Hite Mine

  

Mine Info

State: California

County: Mariposa

Elevation:

Primary Mineral: Gold

Lat, Long: 37.64578, -119.84887



Hite Mine MRDS details

Site Name

Commodity

Location

Primary: "Hite Mine"
Secondary: "Hite and Wynant"
Secondary: "Hites Cove"
Secondary: "Arkell"
Primary: Gold
Secondary: Silver
State: California
County: Mariposa
District: Hite Cove District
 

Land Status

Holdings

Workings

Land ownership:
Administrative Organization:
Type:


Ownership

Production

Deposit

Record Type: Site
Operation Category: Past Producer
Deposit Type: Hydrothermal vein
Plant Type:
Plant Subtype:
Operation Type: Underground
Mining Method:
Milling Method:
Year First Production:
Year Last Production:
Discovery Year: 1862
Discovery Method:
Years of Production:
Organization:
Significant: Y
Deposit Size: S


Physiography

Mineral Deposit Model

Orebody

Name:
Form: Tabular


Structure

Alterations

Rocks

Type: L
Structure:
Description: Deposit may be associated with the Calaveras-Shoo Fly Thrust.
Type: R
Structure:
Description: Calaveras-Shoo Fly Thrust
Alteration Type: L
Alteration:
Alteration Text: None reported
Name: Granite
Role: Host
Description:
Age Type: Host Rock
Age in Years:
Dating Method:
Material Analyzed:
Age Young: Mesozoic
Age Old:
Name: Slate
Role: Host
Description:
Age Type: Host Rock
Age in Years:
Dating Method:
Material Analyzed:
Age Young: Mesozoic
Age Old: Paleozoic


