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Big Mike Mine, Tobin and Sonoma Range Mining District, Pershing Co., Nevada, USAi
Regional Level Types
Big Mike MineMine
Tobin and Sonoma Range Mining DistrictMining District
Pershing Co.County
NevadaState
USACountry

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Key
Latitude & Longitude (WGS84):
40° 32' 32'' North , 117° 33' 25'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal):
Locality type:
Nearest Settlements:
PlacePopulationDistance
Golconda214 (2011)46.0km


Sec 23 T31N R39E
Volcanogenic massive sulfide deposit.
Discovered in 1930's, mining done in late 1960's to 1970's.
Commodity: Ore Materials: chalcopyrite, bornite, digenite, tenorite, cuprite, sphalerite Gangue Materials: pyrite, iron oxide

Deposit: Big Mike is a high-grade, low tonnage, cupriferous pyrite volcanogenic stratiform massive sulfide deposit. It consists of a massive lens that occurs entirely within a thin cherty carbonaceous argillite. A stringer zone occurs in the footwall pillow basalt and a minor stringer zone occurs north of the massive lens in the hanging wall pillow basalt. Much of the dump material and pit wall consists of pillow lava, chert and argillite with varying amounts of limonite gossan and oxide copper minerals. The main deposit is volcanogenic massive sulfide of the hot springs type which occurs in the Havallah sequence. This is a thick greenstone complex in the Pumpernickel formation. When discovered the deposit consisted of a secondarily enriched pod of nearly massive copper and iron sulfides enveloped by altered rock containing zones and disseminations of secondary copper mineralization. The mineralogy is complex as various secondary effects are apparent. The structure of the area is also complex though the deformation of the Big Mike area is not so severe as other parts of the Havallah sequence. A shear zone runs through the Big Mike pit and extends approximately 1,000 feet in the south east and northwest directions away from the pit. This is also the general strike of the area with dips 40 to 60 degrees to the north east. This shear zone may be an indicator of further deposits. Five target areas have been identified for additional exploration on and adjacent to the Big Mike property. These targets show potential to extend the existing ore zone and for additional ore bodies.

Deposit type: Massive sulfide, Cyprus

Development: Copper occurrences were known in the area at about the turn of the last century. The project area was claimed in the early 1900s by the Foster family, but very little exploration was done and no development work was done. In 1966, Mr Clair Chamberlain optioned the property and undertook a sampling program. As a result of the sampling, some copper oxide ore was shipped to ASARCO in Tacoma, Washington. From this work the Big Mike Corporation was formed to develop and exploit the copper oxide ore by heap leaching. A small pad was developed and copper precipitate was produced. In 1967, the Big Mike Corporation entered into a joint venture with Cerro Corporation to explore the property further and this led to the discovery of a high grade copper sulfide orebody. By 1970, Ranchers? Exploration and Development Corporation acquired the property from Cerro Corporation and confirmed the sulfide orebody, which was rapidly developed via an open pit. In fact all the high grade ore was mined and directly shipped to smelters in 1970. The remaining oxide ore and the mixed and low grade sulfide ore was crushed for heap leaching. In the pit, similar low grade ore was blasted from the walls of the pit for leaching in the bottom of the pit. Heap leaching was carried out during two periods, from 1971 to 1974 and then 1978 to 1979. Both periods were curtailed by low copper prices. In 1979 Ranchers abandoned the claims. The claims were subsequently staked and reclaimed by WR & A. Big Mike Limited Partnership (BMLP) purchased the claims from WR & A., in 1988. During the period from 1988 to 1992 BMLP undertook project studies to establish reserves, identify a treatment method, and gain environmental permits to develop the project. A considerable amount of work was done, but the project did not get underway. John Cook and Dan Mackie examined data from the project in the spring of 1997 and concluded that it would be suitable for continuous vat leaching with the EcoVat. After this work an option agreement was entered into. GoldSpring, Inc. acquired 100% of this project. Th current Big Mike project is an oxide copper recovery project with the copper oxides remaining from a previous rich sulfide operation. The property also has exploration potential for further copper oxides and copper sulfides In 2005, GoldSpring, Inc. signed a memorandum of understanding with MBMI Resources Inc. to acquire a 50% interest in the 310-acre Big Mike copper property located 32 miles south of Winnemucca. Big Mike is a volcanogenic massive sulfide deposit that consisted of a secondarily-enriched pod of massive copper and iron sulfides enveloped by altered rock containing zones and disseminations of secondary copper mineralization. Ranchers Exploration and Development Co. produced 25 million pounds of copper from direct-shipping, high-grade copper sulfide ore from this property in 1970. Five target areas have been identified for additional exploration on and adjacent to the Big Mike property.

