Elko County Nevada Gold Production

Posted July 16, 2009 in Gold Mining


Click here for the Principle Gold Producing Districts of the United States Index

Elko County is in the northeastern part of the State, and most of its gold production has come from districts in the northern and western parts of the county. Lode mines in the Jarbidge and Tuscarora districts have been the principal source of the gold, but in the early days considerable amounts of placer gold were mined at Tuscarora, Aura, Charleston, Gold Basin, Island Mountain, and Mountain City. Lesser amounts of lode and byproduct gold came from Gold Circle, Mountain City, Aura, and Edgemont.

The production of the county from 1903 through 1959 was 561,187 ounces - 554,737 ounces from lodes and 6,450 ounces from placers. Before 1903 there was considerable production, primarily from Tuscarora and Edgemont, but no complete record could be found. From 1879 through 1896, the county produced $1,017,051 in lode gold (Nolan, 1936a, p. 13). In addition, the Tuscarora district produced about $700,000 in placer gold (Nolan, 1936a, p. 14). Total gold production through 1959 was about 614,000 ounces.

The Edgemont district is in northern Elko County, on the west slope of the Centennial Range, about 10 miles north of Deep Creek.

Before about 1907 the Lucky Girl and Bull Run mines yielded about $1 million in gold (Emmons, 1910, p. 75). From 1907 through 1959 the district was dormant, producing only 4 ounces in 1950 and 74 ounces in 1951.

The deposits consist of fissure veins in contorted and fractured quartzite. Gold is associated with pyrite, galena, and pyrrhotite (Emmons, 1910, p. 75-76).

The Gold Circle district is 45 miles north of Battle Mountain, 50 miles northeast of Golconda, and 35 miles west of Tuscarora.

Gold was discovered in 1907, and a brief boom followed. This has been a gold-silver district; a total of 109,765 ounces of lode gold and 45 ounces of placer gold was produced from 1908 to 1958, mostly from the Elko Prince mine.

The country rocks - from oldest to youngest - consist of rhyolite, andesite, and postandesite rhyolite flows and tuff (Rott, 1931, p. 10). The rocks were faulted and then mineralized. Most of the veins follow northwest-trending shear zones in the older rhyolite and the fractured contact between rhyolite and andesite. Vein material is principally silicified breccia and minor calcite and adularia. The dominant minerals are pyrite, stromeyerite, and native gold. Minor constituents are tetrahedrite, proustite, chalcopyrite, and sphalerite.

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A mine is a hole in the ground, owned by a liar.
-Mark Twain


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