This page LAST UPDATED: 09/20/2023
MAPLE LODE MINE Info & Photo Gallery.
I am happy to announce that I am the new owner (Sept. 2021 to present) of The historic Maple Lode Tourmaline/Topaz/Pegmatite Mine on Aguanga Mtn, San Diego County California. This page is to provide some general info about the mine and for updates when we start work. I had planned on selling the claim recently, but have decided to keep and work it. CLICK ANY PHOTO BELOW TO ENLARGE AND GET DETAILS AND CREDITS.
QUICK LINKS ON THIS PAGE:
Mindat locality history for the mine
NO DIGGING OR REMOVING MINERALS AT THIS TIME, I am working on reopening the mine and will consider public access in the near future. I WILL DEAL WITH HIGHGRADERS, CLAIMJUMPERS AND THIEVES IN A VERY SERIOUS WAY VIA LAWSUIT AND CRIMINAL PROSECUTION. Sorry I have to even say this but it does happen.
Tourmaline Topaz Mine Mining Claim, the famous MAPLE LODE gem pegmatite deposit, Aguanga Mtn, Palomar Divide, San Diego County, California. Known for gems and mineral specimens. 20.66 acre UNpatented LODE mining claim on federal land (BLM Minerals/USFS Surface) on a famous well known PROVEN past producer of small but bright blue tourmaline Elbaite crystals, pastel pink, green & blue elbaite tourmalines, light blue topaz, occasional Quartz and Albite, and sporadic pinkish apatite crystals. 1500 ft x 600 ft.
BLM SERIAL NUMBER CA105275076, CHRISTOPHER WENTZELL, OWNER. This claim is on the other side of the ridge just south of the patented Ware, aka (Emeralite/Mountain Lily Mine) on what is believed to be the same pegmatite vein underground. Roland Reed’s old buried cargo container serves as a storage for tools and equipment and looks like a bunker. Rumor has it that some of the old tunnels that used to produce the bright tourmalines are buried/caved behind the buried container, but I cannot verify this yet (we plan to do some work here shortly after getting a plan together). Very large waste pilled and tailings to go thru that go partway down the canyon. I did better in the lower tailings than the upper, and can verify myself Blue Tourmaline and a pale light blue topaz crystal. It's going to take some serious money to reopen the workings or dig this one further, there are steep cuts that have really become dangerous. This was a limited producer, but the prices on what was found were always high, and some of the most beautiful blue tourmaline ever found in California. It's a steep mountainside and future surface work is likely very limited, but the dike/vein continues underground, and there is more in this for sure, and probably way better than has ever come out. This pegmatite is softer and different than most in the County from my experience, and easier to dig. My plan is to start a new cut or tunnel in from the SE end on the other side of where Roland and others found the best blue gem tourmalines. There are a couple of places here where we could start a tunnel. The possibilities are endless when we can start a tunnel here. Great history and info on the mine is available on Mindat at links you can copy & paste to go, below. NO DIGGING OR REMOVING ANY MINERALS AT THIS TIME. PLEASE NOTE that I have a Rand Ingersoll air compressor and Catepillar loader equipment/parts that I took possession of when staking claim that was abandoned by prior owner that I reserve the right to. They never came or contacted me to remove them and under the federal mining laws and other federal statutes it is now mine legally from the date of relocation and taking possession (legal details here).
Getting a REAL proven producer of Tourmaline in San Diego County is very RARE AND HARD TO COME BY. I WAS VERY LUCKY TO GET THIS CLAIM!
I will be updating this page from time to time with more info. It was originally set up as a for sale page but I have decided to keep and dig the mine. Feel free to ask questions first.
Link to Maple Lode Claim BLM MLRS Registration page:
Link to Mindat locality page:
LINK TO MINDAT PHOTO GALLERY SHOWING EXAMPLES OF WHAT HAS BEEN FOUND IN THE PAST:
LINK TO THIS PAGE:
MAPLE LODE PHOTOS ON INSTAGRAM: