Bald Mountain 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: Joy, Ruby Mountain, Alligator Ridge-Bald Mountain, Buck and Bald area

County: White Pine

Discovered: 1869

Organized: 1869

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


This district includes both Big and Little Bald Mountain, the northeastern part of Buck Mountain, part of the Maverick Springs Range, and Alligator Ridge. The original Bald Mountain district, in the vicinity of the old camp of Joy, was enlarged by Ilchik (1990) to include Alligator Ridge, west of Long Valley and south of Bald Mountain in the southern Ruby Range, where gold mineralization was discovered in 1976. Ilchik referred to this large area as the Alligator Ridge-Bald Mountain district. Locally, the entire district is sometimes referred to as the Buck and Bald area.


White, 1871, p. 78; Angel, 1881, p. 652; Lincoln, 1923, p. 241; Stoddard, 1932, p. 86; Lawrence, 1963, p. 225; Bonham, 1976; Hose and others, 1976, 1983; Stager and Tingley, 1988, p. 206; Ilchik, 1990, p. 51

Placer District Description


Western slope of the southern end of the Ruby Range, T. 24 N., Rs. 56 and 57 E. (projected).

Topographic Maps

Gold Creek Ranch 15-minute quadrangle.

Geologic Maps

Rigby, 1960, Preliminary geologic map of the Bald Mountain area, Nevada (fig. 5) , scale *=« 1 : 125,000.


From Ely, 59 miles west on U.S. Highway 50 to improved road leading north 35 miles through the Newark Valley. At the north end of the valley, dirt roads lead about 8 miles east and north to placer area at flanks of Bald Mountain.


Placer gold occurs in gravels of Water Canyon on the south slope of Big Bald Mountain. Apparently, most of the placers occur above the 7,000-foot elevation at the base of the mountain, although some reports indicate that some gold has been found for 6 miles along the Canyon. The gravels in the narrow canyon east of the 7,000-foot elevation are about 10 feet thick. The pay streak on bedrock was 14—18 inches thick. The gold reportedly was coarse, and nuggets ranging in value from $2.50 to $10 were found.

Production History

Although the Bald Mountain placers are mentioned in a number of reports, production was probably small. One report states that men working the area in 1933 recovered at least 1 ounce of gold per shift, but no production was recorded by the U.S. Bureau of Mines that year.


The probable source of the placer gold is from gold veins in the quartz monzonite of Bald Mountain, yet the placer gold is said to be coarser than the gold in these veins.


Blake, 1964: States that placer gold is coarser than remaining veins in probable source—quartz monzonite (p. 29). Hill, 1916: Thickness of gold-bearing gravels; size of nuggets recovered. Mining Review, 1933: Reports developments at lode and placer properties; names operators at different placers; gulches in which placers are located; production from one claim. Vanderburg, 1936a: Early mining history; depth and extent of placer gravels; thickness of pay streak; size of nuggets found.

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