Sand Springs, Santa Fe 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

Sand Springs District


Other Names: Empire

County: Churchill

Discovered: 1866 (?) (1905)

Commodities: silver, gold, tungsten, mercury, titanium


Located in the Sand Springs Range in the vicinity of Sand Springs Pass on U.S. Highway 50. The district extends north of the pass a short distance, but extends south for over 12 miles and includes most of the Sand Springs Range. The Empire district, described as being “at the head of Fairview Valley, south of Mountain Wells” by the Territorial Enterprise (1866), was in this area.


Territorial Enterprise, Nov. 1, 1866; Stoddard, 1932, p. 22; Schrader, 1947, p. 297; Vanderburg, 1940, p. 40; Beal, 1963, p. 8; Willden and Speed, 1974, p. 80; Stager and Tingley, 1988, p. 35; Tingley, 1990, p. 149

Sand Springs Placer District Description


North end of the Sand Springs Range, T. 16 N., R. 32 E.

Topographic Maps

Reno 2 degree sheet, Army Map Service.

Geologic Maps

Nevada Bureau of Mines, 1962, Reconnaissance geologic map and sections, Sand Springs Range (pi. 4), scale 1:31,680.


From Fallon, 28 miles west on U.S. Highway 50 to Summit King mine area, in Sand Springs Range, a quarter of a mile south of highway.


The placers are probably near the Summit King (formerly Dan Tucker) lode claims (approximately sees. 10 and 11, T. 16 X"., R. 32E.). These lode claims are the only productive ones in the district.

Production History

The placer gold was recovered in 1949.


The Summit King group of claims are in quartz veins that trend east-west across the range and cut both metamorphic and volcanic country rocks. Free gold occurs in the quartz veins along with cerargyrite and argentite. The placer gold was probably recovered from material eroded from these quartz veins.


Xevada Bureau of Mines, 1962: Describes ore deposits in Sand Springs Range; describes Summit King lode claims.

Santa Fe District


Other Names: Volcano, Volcanic, Luning, Gillis and Gabbs Valley Ranges

County: Mineral

Discovered: 1865 (1879)

Commodities: gold, copper, silver, tungsten, lead, antimony, uranium, iron


The Santa Fe district covers the southern Gabbs Valley Range, east of Luning. The district extends from Stewart Valley on the east to Soda Spring Valley on the west, and includes the area around Black Dyke Mountain in the eastern Garfield Hills, west of Luning. Santa Fe was included in large Gillis and Gabbs Valley Ranges area of Garside (1973).

The 1880 map shows a Volcanic (historic Volcano?) district located in the area north of Pilot Mountain that would have included the present Santa Fe district. The historic Volcano district described by Danner (1992) includes the present Santa Fe district as well as the northern part of the adjacent Pilot Mountains district.


Gold Hill News, November 15, 1865 2:5, Territorial Enterprise, July 4, 1866 2:2; Stretch, 1867, p. 58; Browne and Taylor, 1867, p. 126; 1881 map; Stuart, 1909, p. 68; Hill, 1912, p. 209; Lincoln, 1923, p. 153; Stoddard, 1932, p. 61; Vanderburg, 1937a, p. 66; Gianella, 1945, p. 118; Reeves and others, 1958, p. 73-75; Ross, 1961, p. 84; Lawrence, 1963, p. 123; Garside, 1973, p. 78; Stager and Tingley, 1988, p. 126; Danner, 1992, p. 33

Santa Fe Placer District Description

Placer gold was recovered in 1914 in this district, which is in the Gabbs Valley Range (T. 8 N, R. 35 E.) but also includes mines in the eastern Garfield Hills (T. 7 N, Rs. 32 and 33 E.). The ores of the district are most valued for copper, silver, and tungsten but gold is present in minor amounts.


Ross, 1961.

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