WHITE OAKS DISTRICT
The White Oaks district has produced about seven-eighths of the gold in Lincoln County. It is about 12 miles northeast of Carrizozo in the White Oaks Mountains, which form the northern continuation of the Sierra Blanca Range. A small amount of placer gold was produced intermittently in the 1850's and 1860's in Baxter Gulch (Graton, in Lindgren and others, 1910, p. 179). The gold-bearing vein deposits were not discovered until 1879 in what is now known as the Homestake mine. The Old Abe mine was the most productive in the district and reached a depth of 1,375 feet (Jones, 1904, p. 172-173). The total production of the district through 1903 was $2,860,000 (Jones, 1904, p. 175). From 1903 to 1926 a small amount of gold was produced in most years, and through 1925 the total production was about $3 million; most of it was lode gold (Lasky and Wootton, 1933, p. 78). Only small-scale activity was reported through the 1930's, and the district was practically idle from 1941 through 1959. The total gold production of the district through 1959 was about 146,500 ounces; most of it was from lodes.
The rocks in the White Oaks district (Graton, in Lindgren and others, 1910, p. 179-180) are Cretaceous shale and post-Cretaceous fine-grained mon-zonite. Both are cut by lamprophyre dikes.
The ore deposits are in veins that cut the monzo-nite, lamprophyre dikes, and the shale. Most of the veins are narrow stringers, but where the intervening wallrock is impregnated with ore minerals, the deposits are irregular shoots. Gold, auriferous pyrite, and huebnerite are the common ore minerals. Quartz, albite, fluorite, and tourmaline are associated vein minerals.
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