Fondaway Canyon Mine

The Fondaway Canyon Mine is a gold mine located in Churchill county, Nevada at an elevation of 5,217 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: Fondaway Canyon Mine  

State:  Nevada

County:  Churchill

Elevation: 5,217 Feet (1,590 Meters)

Commodity: Gold

Lat, Long: 39.80417, -118.20306

Map: View on Google Maps

Satelite View

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Satelite image of the Fondaway Canyon Mine

Fondaway Canyon Mine MRDS details

Site Name

Primary: Fondaway Canyon Mine
Secondary: Colorado Deposit
Secondary: Reed Deposit
Secondary: South Mouth Deposit
Secondary: Paperweight-Half Moon
Secondary: Hamburger Hill


Primary: Gold
Secondary: Silver
Tertiary: Mercury
Tertiary: Barium-Barite
Tertiary: Tungsten
Tertiary: Arsenic
Tertiary: Antimony


State: Nevada
County: Churchill
District: Shady Run District

Land Status

Land ownership: BLM Administrative Area
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.
Administrative Organization: Carson City BLM District


Not available


Not available


Owner Name: Royal Standard Minerals
Info Year: 2006


Not available


Record Type: Site
Operation Category: Producer
Deposit Type: FAULT ZONE
Operation Type: Surface-Underground
Discovery Year: 1870
Years of Production:
Significant: Y
Deposit Size: S


Not available

Mineral Deposit Model

Model Name: Sediment-hosted Au




Type: L
Description: NE-trending faults

Type: R
Description: Low-angle thrust faults have emplaced Jurassic limestone and quartzites over the earlier host rocks. Basin and Range normal faulting has produced the north- to northeast-trending horst block that is the Stillwater Range


Alteration Type: L


Name: Granite
Role: Associated
Age Type: Associated Rock
Age Young: Cretaceous

Name: Limestone
Role: Host
Age Type: Host Rock
Age Young: Jurassic

Name: Marble
Role: Host
Age Type: Host Rock
Age Young: Late Triassic

Name: Quartzite
Role: Host
Age Type: Host Rock
Age Young: Late Triassic

Name: Slate
Role: Host
Age Type: Host Rock
Age Young: Late Triassic

Name: Phyllite
Role: Host
Age Type: Host Rock
Age Young: Late Triassic

Name: Siltstone
Role: Host
Description: meta-
Age Type: Host Rock
Age Young: Late Triassic

Analytical Data

Not available


Ore: Gold
Gangue: Tetrahedrite
Gangue: Tennantite
Gangue: Chalcopyrite
Gangue: Sphalerite
Gangue: Stibnite
Gangue: Cinnabar
Gangue: Scheelite
Gangue: Arsenopyrite
Gangue: Pyrite
Gangue: Quartz
Gangue: Pyrrhotite


Comment (Commodity): Ore Materials: GOLD

Comment (Commodity): Gangue Materials: QUARTZ, PYRITE, ARSENOPYRITE, SCHEELITE, CINNABAR, STIBNITE; sphalerite, chalcopyrite, tetrahedrite-tennantite, and pyrrhotite.

Comment (Development): The Fondaway Canyon area was first prospected in the 1870s by a group of Virginia City miners including George Fondaway. The Shady Run mining district was organized at about this time. In 1956, George Fisk discovered tungsten mineralization in Fondaway Canyon and began began producing tungsten in 1958 (see Quick-Tung deposit records). Fisk discovered gold on the property in the 1970s and began production of gold in early 1978 in a joint venture with Wilbur Robertson. Ore was removed from several open cuts on the canyon slopes and hauled to a small millsite in the canyon bottom where the ore was crushed, cyanide-vat leached and refined using a Merrill Crowe process. More than 2500 ounces of gold were reportedly produced by this operation. In 1980, Occidental Minerals Corporation leased the Fisk and Robertson holdings and did geologic mapping and geochemical sampling. A number of drill holes were completed in 1981 and 1982 and geophysical surveys were completed. Tundra gold mines was drilling the property from 1983 through 1985, working with several joint venture partners (New Beginnings, Homestake, Mill Creek) to develop the property into a producer. Several different mining concerns reviewed the economic potential of the property, leading up to Tenneco Minerals signing a lease agreement with the owners in February 1987. The mine operated from September 1989 to mid-1990 producing 13,065 ounces of gold and at least 87 ounces of silver, after which it was idle for several years. Tenneco proposed an expansion of operations to the BLM in 1990, calling for the development of the proposed Ollie, Pack Rat, and Silicon Ridge open pits, near and adjacent to the previously worked pits. Exploration activity continued, focusing on a larger, deeper, higher-grade refractory ore zone that would require underground extraction methods. In 1996, Summex Mining Company reported taking an option to acquire full ownership of the Fondaway Canyon mine. Royal Standard Minerals owned the property in 2006. Past operators drilled 568 holes, outlining the currently described resource.

