Buckingham Molybdenum Deposit

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

Geologic information

Identification information

Deposit ID 10310305
MRDS ID M231306
MAS/MILS ID 0320150108
Record type Site
Current site name Buckingham Molybdenum Deposit
Alternate or previous names Hardy, Bentley, O'Leary, Buckingham Mine
Related records 10173778

Comments on the site identification

  • This record incorporates all material from the earlier record for the historic Buckingham Mine deposit, MRDS #M231306 as well as additional material.

Geographic coordinates

Point of reference Pit
Geographic coordinates: -117.0375, 40.6134 (WGS84)
Elevation 1860
Location accuracy 10(meters)
Relative position The mine is located about 10 miles southwest of the town of Battle Mountain.
(click for info)

Geographic areas

Country State County
United States Nevada Lander

Public Land Survey System information

Meridian Township Range Section Fraction State
Mount Diablo 032N 044E 31 Nevada

Comments on the location information

  • The mine is located about a mile south of Buckingham Camp on Licking Creek.

Commodities

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

Comments on the commodity information

  • Ore Materials: molybdenite, tetrahedrite
  • Gangue Materials: pyrite, galena, sphalerite

Materials information

Materials Type of material
Molybdenite Ore
Tetrahedrite Ore
Pyrite Gangue
Galena Gangue
Sphalerite Gangue

Alteration

  • (Local) There were four alteration events: 1. contactmetaorphism of the host sedimentary rocks during emplacement of the granitic plutons 2. hydrothermal alteration associated with the metallization event 3. clay and sericite alteration associated with faulting 4. sugergene alteration

Analytical data

Result IN 1912, ORE RAN $14.75 PER TON IN AG AND A

Mineral occurrence model information

Model code 80
USGS model code 21b
Deposit model name Porphyry Mo, low-F

Host and associated rocks

  • Host or associated Host
    Rock type Metamorphic Rock > Metasedimentary Rock
    Rock type qualifier metamorphosed and intensely veined
    Rock unit name Harmony Formation
    Stratigraphic age (youngest) Late Cambrian
  • Host or associated Host
    Rock type Metamorphic Rock > Hornfels
    Rock type qualifier biotite
    Rock unit name Harmony Formation
    Stratigraphic age (youngest) Late Cambrian
  • Host or associated Host
    Rock type Plutonic Rock > Porphyry
    Rock type qualifier granodiorite
    Stratigraphic age (youngest) Oligocene
  • Host or associated Host
    Rock type Plutonic Rock > Granitoid > Quartz Monzonite
    Stratigraphic age (youngest) Oligocene
  • Host or associated Associated
    Rock type Plutonic Rock > Granitoid > Quartz Monzonite
    Rock type qualifier stock
    Stratigraphic age (youngest) Tertiary

Nearby scientific data

Pit (1) -117.0375, 40.6134

Geologic structures

Type Description Terms
Regional FOLDING, THRUST FAULTS
Local NW AND NE-TRENDING FAULTS: BUCKINGHAM FAULT

Ore body information

  • General form irregular, tabular, disseminated
    Thickness 640M
    Depth to top 0M
    Width 1200M
    Length 2000M

Controls for ore emplacement

  • Molybdenum mineralization is related to the emplacement of a late Cretaceous composite quartz monzonite porphyry system that intruded and strongly metamorphosed the enclosing Paleozoic sedimentary rocks to hornfels. There are at least seven major phases of intrusions that collectively form what are called the East and West stocks. All seven phases contain molybdenum mineralization. The main buckingham deposit formed in association with five igneous phases located in the two stocks. All five phases developed shells of molybdenite mineralization and the shells locally overlap to produce grades of about 0.1 to 0.20 weight percent MoS2. Mineralization is also locally controlled by shear zones, faults, and fractures .

Comments on the geologic information

  • In the historic workings, Hill reported that the hanging wall is a well-marked fracture filled with gouge, below which for 12 to 15 feet, the quartzite contains, disseminated pyrite, cut by small stringers of tetrahedrite sphalerite and galena for three feet below the hanging wall. The hanging wall ore carried considerable silver mineralization.

