Phoenix Project

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

Geologic information

Identification information

Deposit ID 10310421
MRDS ID M234145
Record type Site
Current site name Phoenix Project
Alternate or previous names Battle Mountain Mine, Battle Mountain Project

Geographic coordinates

Point of reference Pit
Geographic coordinates: -117.1247, 40.5473 (WGS84)
Elevation 2057
Relative position Central Phoenix pit. The mines of the Phoenix Project are located 50 miles southeast of Winnemucca and 19 miles by road (12 air miles) southwest of the town of Battle Mountain, mainly in the southern portion of the Battle Mountain Range.
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Geographic areas

Country State County
United States Nevada Lander

Public Land Survey System information

Meridian Township Range Section Fraction State
Mount Diablo 031N 043E 21 22 27 NW/4 SEC. 22 Nevada

Comments on the location information

  • The mines of the Phoenix Project are located about 4 miles south of Antler Peak in the vicinity of Copper Canyon, which drains the southern part of the Battle Mountain massif. The central Phoenix pit will be adjacent to and south of the existing Upper and Lower Fortitude deposits.


Commodity Importance
Gold Primary
Copper Primary
Silver Secondary
Palladium Tertiary
Molybdenum Tertiary
Lead Tertiary
Zinc Tertiary
Arsenic Tertiary

Comments on the commodity information

  • Ore Materials: native gold, native silver, auriferous pyrite, chalcopyrite, pyrrhotite, marcasite, arsenopyrite, sphalerite, molybdenite, galena, , chalcocite, chrysocolla, copper carbonates, covellite
  • Gangue Materials: Iron-rich garnet, quartz, diopside, tremolite, actinolite, biotite

Materials information

Materials Type of material
Gold Ore
Silver Ore
Pyrite Ore
Chalcopyrite Ore
Pyrrhotite Ore
Marcasite Ore
Arsenopyrite Ore
Sphalerite Ore
Molybdenite Ore
Galena Ore
Chalcocite Ore
Chrysocolla Ore
Covellite Ore
Garnet Gangue
Quartz Gangue
Diopside Gangue
Tremolite Gangue
Actinolite Gangue
Biotite Gangue


  • (Local) Alteration types present in host rocks are varying degrees of potassic, pyritic, silicic, propylitic, and sericitic alteration.

Analytical data


Mineral occurrence model information

Model code 58
USGS model code 18a
Deposit model name Porphyry Cu, skarn-related
Mark3 model number 9

Host and associated rocks

  • Host or associated Host
    Rock type Sedimentary Rock > Clastic Sedimentary Rock > Conglomerate
    Rock type qualifier metamorphosed
    Rock unit name Battle Formation
    Stratigraphic age (youngest) Middle Pennsylvanian
  • Host or associated Host
    Rock type Sedimentary Rock > Clastic Sedimentary Rock > Sandstone
    Rock type qualifier feldspathic
    Rock unit name Harmony Formation
    Stratigraphic age (youngest) Late Cambrian
  • Host or associated Host
    Rock type Sedimentary Rock > Clastic Sedimentary Rock > Shale
    Rock type qualifier calcareous
    Rock unit name Pumpernickel Formation
    Stratigraphic age (youngest) Permian
    Stratigraphic age (oldest) Early Pennsylvanian
  • Host or associated Host
    Rock type Sedimentary Rock > Chemical Sediment > Chert
    Rock unit name Havallah Group
    Stratigraphic age (youngest) Early Permian
    Stratigraphic age (oldest) Middle Pennsylvanian
  • Host or associated Host
    Rock type Sedimentary Rock > Clastic Sedimentary Rock > Argillite
    Rock unit name Havallah Group
    Stratigraphic age (youngest) Early Permian
    Stratigraphic age (oldest) Middle Pennsylvanian
  • Host or associated Associated
    Rock type Plutonic Rock > Granitoid > Granodiorite
    Stratigraphic age (youngest) Tertiary
  • Host or associated Associated
    Rock type Plutonic Rock > Mafic Intrusive Rock > Quartz Diorite
    Stratigraphic age (youngest) Tertiary

Nearby scientific data

Pit (1) -117.1247, 40.5473

Geologic structures

Type Description Terms
Regional Virgin Fault, a major north-striking fault. Copper Canyon Fault is another major fault in the district. The Roberts Mountain thrust, Dewitt Thrust, and Golconda Thrust have all telescoped the various formations in the district.
Local N-S trending faults; minor NW- and NE-trending faults. Some faulting is Late Permian in age.

Ore body information

  • General form disseminated, stockwork, irregular, linear beds, massive
    Thickness 60M
    Depth to top 30M
    Width 914.4M
    Length 1524M

Controls for ore emplacement

  • Ore is controlled by both favorable horizons in Battle Formation and proximity to an igneous contact. There are varying degrees of structural control of individual orebodies in relation to local faults, also.

