Gold Butte 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

Gold Butte District (Clark County)


Other Names: St. Thomas, Bonelli Peak, Bauer, Temple Bar

County: Clark

Discovered: 1872, 1905

Organized: 1873

Commodities: gold, copper, lead, zinc, silver, tungsten, uranium, beryllium, thorium and rare earths, titanium, mica, magnesite, brucite


District is located in the southern part of the Virgin Range, south of St. Thomas Gap and lying generally between the Colorado River on the east and south, and the Overton Arm of Lake Mead on the west. The original district name was St. Thomas and mines were located a few miles east of the town of St. Thomas. The Bauer section was located 30 miles south of Bunkerville, about 9 miles north of old Gold Butte Post Office. Bonelli Peak is in the south- central part of the district, Temple Bar is south of the Colorado River, in Arizona.


Whitehill, 1877, p. 90; Angel, 1881, p. 486; Hill, 1912, p. 201; Lincoln, 1923, p. 21; Stoddard, 1932, p. 25; Vanderburg, 1937b, p. 34; Gianella, 1945, p. 22; Beal, 1963, p. 11; Griffiths, 1964, p. 72-73; Longwell and others, 1965, p. 126; Garside, 1973, p. 20-21; Stager and Tingley, 1988, p. 43

Gold Butte (Clark County) Placer District Description


On the north side of Lake Mead in the hills south of the Virgin Mountains, T. 19 S., R. 70 E. (projected) ; T. 22 S., R. 69 E. (projected).

Topographic Maps

All 15-minute quadrangles—Gold Butte, Iceberg Can- yon, Virgin Basin.

Geologic Maps

Longwell, Pampeyan, Bowyer, and Roberts, 1965, Geologic map of the Copper King and Gold Butte districts, Clark County, Nevada (pi. 12), scale approximately l/2 in=l mile.


From Las Vegas, 74 miles northeast on U.S. Interstate 15 to Riverside. From Riverside, light-duty roads lead south about 37 miles to Gold Butte area and about 15 miles farther south to Temple Bay area.


Placers are found in two areas in the isolated region north of Lake Mead and south of the Virgin Mountains. The Gold Butte dis- trict is in the vicinity of Gold Butte south of Tramps Ridge (T. 19 S., R. 70 E., projected, Gold Butte quadrangle). Temple Bar placer is on the north shore of Lake Mead, near Temple Bay (T. 22 S., R. 69 E., projected, Iceberg Canyon and Virgin Basin quadrangles).

The gravels at Gold Butte are 2-20 feet thick and contain fine gold, no larger than the size of a pinhead (about 1 mm), in the several feet of gravel immediately overlying bedrock. The gravels at Temple Bar and the surrounding area contain very fine gold associated with a large amount of black sand. Temple Bar was inundated by the rising waters of Lake Mead, but similar deposits farther inland from the original shoreline of the Colorado River (in the NE J4 T. 22 S., R. 69 E.) still exist.

Production History

One ounce of placer gold is the only recorded pro- duction for the area, but reports of small-scale intermittent placer mining since 1926-27 suggest a greater actual production. One report indicates that value of some of the gravels at Gold Butte averaged $2.50 per cubic yard.

In the summer of 1967 the gravels around Gold Butte were placered with the aid of a steam shovel, and the Temple Bar area was being worked for both lode and placer gold, which were transported from the area by barges (P. M. Blacet, oral commun., 1967).


The placer gold at Gold Butte was derived from erosion of the small gold veins found in the Precambrian granite that forms Gold Butte. The placer gold near Lake Mead might have been derived from similar veins.


Longwell and others, 1965: Locates placer-mining operations; source of gold.

Vanderburg, 1936a: Location; history of placer-mining activity; extent of placer; depth of gravel; size and value of gold in gravels.

Gold Butte District (Pershing County)


Other Names: Lovelocks

County: Pershing

Discovered: 1914

Commodities: gold, silver, tungsten


The Gold Butte district is located on the east flank of Trinity Range in the general area between Granite Point, north of U.S. Interstate 80, and Lone Mountain, west of town of Lovelock. Gold Butte was the original name; Lovelocks was the name used by Hill (1912).


Hill, 1912, p. 213; Johnson, 1977, p. 57; Stager and Tingley, 1988, p. 159

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