Gold Butte Mining District

Gold Butte Mines 2
(Fig. 01)
As can be seen in (Fig. 01), there are more than 40 mines in the region called Gold Butte, most of which do not fall within the Gold Butte Mining District. Considering the number of mines located here, it surprised me as to how little is written about this mining district. By all accounts, the specific geographical boundaries of the Gold Butte Mining District are quite vague. Some accounts indicate that the Gold Butte Mining District includes the territory south of Gold Butte lying between the Nevada-Arizona state line to the east and the Virgin River (now Lake Mead) to the west. Even though mining doesn’t appear to begin until the 1880’s, one account states that the district was organized in 1873. It is generally accepted to be the area surrounding the Gold Butte Town Site located in the southeastern portion of the Gold Butte Region, Nevada, highlighted in green in (Fig. 01). One account lists the following mines as being in the Gold Butte Mining District: Anderson Mine, Azure Ridge Mine, Black Jack Mine, Eureka Mine, Gold Butte Mine, Greenhorn Mine, Happy Jack Mine, Hill Top Mine, Joker Mine, Jumbo Mine, Lakeshore Mine, Lakeside Mine, Lakeview Mine, Lincoln Mine, Lookout Mine, Nevada Mica Mine, Ole Mine, Radio Crystal Mine, Snowflake Mine, Tramp Mine, Union Mine, Vermiculite Mine, Windmill Mine.
Book mica was mined from pegmatite in the Gold Butte area in the 1890s and early 1900s and
probably from pegmatite at the Taglo Mine. Recorded copper production from the district, about 150,000 pounds, was mostly before 1932 from the Azure Ridge(1), Lincoln(2), and Tramp(3) Mines. The Treasure Hawk Mine has a long history, although the actual year of discovery is not known. Another major mine just north of the Gold Butte Mine is the Black Jack Mine(4). Over the years there has been prospecting and small-scale mining for gold, mica, silver, lead, magnetite, copper and zinc. However, no significant deposits were ever found and total production of the district has been estimated to be only $75,000. (5)
(1) Azure Ridge Mine: Originally called the Bonella claims (Hill, 1916), the chief workings are at the northern end of Azure Ridge, immediately adjacent to Garden Wash, although other
workings exist a kilometer or more south along strike. The ore here has been described as  irregular replacement lenses of limonite in massive limestone. Some of the mineralized rock at the Azure Ridge forms veins and veinlets similar in style and size to those at the Black Jack Mine. These are accompanied by veinlike bodies of chalcocite-bearing breccia, some of which have been altered or weathered to copper-carbonate–bearing breccia. Refer to (Fig. 01) for the location.
(2) Lincoln Mine: Many of the underground workings at the Lincoln Mine are difficult to locate with certainty, and all are now inaccessible. The dumps and piles of rock at the mine are dominated by three types of material: fine-grained, homogeneous, noncherty limestone; medium-grained, marble-like, recrystallized limestone; and limestone breccia, derived mostly from recrystallized
limestone but also in part from fine-grained limestone. Much of the breccia contains malachite, some poorly crystalline and some filmy or powdery. Some pieces of recrystallized limestone
and fine-grained limestone have malachite coatings on fractures. Scattered shallow diggings (but no adits or shafts) north of the Lincoln Mine proper are in distinctive, light-yellowish brecciated limestone and fault gouge (or other clayey material), in part gypsum-bearing. Refer to (Fig. 01) for the location.
(3) Tramp Mine: The orebody at the Tramp Mine is steep to subvertical, cuts across bedding, and appears to be pipelike. The ore consists of brecciated limestone impregnated or cemented with copper-carbonate minerals, chiefly malachite, and iron-oxide minerals. Stringers and irregular pockets of mineralized rock appear to be controlled by fractures, and they occur over a width of 1 to 2 m and a vertical distance of at least 100 m. A nearby minor, steep fault apparently is unrelated to the ore body. In contrast to the Black Jack and Azure Ridge Mines, mineralization at the Tramp Mine has no veinlike aspect, and chalcocite is rare to absent. Refer to (Fig. 01) for the location.
(4) Black Jack Mine: The well-exposed chalcocite veins of the Black Jack Mine are subvertical and about 0.5 m to as much as 2 m thick. These veins are at a high angle to the gently dipping beds of the host limestone. Veins typically are bordered by a zone, a few meters wide, of slightly to moderately brecciated limestone, grading outward into unbrecciated limestone. This marginal breccia zone is cut by chalcocite veins and veinlets, a few tens of centimeters to 1 m thick. Some veins contain minor sphalerite. Weathering of the chalcocite veins has produced gossan. Dump materials include both chalcocite and subordinate copper-carbonate–bearing breccia.
Refer to (Fig. 01) for the location.
(5) The map in (Fig. 01), and much of the information here came from, Chapter C. Mineral Resource Potential of the Gold Butte A, Gold Butte B, Virgin Mountain (Gold Butte C), Whitney Pocket, Red Rock Spring, Devil’s Throat, and Gold Butte Townsite Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, Clark County, Nevada, written by Steve Ludington, Gordon B. Haxel, Stephen B. Castor, Brett T. McLaurin, and Kathryn S. Flynn, found in a a publication titled, Mineral Resource Assessment of Selected Areas in Clark and Nye Counties, Nevada, Edited by Steve Ludington. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5197. Prepared in cooperation with the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.