Sterling Mine

Producer in Nye county in Nevada, United States with commodities Gold, Silver, Fluorine-Fluorite

Geologic information

Identification information

Deposit ID 10310381
MRDS ID M242959
Record type Site
Current site name Sterling Mine
Alternate or previous names Panama Mine, 144 Zone, Mary-Goldspar claim block (to the north (2004)), Ambrose Open Pit, Stirling Mine, NBMG sample sites 1013, 1014, Sterling

Comments on the site identification

  • This record is an updated version iof record # M242959 including duplicate information from W700427 which has been deleted.

Geographic coordinates

Geographic coordinates: -116.64032, 36.82914 (WGS84)
Elevation 1340
Relative position The mine is located about 8 air miles southeast of Beatty, 120 miles north of Las Vegas.
(click for info)

Geographic areas

Country State County
United States Nevada Nye

Public Land Survey System information

Meridian Township Range Section Fraction State
Mount Diablo 013S 047.5E 10 11 12 13 14 15 22 23 Nevada
Mount Diablo 013S 048E 05 06 13 20 Nevada

Comments on the location information

  • The mine is situated on the east flank of Bare Mountain, about a mile south of the Diamond Queen (Goldspar) Mine; just north of the Panama Mine.

Commodities

Commodity Importance
Gold Primary
Silver Secondary
Fluorine-Fluorite Tertiary

Comments on the commodity information

  • Commodity Info: Au: Ag ratio ranges from 10:1 to 30:1
  • Ore Materials: free gold
  • Gangue Materials: quartz, calcite, fluorite, sericite, alunite, limonite, jarosite, clays

Materials information

Materials Type of material
Gold Ore
Quartz Gangue
Calcite Gangue
Fluorite Gangue
Sericite Gangue
Alunite Gangue
Limonite Gangue
Jarosite Gangue
Clay Gangue

Alteration

  • (Local) Host roacks in the mineralized area exhibit clay alteration and bleaching.

Mineral occurrence model information

Model code 173
USGS model code 26a.1
Deposit model name Sediment-hosted Au
Mark3 model number 17

Host and associated rocks

  • Host or associated Host
    Rock type Sedimentary Rock > Clastic Sedimentary Rock > Siltstone
    Rock unit name Wood Canyon
    Stratigraphic age (youngest) Early Cambrian
    Stratigraphic age (oldest) Neoproterozoic
  • Host or associated Host
    Rock type Sedimentary Rock > Carbonate > Dolomite
    Rock unit name Bonanza King
    Stratigraphic age (youngest) Late Cambrian
    Stratigraphic age (oldest) Middle Cambrian
  • Host or associated Associated
    Rock type Volcanic Rock (Aphanitic) > Felsic Volcanic Rock > Quartz Latite
    Rock type qualifier dikes
    Stratigraphic age (youngest) Early Miocene
    Stratigraphic age (oldest) Miocene

Nearby scientific data

(1) -116.64032, 36.82914

Geologic structures

Type Description Terms
Local thrust fault, high angle faults
Regional Basin and Range style normal faulting

Ore body information

  • General form tabular
    Dip 25 TO 30 DEGREES SOUTH
    Plunge SOUTH
  • Thickness 20M
    Width 25M
    Field Value
    MAS Matrix # 1
    MAS Column # 1
    Type of Orebody #1 DISSEMINATED
    Shape of Orebody #1 TABULAR
    Type of Orebody #2 SHEAR ZONE
    Primary mode of Origin HYDROTHERMAL
    Primary Ore Control FAULTING
    Type of Wallrock Alter. #1 SILICIFICATION
    Type of Wallrock Alter. #2 INTERM ARGILLIC
    Type of Wallrock Alter. #3 BLEACHING
    Date of Last Modification 850823

Controls for ore emplacement

  • Ore has been localized by thrust fault and high angle fault intersections, and in hydrothermal breccias.

