McDermitt Mine

Past Producer in Humboldt county in Nevada, United States with commodities Mercury, Lithium

Geologic information

Identification information

Deposit ID 10197229
MRDS ID M054731
MAS/MILS ID 320130259
Record type Site
Mineralized Area Opalite District
Current site name McDermitt Mine
Alternate or previous names Mcdermitt Mine
Related records 10040100

Comments on the site identification

  • 1978, NEW MCDERMITT MINE... P. 442. RYTUBA, 1979.

Geographic coordinates

Point of reference Trench
Geographic coordinates: -117.812, 41.919 (WGS84)
Elevation 1402
Location accuracy 100(meters)
Relative position 1/2 MILE N OF OLD CORDERO MINE, 5 MI S OF OREGON BORDER. Coordinates are for near the center of the open pit at the common corner of Sections 27, 28, 33, and 34. Mine workings visible on satellite imagery and topo map.
(click for info)

Geographic areas

Country State County
United States Nevada Humboldt

Public Land Survey System information

Meridian Township Range Section Fraction State
Mount Diablo 047 N 037 E 27, 28, 33, 34 Nevada

Comments on the location information

  • 2000 FT. N. OF CORDERO MINE

Commodities

Commodity Importance
Mercury Primary
Lithium Tertiary

Comments on the commodity information

  • CINNABAR 50% OF ORE, CORDEROITE 50%. URANIUM AND LITHIUM ENRICHED RHYOLITE SEEN.

Materials information

Materials Type of material
Cinnabar Ore
Gypsum Gangue
Iron Gangue
Alunite Unknown
Apatite Unknown
Calcite Unknown
Chalcedony Unknown
Cristobalite Unknown
Montmorillonite Unknown
Opal Unknown
Stibnite Unknown
Tridymite Unknown

Mineral occurrence model information

Model code 177
USGS model code 27a
Deposit model name Hot-spring Hg

Host and associated rocks

  • Host or associated Host
    Rock type Volcanic Rock (Aphanitic) > Felsic Volcanic Rock > Rhyolite
    Rock unit name Cordero Rhyolite
    Stratigraphic age (youngest) Miocene

Nearby scientific data

Trench (1) -117.812, 41.919

Geologic structures

Type Description Terms
Regional Mcdermitt Caldera Collapse Structure
Local Basin-Range Normal Faults

Ore body information

  • Strike N45W
    Dip 04E
    Thickness 6M
    Depth to top 30M
    Width 670M
    Length 760M
    Field Value
    MAS Matrix # 1
    MAS Column # 1
    Type of Orebody #1 SEDIMENTARY
    Shape of Orebody #1 TABULAR
    Type of Orebody #2 REPLACEMENT
    Primary mode of Origin HYDROTHERMAL
    Secondary mode of Origin SEDIMENTATION
    Primary Ore Control FAULTING
    Secondary Ore Control BEDDING
    Degree of Wallrock Alter. INTENSE
    Type of Wallrock Alter. #1 ADV ARGILLIC
    Type of Wallrock Alter. #2 INTERM ARGILLIC
    Strike And Dip N45W
    Minimum Depth to Top 15
    Avg. Thick. Unconsol. Mat. 10
    Min. Thick. Unconsol. Mat. 46
    Date of Last Modification 850819
  • Area 179HA
    Field Value
    Total Surface Area (HA) 179
    Date of Last Modification 910418

Controls for ore emplacement

  • Calder Rim Fault System And Intra-Caldera Faults:

