Carson River, Castle Peak, Cave Creek, Cave Valley 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

Carson River District


Other Names: Carson City, Lyon

County: Carson City, Lyon

Commodities: silver, gold, mercury, thorium and rare earths


Located along the Carson River about 9 miles east of Carson City. The only production was from cleanup of old Carson River mills; there are no mines in the district.


Stoddard, 1932, p, 74

Carson River Placer District Description


Along the Carson River, in the vicinity of Empire, T. 15 N., Rs. 20 and 21 E.

Topographic Maps

Dayton 15-minute quadrangle.

Geologic Maps

Moore, 1969, Geologic map of Lyon, Douglas, and Ormsby Counties, Nevada (pi. 1), scale 1:250,000.


From Carson City, 3 miles northeast on State Highway 50 to vicinity of Carson River at Empire.


Gravels along the Carson River have been mined sporadically for placer gold that in part came from old mill tailings from treatment of the Comstock ores. The gold recovered during the 20th century ap- parently came from the part of the river in the vicinity of Empire (sees. 11—14, T. 15 N., R. 20 E.) and near Santiago Canyon (sec. 5, T. 15 N., R. 21 E.). In 1923, an old 60-foot-wide channel of the Carson River was reportedly discovered to contain coarse gold.

Production History

Production from the Carson River placers has been minor. The many attempts to recover gold from old mill tailings along the Carson River before 1900 met with failure, and placer mining dur- ing the 20th century has been sporadic.


The probable source of the placer gold is the Comstock lode.


Mining Review, 1923: Reports discovery of old river channel of Carson River on the old Mexican Mill property at Empire; channel gravels reportedly contain coarse gold; width of channel bed is 60 feet.

U.S. Geological Survey, 1911: Notes placer production from Carson River; states that gold is presumed to have been recovered from old tailings.

Vanderburg, 1936a: History of operations along Carson River to re- cover gold in mill tailings from Comstock lode.

Castle Peak District


Other Names: Aqua Frio, Castle, Red Mountain, Washington, Alum Canyon

County: Storey, Washoe

Discovered: 1859

Commodities: mercury


Located in the Virginia Range, south of the Truckee River about 12 miles from Virginia City. Red Mountain, north of Castle Peak, was formerly considered to be a separate district. The Territorial Enterprise (1859) described an Aqua Frio district, organized in December 1859 in this general area. The Washington district, according to Gold Hill News (1865), was located in the Washington Hill area. The Alum Canyon district (1863) included the foot of Geiger Grade. All of these areas are now included in the Castle Peak district.


Territorial Enterprise, December 31, 1859; Gold Hill News, October 19, 1863 and October 20, 1865; Stretch, 1867, p. 68; King, 1885, p. 541; Stoddard, 1932, p. 82; Stoddard and Carpenter, 1950, p. 51; Bonham, 1969, p. 99

Cave Creek District


Other Names: Ruby Range

County: Elko

Discovered: 1869

Organized: 1869

Commodities: silver, lead, copper, barite


Located 12 miles north of Fort Ruby on the eastern slope of the Ruby Mountains, near the summit. Hill (1916) included Cave Creek in his large Ruby Range area.


White, 1871, p. 62; Angel, 1881, p. 392, Hill, 1916, p. 59; LaPointe and others, 1991, p. 55

Cave Valley District


Other Names: Cave, Patterson

County: Lincoln

Discovered: 1869

Organized: 1869

Commodities: lead, silver, copper, gold, vanadium


This district is in the northern part of Cave Valley at Cave Spring. The district includes a low hill that runs southwest from the Schell Creek Range about 8 miles northwest from Patterson Pass. Originally organized as the Cave district in 1869, the district is commonly included in the adjacent Patterson district.


White, 1871, p. 92-93; Angel, 1881, p. 652; Schrader, 1931, p. 1; Stoddard, 1932, p. 54; Tschanz and Pampeyan, 1970, p. 165; Wong, 1982, table 1

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