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Mike Deposit

GEOLOGY AND MINERAL SYSTEMS OF THE MIKE DEPOSIT

John W. Norby 1 and Michael J.T. Orobona 2

ABSTRACT

The Mike gold-copper-zinc deposit is located in the Maggie Creek mining district of the central Carlin trend, Eureka County, Nevada. Mike is at the northwest end of a 3-mile (5-km) long belt of Carlin-type gold deposits aligned along and footwall to the northeast-dipping Good Hope fault. Mike is subdivided into the West Mike deposit in the footwall of this apparent reverse fault and the Main Mike deposit along the fault and in the hanging wall. Contact-metamorphic, Carlin-type, and secondarily enriched mineral systems are hosted in variable hornfels after Silurian to Devonian carbonate and siliciclastic rocks of the Roberts Mountains Formation, Popovich Formation, and Rodeo Creek unit, and in mafic to intermediate dikes of at least 107 Ma age. The host section is overlain by 400 to 800 feet (120–240 m) of postmineral, 15.1 to 14.4 Ma volcaniclastic rock of the Carlin Formation. Contact-metamorphic mineralization is coincident with potassium metasomatism dated at 111–107 Ma, hornfels, and local skarn. Mineralization typically consists of quartz-sulfide veins dominated by coarse-grained pyrite and iron-rich sphalerite with minor galena, chalcopyrite, and molybdenite. Quartz-carbonate veins hosting an arsenic-bismuth-lead-silver sulfosalt also occur throughout the deposit. At northwest West Mike, sphalerite-dominated, replacement-style base-metal mineralization is concentrated along the contact between the Rodeo Creek unit and the Popovich Formation. Diopside- quartz-garnet skarn, locally accompanied by molybdenite and stibnite, also occurs in this area of the deposit. Scheelite and powellite occur near the base of the hornfels section. Carlin-type gold mineralization is concentrated along the northwest-dipping Soap Creek fault, the Good Hope fault, and the west-dipping Valley fault. West Mike gold mineralization is roughly flat lying and stratiform, and segregated into upper and lower zones. The upper zone is 200 to 450 feet (60–135 m) thick, decarbonatized, oxidized, and grades 0.025 opt (0.86 g/t) gold. The lower zone has similar thickness, is partially oxidized, grades 0.080 opt (2.7 g/t), and is coincident with a 70- to 200-foot (21–60 m) thick dolomitic front at the base of decarbonatization. Gold at Main Mike grades an average 0.037 opt (1.2 g/t) and occurs in an oxidized and decarbonatized zone at the intersection of the Soap Creek and Good Hope faults. Mike deposit sulfide-zone gold occurs in micron-size, arsenian pyrite rims coating euhedral, coarser-grained pyrite. Alteration products include sooty pyrite/marcasite, variable silicification, kaolinite, sulfide-silica-matrix breccia, dissolution-collapse breccia, and quartz-orpiment veins. Gold is consistently accompanied by silver (1:1 ratio) and locally by zinc concentrations of 0.02–1.00 wt.%. Secondary copper, zinc, silver, and gold concentrations overprint contact-metamorphic and Carlin-type mineralization.

1 Geologic consultant, Spring Creek, Nevada 2 Newmont Mining Corporation

143

Alunite dated at 19.7 Ma crosscuts secondary chalcocite and covellite, providing a minimum age of secondary mineralization. Supergene copper grading 0.2–0.6 wt.% is concentrated in two lobes along the northwest-striking Good Hope and Corridor faults, and is further enriched (0.4–1.0 wt.%) where these structures intersect the Soap Creek fault zone. In section, two 100- to 250-foot (30–75 m) thick, parallel copper layers occur 150 feet (45 m) and 450 feet (135 m) above the base of oxidation in each lobe, and dip gently towards the center of the deposit. Oxide-zone copper occurs in copper silicates, clays, arsenates, phosphates, oxides, and carbonates. Copper is sited in chalcocite and locally covellite in the top-of-sulfide zone and in sulfide lenses in overlying oxidized rock. Copper- bearing zones are typically decarbonatized, clay altered, alunite veined/replaced, and iron-oxide stained. Secondary zinc grading 1.0–4.0 wt.% is concentrated in the top 200 feet (60 m) of the sulfide zone. Strongest concentrations are at central West Mike, in the footwall of the Corridor fault, along the Good Hope fault, and along the Soap Creek fault zone. Top-of-sulfide zinc is hosted in micron-size, brown-yellow sphalerite occurring with manganosiderite and arsenopyrite in clay-altered sections. Secondary silver is concentrated in 90-foot (27-m) thick layers, which locally straddle the base of oxidation along the Soap Creek fault zone and grade up to 1.2 opt (41 g/t). Supergene silver occurs with lead at an average 1:60 ratio, but not with gold. Supergene gold remobilization is suggested by concentrations in chalcocite layers, and by the uniform distribution of gold in the zone of oxidation relative to that in the sulfide zone. Oxide gold deposits at both Main Mike and the analogous Tusc, 4,000 feet (1,200 m) to the southeast, contain higher-grade (>0.05 opt [1.7 g/t]), flat-lying, bedding- discordant cores—possible supergene upgrades. A copper-molybdenum-gold porphyry northwest of Mike is inferred by the distributions of hornfels, potassium feldspar, tungsten, and molybdenum. This porphyry and associated mesothermal mineral system are inferred to be Cretaceous based on the age of apparently related replacement-style potassium feldspar at Mike. Sphalerite-dominated quartz veins at Mike also suggest a location peripheral to a zoned porphyry system. Secondary copper, zinc, and silver concentrations diminish to the southeast, indicating a source of these metals to the northwest. The covered southeast margin of the Richmond stock could be the porphyry-style source. It is in the vectored location (based on its magnetic signature); where it crops out it is the same age as the replacement-style potassium feldspar at Mike; and it has a similar associated element suite to that present in the mesothermal system at Mike. Significant original components of the secondary zinc and silver deposits at Mike may have derived locally from oxidized sphalerite and silver-sulfosalt-bearing veins in the upper part of the deposit. A vertically oriented, cylindrical stock is inferred at 6,000- foot (1,830-m) depth at north Mike, based on a deeper-sourced magnetic anomaly (high) there. This stock is interpreted to be Eocene because its magnetic signature is virtually identical to

the nearby, outcropping 38–37 Ma Welches Canyon stock. The North Mike stock may have served as the heat engine, and possibly the gold source, for the apparently Eocene Carlin- type gold deposits along the Good Hope fault trend, including Mike and Gold Quarry. The preferred interpretation, however, is that this Carlin-type gold system originated in relation to regional Eocene magmatism, but is not directly related to specific intrusions inferred from near-surface geology or geophysical signatures in the vicinity of Mike.

LOCATION AND GEOLOGIC SETTING OF THE DISTRICT

The Mike gold-copper-zinc deposit is located in northern Eureka County, Nevada (Sec. 28, T34N, R51E; fig. J-1), approximately 9 miles (14 km) northwest of the town of Carlin, in the historical Maggie Creek mining district. Newmont Mining Corporation has a controlling interest in the property. Located on the eastern flank of the Tuscarora Mountains, the Maggie Creek district is regionally situated in the central Great Basin physiographic province. This district comprises the central portion of the Carlin trend, a belt of predominantly sedimentary rock-hosted, disseminated, Carlin-type gold deposits aligned along a N35W azimuth. Gold concentrations in the Maggie Creek district include the Gold Quarry, Tusc, and Mac Mines; and the Mike and Little Hope deposits (fig. J-2, plate 2). These are primarily hosted by lower-plate carbonate and clastic rocks of Devonian and Silurian age exposed in a domed window through the Roberts Mountains allochthon. The Carlin window (Roberts, 1957, 1960) is an erosionally breached, northwest-trending anticlinorium, exposing an autochthonous core beneath upper- plate, siliceous and carbonate-clastic rocks of Devonian to Ordovician age in the Roberts Mountains overthrust sheet (Cole, 1995). Lower-plate exposures are bound by high-angle, normal faults on the southeastern, southwestern, and northwestern flanks of the Schroeder Mountain uplift (fig. J-2, plate 2). Those margins of the window are down-faulted, and disconformably overlain by volcaniclastic sedimentary rock and gravel of the Tertiary Carlin Formation. Most of the deposits are in the southwestern part of the Carlin Window, in a mile-wide corridor (Tusc Corridor) along the moderately northeast-dipping Good Hope reverse fault. They are localized at intersections with high- angle, northeast-striking cross faults. Larger gold deposits (10– 30 million oz [310–930 t]) occur as stratabound replacement bodies in the footwall of the Good Hope fault. These deposits are hosted by limy siltstone and siliceous mudstone of the Devonian Rodeo Creek unit, and silty limestone and calcarenite of the underlying Devonian Popovich Formation. Smaller gold deposits (1.0–1.5 million oz [31–47t]) occur along and in the immediate hanging wall of the Good Hope fault, in silty limestone of the Devonian-Silurian Roberts Mountains Formation. At Mike, mineralization along and in the hanging wall of the Good Hope fault is referred to as the Main Mike deposit; mineralization in the footwall is referred to as the West Mike deposit. Mineralization is completely covered by postmineral volcaniclastic sediment of the Tertiary Carlin Formation.