Economic information

Economic information about the deposit and operations

Operation type Surface-Underground
Development status Producer
Commodity type Both metallic and non-metallic
Deposit size Small
Significant Yes
Year of first production 1980
Year of last production 1997
Production years 1980-1997
Milling method Heap Leach-Agglomerate-Carbon Column-Merrill-Crowe

Mining district

District name Bare Mountain District
District name Fluorine District

Land status

Ownership category BLM Administrative Area
Area name Tonopah BLM District

Ownership information

  • Type Owner-Operator
    Owner Cathedral Gold Corp.
    Interest 90
    Home office Canada
    Year 1996
    First year 1992
  • Type Owner-Operator
    Owner Imperial Metals Corporation
    Interest 100
    Year 2002
  • Type Owner
    Owner Imperial Metals Corp. (Owns 56.2% of Cathedral)
    Interest 10
    Home office Canada
    Year 1996
    First year 1992
  • Type Owner
    Owner Dejour in part. Cathedral Gold Corp. 52% Owned .
    First year 1985
  • Type Owner-Operator
    Owner Saga Exploration Co. 2.5% Nsr
    ID 2601503
    Home office Nevada
    Year 1996
    First year 1992
  • Type Owner
    Owner Geomex Devrlopment, Inc.
    ID 2601503
    Interest 47
    Home office Canada
    Year 1984
    First year 1984
  • Type Owner
    Owner Panama Nev. Mines Co.
    First year 1931

Production statistics

  • Year 1983
    Description Annual Production: 280-370 Kg Au 2890 Kg Au
    Importance Item Commodity Group Amount recovered Grade Recovery percentage
    Major Gold Gold 325,000g
  • Year 1984
    Material ORE AU
    Accuracy Estimate
    Description Ap_Grade: ^0.215 Oz Au/Ton
    Importance Item Commodity Group Amount recovered Grade Recovery percentage
    Ore Gold Gold 7g/mt
  • Year 1994
    Description Gold Production 13290 Oz/Yr
    Importance Item Commodity Group Amount recovered Grade Recovery percentage
    Major Gold Gold 413,365g
  • Year 1995
    Description Gold Production (Est) 13000 T Oz/Yr Gold
    Importance Item Commodity Group Amount recovered Grade Recovery percentage
    Major Gold Gold 404,345g
  • Year 1996
    Description Recoverable Au In Heap Inventory 1673 Oz. Au
    Importance Item Commodity Group Amount recovered Grade Recovery percentage
    Gold Gold 52,036g
  • Year 1997
    Description Gold Rec. Of Low Grade Stock Pile 6500 T Oz/Yr
    Importance Item Commodity Group Amount recovered Grade Recovery percentage
    Major Gold Gold 202,173g

Reserves and resources

  • Type In-situ
    Estimate year 1980
    Total resources 227,000mt ore
    Commodity Subtype Grade units Group Importance Year
    Gold Au 17.14 g/mt Gold Major 1980
  • Type In-situ
    Estimate year 1983
    Total resources 181,000mt ore
    Commodity Subtype Grade units Group Importance Year
    Gold Au 6.86 g/mt Gold Major 1983
  • Type In-situ
    Estimate year 1989
    Total resources 212,000mt ore
    Commodity Subtype Grade units Group Importance Year
    Gold Au 5.929 g/mt Gold Major 1989
  • Type In-situ
    Estimate year 1990
    Total resources 235,000mt ore
    Commodity Subtype Grade units Group Importance Year
    Gold Au 5.901 g/mt Gold Major 1990
  • Type In-situ
    Estimate year 1991
    Total resources 225,000mt ore
    Commodity Subtype Grade units Group Importance Year
    Gold Au 5.788 g/mt Gold Major 1991
  • Type In-situ
    Estimate year 1996
    Demonstrated 437,263mt ore
    Indicated 437,263mt ore
    Total resources 437,263mt ore
    Commodity Subtype Grade units Group Importance Year
    Gold Au 6.5485 g/mt Gold Major 1996
  • Type In-situ
    Estimate year 1996
    Demonstrated 117,282mt ore
    Indicated 80,376mt ore
    Measured 36,906mt ore
    Total resources 117,282mt ore
    Commodity Subtype Grade units Group Importance Year
    Gold Au 8.39 g/mt Gold Major 1996

Workings at the site

  • Type of workings Surface/Underground
    Overall depth 121.92M

Comments on the workings information

  • The mine has been developed by open pits and drifting in approximately 20,000 ft of underground workings.A heap leach facility has been in operation on the property to process ore.

Comments on other economic factors

  • Sterling was operated as an open-pit and underground mine from 1980 to 1997, producing a total of 194,996 oz of gold from 941,341 tons of ore with an average grade of 0.217 opt Au. The mine produced 7,499 oz of gold in 1989 at a cash production cost of $232/oz. Production in 1990 was expected to be 11,000 oz of gold at a cost of $230/oz. In 1991 as an underground heap leach, the mine produced 12,626 oz of gold,with an average cost per oz of $197 when average price per oz. was $381 . Reserves in 1992 were reported at 403 kilotonnes of ore grading 0.24 opt Au, with a geologic resource of 765 kilotonnes of ore grading 0.178 opt Au. In 1996 reserves were reported at 129 kilotonnes of ore grading 0.245 opt Au. No recent reserve estimates are available.