Comments on the geologic information

  • The original granodiorite intrusion was subjected to alteration that changed its composition to that of a quartz diorite. The East Ore body developed a chalcocite blanket to 20 m thick with high copper values. Limy shale of the Pumpernickel Formation was the chief host rock for the west ore body; conglomerate of the Battle Formation was the chief host for the east ore body but there was some mineralization in the Harmony Formation also.

Economic information

Economic information about the deposit and operations

Operation type Surface-Underground
Development status Producer
Commodity type Metallic
Deposit size Medium
Significant Yes
Discovery year 1864
Discoverer Battle Mountain Gold Company
Year of first production 1864
Year of last production 2004
Production years 1916-1957; 1967-1977; 1994-2004

Mining district

District name Battle Mountain District

Land status

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

Ownership information

  • Type Owner-Operator
    Owner Newmont Mining Corp.
    Year 2006
  • Type Owner-Operator
    Owner Duval Corp.
    First year 1981

Comments on the workings information

  • Open pit mines have obliterated many earlier underground workings over about 2.25 square miles.

Comments on other economic factors

  • At the end of 2002, Phoenix had reserves of 174.2 million tons of ore grading 0.034 ounce of gold per ton (6 million ounces of gold) plus an additional 73.8 million tons of mineralized material grading 0.026 ounces of gold per ton not in reserves. Newmont plans to produce about as much as 420,000 ounces of gold and 21 million pounds of copper per year from the site. Copper reserves at Phoenix totaled 156.3 million tons of ore at 0.16%, representing 520 million pounds of copper.

Comments on development

  • The first claims were located in the Battle Mountain District in 1866 after copper and silver were discovered in Copper Canyon in 1864. In 1916, Copper Canyon Mining Company acquired the Copper Basin and Copper Canyon properties and leased out claims until 1955. They operated a mill in Copper Canyon from 1941-1957. Duval Corporation acquired the properties in the early 1960s and began producing Cu-Au-Ag ore from the 4000 tpd mill in 1967. Duval's Battle Mountain open pit mines were Nevada's 3rd largest copper producer until depressed copper prices in 1977 forced a gradual conversion to gold production, which continues to present. Phoenix was the name of one of the Copper Canyon mine prospects at least as early as 1923 when geologist J. C. Jones described drilling results on the Phoenix property. Battle Mountain Gold Company adopted the name Phoenix project for its developing gold prospects in the halo surrounding the old copper mines, particularly in the Copper Canyon portion of its Battle Mountain complex, and the name was in common use for the project by the early 1990s. In 1994 the Phoenix project was reported to contain proven and probable gold reserves of approximately 1.475 million ounces of gold with the potential to average about 120,000 ounces of gold per year. In 1995, Battle Mountain Gold Co.'s Phoenix project reserves rose to 46.6 million tons grading 0.040 opt gold with the project plan calling for both milling and heap leach facilities and incorporating the mining of a number of satellitic orebodies. In 1997, Battle Mountain Gold Co. increased total estimated proven and probable gold reserves at the Phoenix property to 2,505,000 ounces of gold with additional drilling planned for the Fortitude, Midas, and Phoenix deposits in 1998 in an effort to further expand reserves. 1998 drilling added approximately 1 million ounces of gold to the reserve base, and drill results from West Midas, mid-Midas and Fortitude indicated that the footprint of the new mine model would be much larger than originally anticipated, spanning from the old Fortitude pit on the north, to the Midas deposits in the south, a distance of about 3 miles. In 1999, Battle Mountain Gold Co. added 2.2 million ounces of gold to reserves at Phoenix, increasing the anticipated mine life to over 15 years at 300,000 ounces of gold per year, Permitting for Phoenix was moving ahead with the BLM, and the company hoped to have a draft environmental impact statement by mid-year 2000. In January 2001, Newmont Mining Corp. finalized its acquisition of Battle Mountain Gold Company, thus taking over the Phoenix project. By summer 2001, proven and probable reserves at Phoenix stood at 6.03 million ounces of gold and 515 million pounds of copper. Plans called for deeper mining at the existing Phoenix, Greater Midas, Reona, and Iron Canyon open pits. Phoenix was expected to produce 400,000 ounces of gold per year from surface mining, milling, and heap leaching on site and processing gold-copper concentrate at Newmont's Lone Tree Mill at Valmy By 2002, Newmont Mining Corp. planned to begin production of gold and copper at the Phoenix project in 2007 by developing two new open pits and expanding two existing pits, as well as processing earlier low grade stockpiles of gold ore left from historic mining and expanding heap leach and waste rock facilities. In 2003 Newmont's Phoenix project received approval from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and from Newmont's board to begin development of the Phoenix mining operation. In December, 2004 Newmont Mining Corp. began construction on the infrastructure for the Phoenix gold mine, which will be the largest gold-processing operation in the state.
  • Newmont's current development plan for the Phoenix Project calls for developing the Reona pit, expanding the existing Fortitude and Northeast Extension pits to create the Phoenix pit, and expanding the existing Midas and Iron Canyon pits, as well as processing low grade ore stockpiles from the former Tomboy, Fortitude, and Northeast Extension pits. The mine operations should have a life of at least 28 years followed by 5 years of additional reclamation. Since mining is scheduled to end at Newmont's nearby Lone Tree in August 2006, some of those workers will be moved over to the Phoenix project. First Production is expected in 2007 with a current mine plan of 13 years and average annual sales/production of 370,000 - 420,000 ounces of gold, and approximately 27 million pounds of copper (accounted for as a byproduct credit. Average gold recovery anticipated is 80% - 84%. By early 2006, Newmont Mining completed construction and began operation of its Phoenix project near Battle Mountain in Lander County.