Comments on the geologic information

  • G-TOB, CORDEROITE (HG3S2CL2)OCCURS AS FINE-GRAINED REPLACEMENT MASSES (APPARENTLY AFTER CINNABAR) AND AS ALTERATION RIMS AND COATINGS ON CINNABAR. G-ORE, THE DOMINANT ORE CONTROL FOR MERCURY MINERALIZATION WITHIN THE DISTRICT APPEARS TO BE THE CALDERA RIM FAULT SYSTEM AND INTRA-CALDERA FAULTS. STRIKE AND DIP ESTIMATED. ORE BODIES ARE ASYMMETRIC, LENSLIKE, THIN AND GRADE DECREASES WITH DISTANCE FROM "HOT SPRING CENTERS" OF MINERALIZATION ORE BODY CONTAINS ABOUT 400000 FLASKS HG IN A PIT THAT WILL ULTIMATELY BE ABOUT 50 M DEEP.
  • M-NAM, ANOTHER MAJOR MERCURY MINERAL BESIDES CINNABAR IS CORDEROITE (HG3S2CL2). IN PRE-MINED OREBODY DISTRIBUTION OF CINNABAR AND CORDEROITE WAS 75 PERCENT AND 25 PERCENT RESPECTIVELY. IN NOVEMBER 1981, THE REMAINING OREBODY ORE MINERAL DISTRIBUTION WAS 50 PERCENT CINNABAR AND 50 PERCENT CORDEROITE. M-NAM. ALUNITE IS GYPSUM ALUNITE. M-NAM, TRIDYMITE IS ALPHA TRIDYMITE. M-NAM, CRISTOBALITE IS ALPHA CRISTOBALITE. M-NAM, OTHER ACCESSORY MINERALS ARE OXIDES OF IRON & MANGANESE, AND TRIPUHYITE.
  • OREBODY IS A DISCONTINUOUS GENTLY-DIPPING BLANKET [note that this is in conflict with orginal MRDS data stating that the dips are steep to the West). ORE MINERALS ARE DEPOSITED PARALLEL TO BEDDING IN TUFFACEOUS LACUSTRINE SEDIMENTS; MERCURY SULFIDE ORE IS LOCALIZED ABOVE AN APRON-LIKE BODY OF OPALITE BRECCIA 150 FT. THICK. THE EPIGENETIC OREBODY FORMED BY DEPOSITION FROM ALKALINE SOLUTIONS ADVANCING LATERALLY THROUGH POROUS TUFFACEOUS SEDIMENTS. ; GEOL.DESC: IN A MIOCENE CALDERA IN THE BASIN & RANGE PROVINCE
  • Note that the original MRDS record listed the dip as "STEEPLY TO THE NW". That same record also put the depth to the top as 45.72 m.
  • Concentration Process: Corderoite Occurs As Fine-Grained Replacement Masses (After Cinnabar), And As Alteration Rims And Coating On Cinnabar.

Economic information

Economic information about the deposit and operations

Operation type Surface
Development status Past Producer
Commodity type Metallic
Deposit size Large
Significant Yes
Discovery year 1941
Year of first production 1975
Year of last production 1992
Production years 1975-1990
Milling method Flotation

Mining district

District name Opalite Mining District

Land status

Ownership category BLM Administrative Area

Ownership information

  • Type Owner-Operator
    Owner Placer Amex Inc.
    ID 2600646
    Interest 51
    Home office California
    Year 1983
  • Type Owner
    Owner Sterling Mineral Venture
    ID 2600646
    Interest 49
    Year 1983

