Virtue Mine

The Virtue Mine is a gold and silver mine located in Baker county, Oregon at an elevation of 3,901 feet.

About the MRDS Data:

All mine locations were obtained from the USGS Mineral Resources Data System. The locations and other information in this database have not been verified for accuracy. It should be assumed that all mines are on private property.

Mine Info

Name: Virtue Mine  

State:  Oregon

County:  Baker

Gallery: View 8 Virtue Mine Photos

Elevation: 3,901 Feet (1,189 Meters)

Primary Mineral: Gold, Silver

Lat, Long: 44.79278, -117.69694

Map: View on Google Maps

Satelite View

MRDS mine locations are often very general, and in some cases are incorrect. Some mine remains have been covered or removed by modern industrial activity or by development of things like housing. The satellite view offers a quick glimpse as to whether the MRDS location corresponds to visible mine remains.


Satelite image of the Virtue Mine

Mine Description

The Virtue was operated from 1862 to 1884 and from 1893 to 1898. A small output was made in 1906-1907. Since that time the mine has been closed. According to Lindgren, the production up to 1878 was $1,250,000. From 1878 to 1884, the estimated amount is $200,000. From 1893 to 1898 the production was $739,000, the maximum being reached in 1896 with $256,000, and the minimum in 1898 with $13,100. The total production is thus $2,189,000.

The mine is developed by at least 10,000 feet of workings from three adits and an 800-foot shaft. Eight veins, of which the Virtue has been most productive, have been cut in the mine workings. They are subparallel and strike N. 20° to 45° W. They dip northeast above the mill level, but steepen downward and dip southwest in the lower workings of the old mine (Gilluly, Reed, and Park, 1933, p. 72-74).

According to Lindgren (1901, p. 722-723), an ore shoot with a maximum strike length of 1200 feet was mined to a depth of about 1000 feet below the outcrop. A lean broken zone was then encountered and operations ceased. The ore was a quartz vein 6 inches to 12 feet wide. The quartz averaged about 14 inches wide and contained from 0.5 to 1.0 ounces of gold per ton. During short periods values were often considerably higher. The quartz was sparsely mineralized with pyrite and chalcopyrite. The gold was largely free and very high grade, the bullion averaging more than 925 fine. Operations at depth were handicapped by a heavy flow of warm water.

Source: Gold and Silver in Oregon, State of Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, 1968

Virtue Mine MRDS details

Site Name

Primary: Virtue Mine
Secondary: Rucker
Secondary: Union
Secondary: Collateral
Secondary: Chicago


Commodity

Primary: Gold
Primary: Silver
Tertiary: Copper
Tertiary: Tungsten


Location

State: Oregon
County: Baker
District: Virtue Area


Land Status

Not available


Holdings

Not available


Workings

Type: Underground


Ownership

Owner Name: James Rex

Owner Name: Consolidated Virtue Mine Co.


Production

Not available


Deposit

Record Type: Site
Operation Category: Past Producer
Deposit Type: Vein
Operation Type: Unknown
Year First Production: 1862
Discovery Year: 1862
Discovery Method: Ore-Mineral Not In Place
Years of Production:
Organization:
Significant: N
Deposit Size: S


Physiography

General Physiographic Area: Intermontane Plateaus
Physiographic Province: Columbia Plateau
Physiographic Section: Payette Section
Physiographic Detail: Virtue Flat


Mineral Deposit Model

Not available


Orebody

Form: TABULAR


Structure

Type: R
Description: Ne Trending Blue Mountains Uplift

Type: L
Description: Fractures And Shear Zones Cutting Diorite And Argillite


Alterations

Alteration Type: L
Alteration Text: Cataclastic Metamorphism


Rocks

Name: Plutonic Rock
Role: Associated
Age Type: Host Rock Unit
Age Young: Early Triassic

Name: Plutonic Rock
Role: Associated
Age Type: Associated Rock Unit
Age Young: Late Triassic


Analytical Data

Analytical Data: AU IS 940 FINE


Materials

Ore: Chalcopyrite
Ore: Scheelite
Ore: Pyrite
Ore: Gold
Gangue: Sericite
Gangue: Calcite
Gangue: Quartz


Comments

Comment (Deposit): CONSV. RECORD ( M014278 ) MERGED WITH THIS RECORD, AND DELETED FROM OREGON FILE.

Comment (Production): PLACER PRODUCTION IS ESTIMATED AT $1200000. LODE MINES PRODUCED APPROXIMATELY $ 300000.

Comment (Development): MINES: WAR EAGLE, BLUE JAY, COPPER HILL, OSAGE CHIEF, KING TUT, BALDY SMITH

Comment (Deposit): LARGE PARTS OF THE LODES CONSIST OF LOW GRADE ORE VALUABLE CHIEFLY FOR AU, AG, AND FE. COMPARATIVELY SMALL CHAMBERS CONTAIN RICH AG-PB ORE SOME BODIES ARE VALUABLE FOR CU.

Comment (Workings): PLACER, ADITS, SHAFTS, TUNNELS

Comment (Deposit): ALL SEDIMENTARY ROCKS ARE INTRUDED AND METAMORPHOSED BY THE BOULDER BATHOLITH. IN SOME PLACES THEY ARE ALSO INTRUDED BY ANDESITE.

Comment (Workings): WORKINGS DEVELOP EIGHT SUBPARALLEL VEINS STRIKING N 20 TO 45 DEG W, DIPPING NE AT HIGHER LEVELS AND NW AT LOWER LEVELS. VEINS AVERAGE 14 INCHES WIDE. AU OUTPUT ESTIMATED FROM TOTAL REPORTED PRODUCTION OF $2,189,000.

Comment (Location): AREA IS MOUNTAINOUS AND RUGGED ELEVATION RANGES FROM 4500 TO 6500 FT. LAT LONG ARE ON AUSTIN. ; INFO FROM LAND.ST :(1950, 1959)

Comment (Production): ITEM 8 ESTIMATED FROM TOTAL REPORTED PRODUCTION OF $2,189,000.


References

Reference (Deposit): LINDGREN, W, 1901, THE GOLD BELT OF THE BLUE MOUNTAINS: USGS 22ND ANNUAL REPORT, PART 2, P. 551-776

Reference (Deposit): GILLULLY, J., REED, J. C., AND PARK, C. F., 1933, SOME MINING DISTRICTS OF EASTERN OREGON: USGS BULL. 846-A, P. 72-74

Reference (Deposit): GILLULLY, J., 1937, GEOLOGY AND MINERAL RESOURCES OF THE BAKER QUADRANGLE, OREGON: USGS BULL. 879, P. 94

Reference (Deposit): BROOKS, H. C., AND RAMP, L., 1968, GOLD AND SILVER IN OREGON: ORE. DEPT. GEOL. BULL. 61, P. 138-143

Reference (Deposit): 1901 RECON W. LINDGREN: REF. 1

Reference (Deposit): 1929 GEOLMAP J. GILLULLY: REF. 3

Reference (Deposit): 1968 COMPILE ORE. DEPT. GEOL. MIN. IND.: BULL. 61

Reference (Deposit): 1929 RECON J. GILLULY ETAL: REF. 2


Oregon Gold

Where to Find Gold in Oregon

"Where to Find Gold in Oregon" looks at the density of modern placer mining claims along with historical gold mining locations and mining district descriptions to determine areas of high gold discovery potential in Oregon. Read more at Where to Find Gold in Oregon.