Economic information

Economic information about the deposit and operations

Operation type Surface-Underground
Development status Past Producer
Deposit size Small
Significant Yes
Discovery year 1867
Discovery method Ore-Mineral In Place
Year of first production >1875

Mining district

District name Battle Mountain District

Mineral rights holdings

Type of mineral rights Located Claim

Land status

Ownership category Private
Area name Battle Mountain BLM Administrative District
Ownership category BLM Administrative Area

Ownership information

  • Type Owner-Operator
    Owner Newmont Mining Corp.
    Year 2004
  • Type Owner-Operator
    Owner Amax Inc. , Union Pacific
    Interest 33
    Home office Connecticut
    Year 1982
    First year 1980
  • Type Owner
    Owner Rocky Mountain Energy Co. (Union Pacific)
    Home office Colorado
    Year 1982

Reserves and resources

  • Type In-situ
    Estimate year 1982
    Demonstrated 217,000,000metric tons
    Commodity Subtype Grade units Group Importance Year
    Copper Cu 0.03 wt-pct Copper Secondary 1982
    Molybdenum Mo 0.57 wt-pct Molybdenum Primary 1982
    Silver Ag 4.11 g/mt Silver Primary 1982
    Tungsten W 0.005 wt-pct Tungsten Secondary 1982

Comments on the workings information

  • Old underground workings include an incline, crosscut, drifts. Much drilling has been done on the prospect during the past 40 years.

Comments on other economic factors

  • Buckingham is considered by the USGS to be one of the ?Giant Porphyry-Related Metal Camps of the World. It contains one of the largest identified resources of molybdenum in the United States, estimated at more than 1 billion tonnes of mineralized rock averaging approximately 0.06 weight percent molybdenite (MoS2) and containing 100 million ounces of silver as well as smaller amounts of tungsten, copper, and gold.

Comments on development

  • The historic mine was discovered in the late 1860s, but no record exists of early production. In 1912, the deposits had been developed by an incline and a crosscut 140 feet long, with 130 feet of drifts in the ore zone. Production was sporadic from 1913 to 1929. Workings on the Buckingham claim include an 850-foot inclined shaft with drifts on many levels. Recent exploration by a variety of companies has defined a large low grade molybdenum orebody centered in this area. The porphyry molybdenum potential of the prospect was first recognized in 1962 by Congdon & Carey exploration firm, whose drill holes only grazed the fringes of th e upper West stock molybdenite shell. In 1967, Union Pacific Mining Corp. drilling hit the moly mineralization and intersected it at successively greater depths eastward, tracing the Buckingham Fault. Under a joint venture with Climax Molybdenum in 1973-1980, more drilling tested moly mineralization in the East stock and outlined more mineralization southwest of Buckingham. Duval Corp explored the property in 1975-1982, defining a small reserve in the uppermost East stock molybdenite shell. Climax intensely studioed the deposit in 1980-82 as part of a pre-feasibility study, forming the basis for a detailed study and report on the deposit by the USGS in 1992. The property is currently held by Newmont with continuing delineation of the deposit.

Reference information

Links to other databases

Agency Database name Acronym Record ID Notes
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS M231306
U.S. Bureau of Mines Minerals Availability System MAS 0320150108

Bibliographic references

  • Deposit

    Stewart, J.H., Mckee, E.H, and Stager, H.K., 1977, Geology and Mineral Deposits of Lander County, Nevada: NBMG Bull. 88, 106 p.

  • Reserve-Resource

    SUTULOV, A., 1982, INTERMET MOLYBDENUM YEARBOOK. ALEXANDER SUTULOV/ INTERMET PUBL., SANTIAGO, CHILE, P. 28.

  • Deposit

    Hill, J.M., 1915, Some Mining Districts in Northeastern California and Northwestern Nevada: USGS Bull 594

  • Deposit

    Roberts, R.J. and Arnold, D.C., 1965, Ore Deposits of the Antler Peak Quadrangle, Humboldt and Lander Counties, Nevada: U.S.G.S. Prof. Paper 459-B.

  • Deposit

    Long, K.R., DeYoung, J.H., Jr., and Ludington, S.D., 1998, Database of significant deposits of gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc in the United States; Part A, Database description and analysis; part B, Digital database: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 98-206, 33 p., one 3.5 inch diskette.

  • Deposit

    Theodore, T.G., Blake, D.W., Loucks, T.A., and Johnson, C.A., 1992, Geology of the Buckingham stockwork molybdenum deposit and surrounding area, Lander County, Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 798-D, 307 p.

  • Deposit

    Geological Society of Nevada, 1999, Geology and Gold Mineralization of the Buffalo Valley Area, Northwestern Battle Mountain Trend; GSN Special Publication No. 31, 1999 Fall field trip Guidebook.