Production statistics

  • Year 1975
    Description Ore Grade= 0.78% / 5,924 Flasks Produced Unreported
    Importance Item Commodity Group Amount recovered Grade Recovery percentage
    Major Mercury Mercury 1wt-pct
  • Year 1976
    Description Ore Grade= 0.90% /22,746 Flasks Produced 164291 Mt Ore Mined/Yr
    Importance Item Commodity Group Amount recovered Grade Recovery percentage
    Major Mercury Mercury 164,291mt 1wt-pct
  • Year 1977
    Description Ore Grade= 0.59% /27,245 Flasks Produced 194300 Mt Ore Mined/Yr
    Importance Item Commodity Group Amount recovered Grade Recovery percentage
    Major Ore Mercury Mercury 194,300mt 1wt-pct
  • Year 1978
    Description Ore Grade= 0.50% /24,144 Flasks Produced 221848 Mt Ore Mined/Yr
    Importance Item Commodity Group Amount recovered Grade Recovery percentage
    Major Ore Mercury Mercury 221,848mt 1wt-pct
  • Year 1979
    Description Ore Grade= 0.50% /30,955 Flasks Produced 225029 Mt Ore Mined/Yr
    Importance Item Commodity Group Amount recovered Grade Recovery percentage
    Major Ore Mercury Mercury 225,029mt 1wt-pct
  • Year 1980
    Description Ore Grade= 0.43% /30,397 Flasks Produced 319828 Mt Ore Mined/Yr
    Importance Item Commodity Group Amount recovered Grade Recovery percentage
    Major Mercury Mercury 319,828mt 0wt-pct
  • Year 1981
    Description 489000 Kg Hg Metal From 237000 T
    Importance Item Commodity Group Amount recovered Grade Recovery percentage
    Major Mercury Mercury 489mt
  • Year 1982
    Description 452000 Kg Hg Metal From 273000 T
    Importance Item Commodity Group Amount recovered Grade Recovery percentage
    Major Mercury Mercury 452mt

Reserves and resources

  • Type In-situ
    Estimate year 1975
    Total resources 2,680,000mt ore
    Commodity Subtype Grade units Group Importance Year
    Mercury Hg 4.1 wt-pct Mercury Major 1975
  • Type In-situ
    Estimate year 1976
    Demonstrated 2,720,000mt ore
    Indicated 2,720,000mt ore
    Total resources 2,720,000mt ore
    Commodity Subtype Grade units Group Importance Year
    Mercury Hg 4.9 wt-pct Mercury Major 1976
  • Type In-situ
    Estimate year 1977
    Total resources 2,416,000mt ore
    Commodity Subtype Grade units Group Importance Year
    Mercury Hg 4.1 wt-pct Mercury Major 1977
  • Type In-situ
    Estimate year 1979
    Total resources 1,989,000mt ore
    Commodity Subtype Grade units Group Importance Year
    Mercury Hg 5.49 wt-pct Mercury Major 1979
  • Type In-situ
    Estimate year 1980
    Demonstrated 1,648,000mt ore
    Measured 1,648,000mt ore
    Total resources 1,648,000mt ore
    Commodity Subtype Grade units Group Importance Year
    Mercury Hg 0.5 wt-pct Mercury Major 1980
  • Type In-situ
    Estimate year 1981
    Demonstrated 1,495,000mt ore
    Measured 1,495,000mt ore
    Total resources 1,495,000mt ore
    Commodity Subtype Grade units Group Importance Year
    Mercury Hg 0.5 wt-pct Mercury Major 1981
  • Type In-situ
    Estimate year 1981
    Demonstrated 1,648,000mt ore
    Measured 1,648,000mt ore
    Total resources 1,648,000mt ore
    Commodity Subtype Grade units Group Importance Year
    Mercury Hg 5 wt-pct Mercury Major 1981
  • Type In-situ
    Estimate year 1981
    Demonstrated 1,410,000mt ore
    Measured 1,410,000mt ore
    Total resources 1,410,000mt ore
    Commodity Subtype Grade units Group Importance Year
    Mercury Hg 5.15 wt-pct Mercury Major 1981
  • Type In-situ
    Estimate year 1982
    Demonstrated 1,202,000mt ore
    Measured 1,202,000mt ore
    Total resources 1,202,000mt ore
    Commodity Subtype Grade units Group Importance Year
    Mercury Hg 4.44 wt-pct Mercury Major 1982