144

EXPLORATION HISTORY

Earliest prospecting in the Maggie Creek district was in the 1870s, and several hundred tons of gold, silver, copper, and lead ores were produced through 1952 (Roberts and others, 1967). In the 1880s, oxide-copper mineralization was discovered on the Copper King claims, one mile (1.6 km) southeast of the later-defined Mike deposit and directly southwest of what became the Tusc gold mine (Doyle-Kunkel, 1993; fig. J-2). Development of the Copper King Mine began in 1952, and through 1958 the Copper King Company produced approximately 14,800 short tons (13,400 t) of oxide ore that averaged 3.4 wt.% copper from underground workings and small open cuts (Doyle-Kunkel, 1993). Occidental Minerals Corporation explored for a northwest extension of this ore during the early 1970s, drilling three holes through the later- defined Good Hope copper lobe of the Mike deposit (Akright, 1974). Occidental identified a blanket of secondary copper oxides and chalcocite in the Paleozoic section plunging beneath increasingly thicker Tertiary cover towards the northwest, but did not define economic copper mineralization. The drill cuttings were erratically assayed for gold. Newmont Mining Corporation discovered the Main Mike gold deposit in 1989, following a series of economic discoveries at Gold Quarry, Mac, and Tusc during the late 1970s and the 1980s. Charles Ekburg and Robert Ryneer are credited for the discovery. The exploration strategy consisted of tracking gold mineralization along the northwest extension of the Good Hope fault, from Gold Quarry and Tusc, under postmineral cover to the postulated intersection with the Soap Creek fault, a zone of northeast-trending drainages and gravity gradients that bounds the northwest margin of the Schroeder Mountain uplift (Arkell, 1991a). The late Michael Wilson, for whom the deposit is named, and Brian Arkell performed follow-up exploration. Definition of the deposit through infill drilling and further exploration continued through 1994. This work included discovery of the West Mike gold deposit and the Corridor copper lobe in 1992 (Arkell, 1993), and expansion of the gold and copper resources at both West and Main Mike in 1993 and 1994 (Arkell, 1994; Branham, 1995a). Widespread occurrence of oxide copper minerals in core prompted estimates of copper inventories for Main Mike (Teal and others, 1994), and for both Main and West Mike (Branham, 1995a). Following a 3-year hiatus, exploration resumed 1997–2000 and resulted in delineation of the West Mike lower gold zone, expansion of the West Mike copper resource, and discovery of a deposit-wide blanket of zinc. Contributions to the understanding of the deposit include annual reports (Arkell, 1991a, 1993, 1994; Branham, 1995a), an audit of the geology and mineral inventory at Main Mike (Teal and others, 1994), and previous review publications (Branham and Arkell, 1995; Teal and Branham, 1997). Two summaries provide more current understandings of the Mike deposit contact metamorphic, epithermal, and supergene mineral systems (Norby and Orobona, 2000) and structural setting (Orobona and Norby, 2001). Concurrent with the final revision of this paper, Bawden (2002) completed a Masters of Science thesis on the supergene enrichment of copper at Mike. This work advanced the understandings of the source of the

Mike Deposit

Dee NORTH AREA HUMBOLDT ELKO Capstone Winnemucca Meikle 80 80 Bootstrap Elko 80 Carlin Rodeo
Dee
NORTH AREA
HUMBOLDT
ELKO
Capstone
Winnemucca
Meikle
80
80
Bootstrap
Elko
80
Carlin
Rodeo (Goldbug)
PERS HING
Tara
Lovelock
Betze-Post
80
Reno
WHITE
CHURCHILL
PINE
Deep Star
LYO N
Ely
North Star
Genesis
Bobcat
Turf
Four Corners
MINERAL
NYE
Blue Star
Beast
ESMERALDA
West Leeville
LINCOLN
Lantern
CLARK
Gas Pit
Las Vegas
Mike
Elko County
Eureka County
Tusc
MAGGIE
Mac
CREEK
Gold
DISTRICT
Quarry
Carlin
80
RAIN
SUBDISTRICT
Emigrant
Emigrant
Pass
Rain
024
6 miles
0
2
4
6
8
10 kilometers
W ASHOE
LANDER
EUREKA

Universal

Carlin

Pete

Figure J-1. Location of the Mike and other gold deposits of the Carlin trend.

145

70

T M NE Margin Carlin Window H R SC R T UL E A 70
T
M
NE Margin
Carlin
Window
H
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Carlin Formation (Miocene); volcaniclastic rock and gravel

Geologic contact

(Miocene); volcaniclastic rock and gravel Geologic contact Normal fault, dashed where inferrred, dotted where hidden,

Normal fault, dashed where inferrred, dotted where hidden, showing dip

45 Reverse fault
45
Reverse fault
l l l 20 Thrust fault Anticline l l l l l l l l
l
l
l
20
Thrust fault
Anticline
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
l

Hornfels limit in Paleozoic section

0 3000 feet

l l l l Hornfels limit in Paleozoic section 0 3000 feet Gold deposit Copper King

Gold deposit

Hornfels limit in Paleozoic section 0 3000 feet Gold deposit Copper King Mine Unconformity Intrusive rocks

Copper King Mine

Unconformity

Intrusive rocks (Eocene); dacite and diorite of Welches Canyon intrusive complex; dacite dikes at Marys Mountain

Western siliceous assemblage; chert, mudstone

Thrust fault

Marys Mountain sequence; limy siltstone/calcarenite, siliceous, mudstone, pebble conglomerate

Roberts Mountains Thrust

Rodeo Creek unit; siltstone (locally limy), siliceous mudstone (quartz hornfels)

Popovich Formation; micrite, calcarenite, silty limestone (calc-silicate hornfels, marble)

Roberts Mountains Formation; silty limestone, calcarenite (calc-silicate hornfels, marble)

Hanson Creek Formation; dolomite

0 1000 meters

Map limits in UTM meters, zone 11 North are approximately LL 559500E, 4512825N; UR 567600E, 4519600N

Figure J-2. Maggie Creek district geology.

146

copper, the geological and geochemical controls governing the supergene copper enrichment process, and the distribution of secondary copper minerals in the deposit.

MINERAL INVENTORY

Gold and base-metal inventories are defined at Main Mike by 41 drill holes spaced at 150 to 300 feet (45–90 m), and in West Mike by 24 drill holes spaced 300 to 1,000 feet (90–300 m) apart. Only nine of the holes at West Mike were drilled completely through the lower gold zone, which remains open to the northwest. Copper and zinc intercepts also remain open in that direction. Mike deposit resource models (DaSilva and Orobona, 1998; Norby, 1999a) estimate a drill-indicated mineral inventory in a hypothetical cone constructed at $400/ ounce (US$12.86/g) gold and $0.80/pound (US$1.36/kg) copper (table J-1). Zinc mineralization is given no value in the cone estimation. Drill-indicated gold, copper, and zinc metal deposits in the Maggie Creek district are outlined on plate 2. Development of the Mike deposit is challenged by 400 to 800 feet (120–240 m) of postmineral volcaniclastic sedimentary rock cover. This deposit is one of the larger undeveloped mineral resources in North America.

GEOLOGY OF THE TUSC CORRIDOR

The Tusc Corridor is a 1-mile (1.6-km) wide, northwest- elongated belt of subdued topography along and in the footwall of the Good Hope reverse fault between Marys and Schroeder Mountains (fig. J-2). It is largely covered by a 100- to 300- foot (30–90 m) thick veneer of Carlin Formation, which thickens considerably (>500 feet [150 m]) toward its down- faulted northwest and southeast ends. Beneath this veneer in the Paleozoic section, the southwest margin of the Carlin lower- plate window, defined by the Roberts Mountains thrust fault, is delineated by drilling along the length of this corridor (fig. J-2, plate 2). Gold deposits in the Maggie Creek district align along the Tusc Corridor. A prominent geologic feature of the corridor is a gentle, asymmetric domical fold, footwall to the Good Hope fault and coaxial with the Carlin window anticlinorium (fig. J-2, plate 2). The fold hinge trends essentially parallel to the strike of the Good Hope fault and plunges gently to the northwest and southeast, away from its crest at the Mac deposit. High-angle,

Mike Deposit

apparent-normal, northeast-striking cross faults typically dip away from the crest and enhance the apparent double plunge (fig. J-3, plate 3). Southeast of the K-W fault, the fold is antiformal and bounded to the southwest by the Hewettite-Ice fault. The folds at Mac and the Alta anticline mapped at Gold Quarry (Sagar and others, 1997) appear to be continuous segments of the same structure. Northwest of the K-W fault zone, toward the West Mike deposit, the fold is less pronounced and monoclinal, with stratigraphy rolling northeastward in the immediate footwall of the Good Hope fault. Another fold of similar trend, the Snowbird anticline, occurs in the southwest part of the Gold Quarry deposit. This fold is down-dropped to the southeast along southeast-dipping faults, resulting in an apparent southeast plunge. A wedge of hornfels in the Rodeo Creek unit extends southeast along the Tusc Corridor from the Mike deposit through the Mac deposit (fig. J-2). The hornfels is typically bounded by the northwest-striking Corridor and Good Hope faults. At Mike, it extends lower in the section into the middle Popovich Formation (fig. J-3), and expands to the northeast across the Good Hope fault into the Roberts Mountains Formation.

GEOLOGY OF THE MIKE DEPOSIT Stratigraphy

Previous stratigraphic descriptions have been compiled for the Mike deposit (Branham and Arkell, 1995; Teal and Branham, 1997), and for the Maggie Creek district (Evans, 1980; Rota, 1993; Cole, 1995). As the Mike deposit Paleozoic host section is completely covered, bedrock geology (fig. J-4) is interpreted entirely from 65 drill holes collared between 150 and 1,000 feet (45 and 300 m) apart. Besides the lack of outcrop, stratigraphic interpretation of the Paleozoic section is further complicated by contact metamorphism and hydrothermal alteration. Therefore, a relogging program of holes in the Tusc Corridor, begun outside of the Mike area and continued toward increasingly cryptic stratigraphy in the Mike deposit, was critical to understanding that area. During the period 1996- 1999, the relogging of 300,000 feet (90,000 m) of drill cuttings and core by the authors and L. Teal, in conjunction with pit mapping by the Mines Geology Group at Gold Quarry and Tusc, enabled a unified stratigraphic interpretation of the Tusc Corridor. The data indicate stratigraphy at West Mike is

Table J-1.MMain and West Mike 1999 drill-indicated mineral inventory

Commodity

Cutoff

Tonnage (millions)

Grade

Total

Gold

0.006 opt

408 short tons 370 t

0.021 opt

8,568,000 oz

0.2 g/t

0.72 g/t

266 t

Copper

0.10 wt.%

151 short tons 137 t

0.34 wt.%

1,027 million lbs 466,000 t

Zinc

1.00 wt.%

19 short tons 17 t

2.13 wt.%

809 million lbs 367,000 t

147

A A' Elevation (feet) Mac 6000 West Mike Tmc MAC THRUSTS 5000 Drc Dp l
A
A'
Elevation
(feet)
Mac
6000
West Mike
Tmc
MAC THRUSTS
5000
Drc
Dp
l
Cu
4000
l
l
Drc
Dp
CRUSHER
Zn
l
l
l
l
Dp
l
l
l
3000
DSr
W
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
DEWATER
2000
l
l
l
l
l
lll
A'
S
A"
l
l
l
l
l
l
Elevation
TUFF
(feet)
l
Mac
T
l
6000
Drc
M
BAD ATTITUDE
Voodoo
l
l
NT
CHUKAR
BER
S
l
R
Tmc
U
5000
l
Dp
Gold Quarry
T
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8/99 pit
R
DSF
FAULTS
O
l
l
U
Dm
T
l
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H
l
FWCB
DSr
l
l
4000
DSF
NOBLE
l
S
Alunite zone
lll
Drc
3000
Dp
l
l
No vertical exaggeration
2000
l
Tmc
Carlin Formation; volcaniclastic rock, gravel
>0.20 opt Au
Base of decarbonatization
#1 #2
l
Dm
Marys Mountain sequence; limy siltstone,
calcarenite, siliceous mudstone
l
Base of oxidation
>0.01 opt Au
l
Drc
Rodeo Creek unit; siltstone, siliceous
mudstone (quartz hornfels)
>0.10 wt.% Cu
Cu
Dp
Popovich Formation; silty limestone,
calcarenite, micrite (calc-silicate hornfels)
>1.00 wt.% Zn
Zn
DSr
Roberts Mountains Formation; silty limestone,
calcarenite (calc-silicate hornfels, marble)
>0.05 wt.% WO 3
W
PERSEVERANCE
SOAP CREEK
N. POINTING DOG
INDEPENDENCE
VALLEY
COPPER KING
KW
EASY

DSF

Deep Sulfide Feeder

lllll

Base of hornfels

Figure J-3. West Mike to Gold Quarry 135section A–A´–A´´ (looking northeast), split into two sections. Line of section shown on figure J-2.

