Other Names: Montgomery, Mount Sterling, Timber Mountain
Commodities: gold, silver, lead
The Johnnie district extends from the north flank of Mount Sterling, on the northwest end of the Spring Mountains, southwest to the southwestern tip of Mount Montgomery. It includes Mt. Schader, the town of Johnnie, and a small area on the northeast side of Mount Sterling sometimes considered to be the separate Mount Sterling district. Wheeler (1872) included the Johnnie area in his large Timber Mountain district which also included the Charleston district.
Wheeler, 1872, p. 52; Hill, 1912, p. 222; Lincoln, 1923, p. 172; Stoddard, 1932, p. 68; Lotz, 1934, p. 22; Kral, 1951, p. 86; Averett, 1962, p. 71; Cornwall, 1972, p. 38
Johnnie Placer District Description
North end of the Pahrump Valley, in the low hills west of the Spring Mountains, Tps. 17 and 18 S., Rs. 52 and 53 E.
Mount Shader 7 1/2 minute quadrangle (preliminary).
Cornwall, 1967, Preliminary geologic map of southern Nye County, Nevada, scale 1 : 250,000.
From Las Vegas, 8 miles south on U.S. Highway 91 to junction with State Highway 16; from there, it is about 70 miles west and north on State Highway 16 to Johnnie and placer deposits north and south of the town.
Small placers are found in hillside and gulch gravels adjacent to, and below, many of die gold-quartz veins in the Johnnie district. Most placer mining activity occurred in the gulches below the Congress mine (sec. 1, T. 18 S.. R. 52 E.), located east of Mount Montgomery am half a mile south of the town of Johnnie. Most of the gold is concentrated in the 6 inches of gravel material that overlies bedrock and is overlain by as much as 25 feet of gravel.
Samples of the 6 inches of material on bedrock have value as high as $6 to $30 per cubic yard but the amount of material in this pay streak is unknown.
Placers are also found near the Johnnie and Overfield mines (sec. 20, T. 17 S., R. 53 E.) and the Labbe mine (sec. 30, T. 17 S., R. 53 E.) located northeast of the Johnnie on the west slope of the Spring Mountains. Parts of these placers are residual concentrations of gold, and parts are stream and hillside concentrations of transported gold.
The first recorded production of placer gold from the Johnnie district occurred in 1918, but the more productive accumulations of placer gold were discovered in 1920. This later discovery created considerable excitement and led to a short boom. A small amount of placer gold was produced almost yearly until 1950, and sporadically, until 1960. Most of the placer gold was recovered by drywashing the gravels.
In 1949 the hillside below the Johnnie mine was mined by sluicing with water under high pressure. The amount of gold recovered by this technique did not differ appreciably from the amount recovered by drywashing techniques.
The placer deposits were derived from the gold-quartz veins along faults in the Cambrian sedimentary rocks of the region thought to have formed mainly during the middle Cretaceous and to have remained active into the Tertiary.
Cornwall, 1972: Notes placer-mining activity in 1949 and 1960; describes gold-quartz veins in district.
Engineering and Mining Journal, 1921: Names and locates placer leases in the Johnnie district.
Kral, 1951: History; location and extent of placers; type of placer; thickness of gravels; concentration and value of pay streaks; placer mining operations.
Labbe, 1921: History; location; distribution of gold in gravels; thickness of pay streaks; characteristics of the gold; amount of gold in pyrite; placer-mining techniques with Mexican Air Jig.
Lincoln, 1923: History.
Vanderburg, 1936a: History; production; location and extent of placers; thickness of gravels and gold-bearing pay streak; size of large nugget; placer-mining activity in 1935.