Comments on the reserve resource information

  • LAST DOMESTIC PRIMARY PRODUCER OF MERCURY. CLOSED IN NOVEMBER OF 1990 (AMC JOUR., DEC. 1990, P. 23). IN THE PERIOD BETWEEN MARCH OF 1988, AND NOV. 1990, MCDERMITT HAS ACCOUNTED FOR 90 PCT. OF U.S. MERCURY PRODUCTION. REMAINING U.S. MERCURY PRODUCTION WILL BE BY-PRODUCT PRODUCTION FROM GOLD MINING. EPA REGS., STOCKPILE SALES FORCED THE CLOSURE. APPROXIMATE RESERVES OF 80,000 FL. REMAIN AT MCDERMITT (1/89). PUBLIC RESERVE INFO CALCULATED FROM O3/83 E&MJ, DETAILED ABOVE. RESERVES DEPLETED. PRODUCTION: 1991 - 0. CLOSED IN 1990. IN RECLAMATION; TO BE COMPLETED IN 1993.
  • RESERVES OF 3 MILLION TONS AT 10 LB. HG/TON (0.5% HG) ESTIMATED
  • RESERVES AS OF 1977. 1991 RES. EST. 100,000 FLASKS OF HG.
  • Old MRDS record M054731 = 10040100 listed resources of 3,000,000 flasks in 1979. This is grossly different from the 1,989,000 mt ore reported in the corresponding MAS record (0320130259 = 10197229). 3 million flasks works out to only 103,448 metric tons (there are 29 flasks/metric ton)

Workings at the site

  • Type of workings Surface
    Area 57HA
    Field Value
    MAS Development Schedule # 1
    Mining Record # 1
    Status of Mining Method ACTUAL
    Mining Method OPEN PIT
    Percent Waste Rock 77.8
    Avg. Overburden Thickness 0
    Hardness of Ore SAND, GRAVEL
    Avg. Bench Height (meters) 0
    Max. Pit Slope (degrees) 34
    Capacity 1323
    Capacity Units MT ORE/DAY
    Preprod. Stripping Vol. 0
    Unit Production Cost 6.77
    Units of Production $/MT ORE
    Operating Days per Year 208
    Operating Shifts per Day 1
    Year of Information 1981
  • Type of workings Surface
    Name of workings Open Pit

Comments on the workings information

  • OPEN PIT

Comments on development

  • LOCATED ON OLD CORDERO MINE PROPERTY, BUT NOT MINED UNTIL 1975-OPEN PIT MINE EMPLOYING 56 WORKERS. 700 TONS ORE PER DAY SUPPLIED TO CONCENTRATOR. OPEN PIT MINE AND FLOTATION DISTILLATION MILL EMPLOYED 65 PERSONS IN 1983 OPEN PIT MINE AND FLOTATION DISTILLATION MILL EMPLOYED 65 PERSONS IN 1983

Reference information

Links to other databases

Agency Database name Acronym Record ID Notes
U.S. Bureau of Mines Minerals Availability System MAS 320130259
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS M054731 MAS references MRDS, = 10040100, merged and deleted.
Mine Safety and Health Administration MSHA MSHA 2600646

Bibliographic references

  • Production

    Roper, 1976

  • Reserve-Resource

    ROSE, R. L. 1969. GEOLOGY OF PARTS OF THE WADSWORTH AND CHURCHILL BUTTE QUADRANGLES, NEVADA. NV BUREAU OF MINES AND GEOL. BULL. 71, 29 P.

  • Reserve-Resource

    PLACER DEVELOPMENT LTD. 1981. ANNUAL REPORT, 1980. P. 9-10, 19.

  • Reserve-Resource

    PLACER DEVELOPMENT LTD. 1983. ANNUAL REPORT, FORM 10-K, FISCAL YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 1982. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, 67 P.

  • Deposit

    ALBERS, J. P., AND F. J. KLEINHAMPL. 1970. SPATIAL RELATION OF MINERAL DEPOSITS TO TERTIARY VOLCANIC CENTERS IN NEVADA. U.S. GEOL. SURV. PROF. PAPER 700-C, P. C1-C10.

  • Deposit

    BAILEY, E. H., AND D. A. PHOENIX. 1944. QUICKSILVER DEPOSITS IN NEVADA. NEVADA BUREAU MINES AND GEOLOGY BULLETIN . 41, V. 38, NO. 5, 206 P.

