see that for yourself (i.e. dig prior to purchase) a trial dig can be arranged. If you want to use equipment a lease would have to be made with you responsible for the reclamation. No, they don't require bonds yet, but I do require the work done. Just round it off and it reseed's naturally. You will get the full value of your trial dig money taken off the price of the claim you buy. I retain the right for the mine to have any logs and unexpected large gem pockets encountered but not ant of the smaller more expected gem opals when test digging, not leasing. You will get a sample if we id hit a big one, but not the whole mother lode for the fee dig pittance. You are just test digging to see that I am not BSing. This is not a you get anything you touch fee digging like the other mines lease unless you are fee digging with me.
If it is just like normal digging you normally keep everything even the rarest museum pieces. I will be there digging also but for myself in a different area than you desire to work (which would probably be where I would have dug as I'm trying to have you find color yourself). If you buy the claim within the year after digging; I will take off all the digging costs from the price of the claim you select. You keep any of the opals and wood found while test digging. You may not scour all the surface wood, especially the large logs off the claims when test digging. That is mining. The cost of the tour is non-refundable.
The charge for you to test dig on claims prior to actual purchase is $200 per day per person (after the tour) which is only refundable on timely purchase of the claim. This is not a fee dig and is only for interested buyers. I don't have the economy of volume and have to serve each digging party personally. None of my claims have been salted with outside opal by me or others. I would never salt a claim as that would confuse us finding the opal and is a crooks trick and illegal. I discount any woods and opals not still coming out of undisturbed earth as genuine proof my claims are good. You can tell if opal comes from there or not by digging into the undisturbed bank. My first hand digging knowledge is my most valuable asset.
My reputation is also YOUR best friend. Ask about who the people selling the claim are and how well they do there. How successful are they. Compare my prices to going consulting geologist rates or a class at any specialized school. I'm a hard working prospector and miner that's been out here for decades. I'll work with you on getting you a satisfactory claim.
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