Comments on development

  • E and B Exploration had the Sterling Mine in 1984 with Gexa owning a 46.5% share of the property . Dejour Mines acquired a 6% interest in 1985 from International Gold and Minerals. A transition from 50% underground to 100% underground mining was completed in 1990. Cathewdral Gold Corporation had a 47% interest in the property in 1991. Sterling was operated as an open-pit and underground mine from 1980 to 1997. With the rebound in gold prices in the 2000s, interest in the property was renewed. In 2002, Imperial Metals Corp. reported that all six holes drilled in a recently completed exploration program on the 144 Zone at Sterling returned significant gold intercepts. The 144 Zone was discovered in 2001 by two holes that intersected 110 feet of 0.15 opt Au and 45 feet of 0.57 opt Au respectively. The drill holes were vertical and were drilled with a combination of rotary drilling to just above the top of the target zone and diamond drilling through the zone. Using this technique, all drill holes reached the target depths and had satisfactory core recoveries. In 2002 a surface rotary and diamond drill program further tested the target area. This work was followed by a geophysical survey using Natural Source Audio-Frequency Tellurics to detect low and high-angle discontinuities as well as alteration mineralogy associated with brecciation and gold mineralization in the 144 Zone. Results were used to focus exploration efforts aimed at expanding the 144 Zone and discovering additional zones of the same type. In 2003, 30 holes totaling 9,000 feet (2,743 metres) were completed. All holes which penetrated the zone intersected elevated gold values enlarging the 144 Zone to 500 feet by 750 feet (152 metres by 228 metres). Also in 2003, an additional 29 claims were acquired under lease to secure the potential northerly extension of the 144 Zone gold bearing structure. In 2004, planning and permitting of an underground exploration program was begun. This program will include a 3,840 foot (1,170 metre) ramp down to the 144 Zone followed by 20,000 (6,098 metres) of definition and exploration drilling. Planning was underway for an additional 12 to 16 combination rotary/diamond drill holes. Permitting was underway in 2003 for reopening of mining operations.

Reference information

Links to other databases

Agency Database name Acronym Record ID Notes
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS M242959 MRDS dep_id 10106939 merged into this record.
U.S. Bureau of Mines Minerals Availability System MAS 320230486 MRDS dep_id 10271183 merged into this record.
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS M241770 MRDS dep_id 10046585 merged into this record.
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS M231945 MRDS dep_id 10044499 merged into this record.

Bibliographic references

  • Deposit

    GSN Precious Metals Symposium, 1987, Field Trip Guidebook, p.76-77

  • Deposit

    NBMG MI-1987 through MI-2002.

  • Deposit

    Bonham, H.F, 1986, NBMG Map 91

  • Deposit

    Smith P. 1982, NBMG Field Examination and Sample Analysis.

  • Deposit

    Odt, D.A., 1983, Geology and Geochemistry of the Sterling Gold Deposit, Nye Co., NV: MS Thesis, UNR, 100p.

  • Deposit

    Tingley, J.V., 1984, Trace Element Associations in Mineral Deposits, Bare Mtn-Fluorine Mining District, S. Nye County, Nev: NBMG Report 39

  • Deposit

    NBMG Mining District File 228, Press Clippings

  • Deposit

    Directory of Nevada Mine Operations Active During Calendar Year 1987: Nevada Div. Of Mine Inspection, 84p.

  • Deposit

    Monsen, S.A., Carr, M. D. Et Al, 1990, Geologic Map Of Bare Mountain, Nye Co., NV.:USGS OFR 90-25.

  • Deposit

    Mining Record 5/22/91 p.1.

  • Deposit

    Mining Record 6/12/91.

  • Deposit

    The Mining Record, 8/20/02

  • 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

    Nevada Division of Environmental Protection notice to renew a Water Pollution Control Permit for the Sterling Mine Project, Feb 2003.

  • Deposit

    Imperial Metals Corporation website, 2002, 2004.

  • Production

    CATHEDRAL GOLD CORPORATION. 1995 ANNUAL REPORT, P.7.

  • Reserve-Resource

    BONHAM, H. F., JR. RESERVES, HOST ROCKS, AND AGES OF BULK-MINEABLE PRECIOUS METAL DEPOSITS IN NEVADA. NV BUR. MINES AND GEOL. OFR 82-9, 1982, 4 PP.

