Searchlight 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

Searchlight District


Other Names: Colorado, Newberry, Camp Dupont, Camp Duncan

County: Clark

Discovered: 1897

Commodities: gold, silver, lead, copper, molybdenum, turquoise, vanadium, perlite


The Searchlight district is located in T27-29N, R63-65E, in the vicinity of the town of Searchlight about 55 miles south of Las Vegas. Wheeler (1872) included the present Searchlight district in a larger Colorado district. Lincoln (1923) included Camp Dupont, in the Copper Mountain area, and Camp Thurman, to the southeast on the northern end of the Newberry Mountains, in the Searchlight district. The present Searchlight district includes Camp Dupont, but Camp Thurman is in the Newberry district. Camp Duncan was described by Averett (1962) as being near Camp Dupont.


Wheeler, 1872, map; Stuart, 1909, p. 132; Hill, 1912, p. 202; Lincoln, 1923, p. 24; Stoddard, 1932, p. 25; Vanderburg, 1937b, p. 61, 69; Gianella, 1945, p. 30; Averett, 1962, p. 20; Gemmill, 1964, p. 235; Longwell and others, 1965, p. 112

Searchlight Placer District Description


West of the Colorado River on the east side of the Newberry Mountains, Tps. 28-31 S., Rs. 65 and 66 E.

Topographic Maps

Spirit Mountain 15-minute quadrangle.

Geologic Maps

Longwell, 1963, Geologic map and sections of area along Colorado River between Lake Mead and Davis Dam, Arizona-Nevada (pi. 1), scale 1:125,000.


From Las Vegas, 57 miles southeast on U.S. Highway 95 to Searchlight. From Searchlight, light-duty roads lead east and south about 16 miles to the north end of the Newberry Mountains. Dirt roads lead farther south along the mountain flanks.


The lode-gold mines in the Searchlight district are in the low hills between the southern Eldorado Mountains and the northern Newberry Mountains (T. 28 S., Rs. 63 and 64 E.), but the meager information available about the placers indicates that these deposits are east of the main lode-gold mining area between the Newberry Mountains and the Colorado River (Tps. 28-31 S., Rs. 65 and 66 E.).

Most of the placer gold was recovered from gravels described as ancient riverbed gravels, remnants of which occur in the vicinity of the New- berry Mountains. Some of the placer gold may have been recovered from the main Searchlight mining area.

Production History

Most of the placer gold attributed to the Searchlight district was recovered in the 1930's.


Small gold-bearing quartz veins in Precambrian granite and metamorphic rocks have been mined in places in the Newberry Mountains. Placer gold recovered in this area was probably derived from this type of vein.

The ores in the Searchlight lode-mining district, which might have supplied some of the placer gold attributed to the district, are found in igneous rocks of Tertiary age. These deposits are largely oxidized and contained both gold and silver in the heavy-surface ores.


Longwell and others, 1965: Describes geology and ore deposits (but not placer deposits) in the Searchlight district and Newberry Mountains.

Richardson, 1936: Describes methods used in testing gold-bearing gravels in Newberry Mountains; size of gravels; accessory minerals.

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