Why buy a house in San Francisco when you could buy a whole ghost town — potentially flush with minerals — for less?
That's the question being put forth by the real estate firm handling the sale of Cerro Gordo, a 19th century ghost town, which comes complete with a "historic" hotel, a saloon, a bunk house and mineral rights to boot. The list price of US$925,000 is less than what a home typically costs in San Francisco.
The property expands over 300 acres of patented mining claims, with 22 buildings on it, according to the listing at ghosttownforsale.com.
The town, established by silver miners, was historically the first major mining camp south of the Sierra Nevada, and is located in the Owens Valley near Lone Pine, California. Mining operations were undertaken from 1866 until 1957, producing high-grade silver, lead, and zinc.
Historic mining towns a niche market in Canada
It's not just California. Town-buying has also become a niche real estate market in other places, including Canada.
Five of Cruz Cobalt Corp's (CVE:CUZ) projects are located in the town of Cobalt, in northern Ontario. Nicknamed "Silver City," it's a town with a rich mining history and an emerging cobalt future. This makes Cruz one of the largest landholders in this district.
Its most recent acquisition in the vicinity of Cobalt was in February 2018, with its 8,935 acre Lorraine prospect.
In the early 1900s, the area was heavily mined for silver. As it turns out, the silver ore also contained cobalt.
By 1910, the community was the fourth highest producer of silver in the world. Known as the birthplace of hard rock mining in Canada, the town of Cobalt is located along the Quebec border, near Temiskaming Shores in northern Ontario.
These days, it's a popular spot for companies looking to cash in on cobalt, a crucial metal for manufacturing high energy lithium ion batteries.
The path from history to the future is in the works: in May, Cruz announced it plans to commence operations shortly on its numerous cobalt properties in its Ontario Cobalt camp.