Mount Siegel 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

Mount Siegel District


Other Names: Sunrise

County: Douglas

Discovered: 1878 (1911)

Commodities: gold


Located on the north slope of Mount Siegel on the upper part of Buckeye Creek. The Territorial Enterprise (1878) reported a placer gold district, Sunrise, located north of Red Canyon.


Territorial Enterprise, July 16, 1878; Lincoln, 1923, p. 35; Stoddard, 1932, p. 28; Gianella, 1945, p. 34; Overton, 1947, p. 28; Moore, 1969, p. 29

Mount Siegel Placer District Description


On the northeast flank of Mount Siegel in the Pine Nut Mountains, T. 12 N., R. 22 E.

Topographic Maps

Mount Siegel and Wellington 15-minute quadrangles.

Geologic Maps

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


From Reno, 45 miles south on U.S. Highway 395 to Minden; from there, dirt roads parallel Buckeye Creek for 20 miles eastward to the Mount Siegel placer area in the Pine Nut Range.


Placers are found on the major headward fork of Buckeye Creek, which drains north along the east side of the crest of the Pine Nut Mountains. Some reports state that the placers are found over a large area covered by Tertiary sedimentary rocks, but practically all activity was concentrated at Slaters placer mine (NWJ4 sec. 11, T. 12 N., R. 22 E., Wellington quadrangle) at an elevation of 7,100 feet.

The placers consist of unsorted debris composed of rocks, gravels, sands, and some large boulders; the gold occurs throughout the gravels and is both fine and coarse.

Production History

The Mount Siegel placers were discovered in 1891 and worked intermittently to 1943. In 1896 a company spent large sums on pipelines and tunnels to bring water from a small lake to the placers for use in hydraulic mining; lack of water resulted in failure of this operation. In 1896 the King brothers worked placers along bedrock, reportedly recovering $10 per day per man.

Placer-mining activity was continuous to 1919. In 1903, 1904, and 1906 about 200 ounces of gold was recovered; in other years, the amount was less than 100 ounces.


The placer gold is a reconcentration of material derived from Tertiary sedimentary rocks in recent gully gravels. No lode source is exposed in the Mount Siegel area; south of Mount Siegel, gold veins are found in quartz monzonite in the Silver Lake (Red Canyon) district. Presumably, erosion of similar veins during the Tertiary was the source of the placer gold that has been reconcentrated in the recent gravels on Buckeye Creek.


Engineering and Mining Journal, 1896b: Reports developments at Buckeye placer; depth of gravel and production per day per man at King brothers workings.

Gray, 1951: Locates Slaters placer; age and derivation of placer gold; does not discuss lode source.

Lincoln, 1923: Location; history.

Moore, 1969: Locates Slaters placer mine; distribution of gold; production.

Overton, 1947: History; location; placer-mining operations in 1890's; distribution and size of gold in gravels; fineness of gold.

Smith and Vanderburg, 1932: Location; age of placer gravels; production for 1911; fineness of gold; estimate of total production (to 1932).

Vanderburg, 1936a: Location; early placer-mining operations; estimate of production; distribution of placers; size of gravel material; size and fineness of gold; source of the gold placers; problems in early placer-mining operations.

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