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
This district is in the southern Sierra Nevada in Kern County about 32 miles northeast of Bakersfield and two miles southwest of Isabella Dam. Gold was discovered here in 1852 by Richard M. Keyes, and for a time this was the largest community in Kern County. The chief periods of mining were the 1850s, 1860s, 1890s, and 1909-15: The area was prospected during the 1930s, but little has been done here since, and Keyesville has become a ghost town.
Geology and Ore Deposits
Virtually the entire district is underlain by quartz diorite. The gold deposits occur in a northeast-trending belt about three miles long. The veins consist of narrow quartz stringers with fault gouge that contain free gold and small amounts of pyrite, arsenopyrite, and pyrrhotite. There are some placer deposits, including one of possible Pleistocene age.
Bright Spot, High Grade, Homestake, Keyes $450,000, Keyesville, Keyesville Placer, Mammoth $500,000, Mooncastle, Nephi, Nob Hill, Opportunity, Sunrise, Virginia, Will Jean.
Brown, G. C., 1916, Kern County, Keyes district: California Min. Bur. Rept. 14, p. 483.
Troxel, B. W., and Morton, P. K., 1962, Kern County, Keyesville district, High Grade mine, and Mammoth mine: California Div. Mines and Geology, County Report 1, pp. 38-39, 111-112, and 115-117.
Tucker, W. B., and Sampson, R. J., 1933, Kern County, Keyes district: California Div. Mines Rept. 29, p. 283.
Page 1 of 1