Reference information

Bibliographic references

  • Deposit

    Theodore, T.G., and Blake, D.W., 1975, Geology and Geochemistry of the Copper Canyon Porphyry Copper Deposit and Surrounding Area, Lander County, Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 798-B, p. B21, B47, B50.

  • Deposit

    Roberts, R.J., and Arnold , D.C., 1965, Ore Deposits of the Antler Peak Quadrangle, Humboldt and Lander Counties, Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 459-B, p. B24, B43-B49.

  • Deposit

    Stager, H.K., 1977, Geology and Mineral Deposits of Lander County, Nevada, Part II, Mineral Deposits: Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Bulletin 88, p. 66-67.

  • Deposit

    Page, N.J, Theodore, T.G., Venuti, P.E., and Carlson, R.R., 1978, Implications of the Petrochemistry of Palladium at Iron Canyon, Lander County, Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Journal of Research, v. 6, No. 1, p. 107-114.

  • Deposit

    Blake, D.W., Kretschmer, E.L., and Theodore, T.G., 1978, Geology and Mineralization of the Copper Canyon Deposit, Lander County, Nevada, in Shawe, D.R., Ed., Guidebook to Mineral Deposits of the Central Great Basin: Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Report 32, p. 45-48.

  • Deposit

    Theodore, T.G., and Blake, D.W., 1978, Geology and Geochemistry of the West Ore Body and Associated Skarns, Copper Canyon Porphyry Copper Deposit, Lander County, Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 798-C, 85 p.

  • Deposit

    Sayers, P.W., Tippett, M.C., and Fields, E.D., 1968, The Ore Deposits at Copper Canyon and Copper Basin, Lander County, Nevada: paper delivered at annual AIME Meeting, New York, 1968.

  • Deposit

    Nash, J.T., and Theodore, T.G., 1971, Ore Fluids in the Porphyry Copper Deposit at Copper Canyon, Nevada: Economic Geology, vol. 66, no. 3, p. 385-399.

  • 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

    NBMG MI 1994-2003

  • Deposit

    Press release: Friday, December 17, 2004: "Newmont begins Nevada gold mine construction"

  • Deposit

    Doebrich, Jeff, 1995, Geology and Mineral Deposits of the Antler Peak 7.5-minute quadrangle, Lander County, Nevada, NBMG Bull 109, 44 p.

  • Deposit

    Denver Mining Record, 4/20/94, 4/26/95, 10/19/94.

  • Deposit

    Battle Mountain Gold 1995 annual report

  • Deposit

    Elko Daily Free Press, 9/9/97, 12/30/2000, 1/8/03,12/10/2003

  • Deposit

    Newmont Mining Corp., 6/21/03

  • 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

    Wendt, Clancy, 2004, Technical Report on the? ICBM/COPPER BASIN Property, Lander and Humboldt Counties, Nevada, Staccato Gold website, :

General comments

Subject category Comment text
Deposit Oxidized and enriched ore is present but not economically important. At the historic mine, there were 2 ore bodies. The mined-out East ore body was hosted by siliceous and calcareous conglomerate within the lower part of the Battle Formation, which was altered to quartz-k-spar-biotite rock with sulfides distributed throughout. The West ore body is in a garnet skarn surrounded by an envelope of diopside, tremolite-actinolite, and biotite, north of and adjacent to the granodiorite contact in Copper Canyon. Total sulfide content (mainly pyrite and pyrrhotite) increases to as much as 75% by volume toward granodiorite contact, with chalcopyrite important closer to the contact. Metal zoning is well developed. The average size of the ore body was said to be 1,500 x 600 x 180 meters.

Reporter information

Type Date Name Affiliation Comment
Reporter 01-MAR-1973 Theodore, Ted G. U.S. Geological Survey
Reporter 01-APR-1976 Blair, Will N. U.S. Geological Survey
Reporter 01-DEC-1980 La Pointe, D.D. Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology
Updater 01-DEC-1981 Sutphin, David M. U.S. Geological Survey
Updater 01-NOV-1990 Skurski, M. (Marcus, Sue) U.S. Geological Survey
Updater 01-JUN-1991 Peterson, Jocelyn A. U.S. Geological Survey
Reporter 01-MAY-2004 LaPointe, D.D. Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology
Updater 01-DEC-2006 LaPointe, D.D. Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology
Editor 01-SEP-2007 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.