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Big Springs Mine (Sammy Creek; Mac Ridge; Mesona claim; Jack Creek project; Bull Run Mine), Independence Mountains District, Elko Co., Nevada, USAi
Regional Level Types
Big Springs Mine (Sammy Creek; Mac Ridge; Mesona claim; Jack Creek project; Bull Run Mine)Mine
Independence Mountains DistrictMining District
Elko Co.County
NevadaState
USACountry

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Key
Lock Map
Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 41° 33' 37'' North , 115° 58' 32'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 41.56050,-115.97557
GeoHash:G#: 9rms2vv5m
USGS MRDS Record:10310525
Locality type:Mine
Köppen climate type:Dfb : Warm-summer humid continental climate
Nearest Settlements:
PlacePopulationDistance
Owyhee953 (2011)44.2km


The Big Springs Mine is composed of seven deposits developed by Freeport-McMoran Gold Co. (later Independence Mining Co., now Anglo Gold): Mac Ridge, M242936; North Sammy Creek, W700398; South Sammy Creek, W700399; 701 deposit, 131 deposit, 401 deposit, and 601 deposit.

Structure: Deformation related to the Antler Orogeny is the earliest tectonic event recorded in the Big Springs rocks, during which siliceous western assemblage rocks were emplaced over eastern assemblage carbonate and siltstone along the Roberts Mountain thrust fault. Compressional deformation of the Sonoma Orogeny occurred in the late Permian, during which the foredeep accumulated Schoonover Sequence was thrust over both the allochthonous western and autochthonous eastern assemblage rocks. Sonoma tectonism in the Big Springs area is evidenced by SE-verging overturned folds and imbricate thrust faults, all of which have been cut by later normal faults. A strong N75W fabric is manifested in folds and shears throughout the Independence Range and may be related to the Wells fault. This structural zone may have been reactiviated during the formation of the NW-striking Northern Nevada Rift Zone and Basin and Range extensional faulting. Deposits are structurally controlled at intersections of NE-trending and E-W-trending fault zones and fold axes. The E-W structure is part of a large ore-controlling shear zone that also truncates the northern mineralized zone at Big Springs. Many of the dikes occur along the NE-trending and E-W-trending fault intersections. A strong N75W fabric is manifested in folds and shears throughout the Independence Range and may be related to the Wells fault. This structural zone may have been reactiviated during the formation of the NW-striking Northern nevada Rift Zone and Basin and Range extensional faulting.

Alteration: Propylitic alteration is common throughout the volcanic rocks of the Dorsey Creek member. Gold mineralization occurs locally when the propylitically altered rocks are overprinted by quartz-sericite-pyrite-dolomite alteration

Tectonics: Antler foredeep basin

Commodity: Ore Materials: gold Gangue Materials: pyrite, marcasite,arsenopyrite, arsenical pyrite, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, stibnite

Deposit: The Big Springs mine consists of seven distinct deposits (Mac Ridge, North Sammy Creek, South Sammy Creek, 701 deposit, 131 deposit, 401 deposit, and 601 deposit) plus many additional resource areas of anomalous gold mineralization which were not mined. The deposits are characterized by disseminated, near-surface gold mineralization within 400 feet of the surface. Mineralization is structurally controlled and occurs primarily in allochthonous rocks of the Dorsey Creek and Mikes Creek members of the Schoonover Sequence. Host rocks include thin-bedded to cherty argillite, chert, conglomerate, siltstone, arenite, massive limestone, and fossiliferous limestone. Deposits are structurally controlled at intersections of NE-trending and E-W-trending fault zones and fold axes. The E-W structure is part of a large ore-controlling shear zone that also truncates the northern mineralized zone at Big Springs.

Deposit type: Sediment-hosted Au

Development: The area was first explored in the early 1980s by Freeport- McMoRan Gold Company. Extensive drilling, mapping, sampling, and construction of access roads were completed by Freeport by 1982. Mining of the Big Springs deposit was initiated by a joint venture between Freeport- McMoRan Gold Company (later Independence Mining Company) and Bull Run Gold Mines, Ltd. The mine was placed into production in September, 1987 and was fully operational by October, 1987. Initial production was from heap-leaching oxidized ore, but second phase construction provided a fluid-bed roasting system and conventional ore-milling facilities. Initially, Freeport planned to process 400,000 tons/year from three deposits at Big Springs to produce about 60,000 oz/year gold. The deposit was mined out in 1994, having produced a total of 386,000 troy ounces of gold from seven separate deposits on the property. Most of the gold was contained in refractory sulfide ore requiring a pre-oxidizing roasting method to enable conventional CIL recovery. Big Springs Project. In 2004, Gateway Gold Corp. continued work on its Big Springs project. A new geological model was developed based on the results of last year?s drilling and the company expects drilling this year will validate the model. In 2006, Gateway Gold Corp. announced that based on recent drill results at the Big Springs Project, resources aggregate 914,000 tons grading 0.345 ounces of gold per ton inferred using a 0.2 opt Au cutoff. (was 904,200 tons grading 0.288 ounces of gold per ton measured+indicated prior to the new round of drilling.)

