Bullion 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: Tenabo, Lander, Campbell, Gold Acres, Mud Springs, Raleigh, Salmon

County: Lander

Commodities: gold, silver, copper, lead, tungsten, iron, turquoise, arsenic, barite


Located on the eastern side of the Shoshone Range in T28-30N, R46-47E. The district includes Mud Springs on the north, Lander 4 miles to the south, Tenabo 2 miles southeast of Lander, Gold Acres about 5 miles southwest of Tenabo, and the Raleigh area in T28N, R47E. The original Bullion district was organized in the 1870s in the Lander area. The Campbell area is to the west of Tenabo, in the area of the Utah Mine. The Tenabo name came into use in 1907. The district was labeled “Salmon” on the map of Menardi (1908).


Menardi, 1908; Hill, 1912, p. 215; Lincoln, 1923, p. 110; Stoddard, 1932, p. 49; Lotz, 1934, p. 20; Vanderburg, 1939, p. 39; Bonham, 1976; Stewart and others, 1977, p. 74; Stager and Tingley, 1988, p. 99

Bullion Placer District Description


Location: East flank of the Shoshone Range in the southern part of Crescent Valley, Tps. 28 and 29 N., R. 47 E.

Topographic Maps

Crescent Valley 15-minute quadrangle.

Geologic Maps

Gilluly and Gates, 1965, Geologic map of the northern Shoshone Range, Nevada, (pi. 1), scale 1:31,680.


From Winnemucca, 85 miles east on U.S. Highway 40 to junction with State Highway 21; from there, 28 miles south on State High- way 21 to Tenabo. Placers are found south of Tenabo and 5 miles north in Mud Springs Gulch.


Placers are found in two areas in the Bullion district. The most productive deposits are in Mill and Triplett Gulches (sees. 8 and 9, 16 and 17, T. 28 N., R. 47 E.) south of the townsite of Tenabo on the eastern edge of the Shoshone Range. Small placers are found in various spots along Mud Spring Gulch and tributaries, Rosebud and Tub Spring Gulches (T. 29 N., R. 47 E.) between Granite Mountain and the eastern edge of the Shoshone Range.

The Triplett Gulch placers (sees. 16 and 17, T. 28 N., R. 47 E.) occur in shallow gravels, 1-12 feet thick, composed of sand, soil, and rock fragments less than 5 inches in diameter. The Mill Gulch placers(sees. 8 and 9, T. 28 N., R. 47 E.) occur in gravels composed of sand and medium-sized boulders, ranging in thickness from 10 to 45 feet above bedrock. Gold in both gulches, which head near the Gold Quartz mine (west edge of sec. 8), is both fine and coarse in size. Scheelite has been reported from the Mill Gulch placers.

The Mud Springs Gulch placers are found along bedrock in gravels 60-90 feet thick. The deeper parts of the gravels contain many small and large boulders and are cemented in places. The gold is coarser near the head of the gulch than in the lower parts. No descriptions have been found of the placers in the Rosebud and Tub Springs Gulches, tributary to Mud Springs Gulch.

Production History

Placers were first worked in 1907 in the Mud Springs area of the Bullion district. These small deposits were worked by small- scale hand methods and reportedly produced about $2,000 in placer gold. None of the placer production data from U.S. Bureau of Mines records can be directly attributed to the Mud Springs placer area.

The placers in Mill Gulch were discovered in 1916, but little is known of the development in this area until 1931, when small-scale operations began and continued until 1942.

The Mill Gulch Placer Mining Co. operated a dragline dredge and washing plant in Mill Gulch from May 1, 1937, to April 3, 1939. During this same period, many small operators worked placers in nearby Triplett Gulch and reportedly recovered substantial amounts of placer gold; therefore, the total amount of gold recovered by the dredge in Mill Gulch is difficult to determine. I estimate a production of about 6,000 ounces for the Mill Gulch Placer Mining Co. operation.

In 1938 this company was the largest producer of placer gold in the State, recovering somewhat less than 4,200 ounces. In the last 3 months of operation in 1939, the dredge handled 101,382 cubic yards of gravel to yield 800 ounces of gold and 93 ounces of silver, an aver- age of about 24 cents per cubic yard in placer gold.

The Triplett Gulch Mines, Inc., operated a nonfloating washing plant in Triplett Gulch that received gravels from bulldozers and carryalls from January 1, 1940, to December 15, 1940. The washing plant handled 120,000 cubic yards of gravel to yield 1,627 ounces of gold and 160 ounces of silver, having an average value of about 49 cents per cubic yard in placer gold.


The gold in the Mill Gulch and Triplett Gulch placer deposits was derived from veins distributed near the margin of the granodiorite stock that underlies the central part of the Tenabo mining area. The veins occur both within the stock and in the adjacent chert and crop out mainly on the ridge between the two gulches. Both the stock and the gold mineralization are of Oligocene age. The placers in the Mud Springs area were probably derived from veins near the large mass of granodiorite at Granite Mountain.


Silberman and others, 1969: Dates age of mineralization and host rock at Tenabo.

Southern Pacific Company, 1964: Locates areas of potential placer ground in Black Rock Canyon, Mud Springs Gulch, and Tub Springs, Gulch.

U.S. Bureau of Mines, 1938-41: Reports large-scale operations in Mill Gulch and Triplett Gulch; amount of gravel worked and ounces of gold recovered for some years.

Vanderburg, 1936a: Extent of placers; date of discovery; placer-mining operations during the period 1930-35; depth and value of placer gravels in different gulches; size of large nuggets recovered.

1939: Placer discovery; placer-mining operations in Mill, Triplet, and Mud Springs Gulches.

Wrucke and others, 1968: Describes distribution of lode gold and associated elements in mining areas around Tenabo and Mud Springs.

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