DOVE SEAT GOLD Placer Mining Claim, Dolores River, Dolores County, Colorado

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The Dove Seat Gold Mine has approximately 720 feet of creek to work at your leisure.

(thawed river)

This 20 acre placer claim is fairly easy to access off hwy 145 located in Dolores County, Colorado. It is a paved highway, and is about 2.5 miles North of the town of Rico (the town of Rico has restaurants and lodging). The river itself is very fast moving, and about 10-25 ft. away from the road, which results in easy access. The Dolores River averages between 20-50 feet wide, and about 2-8 feet in depth.


Commodities: Primary Gold / Secondary Silver

Mining District: (Pioneer) Rico Mining District

County: Dolores, CO

Elevation: 8,442 feet (2,573 meters)

Dolores River is located just North of the historic town of Rico in which there is still lots of active mining. The town has motels, convenience stores, gasoline stations and restaurants available. The city of Dolores is about a 30-minute drive away with bigger hardware stores available. Previously up on the hills, there was hydraulic mining, which results in great potential with the tailings that have washed over during the last years on the Dolores river and make it a great area for panning and mining.

Mining in the Rico district has been actively carried on in the since 1879. In the early days, silver was the chief product and was mined largely from Newman Hill southeast of the town of Rico. After 1900, the base metals, particularly lead and zinc, mined in other parts of the district, became the major products, though silver remained an important byproduct. The production of the Rico district from 1879 to 1968 has been about 83,000 ounces’ gold, 14,500,000 ounces’ silver, 5,600 tons’ copper, 84,000 tons lead, and 83,000 tons’ zinc.

The town of Rico is the spot for history buffs as it is full of buildings and relics from the mining boom of the 1880s. In addition, there's an old depot and railroad grade along the Dolores River.

The first record of production was 1882, Placers were discovered several years after major lode discoveries in pioneer (Rico) district according to Engineering and Mining Journal (1882), "sluicing has been begun at the placer diggings down the river, and although a very crude process was employed, the result indicates that it will be successful." father of Robert Snyder discovered placers and worked them on small scale until activity attracted attention that led to brief period of extensive placering.


The Dolores River is a tributary of the Colorado River, approximately 241 miles (388 km) long, and flows through Colorado and Utah. Its name derives from the Spanish El Rio de Nuestra Señora de Dolores, River of Our Lady of Sorrows. Gold is reported to be concentrated almost entirely on bedrock, but other reports cite Au distributed throughout gravel section. Gold is uniform yellow color with some rust colored; occurs as coarse flakes and wires and source of Au is mineralized in the Pioneer district around Rico.


Buyer will receive the following with their completed transaction:

  • Quitclaim deed showing full ownership of the claim. This will be stamped, recorded and verified with the County and the BLM offices.
  • Welcome packet with all of the rules and regulations as they relate to the State and BLM where the claim is located.
  • Educational documents to annually renew your mining claim with the BLM.
  • A CD of all of the documented images of the claim including maps of the site.
  • Map of claim marked and GPS coordinates.
  • Multiple maps showing claim location and surrounding areas for access.  



Placer gold has been produced sporadically from gravels in the Dolores River and two of its tributaries in the vicinity of the study area, the San Miguel River and La Sal Creek. Mining of gold along the Dolores was limited to parts of the river below the confluence with the San Miguel River, which is 11 miles downstream from the area. Although production of placer gold has been reported from the La Sal Creek drainage, the location of mining operations is unreported and may have been well upstream from the study area.        

Twenty-six panned-concentrate samples were taken from the lower Dolores River Canyon near the northern boundary of the area in order to gain an indication of gold content in areas upstream. Twenty samples were taken from gravel bars in the present stream bed, and three were taken from terrace gravel deposits above present river level. Individual samples were also taken from lower Wild Seer Canyon, lower La Sal Creek, and he Dolores above the mouth of La Sal Creek to evaluate the gold contribution from the tributary streams. Each panned-concentrated sample was obtained by panning a 10-quart bucket full of stream gravel. Visible gold, ranging in size from flour gold to occasional flakes up to 3 mm in diameter, occurred only in samples from gravels in and immediately above the bed of the Dolores River. Of the 26 samples taken, 17 contained more than the measurable lower limit of gold (0.002 mg (milligrams)). Measurable amounts of gold varied from 0.002 mg to 0.439 mg per sample; the value of the gold in the best sample (0.439 mg) is equivalent to 45 cents per cubic yard, based on a gold price of $400 per ounce. These amounts of gold do not indicate a placer gold resource in the area. Estimated value of placer gold would have to be greater than $1.50 per cubic yard to be mined economically in his area. (