Analytical Data

Materials

Ore: Gold
Gangue: Quartz


Comments

Comment Type:
Geology
Comment LOCAL GEOLOGY The Hite Mine is situated in the East Belt of gold mineralization of the Sierra Nevada and is similar in its origin and setting to the nearby Ferguson-Original (Clearinghouse) Mine. The deposit consists of gold-bearing quartz veins in slate, which is part of a complex zone that Bateman and Krauskopf (1987) mapped as a ?carbonaceous metapelite? unit of uncertain age. This narrow (about one mile wide), north-northwest-trending unit separates their ?phyllite and chert of Hite Cove? unit of Triassic age on the west from their ?quartzite of Pilot Ridge? unit of Paleozoic (?) age on the east. The Hite Cove unit is likely equivalent to the Paleozoic-Mesozoic Calaveras Complex, while the Pilot Ridge unit is tentatively correlated with the Paleozoic Shoo Fly Complex as described by Schweickert and others (1999). Regionally, the Calaveras Complex includes slate, phyllite, metachert, schist, metavolcanic rock, and metacarbonate rock. The Shoo Fly Complex includes quartzite, schist, phyllite, and lesser amounts of metachert, metacarbonate rock, and metavolcanic rock. The intervening metapelite unit also locally contains small masses of metabasalt, metagabbro, limestone, and quartzite. Bateman and Krauskopf (1987) believed that this unit may be a tectonic rather than stratigraphic unit and could be a local segment of the Calaveras-Shoo Fly Thrust (Schweickert and others, 1999). The various lithologies present in the unit could represent the tectonic mixing of the two adjacent along the thrust zone. Besides slate, other reported wall rocks associated with the Hite deposit include graphitic schist, quartzite, metasandstone, and quartz-biotite hornfels. In addition, the wall rocks are cut by a variety of small dikes and sills of granitic rocks that range in character from white aplite to dark biotite-hornblende granodiorite. The main Hite vein generally strikes N50-70W and dips 75-80NE. Other subsidiary veins in the area have similar attitudes all of which conform approximately to the bedding and schistosity of the enclosing metamorphic rocks. At the surface and to a depth of 600 feet, the main Hite vein splits into two branches separated by a lenticular horse of slate and schist about 600 feet long and up to 50 feet thick. Width of the main vein in its two parts varies from a few feet to more than 12 feet; along the borders of the slate-schist horse the vein is reportedly 25 feet thick. Ore minerals are native gold and sulfides.
Comment Type:
Identification
Comment The Hite Mine, as discussed here, exploited this gold deposit as a single operation. Various other mining claims are also present in the immediate area.
Comment Type:
Commodity
Comment Commodity Info: Sulfides reportedly averaged 1-1/2 percent.
Comment Type:
Commodity
Comment Ore Materials: Native gold, auriferous sulfides (type unknown)
Comment Type:
Workings
Comment Principal workings at this mine consist of two crosscut adits, several shafts, and at least nine drift levels along the vein. The vein was developed mainly through a 1,400-foot crosscut adit that intersected it at a vertical depth of 725 feet below the outcrop; at the end of this adit is a winze 330 feet deep with three levels. Due north of the portal of this adit and 600 feet above it is another adit 720 feet long. Most of the ore in the footwall branch of the vein above the lower adit probably has been stoped. The soft, gouge-like nature of the slate wall rock near the vein made the ground so difficult to support that considerable timbering was required. Bowen and Gray (1957) provide a planar diagram of the mine workings.
Comment Type:
Geology
Comment REGIONAL GEOLOGY The Hite Mine is within the Sierra Nevada Mountains, where bedrock consists of northerly trending tectonostratigraphic belts of metamorphosed sedimentary and volcanic rocks and associated intrusive rocks that range in age from Paleozoic to Mesozoic. The structural belts, which extend about 235 miles along the western side of the Sierra, are flanked to the east by the Sierra Nevada Batholith and to the west by sedimentary rocks of the Cretaceous and Jurassic Great Valley sequence. The structural belts are internally bounded by the Melones and Bear Mountains fault zones and are characterized by extensive faulting, shearing, and folding (Earhart, 1988). From El Dorado County southward into Mariposa County, lode gold deposits occur in three distinct belts - the West Belt, the Mother Lode Belt, and the East Belt. The Mother Lode Belt is responsible for most of the gold produced. However, there has also been substantial gold production from the West Belt and East Belt. The West Belt in Mariposa County consists of widely scattered gold deposits located west of the Mother Lode vein system, which represents the Mother Lode Belt. Gold occurs in irregular quartz veins and stringers in schist, slate, granitic rocks, altered mafic rocks, and as gray ore in greenstone. The West Belt is cut by the northwest-trending Bear Mountains Fault Zone, which separates an assemblage of metavolcanic and metasedimentary rocks of Jurassic age on the southwest from a more disrupted and diverse assemblage of metavolcanic, metasedimentary, plutonic, ultramafic, and melange rocks on the northeast. The metavolcanic rocks consist generally of volcanic and volcanic-sedimentary rocks of island-arc affinity. These rocks are mostly mafic to intermediate in composition and include flows, breccias, and a variety of layered pyroclastic rocks. Some silicic rocks are present also. Various formation names assigned to the metavolcanic assemblages include Gopher Ridge, Copper Hill, Logtown Ridge, and Penon Blanco. The metasedimentary rocks are dominantly distal turbidites and hemipelagic sequences of black slate. Assigned formation names include Mariposa, Salt Spring Slate, and Merced Falls Slate. The northwest-trending Mother Lode Belt traverses western Mariposa County and is associated