Location and History
The Forbestown district is in southeastern Butte County about 15 miles due east of Oroville. It includes the Feather Falls area. The Brownsville district is just to the south, and the Hureton and Bidwell Bar districts are to the west. The area was placer-mined during the gold rush. At that time the South Fork of the Feather River, which drains the area, yielded huge amounts of gold. The town was named for Ben F. Forbes who established a store here in 1850. The Gold Bank mine was operated on a major scale from 1888 until 1904. Moderate mining activity continued in the district through the 1930s, and there has been intermittent prospecting, some by skin diving, since.
Geology and Ore Deposits
The area is underlain by massive greenstone, amphibolite schist and fine-grained diorite. Granite lies to the north and gabbro diorite to the south. There are a number of north-trending quartz veins and stringers. The ore contains free gold and considerable amounts of sulfides; tellurides have been reported. The milling ore is usually low in value (1/5 oz. or less per ton), but the ore shoots often had stoping lengths of several hundred feet. The sulfide concentrates were valued up to $100 per ton.
Carlisle, Denver, Gold Bank $2 million, Golden Eagle, Golden Queen $372,000+, Miller, Shakespeare $137,000+, Southern Cross, Williams.
Crawford, J. J., 1894, Gold Bank mine: California Min. Bur. Rept. 12, p.83.
Logan, C.A. 1930, Butte County, Forbestown Consolidated Gold Mines: California Div. Mines Rept. 26, pp. 373-376.
Miner, J. A., 1890, Gold Bank mine: California Min. Bur. Rept. 10, pp. 125-127.
Turner, H. W., 1898, Bidwell Bar folio, California: U. S. Geol. Survey Geol. Atlas of the U. S., folio 43, 6 pp.
Waring. C. A., 1919, Butte County, Gold Bank and Golden Queen mines: California Min. Bur. Rept. 15, pp. 216-217.