Aura District

Publication Info:
Nevada Mining Districts (Compiled Reports)
The Districts Described in This Section are from the following publications:

Mining Districts of Nevada - Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Report 47 (updated 1998); Placer Gold Deposits of Nevada - USGS Bulletin 1356 (1973)

Table of Contents


Other Names: Bull Run, White Rock, Centennial, Columbia, Blue Jacket, Edgemont

County: Elko

Discovered: 1867

Organized: 1869

Period Active: 1869-1879; 1899-1919; 1934-37

Commodities: gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, antimony


The Aura district covers the east slope of the Bull Run Mountains, formerly the Centennial Range, north of the site of Aura in Bull Run Basin and extends east to include the drainages of Trail, Badger, and Doby George Creeks in the northern Independence Range.

This is the eastern portion of the original Bull Run district which also included the present Edgemont district. Bull Run was later changed to White Rock, then to Centennial. The Aura name dates from about 1906 when the town of Aura grew on Columbia Creek, below the old town of Columbia.


White, 1871, p. 61; Wheeler, 1872, p. 34; Whitehill, 1873, p. 22; Whitehill, 1875, p. 29; Whitehill, 1877, p. 19; Angel, 1881, p. 392; Hill, 1912, p. 203; Lincoln, 1923, p. 37; Stoddard, 1932, p. 28; Gianella, 1945, p. 36; Granger and others, 1957, p. 27; Patterson and others, 1969, p. 600; Smith, 1976, p. 21 -22; LaPointe and others, 1991, p. 30

Placer District Description


Central part of the Bull Run Mountains, north of Bull Run Reservoir, Tps. 43 and 44 N., R. 52 E.

Topographic Maps

Bull Run 15-minute quadrangle.

Geologic Maps

Decker, 1962, Geologic map of the Bull Run quadrangle, Elko County, Nevada (pi. 1), scale 1:62,500.


From Elko, 66 miles north and west on State Highway 11-43 to State Highway 11a; from there, it is about 12 miles north on 11a to the Centennial district.


Small placers are in the Centennial district along Blue Jacket Creek and Columbia Creek (T. 44 N., R. 52 E.) and in the Bull Run Basin (T. 43 N., R. 52 E.). The placers along Blue Jacket Creek are on the west side of the creek in sec 22 and at the junction of California Gulch and Blue Jacket Creek in sec. 26. The placers along Columbia Creek are north of the Columbia Ranch in sees. 24 and 25 where the creek drains southward. Placers in Bull Run Basin are along Sheridan Creek (sees. 3, 10, and 9, T. 43 N., R. 52 E.).

Production History

The placers in the Centennial district were found after the lode discovery in 1869 and were worked in the 1870's. I have found no estimates of this early production. In 1905 a company organized to work the gravels in Bull Run Basin spent considerable money on ditches, flumes, and pipes to develop the ground. The operation was abandoned after a few hundred yards of material was sluiced. Placer mining since 1905 has been sporadic.


ccording to Decker (1962, p. 55), mesothermal vein deposits occur in limestones in the area near Blue Jacket Creek (formerly called the Aura district) and within and bordering Cretaceous intrusive stocks of dioritic composition in the area near Columbia Creek (formerly called the Columbia district). In contrast to the predominantly gold-sulfide veins of the Edgemont district on the west flank of the Bull Run Mountains, most of these veins contain silver with lesser amounts of gold and base metals. The Aura King group, in Blue Jacket Gulch, however, is located on a vein containing high gold values.


Decker, 1962: Describes lode deposits. Emmons, 1910: Reports failure of large-scale placer-mining operations. Mining and Scientific Press, 1908a: Reports placer-mining activity in the valley of Sheridan Creek; states that the valley has some of the best placer ground in the area. Mining World, 1907a: Number of acres of placer ground in Bull Run Basin; locates placer claims at Aura King group of lode claims. Vanderburg, 1936a: History; lack of recent activity.

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