Jerritt Canyon Gold Mine

Producer in Elko county in Nevada, United States with commodities Gold, Silver, Mercury, Antimony, Barium-Barite, Arsenic

Geologic information

Identification information

Deposit ID 10310527
Record type Site
Current site name Jerritt Canyon Gold Mine
Alternate or previous names Enfield Bell Mine, Generator, Alchem, Marlboro Deposits
Related records 10111452, 10310566

Comments on the site identification

  • Jerritt Canyon Gold Mine encompasses several individual orebodies which are also described in individual MRDS records:

Geographic coordinates

Point of reference Pit
Geographic coordinates: -115.995, 41.4088 (WGS84)
Elevation 2380
Relative position The main deposit is located approximately 4.5 miles SSW of Independence Mountain (el. 8198).
(click for info)

Geographic areas

Country State County
United States Nevada Elko

Public Land Survey System information

Meridian Township Range Section Fraction State
Mount Diablo 041N 053E 34 Nevada

Comments on the location information

  • UTM is to near center of the Generator Pit.

Commodities

Commodity Importance
Gold Primary
Silver Secondary
Mercury Secondary
Antimony Tertiary
Barium-Barite Tertiary
Arsenic Tertiary

Comments on the commodity information

  • Commodity Info: Ore contains very low to essentially no Ag, is high in Sb, As, Hg, and some samples have Tl. Ore is carbonaceous and contains some barite.
  • Ore Materials: gold
  • Gangue Materials: calcite, quartz, pyrite, oxidation products, limonite, clays, stibnite, barite, realgar, orpiment

Materials information

Materials Type of material
Gold Ore
Quartz Ore
Pyrite Ore
Limonite Ore
Clay Ore
Stibnite Ore
Barite Ore
Realgar Ore
Orpiment Ore
Calcite Gangue

Alteration

  • (Local) silicification, oxidation of sulphides, bleaching, argillization, decalcification

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 > Carbonate > Limestone
    Rock unit name Hanson Creek Formation
    Stratigraphic age (youngest) Early Silurian
    Stratigraphic age (oldest) Middle Ordovician
  • Host or associated Host
    Rock type Sedimentary Rock > Clastic Sedimentary Rock > Siltstone
    Rock unit name Roberts Mountains Formation
    Stratigraphic age (youngest) Early Devonian
    Stratigraphic age (oldest) Wenlock

Nearby scientific data

Pit (1) -115.995, 41.4088

Geologic structures

Type of structure Local
Structure description breccia zone, faults, fractures

Ore body information

  • General form tabular; pods; beds.

Controls for ore emplacement

  • fracture zones, bedding planes

Comments on the geologic information

  • Fracture zone contains crystals, pods, & veinlets in brecciated footwall limestone. Ore also occurs along bedding planes usually within ten feet of the fracture zone. calcite, quartz, pyrite, oxidation products, limonite, clays, stibnite, barite Within the Generator/ marlboro Canyon deposits, ore occurs in a fracture zone 12 to 18" wide containing single crystals, pods, & veinlets of stibnite within the brecciated footwall limestone. Ore also occurs along bedding planes usually within 10' of the fracture zone. A sample of stockpiled ore contained 17% stibnite, and .5 oz silver per ton. Upper plate rocks are exposed in several windows. Jasperoids and jasperoid breccias are abundant and important in prospecting. According to company geologists, there is no way to discern a au-bearing jasperoid from a barren one. The jasperoids above the Marlboro and Generator pits are anomalous in gold as well as Sb and Ba. Outcrops of jasperoid contain abundant barite, stibnite and calcite in pods and vugs. Rocks show open-space textures with many vugs and crosscutting veinlets of drusy quartz. The E-W trending generator jasperoids show multiple brecciation or fracturing and are cut by many quartz veinlets. Barite crystals up to 0.5 in commonly fill iron-stained quartz-encrusted vugs. The Marlboro jasperoids reportedly ran 0.1-0.04 oz/t au. They cover the entire hillside n of the Marlboro pit. Jasperoids occur over, under, adjacent to, and far from the orebodies. In the generator pit, the jasperoids are mined.