  • Reserve-Resource

    MINES AND GEOL. OFR 82-9, 1982, 4 PP.

  • Reserve-Resource

    NORTHERN MINER (TORONTO). GEOMEX IMPRESSED BY NEVADA MINE BUT BRALORNE PLACED ON STANDBY. JULY 26, 1984, P. 12.

  • Reserve-Resource

    RANDOL, MINING DIRECTORY, 1996/97, U.S. MINIS & MINING COMPANIES, P273, 274.

  • Reserve-Resource

    1995/96, NEVADA MINES DIRECTORY, P28.

  • Reserve-Resource

    CATHEDRAL GOLD CORPORATION, 1995 ANNUAL REPORT, PP. 6-8.

  • Deposit

    CORNWALL, H. R. GEOLOGY AND MINERAL DEPOSITS OF SOUTHERN NYE COUNTY, NEVADA. NV BUREAU OF MINES AND GEOL. BULLETIN 77, 1972, 49 PP.

  • Deposit

    CORNWALL, H. R., AND F. J. KLEINHAMPL. GEOLOGY OF THE BARE MOUNTAIN QUADRANGLE, NEVADA. U.S. GEOL. SURV. QUAD. MAP GQ-157, 1961, SCALE 1:62:500.

  • Deposit

    GARSIDE, L. J. ROAD LOG/TRIP GUIDE: STERLING MINE, GOLDFIELD DISTRICT, HASBROUCK MOUNTAIN (DIVIDE DISTRICT), TONOPAH DISTRICT, AND BOREALIS MINE, FIELD TRIP 3, PRECIOUS METAL DISTRICTS IN SOUTHERN AND WESTERN NEVADA. PAPER IN EXPLORATION FOR ORE DEPOSITS OF THE NORTH AMERICAN CORDILLERA, FIELD TRIP GUIDEBOOK, ED. BY J. L. JOHNSON. SYMP. OF ASSOC. EXPL. GEOCHEM., RENO, NV, MAR. 25-28, 1984, PP. FT3 1-31.

  • Deposit

    GOLDFIELD DISTRICT, HASBROUCK MOUNTAIN (DIVIDE DISTRICT),

  • Deposit

    GARSIDE, L. J., AND J. V. TINGLEY. FIELD EXAMINATION OF STERLING MINE, NYE COUNTY, NEVADA. NV BUREAU OF MINES AND GEOL, MAR. 25, 1982, 3 PP; AVAILABLE AT NV BUREAU OF MINES AND GEOL., RENO, NV.

  • Deposit

    ROCKY MOUNTAIN PAY DIRT, FEB. 94, P4A, "UNDERGROUND STERLING MINE BEEN GOING 13 YEARS; NEVADA MINE-FOR LEACH OPERATION AIDED BY GOOD GRADE, LOW CAPITAL COST".

  • Deposit

    THE NORTHERN MINER, JUNE 3, 1996, P B16.

  • Deposit

    THE MINING RECORD, VOL 108, #16, APRIL 16, 1997, P1.

  • Deposit

    SMITH, A.M., & CARPENTER, J, 1931, INSPECTION TRIP NOTES: NBMG FILE 228, ITEM 8

  • Deposit

    KRAL, V.E., 1951, MINERAL RESOURCES OF NYE CO.: NBMG BULL. 50, P. 63

General comments

Subject category Comment text
Deposit Disseminated gold mineralization occurs along and in the upper plate of a thrust fault that juxtaposes late Proterozoic to Cambrian Wood Canyon Formation over Cambrian Bonanza King dolomite. Mineralization is concentrated where high-angle faults intersect the thrust fault. Hydrothermal brecciation is common in the ore zone. Breccia pipes occur in the Bonanza King dolomite and bedded dolomite of the Wood Canyon Formation.

Reporter information

Type Date Name Affiliation Comment
Reporter 01-MAR-81 Wong, George (Roberts, Ralph) U.S. Geological Survey Panama Mine
Reporter 01-JUN-83 Lyles, B.F. (Tingley, J.V.) Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Panama Mine
Reporter 01-AUG-88 Paidakovich, Matthew E. Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology
Updater 01-NOV-88 La Pointe, D.D. (Tingley, J.V.) Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology
Updater 01-SEP-91 Moyer, Lorre A. (Marcus, S.M.) U.S. Geological Survey
Updater 01-SEP-94 Li, Zhiping (Moyer, Lorre A.) U.S. Geological Survey
Reporter 04-AUG-97 Buckingham, David A. U.S. Bureau of Mines
Reporter 01-MAY-04 La Pointe, 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.