148

Mike Deposit

70 70 ? DSr AR C LI C T A 4400 70 4450 N UL
70
70
?
DSr
AR
C
LI
C
T
A
4400
70
4450
N
UL
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YPE
4950
20 21
T
22
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T
29
28
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70
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AU
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4300
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60
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80
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4700
5000
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70
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IN
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RU
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T
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OU
M
70
AU
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UL
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38
A
F
T
TU
FA
R
F
O
SCAR
R
STE
Dm
NEX
AULT
60
T N
LT
Drc
L
ORTHEA
E
0
1,000 feet
5
PERSE
CR
0
300 meters
4400
T34N, R51E
FAU
VERANCE
TJi
Dike; fine grained, intermediate to mafic, brecciated
Fracture zone showing dip, locally
gravity gradient
5100
EK
70
4450
Dm
Marys Mountain sequence; flaser-textured limy
siltstone, calcarenite, siliceous mudstone
T
70
Normal fault showing dip, locally
gravity gradient
5150
ULT
D-DAY
Roberts Mountains Thrust
FA
Reverse fault
45
Drc
Rodeo Creek unit; siltstone, siliceous
mudstone (quartz hornfels)
B
Thrust fault
20
5050
DSr
Roberts Mountains Formation; silty limestone,
calcarenite (calc-silicate hornfels)
Outer limits of hornfels textures
AP
Map limits in UTM meters, zone 11 North are approximately
LL 562400E, 4516500N; UR 564400E, 4518600N
Contours (in feet) of surface at top of Paleozoic
section (below Carlin Formation)
EEK
FA
5200
B'
LLEL
LS
CR
IND
PARA
AU
LT
PA
5250
AP
EPENDEN
RAL
SO
5400
L F
CE
4750
IL
ULT
SO
LE
ID
ND
?
?
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4550
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F
4500
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D
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IND
4700
4600
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NEB
UL
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EN
4750
DEN
AUL
IN
E
UL
PEN
4700
T
FA
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4500
C
4650
4700
E
?
FR
Y
5350
FAULT
4750
4550
?
VAL
4600
ACT
E
4650
4800
URE
L
4850
?
4750
4800
FA
5300
COPPER KING FAULT
U
T
4800
ZONE
L
4900
4850
4850
4900
4950
5050 5000
5100
5150
5550
5250
5300
5350
5400
5450
5500

Figure J-4. Interpretive bedrock geology of the Mike deposit.

149

consistent with that logged and mapped elsewhere in the district (plate 2). Figure J-5 is a generalized tectono-stratigraphic column for the Mike deposit area. Individual units are described below in ascending order. See plate 2 for detailed paleontologic age information and citations.

HANSON CREEK FORMATION

The Hanson Creek Formation (SOh) in the Maggie Creek district is a black, massive dolostone to dolomitic limestone with white quartz veins (Rota, 1993). Black, knobby to lensatic chert content increases up-section. A tan-brown, sandy dolostone or sandstone commonly marks the top of the formation, which is in conformable contact with the overlying Roberts Mountains Formation. The bottom of the Hanson Creek section has not been mapped or drilled in the district. The upper parts of the unit are exposed on Schroeder Mountain (fig. J-2, plate 2). The measured thickness in the nearby Lynn lower- plate window is 1,070 feet (321 m) (Evans, 1980), and fossils indicate an age range of late Middle Ordovician to Early Silurian. A single, deep drill hole in the Mike area may have penetrated the Hanson Creek Formation where it drilled black, medium-grained, rounded-grain (possibly öolitic) dolostone that locally contains calc-silicate minerals. To date, the Hanson Creek Formation has not proven a significant ore host on the Carlin trend. Geochemically anomalous gold and silver values occur locally (Rota, 1995).

ROBERTS MOUNTAINS FORMATION

The Roberts Mountains Formation (DSr) in the Maggie Creek district is gray, carbonaceous, planar-laminated silty limestone with a coarse-grained texture. Calcarenite beds and wavy to discontinuous “wispy” laminations occur near the top of the unit. Wispy-laminated intervals in the upper Roberts Mountains constitute an important gold host throughout the Carlin trend. Evans (1980) described the formation as variably dolomitic. The Roberts Mountains Formation is exposed on the northern wall of the Gold Quarry pit and crops out on Schroeder Mountain (fig. J-2, plate 2), where it weathers to distinctive, purple-tan plates. The unit is 1,200 to 1,500 feet (360–450 m) thick in the district (Rota, 1993). Fossils collected at Gold Quarry Schroeder Mountain, and northeast of Maggie Creek Canyon indicate an age range of Early Silurian to Early Devonian. The Roberts Mountains Formation is a gold and secondary-copper host at the Main Mike deposit, a local gold host at the Gold Quarry deposit (Chukar Footwall), and the main gold host at the Tusc deposit. At Main Mike, the Roberts Mountains Formation is a planar-laminated siltstone with subordinate lenses of maroon or white, bleached (no carbonaceous material), silty-textured, calc-silicate hornfels and fine-grained marble. Relict amoeboid- shaped porphyroblasts developed on bedding laminae (spotted hornfels texture) indicate the siltstone was an incompletely calc- silicated silty limestone prior to decarbonatization. The siltstone occurs in thin, contorted beds and as fragments in unhealed and sheared, gossanous, clay-matrix-supported dissolution- collapse breccia at the core of the Main Mike deposit. This

mineralized breccia occurs beneath the Mike jasperoid—a dense quartz- and/or potassium feldspar-flooded section (Arkell, 1994; Teal and others, 1994). In the footwall of the Good Hope fault at West Mike, sparse deep drill information indicates the formation is mostly unmetamorphosed, with exoskarn to marble locally developed on dike margins and at the upper gradational contact with the Popovich Formation.

POPOVICH FORMATION

The Popovich Formation (Dp), first described by Roen (1961) and named by Hardie (1966), conformably overlies the Roberts Mountains Formation. The type section is described by Evans (1980) on Popovich Hill, in the northern Carlin trend. Along the Tusc Corridor, the Popovich Formation is subdivided into three informal members (fig. J-5). The lower member (Dp3) comprises 400 to 700 feet (120–210 m) of black, massive micrite with subordinate silty limestone, light gray calcarenite, and debris-flow limestone. The bottom of the unit is defined as the base of the lowermost micrite, which is in gradational contact with underlying silty limestone of the Roberts Mountains Formation. The middle Popovich member (Dp2) consists of medium-bedded calcarenite and carbonaceous silty limestone. Bioclastic sections up to 50 feet (15 m) thick, containing crinoids, brachiopods, coral, and fossil trash, occur in calcarenite-dominated layers. The middle Popovich member is between 300 and 400 feet (90 and 120 m) thick at Mike but is only 250 feet (75 m) thick southeast of Gold Quarry, indicating gradual thinning to the southeast. The upper Popovich member (Dp1) consists of 200 to 500 feet (60–150 m) of dark, medium- to thick-bedded, carbonaceous silty limestone and sparse beds of light gray calcarenite. The Popovich Formation crops out on the northeast wall of Maggie Creek canyon and at the crest of the Tusc Corridor, and is exposed on the northwest wall of the Gold Quarry pit (fig. J-2, plate 2). In the Maggie Creek district, the three Popovich members total 1,200 to 1,300 feet (360–390 m) in combined thickness—two to three times the thickness of the section in the northern Lynn Window (Teal and Jackson, 1997b). Fossil data indicate an age range for the Popovich Formation of Middle to Late Devonian. The Popovich Formation is an important gold host at Gold Quarry and is the dominant host of gold, copper, and zinc at the West Mike deposit. At Mike, the Popovich Formation occurs in the footwall of the Good Hope fault (figs. J-5 and J-6). The bottom of dominant oxidation in the Mike area typically occurs in the upper Popovich but locally extends down into the middle member (fig. J-5). The upper three-fourths of the section is thermally metamorphosed (fig. J-5). A transition from bleached metamorphic rocks to fresh carbonaceous rocks is typically within 200 feet (60 m) of the contact with the underlying Roberts Mountains Formation. The middle Popovich member is metamorphosed to hard and dense, light- to dark-gray calc- silicate hornfels and lesser fine-grained marble. Marble is preferentially developed in calcarenite intervals. The upper member is metamorphosed to dense, white to olive-brown or gray calc-silicate hornfels, lesser finely crystalline marble, and rare skarn. Teal and Branham (1997) reported a calc-silicate