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 Medium
Significant Yes
Discovery year <1918
Year of first production 1918

Mining district

District name Independence Mountains
District name Jerritt Canyon District

Land status

Ownership category National Forest
Area name Elko District U S Forest Service
Ownership category Private

Ownership information

  • Type Owner-Operator
    Owner Queenstake Resources
    Year 2006

Comments on the workings information

  • Initial development in the 19??s consisted of 2 adjoining open pits: the Generator and the Marlboro Canyon with one more pit projected to the SE to explore the defined Aalchem orebody. In 1982, active mining was going on in the Generator pit and stripping in the Marlboro pit. Ore was hauled 7.5 miles to the millsite where ore was crushed, treated or cyanide leached at the millsite.

Comments on other economic factors

  • Production from 1981 through 1996 for the Jerritt Canyon Mines (Burns Basin, Enfield Bell, Pattani Springs, and including Saval Canyon ) was 140.6 tonnes of gold and more than 0.75 tonnes of silver from 29,408 kilotonnes of ore. In 1996, the remaining resource in the Jerritt Canyon deposits was estimated to be about 237 tonnes of gold and an unknown amount of silver contained in 36,433 kilotonnes of ore.

Comments on development

  • Historic Sb development consisted of a 29 ft. shaft, 80ft of underground workings, and an open pit. 20 tons of antimony was produced in1918, 12 1/2 tons in 1945. The Sb mine was owned by D. Williams and D. Andrae in 1957. In the mid-1970's, FMC showed an initial interest in the area due to the occurrence of the antimony deposits as described by Lawrence in his Antimony bulletin. When gold was discovered by sampling surface exposures and drilling, FMC asked Freeport Gold Co. (later Independence Mining Co. and still later, Anglo Gold) to joint venture with them. Construction of the mine began in 1980, at a cost of about 105 million dollars. In 1983, the mine and mill together employed about 272 persons. The claim block includes 374 sections along the crest of the Independence Range where additional exploratory drilling was ongoing by 5 rigs in 1982. Producing mine since 1981-see production comments. Eventually the Alchem, Marlboro Canyon, West Generator, and North Generator deposits merged into a single multi-lobed pit area, and when open pit working became less profitable, mining of the higher-grade deeper zones took over. Additional nearby deposits were discovered in windows through the Roberts Mountains thrust. Several of these have also been mined with ore trucked to the Jerritt Canyon mill. Currently (2000) the only remaining surface mining is ongoing from the Dash pit, with most of the deposits developed by underground workings (Murray, Deep, SSX).

Reference information

Bibliographic references

  • Deposit

    Mks, Welb Ams File (1979) USBM(?)

  • Deposit

    Hawkins, Robert B., (1973), The geology and mineralization of the Jerritt Creek area, Northern Independence Mts, Nev., Idaho State Univ, MS Thesis 104 p.

  • Deposit

    Garside, L. J.; Bentz, J.; Smith, P., Brooks, S., 1982, Field examination and mine tour report, 8/13/82.

  • Deposit

    Hawkins, R. B., 1982, Discovery of the Bell gold mine, Jerritt District, Elko Co., NV: Mining Congress Journal, Feb 1982, P. 28-32.

  • Deposit

    Birak, D.J., and Hawkins, R.J., 1985, The geology of the Enfield Bell Mine and Jerritt Canyon district, Elko County, Nevada, in Tooker, E.W., ed., Geologic characteristics of sediment- and volcanic-hosted disseminated gold deposits-search for an occurrence model: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1646, p. 95-105. .

  • Deposit

    Doe, T.C., Birak, D.J., and Dahl, A.R., 1990, Geology and exploration of the Burns Basin and Pattani Springs orebodies, Jerritt Canyon district, Elko County, Nevada [unpub. report]: Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology mining district file #79A.

  • Deposit

    Folger, H.W., Snee, L.W., Mehnert, H.H., and Hofstra, A.H., 1996,Significance of K-Ar and 40Ar/39Ar dates from mica in Carlin-type gold deposits: Evidence from the Jerritt Canyon District, Nevada, in Coyner, A.R., and Fahey, P.L., eds., Geology and Ore Deposits of the American Cordillera: Geological Society of Nevada Symposium Proceedings, Reno-Sparks, Nevada, April 1995, p. 41-60.

