My Virgin Valley opal seminar and claims for sale tour is $200. I am not "fishy" and have many satisfied clients over the decades and many partnerships with current owners. The mine 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 on and off refuge also, but at no additional per person charges. I will not be talking opal mining and legal specifics then. I'll guide you and your friends to specific interesting places and things you wanted to see. Such as, but not limited to, lakes, faults, playas, canyons, caves, and hot springs with all the wild life around them. I don't lead "Indian artifact" or "Bone" hunting expeditions, pictures are all you can take of those. Wildlife is not chased but is seen everywhere. 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 (both ways)is offered for an additional $800 fee. Accommodations in Denio Jct or further transportation are separate from this "get you here" shuttle service. Nine hours round trip drives to Reno for is the reason why the expense is high. Reno is the closest car rental also. Please understand unless your tour is prepaid, I can NOT promise to be here or free to help you.
Moon rise over the mining district looking East towards the Purple Fire claim group (SOLD) and the Swordfish claims from the dam on one of the Dufferena ponds which are a vital link on the inland flyway for migrating birds. This view is 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 volcanoes within sight of the valley rims.
Swordfish Mining has new opal prospects for sale and I take you there myself. I do not just send you a map with GPS coordinates you could easily get lost from out here to try and figure out where to dig and find the elusive precious opal. 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 without becoming mined out.
The opal beds form an uneven stack of lenses and layers several hundreds of feet and millions of years thick. Finding opal takes experience, skill, luck, and the willingness to keep going. I've spent thousands of hours searching out and reading all the books from others and then selectively mining these relocated claims. I don't provide maps with the claim names, open areas, other than GPS you take on the opal seminar tour of precious opal claims for sale in the valley. 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 (200 a day per person like fee dig in case you walk away) 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 that day.
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. Clients HAVE bought claims with the first stone they found and sold. All the claims might hit on the next shovel, but It's mine until you buy. 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 right as owner to give or retain ore. 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, they are not shown to anyone else.
Thanks in advance for paying the $200 seminar claim tour fee as a deposit. 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 $400 each trip. (Me and a Subaru, more if your group requires a vehicle being rented. Really I want you to rent one and come so I don't have to drive for days. It's much cheaper to rent and pay your own gas,). 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. Every claim I sell has acres of untested ground to explore.
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 $2,000 and opal claims start at $4,000.
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. He is a Bonanza member and not "fishy". 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 or squeeze a fifteen hundred foot claim on paper into a few hundred foot wide canyon between certified claims, like some other one did....
Consignment #2 is on an area of big wood deposited over by the highway. Bill is getting up in years and does not want to mess with the effort required to mine anymore. He has a Farmall front scoop back hoe and a class C motor home to go with the 2 claims. A couple bumps and banks that have some opalization and big wood so far. This is NOT the Stone Tree claim up on the hill. Only $15,000 or best offer.
# 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. My dear friend had to move back east to mange his property and can't be here anymore. He is not "fishy" $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 over toward the Trout Cr mountains.
# 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. $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 the basement. I'm dying to get the excavator back in there. 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. Either for $1,500, 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 10% annual interest, with owner financing, for 3 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. Mrs Lockheed lived at the Swordfish, not at any other fee dig sites she leased regardless of what uninformed current operators think. My mentor was on the ground here, not reading a book or listening to scuttlebutt. 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 Virgin Opal mine. She did ramrod a mining operation on the Rainbow Ridge properties of the MC Cattle Co as the mine manager.
My prospects all have THE correct montmorillite clay banks that contain opal here with the necessary faults. 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. None are claimjumped as far as I know yet. The wild burros don't always leave the 4x4's in stone monument "scratching" posts upright (usually). but I have photographs of their installation. 2x2 posts disappear the first time. Burros 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 two months 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 not opal 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 your most valuable asset.
My reputation is also YOUR best friend. Ask about who the people selling the claim are see how well they do there. Compare my prices to any consulting geologists' rates or a gemology class. I'm a hard working prospector and miner that's been out here for decades and I'll get you a satisfactory claim.
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