Empire Mine

Past Producer in Custer county in Idaho, United States with commodities Copper, Silver, Gold, Molybdenum, Tungsten, Zinc, Lead

Geologic information

Identification information

Deposit ID 10089294
MRDS ID W015690
MAS/MILS ID 160370019
Record type Deposit
Current site name Empire Mine
Alternate or previous names Idaho Metals Co., Empire Copper Co., White Knob, Cossack Tunnel, Idaho Alta Drive, Copper Bullion, Alberta, Darlington Shaft, Phoenix, Vaught
Included sites Sultana

Geographic coordinates

Point of reference Main Entrance
Geographic coordinates: -113.66932, 43.89197 (WGS84)
Elevation 2591
Location accuracy 100(meters)
Relative position 3.5 MI SW OF MACKAY
(click for info)

Geographic areas

Country State County
United States Idaho Custer

Public Land Survey System information

Meridian Township Range Section Fraction State
Boise 007N 023E 36 SWNWSE Idaho


Commodity Importance
Copper Primary
Silver Primary
Gold Primary
Molybdenum Secondary
Tungsten Secondary
Zinc Secondary
Lead Tertiary

Materials information

Materials Type of material
Bornite Ore
Chalcocite Ore
Chalcopyrite Ore
Covellite Ore
Cuprite Ore
Galena Ore
Malachite Ore
Molybdenite Ore
Scheelite Ore
Sphalerite Ore
Tenorite Ore
Tetrahedrite Ore
Powellite Ore
Calcite Gangue
Epidote Gangue
Fluorite Gangue
Gypsum Gangue
Magnetite Gangue
Pyrite Gangue
Pyroxene Gangue
Pyrrhotite Gangue
Quartz Gangue
Specularite Gangue
Wollastonite Gangue


  • (Local) oxidationOxidation

Analytical data

Result 4 SAMPLES OF W ORE AVG. 0.24 OZ AU/TON, 1.75 OZ AG/TON, 3.28% CU, 4.28% WO

Mineral occurrence model information

Model code 53
USGS model code 17
Deposit model name Porphyry Cu
Mark3 model number 4

Host and associated rocks

  • Host or associated Associated
    Rock type Plutonic Rock > Granitoid > Granite
    Rock unit name Leucogranite Porphyry;Dike-Basalt
    Rock description Leucogranite Porphyry;Dike-Basalt
    Stratigraphic age (youngest) Paleocene
    Stratigraphic age (youngest) Paleocene
  • Host or associated Host
    Rock type Metamorphic Rock > Skarn (Tactite)
  • Host or associated Host
    Rock type Sedimentary Rock > Carbonate > Limestone
    Rock unit name White Knob Limestone; Marble, Tactite, Skarn
    Rock description White Knob Lst;Marble, Tactite, Skarn

Nearby scientific data

Main Entrance (1) -113.66932, 43.89197

Geologic structures

Type of structure Local
Structure description Jointing, Faults

Ore body information

  • General form LINEAR, IRREGULAR
    Width 121.92M
    Length 1066.8M

Controls for ore emplacement

  • Shear Zones: Shear Zones, Contact Of Limestone And Intrusive Rocks
  • limestone - intrusion contact:

Comments on the geologic information

  • Umpleby (1917) Refers To Nelson and Ross' (1968) Leucogranite Porphyry As Granite Porphyry and Dikes As Trachyte Porphyry; Leland (1957) Calls the Leucogranite Granite Dacite and the Dike Basalt; Hobbs (1964) Refers To Leucogranite Porphyry As Dacite of the White Knob Stock

Economic information

Economic information about the deposit and operations

Operation type Underground
Development status Past Producer
Commodity type Metallic
Deposit size Small
Significant Yes
Discovery year 1884
Discovery method Ore-Mineral In Place
Year of first production 1902

Mining district

District name Alder Creek District

Land status

Ownership category Private

Ownership information

  • Type Operator
    Owner Ivie Mining Co.; Myke, Inc.
  • Type Owner
    Owner Honolulu Copper Co., Inc.

