Sawtooth 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

Sawtooth District


Other Names: Mandalay

County: Humboldt, Pershing

Discovered: 1931

Commodities: gold


Located on the west side of Sawtooth Knob in Antelope Range. The district is on the Humboldt-Pershing county line, but most of the district is in Humboldt County. Schilling (1976) used Mandalay as an alternate name but Mandalay Springs is actually located to the west, in the Sulphur district.


Vanderburg, 1938a, p. 42; Gianella, 1945, p. 76; Willden, 1964, tables 16, 17; Johnson, 1973, p. 29; Bonham, 1976; Schilling, 1976

Sawtooth Placer District Description


Northwest end of the Antelope Range, Tps. 34 and 35 N., Rs. 30 and 31 E. (unsurveyed).

Topographic Maps

Lovelock 2-degree sheet, Army Map Service.

Geologic Maps

Willden, 1964, Geologic map of Humboldt County, Nevada (pi. 1), scale 1:250,000. Tatlock, 1969, Geologic map of Pershing County, Nevada, scale 1:200,000.


From Lovelock, 37 miles north on Interstate 80 to Imlay; from there, a light-duty road leads 28 miles northwest to Sawtooth Knob and placer area at the Humboldt County-Pershing County border.


The placer deposits in the Sawtooth district are in a nearly level area of approximately 6 square miles near the west side of Sawtooth Knob, a small prominence at the northern end of the Antelope Range. The gold is found in gravels composed of angular pebbles and few boulders. The gravels rest on a false bedrock of clay at depths of 8 inches to 2 feet; the clay in the gravels is said to be considerable and must be dried before drywashing the gravels. The gold recovered was coarse and rough and said to be 880 fine.

Production History

The placers were discovered in 1931 and were worked continually, although largely on a small scale, until 1942 and intermit- tently since that time. Some of the placer miners reportedly recovered $35 per day for short periods of time, but most of the miners were not so successful. Because there is little water in the area available for placer mining, dry concentration methods are used to recover the gold. Various attempts at large-scale placer mining were not successful.

Most of the production (810 oz.) was attributed to Humboldt County, where the major area of placer concentration is located, only 131 ounces of the total production being attributed to Pershing County. Placer production credited to the Sulphur district (located 6 miles west of Sawtooth Knob and noted for sulfur deposits) is included here in the Sawtooth district.




Smith and Vanderburg, 1932: Discovery of placer gold; placer-mining activity and production per day in 1931; character of placer gravel; distribution of gold in gravels; thickness of gravels; values recovered per cubic yard in 1932 from drywash operation; size of nuggets recovered.

Vanderburg, 1936a: Discovery and resulting placer-mining operations in 1931; extent of placer area; distribution of gold in gravels; size and fineness of gold; operations of Oregon-Nevada Mining Go. 1936b: Discovery of placer gold; placer-mining operations; production; distribution of gold in gravels; size and fineness of placer gold. 1938b: Discovery; production per day per man; extent of placer area; distribution of gold in gravel; size and fineness of placer gold.

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