150

Mike Deposit

Good Hope fault footwall section WEST MIKE

Good Hope hanging-wall section MAIN MIKE

QUATERNARY Alluvium (0-15 feet) Alluvium (Qal) Siltstone (0-150 feet) Planar-laminated to massive, decarbonatized,
QUATERNARY
Alluvium (0-15 feet)
Alluvium (Qal)
Siltstone (0-150 feet)
Planar-laminated to massive, decarbonatized,
grainy siltstone with a characteristic maroon
color. Local thin-bedded lenses of relict limy
siltstone. Minor chert and quartz hornfels.
Volcaniclastic sediment, gravel
(400-800 feet)
Buff to white (oxidized) or light green
(reduced), weakly indurated volcaniclastic
siltstone to sandstone. Locally pumiceous
and biotite bearing or devitrified and clayey.
Subordinate lenses of multilithic channel
gravel composed of rounded, siliceous peb-
bles in a volcaniclastic matrix. Basal 0-200
feet is pale green, waxy, tuffaceous clay;
oxidized to a cherry red color along base.
Quartz hornfels, siliceous mudstone
(300-700 feet)
Brown to purple, planar-laminated quartz
hornfels in gradational contact with grainy
siltstone. Subordinate, rhythmically thin- to
medium-bedded black siliceous mudstone,
particularly towards base of unit. Abundant
quartz-limonite veins. Minor thin intervals of
calc-silicate hornfels.
unconformity
Basal gravel (0-50 feet)
Strongly oxidized gravel composed of pebble-
to boulder-sized, angular clasts of quartz
hornfels and jasperoid in a volcaniclastic
matrix.
Mike jasperoid (0-150+ feet)
Dense, "boney"-textured quartz and/or potas-
sium feldspar-flooded "silica cap" crosscut
by a network of quartz-limonite-clay vein-
lets. Bedrock high at the intersection of
the Good Hope and Soap Creek faults.
Calc-silicate hornfels, marble (300-500 feet)
(silty limestone relict texture)
Medium- to thick-bedded, carbonaceous, silty
limestone protolith. Thermally decarbonized
and metamorphosed to dense, white to olive-
brown or gray calc-silicate hornfels, finely
crystalline marble, and rare skarn. Typically
decarbonatized and argillized, and locally
silicified. Abundant folds and bedding
distortions. Porphyroblastic mottling along
relict bedding planes. Thin lenses of silicified
or marbleized calcarenite.
Grainy siltstone, calc-silicate hornfels,
marble (200-800 feet)
Planar-laminated, carbonaceous silty lime-
stone protolith with a coarse-grained, grainy
texture. Predominantly thermally metamor-
phosed to decarbonized calc-silicate horn-
fels and marble; altered to decarbonatized,
silicified, and clayey grainy siltstone with
rellict porphyroblastic texture. Siltstone occurs
in contorted beds or as fragments in sheared,
gossanous, clay-matrix-supported collapse
breccia at the core of the deposit, beneath
the Mike jasperoid. The unhealed (post-
metamorphic) breccia crosscuts a variably
dense network of quartz-limonite veins.
Good Hope
l
Fault Zone
l
l
l
l
Calc-silicate hornfels, marble (300-400 feet)
(calcarenite and silty limestone relict texture)
Medium-bedded, contorted interbeds of calcar-
enite and silty limestone protolith; thermally
decarbonized and metamorphosed to very
hard and dense, light to dark gray calc-silicate
hornfels and lesser fine-grained marble. Typically
decarbonatized and strongly silicified, locally
brecciated. Porphyroblasts and sulfide blebs
developed on bedding planes highlight abun-
dant folds and bedding distortions. Locally
abundant quartz and/or dolomite veinlets.
Calc-silicate hornfels, marble (0-150+ feet)
Relict lens of calc-silicate hornfels and finely
crystalline marble in gradational contact
with grainy siltstone and limey siltstone.
Distinctive "mottled" texture resulting from
sulfide blebs and porphyroblast develop-
ment along thin bedding laminae. Wedge
thickens northeastward, away from the
Good Hope fault.
l
l
l
l
Good Hope fault zone (50-150 feet)
Multilithic clay-matrix fault breccia devel-
oped along several shears. Commonly dike
filled. Jasperoidal towards top at bedrock
surface.
l
l
Micrite (400-500 feet)
Variably hornfelsed, thick-bedded to massive,
black micrite. Lesser black silty limestone and
minor light gray calcarenite intervals. Locally
abundant folds and distortions. Bedding-
controlled transition between upper decarbon-
ized metamorphic rocks, and lower carbon-
aceous rocks - typically within 200 feet of
lower contact. Locally decarbonatized and/or
silicified; increasingly calcareous with depth.
l
Intrusive rocks (TJi)
Mafic to intermediate dikes and sills (up to
50 feet wide) Clay-altered, finely porphyritic,
lathy or felted texture.
l
l
l
l
feet
meters
l
0
0
l
gradational
l
l
l
100
Silty limestone (800+ feet)
Dark gray, planar-laminated, carbonaceous
silty limestone with coarse, grainy texture, and
local wavy to discontinuous "wispy"
laminations (turbiditic to bioturbated). Local
skarn to marble developed on dike margins.
l
l
l
Hornfels boundary
50
200
l
300
100
l
l
ll
l
l
REDOX
l
DEVONIAN-SILURIAN
DEVONIAN
DEVONIAN
DEVONIAN
Roberts Mountains
Lower Popovich
Middle
Popovich
Upper Popovich
Formation (DSr)
Formation
(Dp3)
Formation
(Dp2)
Formation
(Dp1)
DEVONIAN
Rodeo Creek unit
(Drc)
SECONDARY
SILVER
SECONDARY COPPER
W (SCHEELITE)
GOLDGOLD
SECONDARY
GOLD
(Fe-Mn) ZINC
SECONDARY COPPER
DEVONIAN-SILURIAN
Roberts Mountains
TERTIARY
Carlin Formation (Tmc)
Formation (DSr)

Figure J-5. Mike deposit tectonostratigraphic column.

151

assemblage of calcite, dolomite, quartz, orthoclase, clinopyroxene, amphibole, and phlogopite. Amoeboid porphyroblasts and sulfide blebs on bedding planes emphasize abundant folds and bedding distortions in the hornfels section. The contact between the Popovich Formation and the overlying Rodeo Creek unit locally appears to be unconformable, but is largely coincident with low-angle-to-bedding, gouge-filled shears and unhealed, clast-supported clay-matrix breccias. Similar breccia textures in the uppermost Popovich section at Gold Quarry are interpreted to represent thrust faults overprinted by dissolution collapse (Rota, 1995; Gold Quarry Expansion core-logging team, 1999, personal commun.)

RODEO CREEK UNIT

The Rodeo Creek unit (Drc) lies stratigraphically above the Popovich Formation. The type section was described by Ettner (1989) near Rodeo Creek in the northern Carlin trend. Along the Tusc Corridor, the Rodeo Creek unit consists of medium to dark gray, planar-laminated limy siltstone with a grainy texture. This lithology is interbedded with subordinate, rhythmically thin- to medium-bedded siliceous mudstone concentrated in the basal part of the section. Subordinate interbeds of black, cherty siltstone are also present at Gold Quarry, but not at Mike. The Rodeo Creek crops out south of Tusc and northeast of Maggie Creek, and is exposed in the center of the Gold Quarry pit (fig. J-2, plate 2). The drill-indicated thickness of the Rodeo Creek unit is approximately 1,050 feet (320 m) in the Tusc Corridor. Fossil data collected at Gold Quarry indicate an age range of Middle to Late Devonian. At West Mike, the upper 300 to 700 feet (90– 210 m) of the Rodeo Creek section is eroded. There, most of the section typically consists of brown to purplish-tan, planar- laminated quartz hornfels, and rare calc-silicate hornfels (both with abundant quartz-limonite veins). The preserved upper 150 feet (45 m) typically consists of planar-laminated to massive, maroon, grainy siltstone and minor siliceous mudstone, quartz hornfels, and limy siltstone. The Rodeo Creek unit is the dominant gold host at Gold Quarry and Mac, a significant gold host at Main Mike and Tusc, and a major host of both gold and secondary copper at West Mike.

MARYS MOUNTAIN SEQUENCE

The Marys Mountain sequence (Dm), first described by Evans (1980), is the lowermost allochthonous sequence recognized in the Maggie Creek district. It is an interlayered, deformed section dominated by silty limestone to calcarenite, siliceous mudstone, and limy mudstone. The sequence also contains glassy chert, carbonate-matrix sandstone with rounded glassy quartz grains, sparry limestone, and local limy pebble conglomerate (Branham, 1995b; Teal, 1996b). Adjacent to the rhyolite, granodiorite, and diorite intrusions at Welches Canyon, silty limestone is metamorphosed to cream-white, laminated garnetite, green-gray calc-silicate hornfels, and coarse white marble (fig. J-2; plate 2; Evans, 1980; Branham, 1995b). Deformation textures are well developed adjacent to thrust planes and are characterized by boudins and micro-fractured beds of chert, siliceous mudstone, and limestone in a sheared

and foliated, shaly mudstone matrix. These rock characteristics are collectively referred to as flasure texture in mine terminology. An estimated 5,000-foot (1,500-m) thick section is exposed on the eastern flank of Marys Mountain (Teal, 1996b), with its base atop the Roberts Mountains thrust exposed on the south wall of the Gold Quarry pit (plates 2 and 3). A lithologically similar section crops out northeast of Maggie Creek Canyon on the northeastern side of the Carlin window (Cole, 1992). The Marys Mountain sequence may be correlative to an undated, relatively thin (<200 feet [60 m]) sequence of intercalated silty limestone and siliceous siltstone situated immediately above the Roberts Mountains thrust in the northern Carlin trend. That sequence is informally referred to as the Vinini lime in mine terminology. Fossils collected on Marys Mountain indicate the Marys Mountain sequence is Late Devonian in age. In the Mike area, this sequence is eroded northeast of the Corridor fault (figs. J-2, J-3, and J-6). The Marys Mountain sequence is a poor gold host in the Maggie Creek district.

WESTERN SILICEOUS ASSEMBLAGE

The Western siliceous assemblage (DOw), is located structurally above the Marys Mountain sequence and does not occur in the immediate area of the Mike deposit. At Marys Mountain, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) southwest of Mike (fig. J-2, plate 2), an exposed 4,000-foot (1,200-m) thick section of Western siliceous assemblage consists of interlayered chert, siliceous mudstone, and siltstone (Branham, 1995b; Teal, 1996b). Intervals of greenstone, black chert, green chert, and pebble conglomerate locally occur at the base of this thrusted unit. Deformation textures are similar to those in the Marys Mountain sequence. Fossils indicate an age range from Ordovician to Mississippian.