  • Deposit

    CURRY, D. L. 1960. THE GEOLOGY OF THE CORDERO QUICKSILVER MINE AREA, HUMBOLDT COUNTY, NEVADA. M.S. THESIS, UNIV. OR, EUGENE, OR, 60 P.

  • Deposit

    FISK, E. L. 1968. CORDERO MINE, OPALITE MINING DISTRICT, CH. 75 IN ORE DEPOSITS OF THE UNITED STATES, 1933-1967, ED. BY J. D. RIDGE. AIME, V. II, P. 1573-1591.

  • Deposit

    GREENE, R. C. 1972. PRELIMINARY GEOLOGIC MAP OF JORDAN MEADOW QUADRANGLE, NEVADA-OREGON. U.S. GEOL. SURV. MISC. FIELD STUDIES MAP MF-341, 1972, SCALE 1:48,000.

  • Deposit

    HOLMES, G. H., JR. 1965. MERCURY IN NEVADA. CH. IN MERCURY POTENTIAL OF THE UNITED STATES. BUMINES INFORMATION CIRCULAR 8252, P. 215-300.

  • Deposit

    MCCORMACK, JOHN K., 1986, UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, RENO THESIS (MS): PARAGENESIS AND ORIGIN OF SEDIMENT-HOSTED MERCURY ORE AT THE MCDERMITT MINE, MCDERMITT, NEVADA.

  • Deposit

    MCKEE, E. H., AND R. J. ROSS, JR. 1976. ORIGIN OF THE MCDERMITT CALDERA IN NEVADA AND OREGON AND ITS RELATED MERCURY DEPOSITS. ECON. GEOL. AND BULL. SOC. ECON. GEOL., V. 71, NO. 3, P. 701.

  • Deposit

    NEVADA MINING ASSOCIATION (RENO). 1975. NEWSLETTER NO. 267, JUNE 15, 1975, PP. 1-2.

  • Deposit

    NEVADA MINING ASSOCIATION (RENO). 1978. NEVADA MERCURY MINE INCREASES '77 OUTPUT. NV MIN. ASSOC. BULL., V. 2, NO. 5, 1978, P. 13.

  • Deposit

    NEVADA MINING ASSOCIATION (RENO). 1979. MERCURY MINE: DEPRESSED MARKET; BUT SAFETY STANDARDS HIGH. NV MIN. ASSOC. BULL., V. 3, NO. 5-6, 1979, P. 9.

  • Deposit

    ROPER, M. W. 1976. HOT SPRINGS MERCURY DEPOSITION AT MCDERMITT MINE, HUMBOLDT COUNTY, NEVADA. SOC. MIN. ENG. AIME, TRANS., V. 260, JUNE 1976, P. 192-195.

  • Deposit

    RYTUBA, J.J., 1976, GEOLOGY AND ORE DEPOSITS OF THE MCDERMITT CALDERA, NEV-ORE; U.S.G.S. OPEN FILE REPT. 76-535

  • Deposit

    RYTUBA, J. J., AND R. K. GLANZMAN. 1979. RELATION OF MERCURY, URANIUM, AND LITHIUM DEPOSITS TO THE MCDERMITT CALDERA COMPLEX, NEVADA- OREGON. PAPER IN PAPERS ON MINERAL DEPOSITS OF WESTERN NORTH AMERICA. NV BUMINES AND GEOL. REP. 33, P. 109-117.

  • Deposit

    SCOTT, M. 1979. HALF OF NATION'S MERCURY COMES FROM MCDERMITT. NV STATE J. (RENO), FEB. 5, 1979, P. 28.

  • Deposit

    SISSELMAN, R. 1975. NEW MCDERMITT MINE JOINT VENTURE EMERGES AS DOMINANT FORCE IN U.S. MERCURY PRODUCTION. ENG. AND MIN. J., V. 176, NO. 12, 1975, PP. 72-77.