Production statistics

  • Year 1942
    Material ORE
    Accuracy Accurate
    Description Ap_Grade: ^2.08 % Wo3, 2.45 % Cu, 1.35 Oz Ag/Ton, 0.105 Oz Au/Ton
    Importance Item Commodity Group Amount recovered Grade Recovery percentage
    Ore Silver Silver 38g/mt
    Ore Gold Gold 3g/mt
    Ore Copper Copper 2wt-pct
    WO3 Ore Tungsten Tungsten 2wt-pct
  • Year 1942
    Period 1901-1942
    Material ORE
    Accuracy Accurate
    Description Cp_Grade: ^5.37 % Cu, 2.968 Oz Ag/Ton, 0.052 Oz Au/Ton ( 1913 )
    Importance Item Commodity Group Amount recovered Grade Recovery percentage
    Ore Silver Silver 84g/mt
    Ore Gold Gold 1g/mt
    Ore Copper Copper 5wt-pct
  • Year 1956
    Material ORE
    Description Ap_Grade: ^1.6 % Cu
    Importance Item Commodity Group Amount recovered Grade Recovery percentage
    Ore Copper Copper 2wt-pct

Comments on the production information

  • Item 2 Totaled 1 Carload; 1901-1942 Production Intermittent; Value of Production Prior To 1912 Estimated At $2,000,000; 1912-1918 Production Value $12,681,940 (Ross, C. P., 1930); 114 Units WO3 From Item 1 (Hobbs, S. W., 1964)

Workings at the site

  • Type of workings Surface/Underground
    Length 18288M
    Overall depth 487.68M

Comments on the workings information

  • 9 Levels

Comments on development

  • Main Empire Workings Include Copper Bullion Tunnel, Alberta Tunnel, Cossack Tunnel, Idaho Alta Metals Company Drive, Darlington Tunnel

Reference information

Links to other databases

Agency Database name Acronym Record ID Notes
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS W015690
Idaho Geological Survey Idaho Mines and Prospects IMP IF0020 http://www.idahogeology.org/
U.S. Bureau of Mines Minerals Availability System MAS 160370019 data consolidated into this record
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS D000475 This record focused more on tungsten potential (see Cook, 1956).

Bibliographic references

  • Deposit

    Cook, E. F., 1956, Tungsten Deposits Of South-Central Idaho: Idaho Bureau Of Mines And Geology Pamphlet 108, 40 P.

  • Deposit

    Griner, W. C., 1974, Seventy-First Annual Report Of The Mining Industry Of Idaho For 1973-1974

  • Deposit

    Leland, G. R., 1957, General Geology And Mineralization Of The Mackay Stock Area: Moscow, Idaho, Univ. Of Idaho, M. S. Thesis, 71 P.

  • Deposit

    Ross, C. P., 1930, Geology And Ore Deposits Of The Seafoam, Alder Creek, Little Smoky And Willow Creek Mining Districts, Custer And Camas Counties, Idaho: Idaho Bureau Of Mines And Geology Pamphlet 33, 26 P.

  • Deposit

    Minobras, 1975, Idaho Industrial Minerals: Minobras

  • Deposit

    Hobbs, S. W., 1964, Mineral Resource-Tungsten, Idaho Bureau Of Mines And Geology Spec. Rept. No. 1, P. 223-233.

  • Deposit

    Nelson, W. H., And Ross, C. P., 1968, Geology Of Part Of The Alder Creek Mining District, Custer County, Idaho: USGS Bull. 1252-A, 30 P.

  • Deposit

    Umpleby, J. B., 1917, Geology And Ore Deposits Of The Mackay Region, Idaho: USGS Prof. Paper 97, 129 P.

  • Deposit

    USBM, 1945-1951, Gold, Silver, Copper, Lead, And Zinc In Idaho: USBM Mineral Yearbooks For 1943-1949

  • Deposit

    1917 Geolmap Umpleby, J. B., Prof. Paper 97

  • Deposit

    1930 Geolmap Idaho Bureau Of Mines And Geology Pamphlet 33

  • Deposit

    1956 Recon Idaho Bureau Of Mines And Geology Pamphlet 108

  • Deposit

    1968 Geolmap Nelson, W. H. And Ross, C. P., Bull. 1252-A

  • Deposit

    Chang, Zahoshan, and Meinert, L.D., 2010, The Empire Mine, Idaho: Exploration implications of unusual skarn features related to high fluorine activity: Economic Geology v. 103, 909-938.

  • Production

    Item 1, Cook, E. F., 1956, Idaho Bureau Of Mines And Geology Pamphlet 108; Items 2, 8-12, Leland, G. R., 1957, Univ. Idaho M. S. Thesis; Item 8 Grade, Umpleby, J. B., 1917, USGS Prof. Paper 97; Items 3-7, 13, Usbm, 1945-1951, Mineral Yearbooks For 1943-1949

Reporter information

Type Date Name Affiliation Comment
Reporter 1975-09-01 Steigner, William D.; Miller, Pat U.S. Geological Survey
Reporter 1995-03-07 McHugh, Edward L. U.S. Bureau of Mines
Reporter 1974-08-01 King, Robert U. U.S. Geological Survey
Updater 2009-12-23 Causey, J. Douglas U.S. Geological Survey