DIKES

Clay-altered, fine-grained dikes (TJi), with porphyritic lathy or felted texture, occur in northeast- and northwest-striking fault zones throughout the district and in the Mike area. Dikes are particularly common in the Good Hope fault zone and along the Soap Creek structural trend (fig. J-4). The dikes range from an inch (2.5 cm) to greater than 50 feet (15 m) in width. They typically have brecciated margins and locally occur in fault breccia. Dikes are quartz poor. Semiquantitative analyses of less-altered dikes indicate basalt to andesite compositions (Teal and Branham, 1997). Odekirk (1994) identified relict plagioclase, orthoclase, biotite, hornblende, and pyrite in a felted, intergranular matrix. Also identified were minor olivine, pyroxene, and chromite, suggesting lamprophyre affinity. Textures visible in thin section indicate the orthoclase is metasomatic. Potassium feldspar from an oxidized, gold- mineralized dike in Main Mike was dated at 107 2 Ma by K/ Ar methods (Branham, 1994). The date could reflect either the age of the dike or a later potassic alteration event. It is consistent with a 111 2 Ma K/Ar date (Branham, 1994) on potassium feldspar separated from potassically altered siltstone of the Roberts Mountains Formation at Main Mike. Dikes locally host

152

gold throughout the Maggie Creek district, and they host secondary copper and zinc at West and Main Mike.

CARLIN FORMATION

The Miocene Carlin Formation (Tmc; Regnier, 1960) unconformably overlies both the Paleozoic section and the dikes (fig. J-2). Fleck and others (1998) reported 15.1 to 14.4 Ma 40 Ar/ 39 Ar dates on glass shards from Carlin Formation tuffs in the Santa Renia Fields Quadrangle north-northwest of the Carlin trend. They also suggest that the age, location, and subalkaline geochemistry of the tuffs are consistent with derivation from a source in the Owyhee Plateau of Idaho. The Carlin Formation is characterized by buff to white (oxidized) or light green (reduced), weakly indurated volcaniclastic siltstone to sandstone, and subordinate gravel (figs. J-3, J-5, J-6, and J-7). This section is more than 2,000 feet (600 m) thick in Carlin Valley (fig. J-2, plate 2). Tuffaceous sediment is pumiceous and biotite bearing, to devitrified and clayey. At southwest Mike, the basal 350 feet (105 m) of the tuff is indurated. Multilithic channel-gravel lenses are composed of rounded to subangular, siliceous pebbles in a volcaniclastic matrix. A basal section of variable thickness (0 to 200 feet [0–60 m]) is typically a pale green, waxy, tuffaceous clay, locally oxidized to a cherry red color at the base. Local occurrences of strongly oxidized basal gravel, as much as 50 feet (15 m) thick, are composed of pebble- to boulder-sized, angular clasts of quartz hornfels or jasperoid in a volcaniclastic or calcite-cement matrix. Basal gravels locally contain gold-bearing clasts.

Faults

Postmineral, volcaniclastic sediment and gravel cover the entire Mike deposit area (fig. J-2, plate 2), so structural features cannot be measured directly. The fault framework is interpreted using a combination of drill-hole cross sections, lateral projections from bedrock exposures, gravity and magnetic gradients, and topographic lineaments. Six different fault sets are identified in the Mike area: the Roberts Mountains thrust, the Good Hope fault zone, the Corridor fault, northeast-striking faults, north-striking faults, and the Tuscarora fault. Bedrock exposures of similar fault domains to the southeast indicate these faults probably do not occur as discrete planes, but rather as narrow zones. The Roberts Mountains thrust classically separates autochthonous rocks of the Carlin window, the Hanson Creek Formation through Rodeo Creek unit section, from overlying allochthonous rocks of the upper-plate, the Marys Mountain sequence and Western siliceous assemblage. There are, however, thrust faults in the Carlin window section, indicating it is not entirely autochthonous (plate 3). The Roberts Mountains thrust is not exposed in the footwall of the Good Hope fault outside of the Gold Quarry pit. This low-angle structure has little geophysical or topographic expression and is traced northwest through the Tusc Corridor, below Carlin Formation cover, with drill information (fig. J-2, plate 2). Drill- hole fences and upper-plate dips in outcrops at Marys Mountain indicate the thrust dips gently southwest towards the Tuscarora range front. Shear planes in the lower-plate section may be

Mike Deposit

evidence of related, smaller-scale thrusts. Shear fabric is evident

at West Mike in the middle member of the Popovich Formation,

and is locally coincident with the higher-grade base of gold mineralization. The Roberts Mountains thrust traces southwest of the West Mike deposit. However, prior to erosion, the thrust may have been present over the domed Carlin window, and the sheared and clayey allochthon could have functioned as an impermeable cap atop an antiformal structure that focussed gold-bearing, hydrothermal fluid flow. The Good Hope fault is a N40–50 W-striking, 35–45 northeast-dipping, apparent-reverse fault at Mike (fig. J-4), as

indicated by drill-hole intersections and the horizontal gradient of airborne magnetics. Multilithic, typically unhealed, clay- matrix fault breccia is developed along several shear planes in

a 50- to 150-foot (15–45 m) wide zone. At Mike, apparent-

reverse motion on this fault juxtaposed the hanging-wall Roberts Mountains Formation against the footwall Rodeo Creek unit. Thicknesses of these two units drilled on opposite sides of the fault, in addition to that of the intervening Popovich Formation, indicate a minimum of 2,500 feet (750 m) of local stratigraphic throw. No upper or lower contact of the Roberts Mountains Formation is intersected by a drill hole in the hanging wall of the fault, making it difficult to establish maximum throw. Contours of Paleozoic bedrock elevation determined from drill- hole data show a strike-parallel, 100- to 200-foot (30–60 m) thick trough of deeper Carlin Formation along the hanging wall of the Good Hope fault, possibly indicating late, apparent-

normal reactivation. The fault is silicified at and below the Mike jasperoid where it is intersected by the Soap Creek fault zone. Mafic to intermediate dikes, up to 50 feet (15 m) wide, occur in the Good Hope fault zone (fig. J-4). The northeastern limit of hornfels along the Tusc Corridor is coincident with the Good Hope fault, except at Mike where hornfels textures extend across the fault into the Roberts Mountains Formation in the hanging wall. Most gold mineralization in the Tusc Corridor occurs along the trend of the Good Hope fault. Individual deposits are located in the immediate hanging wall, or in a 2,000- to 5,000-foot (600–1,500 m) wide zone footwall to this structure. Gold concentrations are localized at intersections with high-angle, northeast-striking cross faults. The Good Hope fault is a primary ore-controlling structure at Main Mike. The Corridor fault (figs. J-2 and J-4) is interpreted from drill-hole cross sections. Only a few holes were completed through the 20- to 50-foot (6–15 m) wide, clay-matrix breccia along this fault, which strikes N40–60 W and dips approximately 60to the southwest. Drill-hole data indicate between 850 and 1,000 feet (255–300 m) of apparent-normal displacement of the Paleozoic section (fig. J-6). However, there

is little displacement of the overlying Carlin Formation. The

Corridor fault has not been traced southeast of the Mac deposit and is not exposed in outcrop. The fault has no geophysical and only minor topographic expression, but drill logs show it

is coincident with the southwestern limit of hornfels along the

Tusc Corridor. The Corridor fault is an important control for secondary copper and zinc mineralization at West Mike. Northeast-striking structures include the Perseverance, Soap Creek, Independence, Soap Creek Parallel, and Independence Parallel fault zones. Spaced between 400 and

153

B B' (SW) (NE) Feet GOOD HOPE 5500 Mike Tmc jasperoid Tmc 5000 West Mike
B
B'
(SW)
(NE)
Feet
GOOD HOPE
5500
Mike
Tmc
jasperoid
Tmc
5000
West
Mike
Main Mike
Dm
ROBERTS MOUNTAINS THRUST
Drc
Drc
4500
UPPER
GOLD
ZONE
Drc
Dp
4000
DSr
LOWER
GOLD
ZONE
3500
Dp
Dp
Dp
Dp
DSr
3000
DSr
No vertical exaggeration
TUSCARORA
CORRIDOR
VALLEY

Figure J-6. Soap Creek 045 section B–B´ (looking northwest), Mike deposit. Line of section shown on figure J-4.

Tmc

Dm

Drc

Dp

DSr

Carlin Formation; volcaniclastic rock, gravel

Marys Mountain sequence; limy siltstone, calcarenite, siliceous mudstone, conglomerate

Rodeo Creek unit; siltstone, siliceous mudstone (quartz hornfels)

Popovich Formation; silty limestone, calcarenite, micrite (calc-silicate hornfels, marble)

Roberts Mountains Formation; silty limestone, calcarenite (calc-silicate hornfels, marble)

Margin of hornfels

Margin of decarbonatization

Base of oxidation

>0.10 opt Au

>0.05 opt Au

>0.01 opt Au

>1.0 wt.% Cu

>0.1 wt.% Cu

>3.0 wt.% Zn

>2.0 wt.% Zn

>1.0 wt.% Zn

C

(NW)

>0.5 wt.% Zn

C'

(SE)

Feet

5500

5000

4500

4000

3500

Tusc

 

PERSEVERANCE

 

SOAP CREEK

N. POINTING DOG

DSr

Tmc

Tmc

Main Mike

 

CAREO

CAL

CARB

DE

DG

WE

US

ED

IZ

ONAT

E

 

Drc

COPPER KING

 

C

AL

GE

D

WED

IZE

US

EO

AR

C

 

INDEPENDENCE

 

DSr

NAT

BO

CAR

DE

Drc

 

CREEK

PARALLEL

SOAP

PARALLEL

INDEPENDENCE

Dp

 

Dp

 
 

No vertical exaggeration

Figure J-7. Good Hope 135section C–C´ (looking northeast), Mike deposit. Line of section shown on figure J-4.

