Monday, December 26, 2011

Gold Butte Mining District

Gold Butte Mining District

The Gold Butte district is in southeastern Clark County in the southern end of the Virgin Range. It includes the territory south of Gold Butte lying between the Nevada-Arizona boundary line on the east and the Virgin River on the west. Mining was begun in this area in the eighties. A small boom occurred in 1908, when the camp of Gold Butte was established, and although a number of small companies were organized to work various properties, no important discoveries were made. The total production from the district has been about $75,000, mostly in shipping ores. In 1936 the principal operation in the district was that of the Lake Shore Mining Co.

The geology of the Gold Butte mining district has been described by Hill (Hill, James M., Notes on Some mining District in Eastern Nevada: U.S Geol Survey Bull. 648, 1916, pp 42-53)
The ore deposits are of two types – replacement deposits in limestone and quartz veins in gneiss and granite. The ore in the limestone consists of oxidized copper, lead, and zinc minerals. The values in the quartz veins are chiefly in gold.

A small amount of sheet mice has been produced from pegmatite dikes in the vicinity of Gold Butte.

Mica Deposits
In 1873 Daniel Bonelli discovered mica deposits 4 miles east of Gold Butte, but because of their isolation and unfavorable transportation facilities very little mining was done. As far as the writer could learn, the only production has been 5 tons of sheet mica shipped by Bonelli prior to 1900 and 2,500 pounds shipped by Frank Allsop in 1908. In recent years these deposits have not been exploited. William Garret of Gold Butte is the owner of several unpatented mica claims in this area.

The deposits have been prospected by a number of shallow shafts, the deepest of which is about 40 feet. The mice, associated with garnet, quartz, feldspar, and tourmaline, occurs in pegmatite dikes that cut granitic schists. Due to the manner in which the mica occurs, it is difficult to mine it in large sheets. The mice is said to be of good quality as to transparency, color, cleavage, and flexibility, and the size of the sheets varies from 6 to 15 square inches.

Magnesite Deposit
Magnesite occurs in the vicinity of Horse Springs, 14 miles by road southeast of St. Thomas, Nev and 9 miles north of Gold Butte. The deposit was located originally by Fay Perkins of Overton, Nev in 1922. The present owner is Albert Bauer. No production has ever been made. Development comprises several short tunnels and a shaft about 60 feet deep. Fine-grained dolomite and magnesite beds overlain by shale and underlain by limestone and dipping about 30 degrees outcrop for several thousand feet

Webster Group
A group of sever unpatented claims in Cedar basin is owned by Mrs. A. G. Webster of Moapa, Nv. In 1937 this property was under option to H. G. Snyder of Salt lake City, Utah. Development comprises a shaft 130 feet deep and several hundred feet of lateral workings. Property is equipped with a 2-stamp mill (1,050 pounds each),a jaw crusher (6 by 8 inches), and an amalgamation plate (4 feet long and 3 feet wide). Mill equipment is operated by an automobile engine. About 150 tons of ore, averaging 1 ounce of gold per ton, was treated in this mill.

The ore occurs in a quartz vein in the granite. The dip of the vein is about 75 degrees and the average width is 18 inches. Formation is altered granite and schist traversed by pegmatite dikes.

Azure Ridge Group
The Azure Ridge Group of four unpatented lode claims owned by John F. Perkins of Overton, Nv is near the Arizona-Nevada boundary in the southeastern part of the Gold Butte district. The only production from the property was in 1918, when John F. Perkins shipped two carloads of zinc ore and one carload of copper ore. The zinc ore averaged 40 percent zinc and the copper ore 35 percent copper, with small values in gold and silver. This ore was hand-sorted and hauled to St. Thomas for shipment to smelters. Since 1918 the property has been inactive.

This property is in the prospect stage of development and all work has been superficial in character. Development comprises an adit 100 feet long, another of 40 feet, and several shallow shafts, totaling in all about 300 feet of workings. Mineralization occurs in a faulted zone in limestone near granite.

Lake Shore Mining Co.

The property of the Lake Shore Mining Co., Comprising the Utah group of four unpatented claims owned by O.W. Yates, A.W Lawson, and Fred Gibson of las Vegas, Nv is located about 15 miles south of Gold Butte and 5 miles from the shore of lake Mead. In 1934 and up to July 1935 the Utah group and other claims were worked by the Gold Cross Mining Co., controlled by Salt lake City interests. The Gold Cross Mining Co. erected a small amalgamating mill on the shore of the Colorado River and treated about 400 tons of ore. This company also shipped 340 tons of ore, averaging $51 per ton to Utah smelters. The Lake Shore Mining Co. acquired the Utah group of claims under bond and lease from C. C. McDonald, of Overton, Nv in 1935 and started operations in September of the same year. Up to februrary 1937 total production by the present owners was 1,800 tons of shipping ore with a net value of $30,000. Five men are employed. Development work comprises an incline 200 feet deep and other workings, totaling about 400 feet.
The ore occurs in a quartz vein that dips about 8 degrees and follows the hanging-wall side of a diabase dike. The width of the vein varies from 6 inches to 6 feet, averaging about 2 feet. The vein and dike are in granite formation.

Due to the flat dip of the vein, most of the ore shipped by the present owners is mined by the open-cut method. The granite overburden is drilled with jackhammers and blasted with 40 percent gelatin dynamite and No. 6 caps attached to tape fuse. Compressed air is furnished by a portable compressor. Stripping is done with a 10-cubic-foot capacity Le Tourneau bulldozer operated by a 60-horsepower caterpillar tractor. The average cost of stripping is 12 cents per cubic yard. After the over-burden has been removed (a maximum depth of 20 feet),the ore is hand shoveled into a truck and hauled 5 miles to the shore of Lake Mead, where it is loaded onto a barge. The barge is towed by power boat 56 miles to Cashman Docks, and the ore is again shoveled into trucks and hauled to the railroad siding at Boulder City, 6 ½ miles distant. The barge and power boar are owned by the company. Smelter returns from a shipment of ore to the American Smelting & Refining Co. were as follows: