Lincoln County New Mexico Gold Production

Posted July 16, 2009 in Gold Mining


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Gold lodes are the most important deposits in Lincoln County. The total gold production of Lincoln County through 1959 was about 163,647 ounces; however, mining virtually ceased from 1943 through 1959. Although production has come from a number of districts (Graton, in Lindgren and others, 1910, p. 175-184), only the White Oaks and Nogal districts have produced more than 10,000 ounces of gold.

The Nogal district, in the Sierra Blanca Range about 6 miles southwest of the town of Nogal, has produced minor amounts of placer and lode gold, mostly before 1908. Gold placers were found in Dry Gulch, northeast of Nogal Peak, in 1865, and lode deposits were found at the site of the American Lode mine in 1868. Mining did not begin, however, until this region was withdrawn from the Mescalero Indian Reservation in 1882. By 1910 ore worth about $250,000 had been mined, but operations declined thereafter (Anderson, 1957, p. 92). The district was mostly idle from 1936 through 1959. Total gold production was about 12,850 ounces; most of it was from lode mines.

Bedrock in the Nogal district is predominantly monzonite porphyry which has intruded Cretaceous sedimentary rocks that are exposed east, west, and north of the Sierra Blanca Range. The monzonite porphyry is cut by dikes of diorite porphyry. Scattered patches of andesite flows and tuffs, of probable Tertiary age, are found near Nogal Peak, but their relations with the other rocks are not clear (Graton, in Lindgren and others, 1910, p. 176-177).

The ore deposits are in stringers of quartz and dolomite in the monzonite porphyry and quartz-calcite veins in andesite. The ore minerals are gold, pyrite, sphalerite, galena, and chalcopyrite. A mass of bleached, kaolinized, and brecciated porphyry, located about 1 mile southeast of Nogal Peak, has also yielded gold and a little silver (Graton, in Lindgren and others, 1910, p. 178).

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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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