154

Mike Deposit

70 70 ? 10 Perseverance 5 15 CAR V 70 LT LI EY 20 21
70
70
?
10
Perseverance
5
15
CAR
V
70
LT
LI
EY
20
21
U
TYP
22
FA
29
28
FA
U
27
AL
E
LT
N
15
E
70?
open
10 5
L
70
OO
OP
D
G
10
H
43
?
70
70
Main
West
Mike
70
?
?
Mike
open
80
?
?
?
5
70
60
OR
F
ID
RR
42
CO
LT
AU
10
5
70
15
T
NS
AI
N
HRU
U
T
ST
70
10
R
O
F
70
K
TU
RA
5
M
AU
O
SC
LT
5
25
T
38
20
ARO
S
EE
B
ER
15
ER
Tusc
T
AST
60
40
FAUL
NE
15
30
XT
PE
NORTHE
C
FA
Copper
5
Soap
RS
T34N, R51E
AP
5
10
Airborne Magnetic Survey
T
R
Depth slice = 0-300 meters
LT
1.0
EV
E
FAU
UL
RAN
CE
0.8
0.6
Gold
0.01 opt cutoff
Grade - opt
Thickness - feet
D-DAY FAULT
0.4
F
0
1,000 feet
CR
0.2
EL
EE
SO
0.0
AU
0
300 meters
-30
-20
-10
0
10
20
30
nT
20 25
K
LT
E
DEP
LT
OAP
RAL
LL
EN
?
LEL
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S
PA
PARA
DE
H
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NC
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IL
Fractional Area
AC
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NC
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COPPER KING
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5
L
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F
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OG
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INTING
OP-
RON
HT

Figure J-8. Map of the Mike deposit showing residual pole-reduced airborne magnetics, gold grade x thickness contours, and top-of-bedrock structure.

155

70

T M NE Margin Carlin Window H R SC R T UL E A Dm
T
M
NE Margin
Carlin
Window
H
R
SC
R
T
UL
E
A
Dm
70
F
Tmc
R
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Drc
70
19
22
E
21
20
23
53
RICHMOND STOCK
70
A
NORTH
U
Southeast margin
70
E
E
R
E
112 Ma
MIKE
E
D H
V
R
G
LT
OO
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STOCK
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CARLIN VALLEY
a
Main Mike
t
O
CORRIDOR
in
Tmc
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(gold)
l
ll
e
l
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9
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lll
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lll
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R
FA
C
o
Y
W
R50E
F
R51E
LT
LT
H
N
A
e
A
O
U
Z
n
T
AU
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A
F
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U
lll
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ll
llll
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lll
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lll
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lll
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lll
l
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lll
lll
l
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l
lll

Carlin Formation (Miocene); volcaniclastic rock and gravel

Geologic contact

(Miocene); volcaniclastic rock and gravel Geologic contact Normal fault, dashed where inferrred, dotted where hidden,

Normal fault, dashed where inferrred, dotted where hidden, showing dip

45 Reverse fault
45
Reverse fault
20 Thrust fault
20
Thrust fault

where hidden, showing dip 45 Reverse fault 20 Thrust fault Anticline l l l l l

Anticline

l l l l l l l l l l l l
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
l
l

Hornfels limit in Paleozoic section

l l l l l l l l Hornfels limit in Paleozoic section Gold deposit Copper

Gold deposit

l l l l Hornfels limit in Paleozoic section Gold deposit Copper King Mine 0 3000

Copper King Mine

0 3000 feet

Paleozoic section Gold deposit Copper King Mine 0 3000 feet Unconformity Intrusive rocks (Eocene); dacite and

Unconformity

Intrusive rocks (Eocene); dacite and diorite of Welches Canyon intrusive complex; dacite dikes at Marys Mountain

Western siliceous assemblage; chert, mudstone

Thrust fault

Marys Mountain sequence; limy siltstone/calcarenite, siliceous, mudstone, pebble conglomerate

Roberts Mountains Thrust

Rodeo Creek unit; siltstone (locally limy), siliceous mudstone (quartz hornfels)

Popovich Formation; micrite, calcarenite, silty limestone (calc-silicate hornfels, marble)

Roberts Mountains Formation; silty limestone, calcarenite (calc-silicate hornfels, marble)

Hanson Creek Formation; dolomite

0 1000 meters

Map limits in UTM meters, zone 11 North are approximately LL 559500E, 4512825N; UR 567600E, 4519600N

Figure J-9. Map of the Maggie Creek district showing airborne magnetics, regional pole-reduced total field, depth sliced 0–300 m.

156

1,000 feet (120–300 m) apart, these structures strike N40–50E and dip 70–80 to the northwest (figs. J-4 and J-7). Dips are estimated from drill sections and by correlating surface topographic lineaments with horizontal gradients of gravity located at fault offsets of the unconformity between the Paleozoic and Tertiary sections. Drill data indicate dikes occur along northeast-striking structures of the Soap Creek fault zone (fig. J-4). Less than 200 feet (60 m) of apparent-normal bedrock displacement is interpreted from drill-hole data across any individual fault zone. Smaller offsets of the Carlin Formation base indicate recurrent movement on these faults. Collectively, northeast-striking faults drop the base of the bedrock Paleozoic section more than 500 feet (150 m) in a stair-step fashion towards the northwest in the Mike area. Elsewhere in the district, northeast-striking faults are mapped crosscutting the Good Hope fault. At Mike, northeast-striking faults locally control gold mineralization; they also down-drop that mineralization and the base of oxidation. The Main Mike deposit is situated in the hanging wall of the Good Hope fault, at its intersection with the Soap Creek fault zone. The latter is also an important gold control at West Mike. North-striking structures in the Mike area include the North-Pointing Dog, Nebulous, Valley, and D-Day faults (fig. J-4). Spaced between 500 and 1,000 feet (150–300 m) apart, these structures strike north to north-northeast and dip 60– 80 to the west. Dips again were determined by correlating topographic lineaments with horizontal gradients of gravity. The apparent-normal displacements across these faults vary. Drill data indicate the Nebulous structure is a densely fractured, dike-filled zone exhibiting little if any offset; whereas, the bedrock Paleozoic section is significantly down-dropped west of the D-Day fault into Carlin Valley. North-striking faults offset the base of oxidation and mineralized layers. Offsets of the Carlin basal unconformity across faults of this north- striking set are commonly equal to those of the bedrock. However, some faults of this set (e.g., the Valley fault) have greater offset of the Paleozoic section than of the unconformity, indicating reactivation. This structural fabric apparently predates gold mineralization as north-striking structures are coincident with the highest-grade gold trends of the Main Mike and West Mike deposits. The Tuscarora range-front fault zone consists of a series of steep, northeast-dipping shears on the southwest margin of the Tusc Corridor (figs. J-2 and J-4; plate 2). Gradients of gravity and airborne magnetics indicate a fault zone that gradually steps the Paleozoic section down to the northeast. Apparent-normal displacement across the fault zone southwest of the Mac gold deposit is minimal. However, displacement increases to the northwest and southeast where influenced by northeast-striking extensional faults, which dip normally away from the Mac area (fig. J-2). Drill-hole data indicate displacement across the Tuscarora range-front fault in the Mike project area is between 100 and 300 feet (30–90 m), increasing to the northwest. The fault zone apparently postdates gold and base metal mineralization, and the development of the oxide zone. Carlin Formation cover preserved on the northeast side of the fault poses major geotechnical and economic challenges to development of the Mike deposit.

Mike Deposit

Intrusive Bodies Inferred from Airborne Magnetic Responses

An airborne-magnetics high occurs at the Mike deposit (Teal and Branham, 1997). Branham and Arkell (1995), and Teal and Branham (1997) interpreted that hornfels and potassium-feldspar replacement at Mike (Larsen, 1994a,b; Williams, 1994; Odekirk, 1998a,b,c) are related to an intrusive mass that sources the airborne anomaly. Geophysical modeling indicates the airborne- magnetics anomaly reflects a combination of two magnetic responses (Wright, 1999, personal commun.): an annular-in-plan, shallow magnetic source surrounding the Mike gold deposit (fig. J-8), and a lower-amplitude, circular-in-plan, deeper source located on the north margin of the deposit (fig. J-9). The shallow source for the annular anomaly is interpreted from its gradients (Wright, 1999). Furthermore, magnetic susceptibility measurements (Wright and Freeman, 1998) and observations of magnetite and pyrrhotite in core suggest the annular anomaly is dominantly a response to magnetic minerals in the Paleozoic hornfels section (Wright, 1999, personal commun.). Magnetic minerals in the Carlin Formation may contribute a minor component to the shallow source. The low in the center of the annular anomaly is interpreted to reflect deeper oxidation of magnetic minerals in the Paleozoic bedrock hornfels section. The deeper-sourced anomaly is interpreted to represent a vertically oriented, cylindrical body at 6,000-foot (1,800-m) depth (Wright and Lide, 1998; Wright, 1999, personal commun.). The geometric aspect and relative amplitude of the anomaly are virtually identical to those of the Welches Canyon stock (Wright, 1999, personal commun.), located 2.3 miles (3.7 km) west-southwest of Mike (fig. J-9). Granodiorite from Welches Canyon is dated at 37.00.8 Ma (K/Ar on biotite; Silberman, 1971, written commun. referenced by Evans, 1980). Ressel and others (2000a) reported that the stock is a composite of porphyritic andesite (diorite) dated at 38.340.33 Ma ( 40 Ar/ 39 Ar on hornblende and plagioclase), which is cut by a rhyolite dome, which is in turn cut by a rhyolite dike dated at 37.190.11 Ma ( 40 Ar/ 39 Ar on sanidine). The Welches Canyon stock has a hornfels halo (fig. J-2, plate 2) but no recognized associated metallization (Evans, 1974b; Branham, 1995b). However, related sediment-hosted disseminated gold and mesothermal base-metal deposits are both apparently associated with similar- age, Eocene porphyry bodies at the Cove and McCoy deposits, Nevada (Johnston, 2000a), and the Bingham Canyon district, Utah (Gunter and others, 1990; Sillitoe and Bonham, 1990). Another airborne-magnetic response in the Mike area is related to the southeast margin of the Richmond stock (Wright, 1999, personal commun.). Its magnetic expression extends to within 6,000 feet (1,800 m) of the northwest margin of the deposit (fig. J-9). Quartz monzonite of the Richmond stock is dated at 106 5 Ma where it crops out 4.2 miles (6.7 km) northwest of Mike in the Tuscarora Mountains (K/Ar date on biotite; Silberman, 1971, written commun. referenced by Evans, 1980). This stock was more recently dated at 112.40.6 Ma using Pb/U in abraded zircon (Mortensen and others, 2000). Hornfels and base-metal mineralization, similar to such features at Mike, are present marginal to the Richmond stock in the Tuscarora Mountains (Evans, 1974b; Evans, 1980; Mallette

157

and Potter, 1999). At Main Mike, replacement-style potassium feldspars in siltstone and a dike are K/Ar dated at 1112 and 1072 Ma, respectively (Branham, 1994), roughly coeval with the Richmond stock. At the Archimedes deposit in southeast Eureka County, Margolis (1997) reported similar K/Ar dates of 110 5 Ma and 1092 Ma on secondary sericite in quartz- feldspar porphyry and adularia in calcite veins, respectively. Gold and base metals in the Archimedes system are both interpreted to be part of a single, evolving, magmatic- hydrothermal system of this age (Margolis, 1997).