Anglo trappers worked the mountains of eastern Dolores County as early as 1832-33, and gold was discovered in the County in 1866. But it was not until the area was taken from the Ute and removed from the Ute Reservation by the Brunot Agreement of 1878 that large-scale minerals exploration and mining began in the county, although the Pioneer Mining District was established (illegally) in 1876 in the Rico area. The development of the area was spurred by the discovery of large silver deposits near Rico in 1879, and the Rio Grande Southern Railroad was constructed through the County to connect Durango, Telluride, and Ridgway in 1890-92 The RGS served the eastern end of Dolores County until 1952 when it was abandoned. (The western portion of the county has never had railroad service.)


Dolores County contains deposits of silver, lead, and zinc in the mountainous eastern part, which is a dissected laccolithic dome. The western part of the county is within the Colorado Plateaus. Dolores County has had a total gold production through 1959 of about 104,500 ounces; almost all production has been a byproduct of silver, lead, and zinc deposits of the Rico district. (western mining history)


The Rico district is in the central part of a laccolithic dome comprising the Rico Mountains in the southeast corner of Dolores County. In the central part of the uplift, Precambrian quartzite and schist are exposed. These are flanked on all sides by sedimentary rocks of Cambrian, Devonian, Mississippian, Pennsylvanian, Permian, Triassic, and Jurassic ages. All the rocks are intruded by sheets and sills of hornblende monzonite porphyry and by a stock of quartz monzonite of Tertiary age. The central part of the dome is complexly faulted (Cross and Ransome, 1905, p. 2-11).    

Much of the ore mined in the district has come from mineralized solution breccia in gypsum beds of the Hermosa Formation of Pennsylvanian age. These are known as blanket deposits. Other ore deposits are replacement bodies in Devonian and Pennsylvanian limestone beds and fissure veins. The age of the mineralization is thought to be late Tertiary (Cross and Ransome, 1905, p. 14-19).    



Whether you are coming from the North or the South, this claim is very easy to reach. The river runs right alongside the highway, so you are able to reach the claim with ease. There is plenty of space to park your vehicle with easy access to grab tools and equipment. You should be okay with a small camper or trailer, to park next to the road, and access the river.

To reach the claim, the main highway is Colorado 145. It is a paved highway, so you will be okay with a 2WD. The claim is located about 2.45 miles North of the town of Rico.

The area is full of dirt roads, so a good map and a good GPS unit is a must, but we'll show you exactly where it is on the map as well as provide you with the precise latitude and longitude of each corner marker, so finding it will not be a problem for you.

I advise caution whenever driving or hiking on this claim – the entire valley is dotted with abandoned mines – most of them are easy to see from a distance, but some of them are impossible to see until you are right on top of them. I would estimate that only 20% of them are roped or fenced off – the rest are wide open and you should be extremely careful if entering them.

A couple of spare tires or an air compressor and patch kit or at least a couple of cans of tire sealant is strongly recommended for obvious reasons! Also, be sure to bring in whatever water you may need, as there are almost no water sources in the area 10 months out of the year.   



A mining claim gives the holder the right to mine on mineral-rich land that belongs to the federal government.
Mining claims are a tangible asset and show proof of all  interests in minerals in the area. They can be bought, sold or used as collateral, just like any other piece of real estate. A mining claim can be sold, traded, leased, gifted, willed, used as collateral or transferred in part  or in its entirety just like any other real property using a quitclaim deed  which is a recordable conveyance.

We offer a lifetime guarantee should the BLM take back the land.

As the largest company in the mining industry selling legitimate and valuable historic claims, you can rest assured that you are not only covered with our 100% lifetime money-back guarantee, but you can also rest easy that there is no fine print on any of our claim listings telling you will have to deal with any games like being charged phony fees or having to pay inflated “processing” or “transfer” fees. The listing price for this mine is ALL you will pay.


We'll take care of all the paperwork and arrangements so you can enjoy your claim immediately after payment and we keep you informed through the entire process with confirmations when payment is received, when your paperwork has been shipped out.

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While we cannot physically ship land to you as it doesn't quite fit into the mail box ;)

We will ship all paperwork/maps upon payment clearing we ship same business day(if payment is received by 1PM P.S.T.) We always provide tracking information so you are always informed.

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