  • Deposit

    Doebrich, J.L., and Theodore, T.G. (1996) Geologic History of the Battle Mountain Mining District, Nevada, and Regional Controls on the Distribution of Mineral Systems in Coyner, Alan R. and Fahey, Patrick L., editors, Geology and Ore Deposits of the American Cordillera: Geological Society of Nevada Symposium Proceedings, p. 453-483.

  • Deposit

    Felix E. Mutschler, Steve Ludington, and Arthur A. Bookstrom, 1999, Giant Porphyry-Related Metal Camps of the World-A Database; USGS Open-File Report 99-556.

  • Deposit

    Wendt, Clancy, 2004, Technical Report on the' ICBM/COPPER BASIN Property, Lander and Humboldt Counties, Nevada, Staccato Gold website, : http://www.staccatogold.com/i/pdf/icbm-43-101.pdf

  • Deposit

    BLAKE, D. W., T. G. THEODORE, J. N. BATCHELDER, AND E. L. KRETCHMER, 1979, STRUCTURAL RELATIONS OF IGNEOUS ROCKS AND MINERALIZATION IN THE BATTLE MOUNTAIN MINING DISTRICT, LANDER COUNTY, NEVADA, IN PAPERS ON MINERAL DEPOSITS OF WESTERN NORTH AMERICA. NV BUREAU OF MINES AND GEOLOGY, REP. 33, PP. 878-89.

  • Deposit

    LINCOLN, F. C., 1923, MINING DISTRICTS AND MINERAL RESOURCES OF NEVADA: NV NEWSLETTER PUBL. CO., RENO, NV, 280 P.

  • Deposit

    ROBERTS, R. J., 1964,STRATIGRAPHY AND STRUCTURE OF THE ANTLER PEAK QUADRANGLE, HUMBOLDT AND LANDER COUNTIES, NEVADA: U.S. GEOL. SURV. PROF. PAPER 459-A, P. A1-A93.

  • Deposit

    ROBERTS, R. J., P. E. HOTZ, J. GILLULY, AND H. G. FERGUSON, 1958, PALEOZOIC ROCKS IN NORTH CENTRAL NEVADA. AAPG BULL., V. 42, NO. 12, PP. 2813-2857.

  • Deposit

    SAYERS, R. W., M. C. TIPPET, AND E. D. FIELDS, 1967, THE ORE DEPOSITS AT COPPER CANYON AND COPPER BASIN, LANDER COUNTY, NEVADA: TRANS. SOC. MIN. ENG. AIME, V. 244, P.

  • Deposit

    SAYERS, R. W., M. C. TIPPETT, AND E. D. FIELDS, 1968,DUVAL'S NEW COPPER MINES SHOW COMPLEX GEOLOGIC HISTORY: MIN. ENG., V. 20, NO. 3, PP. 55-62.

  • Deposit

    SCHILLING J. H., 1980, MOLYBDENUM DEPOSITS AND OCCURRENCES IN NEVADA: NV BUREAU OF MINES AND GEOL. MAP 66, SCALE 1:1,000,000.

  • Deposit

    THEODORE, T. G., AND D. B. BLAKE, 1975, GEOLOGY AND GEOCHEMISTRY OF THE COPPER CANYON PORPHYRY COPPER DEPOSIT AND SURROUNDING AREA, LANDER COUNTY, NEVADA: U.S. GEOL. SURV. PROF. PAPER 798-B, P. B81-B86.

  • Deposit

    THEODORE, T. G., M. L. SILBERMAN, AND D. W. BLAKE, 1973, GEOCHEMISTRY AND POTASSIUM-ARGON AGES OF PLUTONIC ROCKS IN THE BATTLE MOUNTAIN MINING DISTRICT, LANDER COUNTY, NEVADA: U.S. GEOL. SURV. PROF. PAPER 798-A, PP. A1-A24.

  • Deposit

    TIPPETT, M. C., 1967, THE GEOLOGY OF THE COPPER BASIN ORE DEPOSITS, LANDER COUNTY, NEVADA: M.S. THESIS, UNIV. NV, RENO, NV, 30 P.

  • Deposit

    VAN DENBURGH, 1939, A. S. RECONNAISSANCE OF MINING DISTRICTS IN LANDER COUNTY, NEVADA: U.S. BUMINES IC 7043, 83 P.