MINERALIZATION ASSOCIATED WITH CONTACT METAMORPHISM

Base-metal sulfide veins and replacements, sulfosalt and bismuth-mineral veins, tungsten minerals, and molybdenum minerals are concentrated in the contact-metamorphosed, potassium-metasomatized section at Mike.

Base-Metal Sulfide Veins and Replacements

Quartz veins containing pyrite and base-metal sulfides occur throughout the hornfels section at Mike, and they crosscut dikes at West Mike. Veins range in width from 1/32 to 2 inches (1–50 mm). Sulfides are coarse grained and euhedral. Pyrite is the dominant sulfide; iron-rich, black-brown sphalerite is the most abundant base-metal sulfide. Chalcopyite is the next most common base-metal sulfide, but is minor compared to sphalerite. Galena, stibnite, and molybdenite occur locally. The sphalerite contains exsolution blebs of chalcopyrite (Odekirk, 1998a). On the north-northwest margin of West Mike, base-metal sulfides also occur as patchy replacements along fractures, as disseminated masses, and in dolomite-quartz veins. Mineralization is hosted in phosphate-lens-bearing quartz hornfels after siltstone in the basal 100 feet (30 m) of the Rodeo Creek unit. It also extends 20 feet (6 m) down into the upper Popovich Formation, in calc-silicate hornfels after silty limestone. Pyrite is the most abundant sulfide. Sphalerite is the dominant base-metal sulfide. It is purple-black—notably different in color than the black-brown sphalerite in the more widespread quartz veins. Galena, chalcopyrite, and lime-green clay accompany the purple-black sphalerite. Total sulfide content is commonly 5 vol.%, and as much as 30 vol.% over 5- to 10-foot (1.5–3.0 m) intervals. Dolomite-quartz veins with base metals occur in low-angle (8–21) and high-angle (76– 80 ) sets, both of which crosscut bedding. The section hosting this apparent replacement style of base-metal mineralization is pervasively dolomitic. Carbonate alteration may or may not be genetically related to the base-metal replacements, as the section immediately below hosts similar dolomite alteration coincident with Carlin-type gold mineralization (the lower gold zone). Replacement-style base-metal sulfide along the contact between the Rodeo Creek unit and the Popovich Formation is not recognized elsewhere in the Mike deposit. However, coarse pyrite layers up to 1/2-inch (1.3-cm) thick, locally with chalcopyrite and sphalerite, occur in the upper part of the middle member (Dp2) of the Popovich Formation at Gold Quarry.

Sulfosalt and Bismuth-Mineral Veins

Quartz-carbonate veins containing a highly reflective, silver- colored mineral occur throughout the Mike hornfels section. Trace-element abundances in vein-bearing intervals suggest this mineral is an arsenic-bismuth-lead-silver sulfosalt. Polished thin-section work (Williams, 1994; Odekirk, 1998b) identified bismuth minerals in the hornfels section on

the northwest margin of West Mike. Bismuthinite, Bi 2 S 3 , and tetradymite, Bi 2 Te 2 S, along with tennantite, Cu 12 As 4 S 13 , occur

in quartz veins as replacements after chalcopyrite. Grade-

thickness contours of bismuth (not shown) indicate this element

is concentrated along the Soap Creek fault zone.

Tungsten

A contoured grade-thickness map of tungsten intersected in

deeper drill holes (fig. J-10) indicates this metal is concentrated along and northwest of the Soap Creek fault. The 100,000 ppm- foot contour (10 ppm W cutoff) defines a 1,700–foot (520-m) long northeast trend. Tungsten concentration increases to the north-northwest and is open in that direction. A second, 600,000 ppm-foot zone occurs to the north at the downdip projection

of the Perseverance fault.

Tungsten is most concentrated (0.05–1.00 wt.% WO 3 ) at the contact-metamorphic front, in the lower 150 feet (45 m) of

the calc-silicate hornfels to marble section (fig. J-3). At Mike, the contact-metamorphic front typically occurs in the calcarenite and silty limestone middle member of the Popovich Formation (Dp2). Tungsten is also locally present, generally

at lower concentration (0.01–0.04 wt.% WO 3 ), an additional

400 feet (120 m) upward into the metamorphosed section. Shortwave ultraviolet lamping of tungsten-bearing intervals indicates the dominant host mineral is scheelite, occurring as blocky replacements along bedding planes. Scheelite is also concentrated in high-angle, 1/16- to 1/8-inch (2–3 mm) wide calcite veins. These two mineral settings commonly occur together. Tungsten may also substitute for

molybdenum in powellite, CaMoO 4 .

Molybdenum

Grade-thickness contours (10 ppm Mo cutoff) of deeper drill intercepts (fig. J-10) indicate molybdenum, like tungsten, is concentrated along and northwest of the Soap Creek fault. A

second, northwest trend of molybdenum parallels the strike of the Good Hope fault. Low-grade molybdenum (50 ppm over tens of feet) occurs

in molybdenite in quartz-sphalerite-chalcopyrite (-tennantite)

veins along the Soap Creek fault zone. Molybdenum also occurs

in powellite in high-angle calcite veins. Both of these

molybdenum occurrences are developed in calc-silicate hornfels after silty limestone and calcarenite of the middle Popovich member (Dp2). More concentrated molybdenum (400 ppm over 200 feet [60 m]) in molybdenite occurs in association with abundant pyrite and sparse stibnite at northwest Mike (Arkell, 1992). This mineral assemblage occurs below the Good Hope fault in the Rodeo Creek unit at 3,000-foot (900-m) depth. The host

158

70 TUNGSTEN 70 20 ppm cutoff ? Grade - ppm Thickness - feet 70 20
70 TUNGSTEN
70
20 ppm cutoff
?
Grade - ppm
Thickness - feet
70
20
21
22
A
29
28
27
Y
70?
C
70
I
West
R
V
T
L
F
Mike
43
A
70
Y
70
open
N
P
A
LE
70
L
70
42
UL
D
60
H
80
50,000
E
5
70
70
OP
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AU
70
RI
T
A
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D
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O
38
LT
R F
UL
C
G
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60
T
T
0
1,000 feet
T34N, R51E
0
300 meters
5
Structure shown at top of Paleozoic bedrock
R
S
TN
T
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R
S
E
?
?
?
?
?
?
T
U
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S
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200,000
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400,000
50,000
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600,000
200,000
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200,000
50,000
S
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400,000
N
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F
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300,000
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N
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L
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70 70 MOLYBDENUM ? 10 ppm cutoff Grade - ppm Thickness - feet NW 70
70
70 MOLYBDENUM
?
10 ppm cutoff
Grade - ppm
Thickness - feet
NW
70
A
20
21
Mike
22
Y
29
28
C
I
27
70?
70
R
V
T
L
F
A
Y
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D
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F
43
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70
70
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50,000
T
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70
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70
42
60
80
T
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75,000
5
70
70
T
70
G
R
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38
TN
T
H
E
R
S
T
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M
G
S
INTIN
F
60
R
US
F
0
1,000 feet
O
PO
B
A
T34N, R51E
A
C
0
300 meters
5
A
Structure shown at top of Paleozoic bedrock
ULT
T
AR
-H
U
T
O
F
ER
L
R
EA
RO
Figure J-10. Tungsten and molybdenum grade x thickness
contour maps, Mike deposit.
AULT
L
T
TH
ST
NEX
RS
T
U
PE
A
EVERAN
NOR
ULT
F
T
CE
N
CR
25,000
P
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Y
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CR
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D
P
INDEP
RA
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FA
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A
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D
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OUS
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L
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KING
FAULT
A
FR
F
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AC
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?
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A
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LU
R
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E
LLA

lithology is diopside-quartz-garnet-dolomite-pyrite skarn after limy siltstone and siliceous mudstone (McComb, 1992a). The garnet species has not been determined.

CARLIN-TYPE GOLD MINERALIZATION

Carlin-type gold mineralization at Mike occurs in two concentrations, one in the footwall of the Good Hope fault, West Mike, and the other in the hanging wall of and along this structure, Main Mike. Gold at West Mike is segregated into upper and lower zones.

Mike Deposit

West Mike Gold

Plan distribution of drill-indicated gold at the Mike deposit is illustrated on a grade-thickness contour map (fig. J-11). The largest gold concentration occurs at West Mike, where the 5

opt-foot contour (0.01 opt [0.34 g/t] cutoff) outlines an area

2,400 feet (720 m) in northeast dimension and a similar length

in north dimension. Gold is concentrated along the Soap Creek

fault zone and Valley fault, and is open to the northwest and

north. A separate, less-defined gold occurrence is present at

Copper Soap, 2,500 feet (750 m) south-southwest of West Mike.

West Mike gold mineralization is illustrated on Soap Creek

045 section B–B I (fig. J-6). This northwest-looking section is

constructed parallel to and between northeast-striking

postmineral faults, which progressively drop down the section

to the northwest. Therefore, the geometries of stratigraphy,

northwest-striking faults, and mineral zones are depicted largely

without the complication of basin-and-range step faulting. At

West Mike, gold is concentrated in two, relatively flat-lying,

parallel layers: the upper gold zone and the lower gold zone. Upper-zone gold concentrations occur throughout the preserved lower half of the Rodeo Creek quartz hornfels and siltstone

section, and extend 50 to 150 feet (15–45 m) down into calc- silicate hornfels of the uppermost Popovich member (Dp1). The upper gold-bearing sections have a combined thickness

of 200 to 450 feet (60–135 m) in a 1,000-foot (300-m) wide

zone footwall to the Corridor fault. Gold grade averages 0.025

opt (0.86 g/t). The upper gold zone is thinner and lower grade

where it approaches the Good Hope fault. This gold zone occurs

entirely in the oxide zone, and gold concentrations locally

correlate with relatively higher iron-oxide content. The upper

gold zone is completely decarbonatized.

