Smuggler Mine has possible buyer

Karl Herchenroeder
The Aspen Times

The Smuggler Mine, which was listed for sale for $9.5 million in 2012, is under contract, a real estate broker on the deal confirmed Monday.

Matt Holstein, of Sotheby’s International Realty, did not reveal the identity of the potential buyer or the contracted price. He said the interested party has local ties but is not a full-time resident.

The property is owned by New Smuggler Mining Corp., a group of seven partners who are only the third owners of the Smuggler Mine in its 133-year history.

At an Aug. 12 public meeting, Pitkin County officials are scheduled to review a preliminary development application on the mine, a property that includes access to millions of dollars’ worth of high-grade silver ore and two side-by-side developable lots with expansive views of downtown Aspen and Aspen Mountain. The 29.7-acre site consists of the 9.7-acre mine site and two 10-acre lots.

Holstein described the buyer as a good match for the property. He said the interested party is “energetic” and looks forward to working with the county on plans that will be “good for everyone.”

In the late 1800s, the mine produced the world’s largest silver nugget. Taken from Smuggler in 1894, the giant chunk of nearly pure silver weighed 1,840 pounds. Chris Preusch, president of New Smuggler Mining Corp., told the Times in 2012 that an estimated 890,000 tons of ore remained inside.