Comment (Deposit): The property hosts an intrusive-related gold-tungsten system more than 3,000 feet wide. This system contains at least 15 separate gold bearing veins, some up to 20 feet in width. Gold ore occurs in brecciated and silicified fault zones, which are nearly vertical, up to 3 meters wide, cutting marble and phyllite. Sulfide ore contains pyrite, stibnite, and arsenopyrite and is typically carbonaceous. Sulfides occur in WNW-trending marble beds in Fondaway Canyon. No skarn is present, but some scheelite is associated with quartz veinlets in the marble. The scheelite occurs as large crystals, up to 10 cm in marble. Cinnabar occurs in late fractures cutting the marble. Stibnite occurs as massive lenses in marble and with gold ore in the phyllite. The vertical extent of high-grade gold within the mineralized shear zones has been drill tested to greater than 1,000 feet (the longest drill hole extended the gold mineralization down to 1,700 feet drill indicated depth within the Paperweight-Half Moon vein system. Mineralization remains open at depth. Horizontal continuation of these zones is remarkable. The Paperweight-Hamburger Hill shear zone is the most persistent known, with a strike length of 3,700 feet and widths between 5 and 20 feet. Near-vertical, east-west, mineralized shear zones host aplite and andesite dikes, and the South Mouth, South Pit, Half Moon, Paperweight, and Hamburger Hill gold resources. The Deep-Dive gold resource is at least partially stratabound, replacing a limestone unit adjacent to the Half Moon mineralized shear zone. North-striking mineralized and post- mineral faults displace the east-west mineralized shear zones and are intruded by andesite dikes. Sparse clay and sericite occur as narrow envelopes along shear margins. Gold mineralization in the shear zones is siliceous, sulfidic, and carbonaceous. Quartz is white, milky, and multiply-brecciated. Sulfides are primarily pyrite, arsenopyrite, and stibnite with accessory sphalerite, chalcopyrite, tetrahedrite-tennantite, and pyrrhotite. Gold occurs as 5 to 20 micron grains in pyrite.

Comment (Workings): Recent mining was done from three open pits on the property: the Reed, the Colorado, and the South Mouth pits. In addition to these workings, earlier mining in the area resulted in several open cuts, adits, open stopes, drill roads. The older Oxy pit, Stibnite pit, Fisk pit, and Main pit extend for about 3000 feet east and uphill from the Quik Tung (Fisk) tungsten mine.

Comment (Economic Factors): Historical tungsten production from Fondaway Canyon is 10,000 tons of ore grading 2% WO3. The Fondaway Canyon gold deposit produced 5533 troy ounces of gold and 476 troy ounces of silver during the period from 1989 through 1990 when it was mined by Tenneco Minerals Co. This production was estimated by Long and others assuming 70% gold recovery and 0.06 opt Au grade. The remaining resource reported by Long and others is 1,064,000 short tons grading 0.2 opt gold. This resource includes remaining oxide ore obtained by deducting estimated production from initial reserve plus sulfide resource. The total production reported in NBMG MI-1990 is 13,065 ounces of gold and at least 87 ounces of silver; and remaining reserves are listed as 400,000 short tons grading 0.06 opt gold. The resource was later recalculated as described below. In 2006, Royal Standard reported indicated reserves of 390,636 tons of material grading 0.428 ounces of gold per ton (167,192 contained ounces of gold), as well as an inferred resource of 372,849 tons of material grading 0.409 ounces of gold per ton (152,621 contained ounces of gold).

Comment (Geology): The oldest rocks exposed in the mine area are fine-grained light gray to black quartzite, shale and siltstone of presumed lae Triassic age, overlain by locally slaty shale with interbeds of quartzite. The overlying Jurassic rocks are marked by the presence of several thin light gray limestone beds within the shale. The entire late Triassic to early Jurassic pelitic section hosts gold ore, although the more permeable meta-siltstones and quartzites are considered to be the primary mineralization hosts.

Comment (Identification): The mine encompasses three main deposits; see records M242934 (Colorado deposit), RE00273 (Reed deposit) and RE00274 (South Mouth deposit) for individual deposit descriptions, as well as other contiguous and distinct mineralized areas.

Comment (Location): The mine includes the area previously covered by the old Quick Tung TUNGSTEN MINE. The UTM given is for the Colorado Pit, the main working of the mine. The Fondaway Canyon property consists of 148 contiguous unpatented lode-mining claims.


Reference (Deposit): Long, K.R., DeYoung, J.H., Jr., and Ludington, S.D., 1998, Significant deposits of gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc in the United States: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 90-206A, 33 p.; 98-206B. one 3.5 inch diskette.

Reference (Deposit): Press Clippings, 1983-1990

Reference (Deposit): Summex Mining Company Press Release, 4/96

Reference (Deposit): NBMG MI-1984-MI-1997

Reference (Deposit): Tenneco Minerals Company, 1989, Draft Environmental Assessment for the Tenneco Minerals Company Fondaway Canyon Project

Reference (Deposit): Strachan, Donald, 2003, Proposals to upgrade South Pit, Deep Dive, Half Moon, Paperweight, and Hamburger Hill to a measured gold resource Fondaway Canyon, Churchill County, Nevada; technical report available online at:

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: Gold Districts of Nevada.