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Steve Herschbach

Geology And Gold Mineralization Of Gold Basin, Arizona

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Geology and Gold Mineralization of the Gold Basin-Lost Basin Mining Districts, Mohave County, Arizona

By TED G. THEODORE, WILL N. BLAIR, and J. THOMAS NASH
With a section on K-AR CHRONOLOGY OF MINERALIZATION AND IGNEOUS ACTIVITY
By EDWIN H. McKEE
and a section on IMPLICATIONS OF THE COMPOSITIONS OF LODE AND PLACER GOLD
ByJ.C. ANTWEILER and W.L. CAMPBELL

1987 U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY PROFESSIONAL PAPER 1361

The Lost Basin district contains a wide-ranging group of placer and lode mines in a belt lying between Hualapai Wash on the west and the Grand Wash Cliffs on the east (fig. 3). It extends from the Colorado River at the mouth of the Grand Canyon southward through the Grand Wash Cliffs for a total length of about 32 km. This district, although much larger in areal extent, has not been as active nor as productive as the adjacent Gold Basin district.

The principal gold veins were discovered in 1886, and the production of the district was reported by Schrader (1909) to be "many thousand dollars," chiefly in gold. Placers apparently were first worked in 1931 and resulted in a minor local boom. However, recorded pro- duction in copper, gold, and silver during 1904-32 was valued at less than $45,000 (Hewett and others, 1936).

The King Tut placers, discovered in 1931, were the most important placers in the Lost Basin district. Systematic sampling of the King Tut placers by G.E. Pitts in 1932. delineated approximately 90,000 tons of indicated reserves and 250,000 tons of probable reserves before mining operations on a relatively large scale began (Mining Journal, 1933, p. 10). All of this was confined to approximately one section of land. In the last four months of 1933 the King Tut yielded 117 oz of gold (Gerry and Miller, 1935). By 1936 the gold output from the King Tut was 450 oz, which represented the bulk of the entire pro- duction from the Lost Basin district.

In 1939 Mr. Charles Duncan placered 13 oz of gold in 16 days, using only a sluice box and wash tub, near the King Tut placers (Engineering and Mining Journal, 1939), whereas the King Tut placers themselves were only worked intermittently until 1942. Eventually, placer mining of unconsolidated gravel from the upper reaches of present-day arroyos extended across approximately 25 km2 in the general area of the King Tut placers (Blacet, 1969). Nonetheless, by 1942 no additional production was recorded from the Lost Basin district. However, in the middle and late 1960's several small operators using dry washers were active intermittently in the general area of the King Tut placers. These washers were powered by small portable gasoline motors. Because of the surge in the price of gold during 1978-80, small-scale placer operations and extensive exploration efforts, centered on an area just to the north of the King Tut placers, began again. These efforts were continuing intermittently through 1986.

Download The Full Report Here

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