Mount Wheeler mine area

Region West, Southwest
Mineral systems
Deposit types
Critical minerals
Other minerals

Information leading to the delineation of this focus area

Basis for focus area Outline of the Lincoln mining district, which includes the Mount Wheeler Be deposit.
Identified resources Identified resources of beryllium, fluorite, and tungsten; historical production of copper, lead, silver, and zinc.
Production Mount Wheeler (1952-1954); 1,800 tons @1.3% WO3.
Status Past mining.
Estimated resources Beryllium: 1959; 100,000 tons 0.75% BeO; 1969: 200,000 tons 0.75% BeO, 0.3% WO3, 22% CaF2; 1972: 59,625 tons ("Proven ore"), 30,200 tons ("Probable ore") and 191,900 tons ("Possible ore"), presumably using the 1969 grade estimates (Foley, Jaskula, Piatak and Schulte (2017); Muntean and others, 2020).
Geologic maps Stewart and Carlson (1978), scale 1:500,000; Wallace and others (1962), scale 1:48,000.
Geophysical data Inadequate Rank 4 aeromagnetic and Rank 5 aeroradiometric coverage.
Favorable rocks and structures Non-pegmatite type beryllium deposits of phenacite and bertrandite in a limestone unit, locally known as the "Wheeler limestone", in the lower part of the Pioche Shale (Whitebread and Lee, 1961).
Deposits Mount Wheeler (MRDS dep_id: 10037300).
Evidence from mineral occurrences MRDS: Foley, Jaskula, Piatak and Schulte (2017).
Geochemical evidence Boron and Ge measured in phenakite (Lee and Erd, 1963). Byproduct Mo, Sn, and As reported at Smith Valley mine (polymetallic replacement deposit in the focus area).
Geophysical evidence Unknown.
Evidence from other sources Unknown.
Comments Tungsten was discovered in 1950 and exploration began in 1952 continuing through 1955. This work led to the discovery of a large Be deposit in 1959. Critical commodity enrichment inferred for Sb, Bi, Ga, In, Mn, Sc, and Sn from mineral system/deposit type table (Hofstra and Kreiner, 2020).
Cover thickness and description Tungsten-Be deposit at Mount Wheeler was localized in the lower 15 feet of the formation.
Authors David A. Ponce, Jane M. Hammarstrom, Joshua M. Rosera.
New data needs Geophysics.
Geologic mapping and modeling needs None requested at this time.
Geophysical survey and modeling needs High resolution aeromagnetic and aeroradiometric coverage.
Digital elevation data needs Lidar in progress.