with the Melones Fault Zone. The rocks of this belt are typically metavolcanic, metasedimentary, and ultramafic, some of which have been hydrothermally altered to assemblages as described below. Mother Lode Belt mineralization is characterized by steeply dipping gold-bearing quartz veins and bodies of mineralized country rock adjacent to veins. Mother Lode veins are characteristically enclosed in Mariposa Formation slate with associated greenstone. The Mother Lode belt vein system ranges from a few hundred feet to a mile or more in width. Within the zone are numerous discontinuous or linked veins, which may be parallel, convergent, or en echelon. The veins commonly pinch and swell. Few can be traced more than a few thousand feet. Mother Lode type veins fill voids created within faults and fracture zones and consist of quartz, gold and associated sulfides, ankerite, calcite, chlorite, limonite, talc, chromium-bearing mica, and sericite. Stringer veins are commonly found in both adjacent footwall and hanging walls. Mother Lode ores are generally low- to moderate-grade (1/3 ounce of gold or less per ton), but ore bodies can be large. Ore shoots are generally short, 200-300 feet being the average stope length. However, they persist at depth, some having been mined to several thousand feet (Clark and Lydon, 1962). Ore shoots are commonly localized at bulges in veins, shear zones, vein intersections, or near abrupt changes in strike or dip.
Comment Type:
Location
Comment Location selected for latitude and longitude is the lower of two adit symbols north of Hite Cove on the USGS 7.5- minute El Portal quadrangle.
Comment Type:
Geology
Comment Wall rocks have invariably been hydrothermally altered, having been partially to completely converted to ankerite, sericite, quartz, pyrite, arsenopyrite, chlorite, and albite with traces of rutile and leucoxene (Knopf, 1929). The mineralization is generally adjacent to the veins in ground that has been fractured and contains small stringers and lenses of quartz. Locally, greenstone bodies adjacent to the quartz veins contain enough disseminated auriferous pyrite in large enough bodies to constitute what has been called "gray ore.? Altered slate wall rock commonly contains pyrite, arsenopyrite, quartz, chlorite, and sericite with or without ankerite (Zimmerman, 1983). Large bodies of mineralized schist also form low-grade ore bodies throughout the Mother Lode. This ore consists of amphibolite schist that has been subjected to the same processes of alteration, replacement, and deposition that formed the greenstone gray ores. The altered schist consists mainly of ankerite, sericite, chlorite, quartz, and albite. Gold is associated with the pyrite and other sulfides that are present. Pyrite comprises about 8 percent of the rock. The average grade of mineralized schist is about 0.1 oz per ton. The Melones Fault Zone separates the Mother Lode Belt from the East Belt. The East Belt is dominantly argillite, phyllite and phyllonite, chert, and metavolcanic rocks of Paleozoic-Mesozoic age. Carbonate rocks (marble) are also present locally. The phyllite and phyllonite are dark to silvery gray. The chert is mostly thin-bedded with phyllite partings. The Upper Paleozoic-Lower Mesozoic metasedimentary and metavolcanic rocks of the East Belt have been assigned to the Calaveras Complex by most investigators (Earhart, 1988). The Lower Paleozoic metamorphic rocks farther east have been assigned to the Shoo Fly Complex. More recently, some geologists have reinterpreted certain assemblages along and immediately east of the Melones Fault Zone as separate Jurassic units (Schweickert and others, 1999). The metamorphic complexes are intruded in places by Mesozoic plutonic rocks. Lode deposits of the East Belt consist of many individual gold-bearing quartz veins enclosed in metamorphic rocks of possible Jurassic age, metamorphic rocks of the Calaveras Complex, metamorphic rocks of the Shoo Fly Complex, or in granitic rocks. Most of the veins trend northward and dip steeply. An east-west set of intersecting faults may be a controlling factor in controlling deposition of ore. Ore deposits of the East Belt are smaller and narrower than those of the Mother Lode, but commonly are more chemically complex, and richer in grade. Gold is generally associated with appreciable amounts of pyrite, chalcopyrite, pyrrhotite, galena, sphalerite, and arsenopyrite.
Comment Type:
Commodity
Comment Gangue Materials: Quartz
Comment Type:
Deposit
Comment The deposit at the Hite Mine consists of a typical gold- and sulfide-bearing hydrothermal quartz veins within metamorphic wall rock. The principal (Hite) vein is reportedly in slate and other metamorphic rocks and is associated with a series of dikes. It strikes N50-70W and dips 75-80NE. Gold is present both in native form and in sulfides. The slate is soft and gouge-like near the vein.
Comment Type:
Development
Comment Opened in 1862-63, this mine was worked continuously to 1879 by Hite and Company, initially by hand methods and an arrastra, and later with a stamp mill. It is possible that most production came from the mine during this period as the mine was only sporadically active subsequently. From 1879 on, the mine passed through various changes in ownership and episodes of litigation. Records indicate that production was minor during this period, although there was still additional ore indicated at depth. Julihn and Horton (1940) reported exploration activity at this mine in the late 1930?s (no reported production from this activity). Bowen and Gray (1957) reported some road-building activity to the mine in 1953-54, but no additional information on activity at the mine since then was obtained during research for this deposit. Amalgamation and cyanide processes were used at this mine.
Comment Type:
Economic Factors
Comment Clark (1970) and Julihn and Horton (1940) reported a production value of about $3 million for this mine. Apparently most of this production was prior to 1900.


References

Reference Category:
Deposit
Pages:
Reference: Bateman, P.C. and Krauskopf, K.B., 1987, Geologic map of the El Portal Quadrangle, west-central Sierra Nevada, California: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-1998, scale 1:62,500.
URL:
Reference Category:
Deposit
Pages:
Reference: Castello, W.O., 1921, Mariposa County: California State Mining Bureau, 17th Annual Report of the State Mineralogist, p. 86-143.
URL:
Reference Category:
Deposit
Pages:
Reference: Bowen, O.E., Jr. and Gray, C.H., Jr., 1957, Mines and mineral resources of Mariposa County, California: California Journal of Mines and Geology, v. 53, nos. 1-2, p. 35-343.
URL:
Reference Category:
Deposit
Pages:
Reference: Clark, W. B., 1970, Gold districts of California: California Division of Mines and Geology Bulletin 193, p. 64.
URL:
Reference Category:
Deposit
Pages:
Reference: Clark. W. B., and Lydon, P.A., 1962, Mines and mineral resources of Calaveras County, California: California Division of Mines and Geology County Report No. 2, p. 72-73.
URL:
Reference Category:
Deposit
Pages:
Reference: Earhart, R.L., 1988, Geologic setting of gold occurrences in the Big Canyon area, El Dorado County, California: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1576, 13 p.
URL:
Reference Category:
Deposit
Pages:
Reference: Julihn, C.E., and Horton, F.W., 1940, Mineral industries survey of the United States - Mines of the southern Mother Lode Region, Part II - Tuolumne and Mariposa counties: U.S. Bureau of Mines Bulletin 424, 179 p.
URL:
Reference Category:
Deposit
Pages:
Reference: Koschmann, A.H., and Bergendahl, M.H., 1968, Principal gold-producing districts of the United States: U. S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 610, 283 p.
URL:
Reference Category:
Deposit
Pages:
Reference: Knopf, A., 1929, The Mother Lode system of California: U. S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 157, 88 p.
URL:
Reference Category:
Deposit
Pages:
Reference: Logan, C.A., 1935, Mother Lode gold belt of California: California Division of Mines Bulletin 108, 240 p.
URL:
Reference Category:
Deposit
Pages:
Reference: Schweickert, R.A., Hanson, R.E., and Girty, G.H., 1999, Accretionary tectonics of the Western Sierra Nevada Metamorphic Belt in Wagner, D.L. and Graham, S.A., editors, Geologic field trips in northern California: California Division of Mines and Geology Special Publication 119, p. 33-79.
URL:
Reference Category:
Deposit
Pages:
Reference: Strand, R.G., 1967, Mariposa Sheet: California Division of Mines and Geology Geologic Map of California, scale 1:250,000.
URL:
Reference Category:
Deposit
Pages:
Reference: Wagner, D.L., Bortugno, E.J., and McJunkin, R.D., 1990, Geologic map of the San Francisco-San Jose Quadrangle, California: California Department of Conservation, Division of Mines and Geology Regional Geologic Map Series, Map No. 5A, scale 1:250,000.
URL:
Reference Category:
Deposit
Pages:
Reference: Zimmerman, J.E., 1983, The geology and structural evolution of a portion of the Mother Lode Belt, Amador County, California: Unpublished M.S. thesis, University of Arizona, 138 p.
URL:

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A mine is a hole in the ground, owned by a liar.
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About The MRDS Mines Database

All mine locations were obtained from the USGS Mineral Resources Data System. The locations and other information in this database have not been verified for accuracy. It should be assumed that all mines are on private property.

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