Latitude / Longitude:
4,032 ft (1,229 m)
Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
Zortman is a census-designated place and unincorporated community in Phillips County, Montana, United States. Its population was 69 as of the 2010 census. Zortman has a post office with ZIP code 59546.
Zortman was home to a mine operated by Pegasus Gold Corp., which was shut down in 1997. The company went bankrupt the following year, in 1998. The Zortman mine is about a mile and a half from the Landusky mine. Both are cyanide heap-leach gold mines.
The community includes the Zortman Motel and the Buckhorn Store and Cabins. The Buckhorn Store is the only store in the community. Zortman is a popular place for hunters to have dinner and stay while on their trip. Prospectors arrived in the Zortman area in 1868. About 2,000 men came to Zortman in 1884, when Pike Landusky and Dutch Louie discovered gold. By 1893, Pete Zortman and a partner owned the Alabama Mine. Other mines in the area were the Ruby Mine and the Little Ben Mine. It is estimated that local mines had produced $125 million in gold by 1949.
According to the Bureau of Land Management, “Precipitation runoff from Zortman and Landusky mines has deposited dangerous substances into nearby tributaries and rivers. A $13.8 million trust fund was set up to construct and operate three water capture and treatment systems.” Water treatment plants for Zortman and Landusky are operated on behalf of the Montana Department of Environmental Quality in order to preserve the water quality of the Milk and Missouri Rivers, and of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation.