Empire - Northern Lights Deposit

The Empire - Northern Lights Deposit is a gold, silver, and copper mine located in Lander county, Nevada at an elevation of 5,348 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: Empire - Northern Lights Deposit  

State:  Nevada

County:  Lander

Elevation: 5,348 Feet (1,630 Meters)

Commodity: Gold, Silver, Copper

Lat, Long: 40.60611, -117.02889

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Satelite image of the Empire - Northern Lights Deposit

Empire - Northern Lights Deposit MRDS details

Site Name

Primary: Empire - Northern Lights Deposit


Primary: Gold
Primary: Silver
Primary: Copper


State: Nevada
County: Lander
District: Battle Mountain District

Land Status

Land ownership: Private
Note: the land ownership field only identifies whether the area the mine is in is generally on public lands like Forest Service or BLM land, or if it is in an area that is generally private property. It does not definitively identify property status, nor does it indicate claim status or whether an area is open to prospecting. Always respect private property.


Not available


Not available


Owner Name: Newmont Mining Corp.
Info Year: 2004


Not available


Record Type: Site
Operation Category: Producer
Deposit Type: replacement
Operation Type: Surface-Underground
Year First Production: 1918
Discovery Year: 1875
Years of Production:
Significant: Y
Deposit Size: S


Not available

Mineral Deposit Model

Model Name: Distal disseminated Ag-Au
Model Name: Carbonate-hosted Au-Ag


Not available


Type: L
Description: NE-trending faults ad the Dewitt Thrust Fault

Type: R
Description: Dewitt Thrust Fault


Alteration Type: L
Alteration Text: Predominant alteration types affecting host rocks are silicification, pyritization, argillization, d sericitization. Gold mineralization is associated with fine-grained silica (locally chalcedonic) and pyrite replacing formerly calcareous siltstone and sandstone of the Harmony Formation. Extensive bleaching and argillization are believed to be caused by the breakdown of pyrite and liberation of sulfur as sulfate to form acid-leach type conditions. Monzonite-granodiorite porphyritic sills exhibit strong argillization and, locally, sericitization.


Name: Quartz Monzonite
Role: Associated
Description: granodiorite-
Age Type: Associated Rock
Age Young: Tertiary

Name: Shale
Role: Host
Description: siliceous
Age Type: Host Rock
Age Young: Late Cambrian

Name: Sandstone
Role: Host
Age Type: Host Rock
Age Young: Late Cambrian

Name: Siltstone
Role: Host
Age Type: Host Rock
Age Young: Late Cambrian

Analytical Data

Not available


Ore: Gold
Gangue: Quartz
Gangue: Chalcedony
Gangue: Goethite
Gangue: Jarosite
Gangue: Hematite


Comment (Deposit): The Northern Lights deposit occurs in the interbedded siltstones and sandstones of the Harmony Formation. The higher grade ore is localized by north-northeast and west-northwest steeply dipping structures. Several sub-horizontal monzonite-granodiorite porphyritic sills occur within the deposit. Gold mineralization is associated with fine-grained silica (locally chalcedonic) and pyrite replacing formerly calcareous siltstone and sandstone of the Harmony Formation. The intersections of two steeply dippng, mineralized structures which trend NNW and WNW have acted to localize higher grade ore. Distal disseminated silver-gold ore associated with silica-pyrite alteration at the Empire Mine (approximately 1.5 million tonnes averaging 1.8 g Au/t) and at the Northern Lights Mine (approximately 390,000 tonnes averaging 1.6 g Au/t) may be associated genetically with the Buckingham porphyry molybdenum system.

Comment (Commodity): Ore Materials: free gold, copper minerals

Comment (Commodity): Gangue Materials: quartz, chalcedony, goethite, jarosite, hematite

Comment (Identification): This prospect encompasses the historic Empire Mine and Northern Lights Mine areas, described in earlier MRDS records # M231333 and MRDS #M231366 from which all material has been incorporated into this record and additional new material has been added.

Comment (Location): The Empire - Northern Lights Deposit is located about 2500 feet south of the Sweet Marie Mine and 4000 feet south of the Surprise Mine in the Copper Basin area of Battle Mountain. UTM is to Northern Lights pit.

Comment (Workings): Historic workings consist of several shallow pits, short adits, a caved shaft and open cuts. These workings are, for the most part, now caved and inaccessible, and more recently replaced by an open pit.

Comment (Development): Some copper ore was produced here in the early days of the district, and a few tons of sorted ore from the dumps was shipped in 1918. The principal shaft, reported to be about 300 feet deep, is now caved.

Comment (Economic Factors): An unrecorded amount of copper ore was produced from this deposit in the early days of the district. In 1996, the total endowment for the Empire (1982 & 1991-1994 production and 1996 reserves) was reported at: 88,416 ounces of gold and 289,677 ounces of silver. In 1996, the total endowment for the Northern Lights (1993 production and reserves) was reported at 19,964 ounces of gold and 73,587 ounces of silver. The total endowment, production and reserves, for the combined Empire- Northern Lights Mine area orebodies is 108,380 ounces of gold, and 363,264 ounces of silver. This is probably a low threshold of actual endowment, since early production is unrecorded. 2004 reported Empire Mine resource of approximately 1.5 million tonnes averaging 1.8 g Au/t and a Northern Lights Mine resource of approximately 390,000 tonnes averaging 1.6 g Au/t.


Reference (Deposit): Doebrich and Theodore, 1996.

Reference (Deposit): Long, K.R., DeYoung, J.H., Jr., and Ludington, S.D., 1998, Database of significant deposits of gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc in the United States; Part A, Database description and analysis; part B, Digital database: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 98-206, 33 p., one 3.5 inch diskette.

Reference (Deposit): Schmidt, K. W., Wotruba, P. R., and Johnson, S. D., 1988, Gold-Silver and Related Mineralization at Copper Basin, Nevada, in Gold Deposits Of North Central Nevada, Special Publication #8, the Geological Society of Nevada, Reno.

Reference (Deposit): Stewart, J. H., Mckee, E. H., and Stager, H. K., 1977, Geology and Mineral Deposits of Lander County, Nevada, NBMG Bull. 88.

Reference (Deposit): Roberts, R.J. And Arnold, D.C., 1965, Ore Deposits of the Antler Peak Quadrangle, Humboldt and Lander Counties, Nevada: U.S.G.S. Prof. Paper 459-B.

Reference (Deposit): Geological Society of Nevada, 1999, Geology and Gold Mineralization of the Buffalo Valley Area, Northwestern Battle Mountain Trend; GSN Special Publication No. 31, 1999 Fall field trip Guidebook.

Reference (Deposit): Wendt, Clancy, 2004, Technical Report on the? ICBM/COPPER BASIN Property, Lander and Humboldt Counties, Nevada, Staccato Gold website, : http://www.staccatogold.com/i/pdf/icbm-43-101.pdf
URL: http://www.staccatogold.com/i/pdf/icbm-43-101.pdf

Nevada Gold

Gold Districts of Nevada

Nevada has a total of 368 distinct gold districts. Of the of those, just 36 are major producers with production and/or reserves of over 1,000,000 ounces, 49 have production and/or reserves of over 100,000 ounces, with the rest having less than 100,000 ounces. Read more at Gold Districts of Nevada.