  • Deposit

    Hawkins, R.B., 1984, Discovery of the Bell Mine, Jerritt Canyon district, Elko County, Nevada, in Wilkins, J., Jr., ed., Gold and silver deposits of the Basin and Range province western U.S.A.: Arizona Geological Society Digest, v. XV, p. 53-58.

  • Deposit

    Hofstra, A.H., 1994, Geology and genesis of the Carlin-type gold deposits in the Jerritt Canyon district, Nevada [Ph.D. thesis]: University of Colorado, Boulder, 719 p.

  • Deposit

    Hofstra, A.H., and Rowe, W.A., 1987, Sediment-hosted disseminated gold mineralization at Jerritt Canyon, Nevada, II--Jasperoid paragenesis and occurrence of gold: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 19, p. 704.

  • Deposit

    Hofstra, A.H., Daly, W.E., Birak, D.J., and Doe, T.C., 1991, Geologic framework and genesis of Carlin-type gold deposits in the Jerritt Canyon district, Nevada, U.S.A., in Ladeira, E.A., ed., BRAZILGOLD '91, The economics, geology, geochemistry and genesis of gold deposits: A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, p. 77-87.

  • Deposit

    Hofstra, A.H., Landis, G.P., Rye, R.O., Birak, D.J., Dahl, A.R., Daly, W.E., and Jones, M.B., 1989, Geology and origin of the Jerritt Canyon sediment-hosted disseminated gold deposits, Nevada, in Schindler, K.S., ed., U.S. Geological Survey Research on Mineral Resources-1989, Programs and Abstracts: Circular 1035, p. 30-32.

  • Deposit

    Hofstra, A.H., Leventhal, J.S., Northrop, H.R., Landis, G.P., Rye, R.O., Birak, D.J., and Dahl, A.R., 1991, Genesis of sediment-hosted disseminated gold deposits by fluid mixing and sulfidation: chemical reaction path modeling of ore depositional processes documented in the Jerritt Canyon District, Nevada: Geology, v. 19, no. 1, p. 36-40.

  • Deposit

    Hofstra, A.H., Northrop, H.R., Rye, R.O., Landis, G.P., and Birak, D.J., 1988, Origin of sediment-hosted disseminated gold deposits by fluid mixing: Evidence from jasperoids in the Jerritt Canyon gold district, Nevada, USA, in Goode, A.D.T., and Bosma, L.I., eds., Geological Society of Australia, Proceedings of Bicentennial Gold' 88: Economic Geology, Abstract Series no. 22, p. 284-289.

  • Deposit

    Northrop, H.R., Rye, R.O., Landis, G.P., Lustwerk, R., Jones, M.B., and Daly, W.E., 1987, Sediment-hosted disseminated gold mineralization at Jerritt Canyon, Nevada, V-Stable isotope geochemistry and a model of ore deposition: Geological Society of America, Annual Meeting, Abstracts with programs, v. 19, p. 791. Phinisey, J.D., 1995, Petrography, alteration, and mineralization of igneous dikes of the Jerritt Canyon District, Elko County, Nevada [M.S. thesis]: University of Nevada, Reno, 173 p.

  • Deposit

    Phinisey, J.D., Hofstra, A.H., Snee, L.W., Roberts, T.T., Dahl, A.R., and Loranger, R.J., 1996, Evidence for multiple episodes of igneous and hydrothermal activity and constraints on the timing of gold mineralization, Jerritt Canyon district, Elko County, Nevada, in Coyner, A.R., and Fahey, P.L., eds., Geology and Ore Deposits of the American Cordillera: Geological Society of Nevada Symposium Proceedings, Reno, April 1995, p. 15-39.

  • Deposit

    Weideman, W.L., Dahl, A.R., and MacDonald, G.D., 1991, The geology of the MAP area gold deposits, Enfield Bell mine, Jerritt Canyon district, Elko County, Nevada, in Raines, G.L., Lisle, R.E., Shafer, R.W, and Wilkinson, W.H., eds., Geology and ore deposits in the Great Basin, symposium proceedings: Geological Society of Nevada, Reno, v. 2, p. 603-606.

  • 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.

General comments

Subject category Comment text
Deposit Fracture zone contains crystals, pods, & veinlets in brecciated footwall limestone. Ore also occurs along bedding planes usually within ten feet of the fracture zone.

Reporter information

Type Date Name Affiliation Comment
Reporter 01-JUN-2003 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.