Select Mineral List Type

Standard Detailed Gallery Strunz Dana Chemical Elements

Commodity List

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


Mineral List


22 valid minerals. 1 (TL) - type locality of valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

Note: 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:

Alpersite (TL)
Formula: (Mg,Cu)(SO4) · 7H2O
Type Locality:
Reference: Peterson, R.C., Hammarstrom, J.M., Seal, R.R., II (2006): Alpersite (Mg,Cu)SO4•7H2O, a new mineral of the melanterite group, and cuprian pentahydrite: their occurrence within mine waste. American Mineralogist 91, 261-269.
Alunogen
Formula: Al2(SO4)3 · 17H2O
Reference: R. C. Peterson et al.: Am. Min.: 90 (2005), in press
Antlerite
Formula: Cu3(SO4)(OH)4
Reference: NBMG Spec. Pub. 31 Minerals of Nevada
Baryte
Formula: BaSO4
Reference: NBMG Spec. Pub. 31 Minerals of Nevada
Bornite
Formula: Cu5FeS4
Reference: NBMG Bull 89 Geology and Mineral Resources of Pershing County, Nevada; U.S. Geological Survey, (2005) Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
Calcite
Formula: CaCO3
Reference: Econ Geol (1984) 79:124-140
Chalcopyrite
Formula: CuFeS2
Reference: NBMG Bull 89 Geology and Mineral Resources of Pershing County, Nevada; Econ Geol (1984) 79:124-140; U.S. Geological Survey, (2005) Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
Chrysocolla
Formula: Cu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
Reference: Econ Geol (1984) 79:124-140
Copper
Formula: Cu
Reference: Econ Geol (1984) 79:124-140
Covellite
Formula: CuS
Reference: Econ Geol (1984) 79:124-140
Cuprite
Formula: Cu2O
Reference: NBMG Bull 89 Geology and Mineral Resources of Pershing County, Nevada; Econ Geol (1984) 79:124-140; U.S. Geological Survey, (2005) Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
Digenite
Formula: Cu9S5
Reference: NBMG Bull 89 Geology and Mineral Resources of Pershing County, Nevada; Econ Geol (1984) 79:124-140; U.S. Geological Survey, (2005) Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
Djurleite
Formula: Cu31S16
Reference: Econ Geol (1984) 79:124-140
Epsomite
Formula: MgSO4 · 7H2O
Reference: R. C. Peterson et al.: Am. Min.: 90 (2005), in press
Hematite
Formula: Fe2O3
Reference: Econ Geol (1984) 79:124-140
'Limonite'
Formula: (Fe,O,OH,H2O)
Reference: Econ Geol (1984) 79:124-140
Malachite
Formula: Cu2(CO3)(OH)2
Reference: Econ Geol (1984) 79:124-140
Muscovite
Formula: KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Reference: Econ Geol (1984) 79:124-140
Muscovite var:
Formula: KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Reference: Econ Geol (1984) 79:124-140
Pickeringite
Formula: MgAl2(SO4)4 · 22H2O
Reference: R. C. Peterson et al.: Am. Min.: 90 (2005), in press
Pyrite
Formula: FeS2
Reference: Econ Geol (1984) 79:124-140; U.S. Geological Survey, (2005) Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
Quartz
Formula: SiO2
Reference: Econ Geol (1984) 79:124-140
Sphalerite
Formula: ZnS
Reference: Econ Geol (1984) 79:124-140; U.S. Geological Survey, (2005) Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
Tenorite
Formula: CuO
Reference: NBMG Bull 89 Geology and Mineral Resources of Pershing County, Nevada; U.S. Geological Survey, (2005) Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.