Geology: The deposits occur primarily in allochthonous rocks of the Devonian to Permian Schoonover Sequence, which are cut by diorite and quartz monzonite intrusives which also host ore.

Ore(s): Mineralization at Big Springs was controlled by an E-W shear zone that also truncates the northern mineralized zone .Ore deposits are localized at intersections of NE-trending faults with this E-W-trending fault zone and fold axes.

Regions containing this locality

North America PlateTectonic Plate

Select Mineral List Type

Standard Detailed Strunz Dana Chemical Elements

Commodity List

This is a list of exploitable or exploited mineral commodities recorded at this locality.


Mineral List


12 valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

Note: this is a very new system on mindat.org and data is currently VERY limited. Please bear with us while we work towards adding this information!

Select Rock List Type

Alphabetical List Tree Diagram

Detailed Mineral List:

Arsenopyrite
Formula: FeAsS
Reference: NBMG Spec. Pub. 31 Minerals of Nevada; U.S. Geological Survey (2005) Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
Baryte
Formula: BaSO4
Reference: NBMG Bull 106 Geology and Mineral Resources of Elko County, Nevada
Chalcopyrite
Formula: CuFeS2
Reference: NBMG Spec. Pub. 31 Minerals of Nevada; U.S. Geological Survey (2005) Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
Goethite
Formula: α-Fe3+O(OH)
Reference: NBMG Bull 106 Geology and Mineral Resources of Elko County, Nevada
Gold
Formula: Au
Reference: NBMG Bull 106 Geology and Mineral Resources of Elko County, Nevada; U.S. Geological Survey (2005) Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
Marcasite
Formula: FeS2
Reference: NBMG Spec. Pub. 31 Minerals of Nevada; U.S. Geological Survey (2005) Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
Pyrite
Formula: FeS2
Reference: NBMG Bull 106 Geology and Mineral Resources of Elko County, Nevada; U.S. Geological Survey (2005) Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
Rutile
Formula: TiO2
Reference: NBMG Spec. Pub. 31 Minerals of Nevada
Sphalerite
Formula: ZnS
Reference: NBMG Spec. Pub. 31 Minerals of Nevada; U.S. Geological Survey (2005) Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
Stibnite
Formula: Sb2S3
Reference: NBMG Spec. Pub. 31 Minerals of Nevada; U.S. Geological Survey (2005) Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
Tetrahedrite
Formula: Cu6[Cu4(Fe,Zn)2]Sb4S13
Reference: NBMG Spec Pub 31 Minerals of Nevada
Zircon
Formula: Zr(SiO4)
Reference: NBMG Spec Pub 31 Minerals of Nevada

List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification

Group 1 - Elements
Gold1.AA.05Au
Group 2 - Sulphides and Sulfosalts
Arsenopyrite2.EB.20FeAsS
Chalcopyrite2.CB.10aCuFeS2
Marcasite2.EB.10aFeS2
Pyrite2.EB.05aFeS2
Sphalerite2.CB.05aZnS
Stibnite2.DB.05Sb2S3
Tetrahedrite2.GB.05Cu6[Cu4(Fe,Zn)2]Sb4S13
Group 4 - Oxides and Hydroxides
Goethite4.00.α-Fe3+O(OH)
Rutile4.DB.05TiO2
Group 7 - Sulphates, Chromates, Molybdates and Tungstates
Baryte7.AD.35BaSO4
Group 9 - Silicates
Zircon9.AD.30Zr(SiO4)

List of minerals arranged by Dana 8th Edition classification

Group 1 - NATIVE ELEMENTS AND ALLOYS
Metals, other than the Platinum Group
Gold1.1.1.1Au
Group 2 - SULFIDES
AmXp, with m:p = 1:1
Sphalerite2.8.2.1ZnS
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 1:1
Chalcopyrite2.9.1.1CuFeS2
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 2:3
Stibnite2.11.2.1Sb2S3
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 1:2
Arsenopyrite2.12.4.1FeAsS
Marcasite2.12.2.1FeS2
Pyrite2.12.1.1FeS2
Group 3 - SULFOSALTS
3 <ø < 4
Tetrahedrite3.3.6.1Cu6[Cu4(Fe,Zn)2]Sb4S13
Group 4 - SIMPLE OXIDES
AX2
Rutile4.4.1.1TiO2
Group 6 - HYDROXIDES AND OXIDES CONTAINING HYDROXYL
XO(OH)
Goethite6.1.1.2α-Fe3+O(OH)
Group 28 - ANHYDROUS ACID AND NORMAL SULFATES
AXO4
Baryte28.3.1.1BaSO4
Group 51 - NESOSILICATES Insular SiO4 Groups Only
Insular SiO4 Groups Only with cations in >[6] coordination
Zircon51.5.2.1Zr(SiO4)