  • Deposit

    WESTRA, G., AND S. B. KEITH, 1981, CLASSIFICATION AND GENESIS OF STOCKWORK MOLYBDENUM DEPOSITS: ECON. GEOL. AND BULL. SOC. ECON. GEOL., V. 76, NO. 4, PP. 844-873.

  • Deposit

    WILSON, B. R., AND S. W. LAULE, 1979, TECTONICS AND SEDIMENTATION ALONG THE ANTLER OROGENIC BELT OF CENTRAL NEVADA: IN PROCEEDINGS OF ROCKY MOUNTAIN ASSOCIATION OF GEOLOGISTS/UTAH GEOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION BASIN AND RANGE SYMPOSIUM AND GREAT BASIN FIELD CONFERENCE, LAS VEGAS, NV, OCT. 7-11, 1979 ED. BY G. W. NEWMAN AND H. D. GOODE. RMAG, PP. 81-92.

  • Deposit

    WOODCOCK, J. R., 1979, MOLYBDENUM - A GUIDE TO NORTH AMERICAN RESOURCES AND ONGOING PLANS FOR DEVELOPMENT: ENG. AND MIN. J., V. 180, NO. 8, PP. 86-89.

  • Deposit

    WORLD MINING (SAN FRANCISCO), 1981, WHAT'S GOING ON IN WORLD MINING - UNITED STATES: NEVADA; NEVADA MAY BE THE NEXT BIG MOLYBDENUM PRODUCER: V.34, NO.12, P. 77.

  • Deposit

    WORLD MINING (SAN FRANCISCO), 1982, WHAT'S GOING ON IN WORLD MINING - UNITED STATES: NEVADA; DUVAL DISCOVERS SILVER AND GOLD NEAR BATTLE MOUNTAIN. V. 35, NO. 1, 72 P.

General comments

Subject category Comment text
Deposit The Buckingham stockwork molybdenum system is classified as a low-fluorine (or quartz monzonite) molybdenum system by Theodore and Menzie (1984). It contains one of the largest identified resources of molybdenum in the United States, estimated at more than 1 billion tonnes of mineralized rock averaging approximately 0.06 weight percent molybdenite (MoS2) and containing 100 million ounces of silver as well as smaller amounts of tungsten, copper, and gold. Molybdenum mineralization is related to emplacement of a late Cretaceous (86-Ma) composite porphyry system that intruded and metamorphosed the surrounding Late Cambrian Harmony Formation to biotite hornfels. Approximately half of the Buckingham deposit is hosted by metamorphosed and intensely veined rocks of the Late Cambrian Harmony Formation and half by intrusive rocks (Doebrich and Theodore, 1996). Molybdenum mineralization is related to the emplacement of a late Cretaceous composite quartz monzonite porphyry system that intruded and strongly metamorphosed the enclosing Paleozoic sedimentary rocks to hornfels. There are at least seven major phases of intrusions that collectively form what are called the East and West stocks. All seven phases contain molybdenum mineralization. The main Buckingham deposit formed in association with five igneous phases located in the two stocks. All five phases developed shells of molybdenite mineralization and the shells locally overlap to produce grades of about 0.1 to 0.20 weight percent MoS2. Porphyry copper deposits in the copper zone surrounding the central molybdenum zone underwent supergene enrichment to create the Contention, Carissa, Copper Queen, Widow, and Sweet Marie copper deposits. Gold-silver skarn ore at the Surprise Mine and distal disseminated silver-gold ore associated with silica-pyrite alteration at the Empire Mine (approximately 1.5 million tonnes averaging 1.8 g Au/t) and at the Northern Lights Mine (approximately 390,000 tonnes averaging 1.6 g Au/t) may be associated genetically with the Buckingham system. There appears to be metal zoning from proximal copper-rich ores in the Contention Pit to the distal gold-silver-copper ores in the Surprise Mine (Doebrich and Theodore, 1996).

Reporter information

Type Date Name Affiliation Comment
Reporter 01-JUL-05 LaPointe, D. D. Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology
Editor 01-SEP-07 Schruben, Paul G. U.S. Geological Survey Converted from S&A FileMaker format to Oracle. Edit checks on rocks, units, and ages with Geolex search, and other fields.
Updater 04-AUG-11 Causey, J Douglas U.S. Geological Survey Combined data from duplicate records 10043993 and 10173778 and deleted those records.