List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification

Group 1 - Elements
Copper1.AA.05Cu
Group 2 - Sulphides and Sulfosalts
Bornite2.BA.15Cu5FeS4
Chalcopyrite2.CB.10aCuFeS2
Covellite2.CA.05aCuS
Digenite2.BA.10Cu9S5
Djurleite2.BA.05Cu31S16
Pyrite2.EB.05aFeS2
Sphalerite2.CB.05aZnS
Group 4 - Oxides and Hydroxides
Cuprite4.AA.10Cu2O
Hematite4.CB.05Fe2O3
Quartz4.DA.05SiO2
Tenorite4.AB.10CuO
Group 5 - Nitrates and Carbonates
Calcite5.AB.05CaCO3
Malachite5.BA.10Cu2(CO3)(OH)2
Group 7 - Sulphates, Chromates, Molybdates and Tungstates
Alpersite (TL)7.CB.35(Mg,Cu)(SO4) · 7H2O
Alunogen7.CB.45Al2(SO4)3 · 17H2O
Antlerite7.BB.15Cu3(SO4)(OH)4
Baryte7.AD.35BaSO4
Epsomite7.CB.40MgSO4 · 7H2O
Pickeringite7.CB.85MgAl2(SO4)4 · 22H2O
Group 9 - Silicates
Chrysocolla9.ED.20Cu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
Muscovite9.EC.15KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
var: Sericite9.EC.15KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.
'Limonite'-(Fe,O,OH,H2O)

List of minerals arranged by Dana 8th Edition classification

Group 1 - NATIVE ELEMENTS AND ALLOYS
Metals, other than the Platinum Group
Copper1.1.1.3Cu
Group 2 - SULFIDES
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 2:1
Digenite2.4.7.3Cu9S5
Djurleite2.4.7.2Cu31S16
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 3:2
Bornite2.5.2.1Cu5FeS4
AmXp, with m:p = 1:1
Covellite2.8.12.1CuS
Sphalerite2.8.2.1ZnS
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 1:1
Chalcopyrite2.9.1.1CuFeS2
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 1:2
Pyrite2.12.1.1FeS2
Group 4 - SIMPLE OXIDES
A2X
Cuprite4.1.1.1Cu2O
AX
Tenorite4.2.3.1CuO
A2X3
Hematite4.3.1.2Fe2O3
Group 14 - ANHYDROUS NORMAL CARBONATES
A(XO3)
Calcite14.1.1.1CaCO3
Group 16a - ANHYDROUS CARBONATES CONTAINING HYDROXYL OR HALOGEN
Malachite16a.3.1.1Cu2(CO3)(OH)2
Group 28 - ANHYDROUS ACID AND NORMAL SULFATES
AXO4
Baryte28.3.1.1BaSO4
Group 29 - HYDRATED ACID AND NORMAL SULFATES
AXO4·xH2O
Epsomite29.6.11.1MgSO4 · 7H2O
AB2(XO4)4·H2O
Pickeringite29.7.3.1MgAl2(SO4)4 · 22H2O
A2(XO4)3·H2O
Alunogen29.8.6.1Al2(SO4)3 · 17H2O
Group 30 - ANHYDROUS SULFATES CONTAINING HYDROXYL OR HALOGEN
(AB)m(XO4)pZq, where m:p>2:1
Antlerite30.1.12.1Cu3(SO4)(OH)4
Group 71 - PHYLLOSILICATES Sheets of Six-Membered Rings
Sheets of 6-membered rings with 2:1 layers
Muscovite71.2.2a.1KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Group 74 - PHYLLOSILICATES Modulated Layers
Modulated Layers with joined strips
Chrysocolla74.3.2.1Cu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
Group 75 - TECTOSILICATES Si Tetrahedral Frameworks
Si Tetrahedral Frameworks - SiO2 with [4] coordinated Si
Quartz75.1.3.1SiO2
Unclassified Minerals, Mixtures, etc.
Alpersite (TL)-(Mg,Cu)(SO4) · 7H2O
'Limonite'-(Fe,O,OH,H2O)
Muscovite
var: Sericite
-KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2

