Piute County Utah Gold Production

Posted July 16, 2009 in Gold Mining


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Piute County, one of Utah's smaller counties, is in the south-central part of the State and is immediately east of Beaver County. Gold lodes in the Tushar Range in the western part yielded most of its mineral wealth; through 1959 about 240,000 ounces was produced, mainly from the Gold Mountain and Mount Baldy districts. Silver, lead, and copper were also mined on a smaller scale.

Gold-bearing sand was discovered in about 1868 in Pine Gulch Creek in the Ohio district about 6 miles southwest of Marysvale. Later in the same year gold lodes were found (Butler and others, 1920, p. 541). Discoveries of lodes immediately north of the Ohio district led to the organization of the Mount Baldy district in 1878. Data from these two districts are combined in this report. After the successful introduction of the cyanide process, interest was concentrated on an area north of the Mount Baldy district that contained gold deposits which previously had resisted the amalgamation treatment. These deposits were developed, and by 1889 the Gold Mountain district was organized (Butler and others, 1920, p. 540). Mining flourished in the county until 1941, after which activity decreased; production remained small through 1959.

The Gold Mountain (Kimberly) district in the northwest part of Piute County is just south of the Sevier County line and about 10 miles west-northwest of Marysvale. Some deposits are in the adjacent part of Sevier County.

After the perfection of the cyanide process for treating complex ores, previously known gold-silver lodes were developed. The Gold Mountain district was organized in 1889, and a mill was built at the Annie Laurie mine which was to become the most productive mine of the area. During the most pros¬perous period, from 1901 through 1913, a total of 134,744 ounces of gold was mined, chiefly from the Annie Laurie and Sevier mines (Butler and others, 1920, p. 540-541). Activity declined after 1914, and the district was virtually idle from 1918 to 1934. A brief resurgence occurred from 1934 through 1940 which was followed by intermittent small-scale activity through 1959. Total gold production through 1959 was about 159,000 ounces.

Bedrock in the Gold Mountain district consists of a basement of sedimentary rocks of pre-Tertiary age overlain by two groups of volcanic rocks - an earlier Tertiary (?) sequence of andesite, dacite, and quartz latite breccias and tuffs with a few intercalated flows predominantly of quartz latite and a later Tertiary (?) sequence of white rhyolite tuff with a few local interbedded quartz latite flows. The older sequence of volcanic rocks is intruded by masses of quartz monzonite (Callaghan, 1938, p. 98-100).

The ore deposits are silver and gold-bearing quartz veins 3 to 30 feet thick in the earlier Tertiary (?) volcanic rocks. The ore minerals are gold, finely divided argentite, and pyrite in a gangue of quartz, carbonates, adularia, and barite (Lindgren, 1906a). Locally the veins contain copper stains and quicksilver (Butler and others, 1920, p. 544).

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Did You Know.......

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


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