List of minerals for each chemical element

HHydrogen
H Goethiteα-Fe3+O(OH)
OOxygen
O Goethiteα-Fe3+O(OH)
O BaryteBaSO4
O RutileTiO2
O ZirconZr(SiO4)
SiSilicon
Si ZirconZr(SiO4)
SSulfur
S PyriteFeS2
S BaryteBaSO4
S ArsenopyriteFeAsS
S ChalcopyriteCuFeS2
S SphaleriteZnS
S MarcasiteFeS2
S StibniteSb2S3
S TetrahedriteCu6[Cu4(Fe,Zn)2]Sb4S13
TiTitanium
Ti RutileTiO2
FeIron
Fe PyriteFeS2
Fe Goethiteα-Fe3+O(OH)
Fe ArsenopyriteFeAsS
Fe ChalcopyriteCuFeS2
Fe MarcasiteFeS2
Fe TetrahedriteCu6[Cu4(Fe,Zn)2]Sb4S13
CuCopper
Cu ChalcopyriteCuFeS2
Cu TetrahedriteCu6[Cu4(Fe,Zn)2]Sb4S13
ZnZinc
Zn SphaleriteZnS
Zn TetrahedriteCu6[Cu4(Fe,Zn)2]Sb4S13
AsArsenic
As ArsenopyriteFeAsS
ZrZirconium
Zr ZirconZr(SiO4)
SbAntimony
Sb StibniteSb2S3
Sb TetrahedriteCu6[Cu4(Fe,Zn)2]Sb4S13
BaBarium
Ba BaryteBaSO4
AuGold
Au GoldAu

Regional Geology

This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.

Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on Macrostrat.org

Quaternary - Miocene
0 - 23.03 Ma



ID: 3185380
Cenozoic sedimentary rocks

Age: Cenozoic (0 - 23.03 Ma)

Lithology: Sedimentary rocks

Reference: Chorlton, L.B. Generalized geology of the world: bedrock domains and major faults in GIS format: a small-scale world geology map with an extended geological attribute database. doi: 10.4095/223767. Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 5529. [154]

Permian - Late Devonian
251.902 - 382.7 Ma



ID: 2726411
Golconda Terrane - Basinal, volcanogenic, terrigenous clastic, and minor carbonate rocks

Age: Phanerozoic (251.902 - 382.7 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Banner Formation; Nelson Formation; Black Dyke Formation; Mina Formation; Havallah Formation; Pumpernickel Formation; Inskip Formation; Mitchell Creek Formation; Pablo Formation; Schoonover Formation

