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OATMAN, AZ-There’s gold in those hills. At least that’s what an Idaho mining firm believes about an 80-acre stretch of land in the city that was once a booming gold field that attracted hoards of fortune seekers in the early 1900s.

“We have high hopes of taking gold out of there someday,” Bill Hoyt with Shoshone Silver Mining Co. tells GlobeSt.com of the firm’s first Arizona purchase and third this month. He says the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho firm acquired the claim of the Western Gold Prospect in the Oatman Mining District for an undisclosed price and expects to begin taking samples from the area next year before deciding whether to fully mine the property.

The price of Arizona gold mines is difficult to peg, but a 100-acre mine with six claims near the city was being marketed at $950,000 while a pair of patented, 20-acre claims near Nogales came up for sale at $40 million.

The Oatman District was once the most productive gold veins in Arizona, producing more than two million ounces of gold during its heyday. The area, once a haven for prospectors around the turn of the century, has not been mined since the early 1900s, Hoyt says.

“What we do is look at old mines that were productive, find claims that are close to where the old timers were and use modern methods to mine the ore,” he says of a site located 10 miles north of here.

Staking its first claim in the state, Shoshone primarily owns in Idaho and Montana. Earlier this month, Shoshone bought the Lucky Joe Silver Prospect and Regal Mine, both in northern Idaho. The firm, founded in 1969 as a silver exploration, development and production company, expects that by next year it will begin conducting surface geological mapping, soil and rock sampling, and a remote sensing survey to identify any alterations in the land’s surface that could indicate gold veins.

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