Location and History
Ballarat is in south-central Inyo County on the west flank of the Panamint Range and just west of Death Valley National Monument. It was named for the Ballarat mining district in Australia. It includes the South Park area to the south. The old silver-mining camp of Panamint City is just to the north. The Ratcliff mine, the largest gold source in the district, was discovered in 1897, and considerable mining activity lasted until about 1915. The mines were active again from 1927 until 1942, and there has been intermittent prospecting and development work since.
The district is underlain by schist, dolomitic limestone, and gneiss of Precambrian age, which in places have been cut by granitic dikes. The ore deposits consist of quartz veins containing free gold and occasionally abundant sulfides.
Cecil R., Knob, Lestro Mountain, Loms, Porter, Ratcliff $1.3 million+, Thorndyke, World Beater.
Jennings, C. W., 1955, Death Valley sheet: California Div. Mines geologic map of California, Olaf P. Jenkins edition.
Norman, L. A., Jr., and Stewart, R. M., 1951, Inyo County, lotus and Ratcliff mines: California Jour. Mines and Geology, vol. 47 pp. 45-48.