Rabbit Hole 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

Rabbit Hole District


Other Names: Rabbithole, Rabbit Hole Springs, Barrel Springs

County: Pershing

Commodities: gold, tungsten, titanium, montmorillonite


Located north of Rabbit Hole Springs on the western side of the Kamma Mountains. The district is centered about 8 miles south of Sulphur on the Lovelock-Sulphur road and includes the Barrel Springs area.


Vanderburg, 1936a, p. 148, 1936b, p. 25; Beal, 1963, p. 22; Papke, 1970, p. 34; Bonham, 1976; Johnson, 1977, p. 76; Stager and Tingley, 1988, p. 183

Rabbit Hole and Rosebud Placer District Description


Location: In the northern Kamma Mountains, north of Rosebud Canyon, T. 34 N., Rs. 29 and 30 E. (projected).

Topographic Maps

Lovelock 2-degree sheet, Army Map Service.

Geologic Maps

Tatlock, 1969, Preliminary geologic map of Pershing County, Nevada, scale 1:200,000.


From Lovelock, 18 miles west on State Highway 48 to junction with light-duty road leading north toward Sulphur along the east flank of the Seven Troughs Range. From this junction, it is about 61 miles north to Rosebud Canyon and placer area.


The extent and exact location of placers in the northern Kamma Mountains are difficult to determine because of the lack of large-scale maps showing the location of springs, gulches, and mines. Placers have been worked northeast of Rosebud Peak in gravels on the side of the mountains (approximately sec. 8, T. 34 N., R. 30 E., unsurveyed) and on the southwest side of Rosebud Peak in gravels in ravines northwest of Rosebud Canyon (S1/2 T. 34 N., R. 29 E., unsurveyed). Other placers were worked in ravines known as Coarse Gold Canyon, Red Gulch, Long Gulch, and Barrel Springs Canyon, said to be tributaries of Rose- bud Canyon.

Most of the gravels in the ravines where gold was found ranged in thickness from 2 to 12 feet. The gold-bearing gravels characteristically overlie a false bedrock of clay; shafts sunk below this horizon yielded little gold. The gold particles recovered from the area are flat; much of the gold ranges in size from particles having a weight value of a few cents to a few dollars.

Production History

Although most descriptions of placer mining here state that work was concentrated in the Rabbit Hole district (west side of the Kamma Mountains), all but 89 ounces of production was credited to the Rosebud district (east side of the Kamma Mountains). The placers near Rosebud Canyon were reportedly first worked in the 1870's by Chinese placer miners, who recovered several thousand dollars in placer gold, but placer mining before the 1930's was intermittent. From 1933 until 1942, the placers were worked continuously, by individuals who drywashed the gravels and by companies who used dry-concentrating plants, power shovels, and trucks to mine the gravels.

The largest yearly production was for 1939 and 1940, when placer-mining operations on the Janke group of claims in Barrel Springs Canyon and on the Rio Seco claims (unlocated), produced a total of 3,008 ounces of gold. Production continued intermittently from 1943 to 1963. Most of the placer ground is controlled by Constant Minerals Separation Co., who have operated placers in the district since the 1940's.


The rocks exposed in the northern Kamma Mountains consist of Tertiary volcanic and sedimentary rocks in the central part and on the east flank, and of Tertiary sedimentary rocks, Tertiary and Quaternary gravels, and Quaternary alluvium on the west flank. The Janke claims were reportedly in ancient lakebed gravels. The placer gold was probably derived by erosion of gold-silver veins, in the northern Kamma Mountains, such as those at the Brown Palace mine, but, because there have been no detailed studies of the area, this derivation is not certain.


Engineering and Mining Journal, 1933b: Reports placer-mining activity at Rabbit Hole; value of gravel and black sands mined; width and depth of placer gravel; type of false bedrock; mining techniques. 1942: Reports presence of cassiterite in placers at Rabbit Hole, Placerites, and Sawtooth districts; notes that tin content is too low for profitable mining.

Lincoln, 1923: History; extent of placers (Rabbit Hole district) the year that placers were first worked in Rosebud district.

Mining Journal, 1939b: Reports living arrangements of placer miners and number of miners in district. 1940a: Reports amount of gold recovered daily by Rio Seco Mining Co.

Mining World, 1910: Reports placer-mining developments; average value of gravels per yard.

U.S. Bureau of Mines, 1936-40: Describes placer-mining operations in Rosebud district; Minerals Yearbook for 1936 states that Janke claims were in ancient lakebed gravels.

Vanderburg, 1936a: Rabbit Hole—early placer-mining activity and production(1916); depth of placer gravel; distribution of gold above and below false bedrock; size and fineness of gold; placer-mining activity and operations during the period 1932-35; amount of gold recovered by different operators. Rosebud—brief summary of placer-mining history and activity; depth of placer gravels. 1936b: Early placer-mining history and production; names placer gulches; depth of gold-bearing gravel; fineness of gold; size of nuggets; distribution of gold; placer-mining operations.

Page 1 of 1