Gold Districts of California
Bulletin 193 California Division of Mines and Geology 1976
Table of Contents
Related: Where to Find Gold in California
Location and History
The Cove district is in northeastern Kern County between the towns of Kernville and Isabella on the west side of the Isabella Reservoir.
The upper Kern River here was placer-mined during the 1850s. The Big Blue vein was discovered by Lovely Rogers in 1860, and much activity followed during the 1870s and early 1880s. The mines were worked intermittently from then through the 1930s, the Big Blue group having been operated on large scale from 1934 until 1943. There has been only minor activity since. The main mines of the district have been consolidated into the Big Blue-Sumner group, which includes the Lady Belle group. The district has an estimated output valued at $8 million.
Geology and Ore Deposits
The principal mines are in granodiorite. To the east and south are schist, phyllite, quartzite, and marble of the pre-Cretaceous Kernville Series. Aplite dikes are often associated with the gold-bearing veins.
The ore deposits consist of extensive vein systems as much as 150 feet wide that occur in shear zones in granodiorite. The ore consists of quartz with finely disseminated free gold, arsenopyrite, pyrite, chalcopyrite, and gelana. The milling ore usually averages 1/10 to 1/3 ounce of gold per ton with some highgrade streaks. Some scheelite also is present in the gold ore. The veins have been mined to depths of about 500 feet. There are two main vein systems: those of the Big Blue-Sumner and the Lady Belle groups.
Brown, G. C., 1916, Kern County, Cove district; 8eauregard, Big Blue, Blue Gouge and Bull Run mines: California Min. Bur. Rept. 14, pp. 482 and 487-490.
Crawford, J. J., 1893, Big Blue mine: California Min. Bur. Rept. 11, p.142.
Miller, William J., and Webb, Robert W., 1940, Descriptive geology of the Kernville quadrangle: California Div. Mines Rept. 36, pp. 343- 378.
Prout, John W., Jr., 1940, Geology of the Big Blue group of mines, Kernville: California Div. Mines Rept. 36, pp. 379-421.
Troxel, B. W., and Morton, P. K., 1962, Kern County, gold: California Div. Mines and Geology County Rept. 1, pp. 92-196.
Tucker, W. B., and Sampson, R. J., 1940b, Mineral resources of the Kernville quadrangle: California Div. Mines Rept. 36, pp. 322-333.
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