List of minerals for each chemical element

HHydrogen
H Alpersite(Mg,Cu)(SO4) · 7H2O
H AntleriteCu3(SO4)(OH)4
H AlunogenAl2(SO4)3 · 17H2O
H PickeringiteMgAl2(SO4)4 · 22H2O
H EpsomiteMgSO4 · 7H2O
H Muscovite (var: Sericite)KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
H Limonite(Fe,O,OH,H2O)
H ChrysocollaCu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
H MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
H MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
CCarbon
C MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
C CalciteCaCO3
OOxygen
O Alpersite(Mg,Cu)(SO4) · 7H2O
O TenoriteCuO
O CupriteCu2O
O AntleriteCu3(SO4)(OH)4
O BaryteBaSO4
O AlunogenAl2(SO4)3 · 17H2O
O PickeringiteMgAl2(SO4)4 · 22H2O
O EpsomiteMgSO4 · 7H2O
O QuartzSiO2
O HematiteFe2O3
O Muscovite (var: Sericite)KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
O Limonite(Fe,O,OH,H2O)
O ChrysocollaCu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
O MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
O CalciteCaCO3
O MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
MgMagnesium
Mg Alpersite(Mg,Cu)(SO4) · 7H2O
Mg PickeringiteMgAl2(SO4)4 · 22H2O
Mg EpsomiteMgSO4 · 7H2O
AlAluminium
Al AlunogenAl2(SO4)3 · 17H2O
Al PickeringiteMgAl2(SO4)4 · 22H2O
Al Muscovite (var: Sericite)KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Al ChrysocollaCu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
Al MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
SiSilicon
Si QuartzSiO2
Si Muscovite (var: Sericite)KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Si ChrysocollaCu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
Si MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
SSulfur
S Alpersite(Mg,Cu)(SO4) · 7H2O
S ChalcopyriteCuFeS2
S BorniteCu5FeS4
S DigeniteCu9S5
S AntleriteCu3(SO4)(OH)4
S BaryteBaSO4
S AlunogenAl2(SO4)3 · 17H2O
S PickeringiteMgAl2(SO4)4 · 22H2O
S EpsomiteMgSO4 · 7H2O
S PyriteFeS2
S DjurleiteCu31S16
S SphaleriteZnS
S CovelliteCuS
KPotassium
K Muscovite (var: Sericite)KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
K MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
CaCalcium
Ca CalciteCaCO3
FeIron
Fe ChalcopyriteCuFeS2
Fe BorniteCu5FeS4
Fe PyriteFeS2
Fe HematiteFe2O3
Fe Limonite(Fe,O,OH,H2O)
CuCopper
Cu Alpersite(Mg,Cu)(SO4) · 7H2O
Cu ChalcopyriteCuFeS2
Cu BorniteCu5FeS4
Cu DigeniteCu9S5
Cu TenoriteCuO
Cu CupriteCu2O
Cu AntleriteCu3(SO4)(OH)4
Cu DjurleiteCu31S16
Cu CovelliteCuS
Cu CopperCu
Cu ChrysocollaCu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
Cu MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
ZnZinc
Zn SphaleriteZnS
BaBarium
Ba BaryteBaSO4

References

Sort by

Year (asc) Year (desc) Author (A-Z) Author (Z-A)
Economic Geology (1984): 79: 124-140.
Peterson, R. C., et al. (2005), American Mineralogist: 90.
Peterson, R.C., Hammarstrom, J.M., Seal, R.R., II (2006): Alpersite (Mg,Cu)SO4•7H2O, a new mineral of the melanterite group, and cuprian pentahydrite: their occurrence within mine waste. American Mineralogist 91, 261-269.
Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Special Publication 31, Minerals of Nevada.
Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Bulletin 89, Geology and Mineral Resources of Pershing County, Nevada.
Johnson, Maureen G., (1977), Geology and Mineral Deposits of Pershing County, Nevada' Reno: Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Bulletin 89, 115p.
Engineering Mining Journal, (1971), 1973.
Rye, R.O., et al., (1984), Economic Geology, volume 79, p. 124-140.
NBMG Staff, (1985), NBMG 85-3.
Snyder, W.S., (1977), Ms Thesis, University Of Nevada-Reno.
Hart, D.D., (1977), Unpublished report on ores of Big Mike Mine, NBMG Mining District File 270, Item # 11.
Carithers, W. and Forbes, J.M., (1969), Unpublished report on Big Mike Property; NBMG File 270, Items #12 and #13.
Intermountain Pay Dirt, Oct (1984),

Other Databases

USGS MRDS Record:10310578

Other Regions, Features and Areas containing this locality

North America PlateTectonic Plate

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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