Buena Vista Districts

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

Buena Vista District (Esmeralda and Mineral Counties)


Other Names: Oneota, Oneata, Basalt, Mount Montgomery, Montgomery, Montgomery Pass, Queens, White Mountain, White Mountains

County: Esmeralda, Mineral

Discovered: 1862

Organized: 1870

Commodities: silver, gold, lead, copper, zinc, tungsten, fluorspar, thorium and rare earths


Located in the northern White Mountains in the vicinity of Montgomery Pass. The principal part of the district is located at the head of Queen Canyon in Esmeralda County. Organized as Montgomery district in 1864, but shown as the White Mountains district on the 1866 General Land Office map. The same area was organized in 1870 as the Oneota district, but the name Buena Vista was in use by 1912.

The Basalt diatomite area, east of Montgomery Pass and sometimes included in this district, is considered to be a separate district. Mercury mines in the area of Sugarloaf Peak, Fish Lake Valley district, are also sometimes included in this district. The White Mountain district of DeGroot (1863) included the present Buena Vista district as well as a large, adjacent area in California.


General Land Office, 1866; Stretch, 1867, p. 36; Wheeler, 1872, p. 48; Whitehill, 1873, p. 38; Whitehill, 1877, p. 36; Angel, 1881, p. 417; Hill, 1912, p. 206; Lincoln, 1923, p. 140; Stoddard, 1932, p. 41, 58, 60; Vanderburg, 1937a, p. 47, 49; Papke, 1979, p. 8- 9; Ross, 1961, p. 80; Albers and Stewart, 1972, p. 64; Bonham, 1976; Tingley, 1990, p. 115

Buena Vista District (Pershing County)


Other Names:

County: Pershing

Discovered: 1861

Organized: 1861

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


Located on the east side of the Humboldt Range, south of the Star district, in Buena Vista Canyon. The town of Unionville is in the center of the district.


General Land Office, 1866; Stretch, 1867, p. 52; White, 1869, p. 36; Whitehill, 1873, p. 58; Angel, 1881, p. 450; Lincoln, 1923, p. 202; Stoddard, 1932, p. 75; Vanderburg, 1936b, p. 46; Lawrence, 1963, p. 186; Bonham, 1976; Johnson, 1977, p. 97; Stager and Tingley, 1988, p. 194

Placer District Description (Pershing County)


East slope of the Humboldt Range, T. 30 N., R. 34 E.

Topographic Maps

Unionville 15-minute quadrangle.

Geologic Maps

Wallace, Tatlock, Silberling, and Irwin, 1969, Geologic map of the Unionville quadrangle, Pershing County, Nevada, scale 1:62,500.


From Lovelock, 13 miles north on Interstate 80 to Oreana and junction with State Highway 50. From there, it is 16 miles east across the Humboldt Range and 12 miles north to Unionville on State High- way 50.


Placers are found in gravels in Buena Vista Canyon, above the abandoned townsite of Unionville, and in Congress Canyon, a tributary to Buena Vista Canyon from the north. The exact locations of the de- posits in the canyons are unknown. A placer discovered in 1931 in Buena Vista Canyon consists of a 2- to 3-foot-thick pay streak in gravels 6—10 feet deep to bedrock. A placer worked in 1936 in Congress Canyon occurs in gravels 12 feet thick.

Production History

Recorded production for the Unionville district placers dated from 1940 to 1947; yet descriptions of the district indicate that some placers were worked as early as 1875, and others were actively worked between 1931 and 1936. Production during 1932 from placers in Buena Vista Canyon was said to be as high as $10 per day. Total production is probably twice that of recorded production of 46 ounces during the 20th century.


The gold was probably derived from gold-bearing quartz fissure veins such as those worked at the Marigold mines (sec. 28, T. 30 N, R. 34 E.) in upper Buena Vista Canyon.


Cameron, 1939: Source of gold; describes lode mines.

Raymond, 1877: Notes small-scale placer mining in Congress Canyon.

Vanderburg, 1936a: History of placer mining; placer-mining activity during the period 1931-35; depth of gravel worked in 1931; production per man per day in 1932. 1936b: Placer mining in 1936; location; depth of gravel.

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