Description: The Golconda terrane is composed of deformed and imbricated thrust slices of upper Paleozoic rocks including deep-marine, pelagic and turbiditic, carbonate, terrigenous clastic and volcaniclastic rocks, radiolarian chert and argillite, and pillow basalt (Silberling, Jones, and others, 1992). While the terrane is characterized by a great diversity of rock types, all rocks are strongly deformed with an east-vergent fabric, a distinguishing characteristic of this terrane (Brueckner and Snyder, 1985; Jones, 1991a; Miller, Kanter, and others, 1982; Murchey, 1990; Stewart, Murchey, and others, 1986). It crops out in a long sinuous belt, up to 100 mi wide in places. Southwest of Mina, the belt trends east from the California border to just north of Tonopah, and then bends north-south to the west of Longitude 117° to about 50 mi north of Winnemucca, where it bends again, sharply to the east-north of Tuscarora with significant exposures eastward and to the northern border of the State. Outcrops of the Golconda terrane are present in Mineral, Esmeralda, northern Nye, Churchill, Elko, Humboldt, Lander, and Pershing Counties. It includes some rocks originally mapped as Banner and Nelson Formations in Elko County; rocks originally mapped as the Excelsior Formation in Mineral and Esmeralda Counties, later assigned to the Black Dyke and Mina Formations by Speed (1977b); the original Havallah and Pumpernickel Formations (Muller, Ferguson, and Roberts, 1951; Roberts, 1964; Silberling and Roberts, 1962), later revised to structural sequences (Murchey, 1990; Stewart, MacMillan, and others, 1977; Stewart, Murchey, and others, 1986; Theodore, 1991; 1994) in Elko, Humboldt, Lander, and Pershing Counties; the Inskip Formation in Pershing County; the Mitchell Creek Formation in Elko County; the Pablo Formation in northern Nye County; and the Schoonover Formation (see unit GChr) in Elko County. In all of the places where rocks of the Golconda terrane were originally believed to form a stratigraphic sequence, detailed mapping and biostratigraphic analysis with radiolarians and conodonts has demonstrated that it is characterized by complex imbrications of rocks ranging from mid-Permian through latest Devonian age (Holdsworth, 1986; Jones, 1991b; Miller, Holdsworth, and others, 1984; Murchey, 1990; Stewart, MacMillan, and others, 1977). In Pershing County, the Golconda terrane is unconformably overlain by Triassic volcanic rocks of the Koipato Group (TRkv) which form the stratigraphic base to the Humboldt assemblage (TRc, JTRs). In Mineral and Esmeralda Counties, it is unconformably overlain by the Gold Range assemblage (JTRgor) of mainly nonmarine, terrigenous clastic, and volcanogenic Upper Triassic and younger rocks. Elsewhere in northern and southwestern Nevada, it is structurally overlain by Mesozoic accreted terranes. Across the length of its exposure from the Independence Mountains north of Elko to the Candelaria region south of Mina, the base of the Golconda terrane has a remarkably consistent structural emplacement relationship with adjacent rocks. It commonly lies on a low-angle structure above Permian and Pennsylvanian rocks of the Siliciclastic overlap assemblage. In places where these rocks are missing, it is faulted directly onto either the nearby lower Paleozoic Basin assemblage, the Nolan belt rocks, or the Harmony Formation of the Dutch Flat terrane. The type locality of this regional feature, the Golconda thrust is well exposed along Interstate Highway 80 at Edna Mountain near the town of Golconda (Ferguson, Roberts, and Muller, 1952), and in the open pits of mines near Battle Mountain (Theodore, T., oral commun., 2006). In southwestern Nevada, the lower Lower Triassic rocks of the Candelaria Formation overlie Permian and Pennsylvanian Siliciclastic overlap assemblage rocks, and the Golconda terrane is exposed nearby, but not observable directly on top of the Candelaria because of younger cover rocks. Elsewhere, there is no youngest age constraint for the age of emplacement. In several places, notably in the Osgood Mountains and the Toiyabe Range, it is also bounded by large, steeply dipping, mélange-like shear zones against older rocks of the Nolan belt. Stratigraphic and structural studies within the terrane have locally identified lithostratigraphic groupings (Erickson and Marsh, 1974a, b; Jones, 1991a; Murchey, 1990), but only the Home Ranch subterrane can presently be distinguished on a regional scale (GChr). Interpretations of the size and character of the late Paleozoic basin where these rocks formed and the nature of its Late Permian or Early Triassic accretion are as varied as the lithologic and structural characteristics of the terrane itself (see references above).

Comments: Original map source: Crafford, A.E.J., 2007, Geologic Map of Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 249, 1 CD-ROM, 46 p., 1 plate; Scale 1:250,000.

Lithology: Major:{siliciclastic,volcanic}, Minor:{carbonate,argillite,chert,basalt}

Reference: Horton, J.D., C.A. San Juan, and D.B. Stoeser. The State Geologic Map Compilation (SGMC) geodatabase of the conterminous United States. doi: 10.3133/ds1052. U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1052. [133]

Data and map coding provided by Macrostrat.org, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

References

Sort by

Year (asc) Year (desc) Author (A-Z) Author (Z-A)
Bonham, H.F., (1986), NBMG Map 91.
Prospectus - Freeport Gold, Co. (1985).
NBMG, (1988), MI-1987.
USDA Forest Service, (1987), Environmental Assessment - Big Springs Project, Elko County, Nevada.
LaPointe, D. D., Tingley, J. V., Jones, R. B., (1991), Mineral Resources Of Elko County, Nevada, NBMG Bulletin 106.
Adams, O. F., (1996), Stratigraphy, structure, and exploration potential of the Big Springs gold deposits, Northern Independence Range, 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, p.1-13.
Youngerman, A., (1992), Structural control, alteration, and primary mineralization at the Big Springs gold mine, Elko County, Nevada, unpublished M. Sc. Thesis, University of Nevada, 80p.
Long, K.R., DeYoung, J.H., Jr., and Ludington, S.D., (1998), Significant deposits of gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc in the United States: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 90-206A, 33 p.; 98-206B. one 3.5 inch diskette.


This page contains all mineral locality references listed on mindat.org. This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in mindat.org without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.
 
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