  • Deposit

    SKILLINGS' MINING REVIEW. 1975. PLACER AMEX'S NEW MCDERMITT MERCURY MINE: PLANT IN NORTHERN NEVADA WITH ANNUAL CAPACITY OF 20,000 FLASKS. V. 64. NO. 52, P. 1, 6-7.

  • Deposit

    SKILLINGS' MINING REVIEW. 1976. MCDERMITT MERCURY MINE AT DESIGNED CAPACITY OF 20,000 FLASKS ANNUALLY. V. 65, NO. 26, 1976, P.18.

  • Deposit

    SPEER, W. E. 1977. GEOLOGY OF THE MCDERMITT MINE AREA. M.S. THESIS, UNIV. AZ, TUCSON, AZ, 65 P.

  • Deposit

    STATE INSPECTOR OF MINES, 1981, DIRECTORY OF NEVADA MINING OPERATIONS ACTIVE DURING CALENDAR YEAR, 1980.

  • Deposit

    DIVISION OF MINE INSPECTION, 1983, DIRECTORY OF NEVADA MINE OPERATIONS ACTIVE DURING CALENDAR YEAR 1983.

  • Deposit

    TUNNELL, G. 1964. CHEMICAL PROCESSES IN THE FORMATION OF MERCURY ORES AND ORES OF MERCURY AND ANTIMONY. GEOCHIM. ET COSMOCHIM. ACTA, V. 28, NO. 7, P. 1019-1037.

  • Deposit

    WILLDEN, R. 1964. GEOLOGY AND MINERAL DEPOSITS OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY, NEVADA. NV BUREAU OF MINES AND GEOLOGY BULLETIN 59, 154 P.

General comments

Subject category Comment text
Deposit MCDERMITT IS THE LARGEST MERCURY PRODUCER IN THE U.S. GENERAL LOCATION: ABOUT 10 KM SW OF MCDERMITT. GENERAL SIZE OF ORE BODY: MEDIUM. MILL: ON-SITE, ACTIVE, 2200 T/D, 90 T/H (FURNACE 0.45 -T/H HG CONC., FLOATATION, DISTILLATION, PRODUCES REFINED MERCURY, SHIPPED 4348 KM TO N.Y. ANNUAL PRODUCTION 240000 T ORE, 2000 FLASKS OF HG FROM OPEN PIT W/ 4.7:1 WASTE;ORE.
Deposit THICKNESS DATA IS FOR INDIVIDUAL ORE HORIZONS . DEPOSIT OCCURS PARALLEL TO BEDDING IN VOLCANIC TUFF DEPOSITED IN AN AQUEOUS ENVIRONMENT. DIPS SLIGHTLY NORTHWARD.
Deposit LOCATED ON PART OF THE OLD CORDERO MINE PROPERTY, BUT THIS IS OPEN PIT, WHILE CORDERO WAS UNDERGROUND. EXPLORATION INDICATES RESERVES OF APPROX. 3 MILLION TONS ORE AT 10 LB. HG/TON (0.5%). AN OPEN PIT MINING OPERATION SUPPLIES A CONCENTRATOR WITH 700 TONS ORE PER DAY. IN 1980, THE MINE WAS LISTED AS AN ACTIVE, OPEN PIT MINE WITH FLOTATION AND DISTILLATION MILL, EMPLOYING A TOTAL OF 56 WORKERS. OPERATIONS BEGAN HERE IN 1975.

Reporter information

Type Date Name Affiliation Comment
Reporter 1996-10-07 Spear, James M. U.S. Bureau of Mines
Reporter 1977-07-01 Peterson, Jocelyn A. Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology MRDS M054731, originator.
Updater 1984-10-01 La Pointe, D.D. (Tingley, J.V.) U.S. Geological Survey MRDS M054731, updated
Reporter 1991-09-01 Moyer, Lorre A. (Marcus, S.M.) U.S. Geological Survey MRDS M054731, updated
Reporter 2012-12-13 Wilson, Anna B U.S. Geological Survey merged and deleted duplicate record 10040100 (MRDS M054731)