The lower gold zone is markedly higher grade, averaging

0.080 opt (2.7 g/t). The lower zone is hosted in calc-silicate

hornfels of the middle Popovich (Dp2), 200 to 500 feet (60–

150 m) below the contact with the overlying Rodeo Creek unit

(figs. J-3 and J-6). Clay-altered dikes are also locally

mineralized (up to 0.240 opt [8.3 g/t]). Lower-zone gold

mineralization varies in thickness from 200 to 450 feet (60–

135 m), and is thickest and highest grade proximal to the steeply

west-dipping Valley fault. Drilling indicates this gold layer is continuous for 2,400 feet (720 m) in the Soap Creek fault zone. It is also continuous for 1,200 feet (360 m) along the Valley fault, and is open to the north. The lower gold zone dominantly occurs in the basal part of the decarbonatized section; however, it extends into incompletely decarbonatized rock on its northwest margin (fig. J-3). The bottom 70 to 200 feet (21–60 m) of the section shown as decarbonatized on figure J-6 is commonly dolomitic, and is more intensely gold mineralized (>0.2 opt [6.9 g/t]). This basal section also locally contains clay-altered and sooty-sulfide replaced, unhealed breccias interpreted as dissolution-collapse breccias. Gold-associated alteration products include black sooty sulfide replacements, sooty sulfide/silica-matrix breccia, quartz-orpiment veins/ replacements, white waxy clay (kaolinite?) on fractures, variable silicification, and local argillization. Shear fabric is also developed locally in the lower-gold-zone section. In the

159

southwest part of West Mike, the lower gold zone is partially oxidized (fig. J-6); overall about one-third is oxidized. The best trace-element correlation with gold in the reduced part of West Mike is arsenic. This is consistent with the mineralogy, as gold-bearing zones contain fine-grained arsenian pyrite (Odekirk, 1998a) and locally orpiment. A photomicrograph of a West Mike 0.163 opt (5.6 g/t) gold interval shows 1-micron crystals of arsenian pyrite in 2- to 8- micron-thick aggregate masses occurring as rims on euhedral pyrite (fig. J-12a). Similar fine-grained, auriferous, arsenian

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Figure J-11. Gold and zinc grade x thickness contour
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pyrite rims on earlier euhedral coarser-grained pyrite have been reported at the Gold Quarry deposit (Arehart and others, 1993a) and the Carlin deposit (Bakken and others, 1989). At Mike, intervals replaced with this fine-grained arsenian pyrite are varying shades of black-gray depending on the intensity of replacement. Relatively high-grade gold concentrations are locally coincident with orpiment and rare realgar. The gold:silver ratio in the West Mike sulfide zone is variable, but averages about 1:1. In sulfide gold zones, zinc is present in 0.02 to 1.00 wt.% concentrations. Some zinc-bearing gold zones contain macroscopic, black-brown sphalerite, but others contain only fine-grained, dark sulfides of undetermined mineralogy. There is also an inconsistent correlation between

bismuth and gold in the unoxidized part of West Mike.

As noted by Arkell (1994), the geologic setting of the West Mike gold deposit is similar to that of the Gold Quarry deposit, 2.5 miles (4 km) to the southeast (fig. J-2, plate 2). Both deposits

are in the footwall of the Good Hope fault and are hosted in

the Rodeo Creek unit and upper Popovich Formation (fig. J-3,

plate 3). The gold system at West Mike, however, extends lower

into the Popovich section on average. Both deposits have

relatively higher-grade gold concentrations in dolomitic

sections near their bases (West Mike lower zone, Gold Quarry

Alunite zone); these locally coincide with dissolution-collapse

breccias and low-angle-to-bedding shears.

Main Mike Gold

Plan distribution of gold at Main Mike (0.01 opt [0.34 g/t]

cutoff) is shown on figure J-11. This body is 2,050 feet (625

m) long in the north-northwest direction. Plan width is 500 to

1,200 feet (150–360 m), and gold mineralization is open to

the north. An additional, smaller gold occurrence in the hanging wall of the Good Hope fault, Perseverance, occurs 2,200 feet (660 m) northwest of Main Mike. The Main Mike

gold deposit is depicted in section on figure J-6. It is entirely oxidized, and hosts abundant yellow, brown, and red iron oxides. Gold is concentrated dominantly in the hanging wall of the Good Hope fault, but it also occurs along this structure.

Mineralization is mostly hosted by variably calc-silicated and

marbleized silty limestone of the Roberts Mountains

Formation, and extends 400 to 600 feet (120–180 m) below

the top of the Paleozoic section. The gold grade averages 0.037

opt (1.27 g/t) (Teal and others, 1994); a relatively flat core

zone grades better than 0.050 opt (1.7 g/t) (fig. J-6). The Main

Mike gold deposit is entirely decarbonatized. No dolomitic

basal or marginal zone has been defined as at West Mike.

The decarbonatization boundary tightly bounds gold to the

northeast, striking parallel to the Good Hope fault, but dipping

at a higher angle than that structure.

The Main Mike gold deposit is also shown on orthogonal

Good Hope 135Section C–C I (fig. J-7). Gold is concentrated

predominantly in the Roberts Mountains Formation, in the

hanging wall of the Good Hope fault. As in figure J-6, the

higher-grade pod is relatively flat lying. This pod and a deeper, lower-grade gold concentration below the Good Hope fault both occur dominantly in the footwall of the Soap Creek Parallel fault, above a depression in the base of oxidation. Gold

160

mineralization at Main Mike is central to a decarbonatized section of the Roberts Mountains Formation, between and locally above calcareous wedges to the northwest and southeast. Additional alteration at Main Mike includes sanded texture and unhealed dissolution-collapse breccia coincident with the higher-grade, central gold body (Arkell, 1994; Teal and others, 1994). As at West Mike, brecciated and altered dikes in structural zones are locally gold mineralized (Branham, 1994). Rock adjacent to the Good Hope fault is silicified and potassium-feldspar replaced (Teal and Branham, 1997), and has formed a resistant knob, the Mike jasperoid, now covered by the Carlin Formation (figs. J-4, J-5, and J-6; plate 2). A similar, jasperoidal knob along the Good Hope fault crops out 7,500 feet (2,300 m) to the southeast at the Little Hope deposit (fig. J-2). A regolith zone up to 30 feet (9 m) thick is present on top of Main Mike, consisting of boulders of mineralized rock similar to the Mike jasperoid in a matrix of clay and silt

REB-86: 1720-1725 ft. Gangue Pyrite Pyrite As-Pyrite As-Pyrite Pyrite As-Pyrite 50 Microns
REB-86: 1720-1725 ft.
Gangue
Pyrite
Pyrite
As-Pyrite
As-Pyrite
Pyrite
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50 Microns

Figure J-12a. Euhedral pyrite rimmed with arsenian pyrite. Carlin-type gold mineralization. Interval grades 0.163 opt (5.6 g/t ) gold. Reflected-light photomicroscopy and mineral identification by Odekirk (1998a).

REB-86: 1710-1715 ft. Quartz Sphalerite Quartz 100 Microns
REB-86: 1710-1715 ft.
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Quartz
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Figure J-12b. Fine-grained sphalerite infilling coarser- grained quartz and silicate gangue. Interval grades 10.8% zinc. Reflected-light photomicroscopy by Odekirk (1998a).

Mike Deposit

(Teal and others, 1994, 1:600-scale cross sections). These features indicate Main Mike mineralization was subaerially exposed prior to burial beneath the Carlin Formation (Teal and others, 1994). As previously recognized by Teal and others (1994), the Main Mike gold deposit is an analog to the Tusc deposit, 4,000 feet (1,200 m) to the southeast. Both deposits occur in the hanging wall of, and slightly overlap, the Good Hope fault (Mallette and others, 1998). They are both hosted in largely decarbonatized sections of Roberts Mountains Formation silty limestone, although this section is variably a hornfels at Mike and not at Tusc. Dissolution-collapse breccia occurs at Tusc (Mallette, personal commun., 1997–98, Tusc pit mapping) as at Main Mike. Both deposits are entirely oxidized. Gold mineralization at Tusc averages 800 feet (240 m) wide in plan (measured perpendicular to the Good Hope fault), compared with 500 to 1,200 feet (150–360 m) at Main Mike. Like Main Mike, Tusc contains a relatively flat-lying, higher-grade zone (see fig. 2 in Doyle-Kunkel, 1993). In fact, these similar, higher-grade gold zones at Main Mike (elevation 4,550 feet [1,390 m]) and Tusc (elevation 5,150 feet [1,570 m]) occur at the same elevation in a reconstructed section. As the present surface between the two deposits is relatively flat, the 600- foot (180-m) difference in thickness of the preserved postmineral Carlin Formation that covers the deposits records the postmineral offset.

SECONDARILY ENRICHED METAL DEPOSITS

Three metals of potential economic significance-copper, zinc, and silver—were concentrated in the supergene environment along subhorizontal surfaces in what are now the oxide and the top-of-sulfide zones. Gold was also apparently redistributed to some extent into flat-lying bodies in what is now the oxide zone.

Copper

Secondary copper at Mike is concentrated in the northwest- trending Good Hope and Corridor lobes (fig. J-13). Copper mineralization (0.10 wt.% cutoff) is contiguous across central Mike, between the two lobes, but at lower grade and thinner width than the minimum 25 percent-foot contour shown on figure J-13. Most above-cutoff intercepts grade 0.20–0.60 wt.% copper; higher-grade sections contain 1.5–3.0 wt.% copper. The Good Hope copper lobe occurs dominantly along and in the hanging wall of its namesake structure, although it crosses into the footwall to the southeast. Plan dimensions of the Good Hope copper body are 4,400 feet (1,340 m) along the fault and 500 to 1,500 feet (150–450 m) perpendicular to the strike of this structure. Grade-thickness in the northwest part of this lobe is probably underestimated due to shallow drilling that did not sample deeper copper layers (fig. J-13). Copper enrichment extends to the southeast, but at less than 25 percent-feet, to the Copper King open cut. The Copper King Mine is now buried under the west waste dump of the Tusc Mine. The highest

161

concentration of copper in the Good Hope lobe occurs between and parallel to the Soap Creek Parallel and Independence Parallel faults. Copper is also concentrated in the footwall of the Soap Creek fault. A central low in the Good Hope copper lobe coincides with gold mineralization at Main Mike (compare figs. J-13 and J-11). The Corridor copper lobe lies mostly in the footwall of the Corridor fault but locally crosses this structure into the hanging wall. This copper body is 3,000 feet (900 m) long in northwest dimension, and open in that direction. Its

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Figure J-13. Copper and silver grade x thickness contour
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perpendicular width is 1,500 to 2,000 feet (450–600 m). Mineralization is bound on the east-southeast by the Nebulous

fracture zone. Like in the Good Hope lobe, a northeast-trending copper concentration is developed between the northwest- dipping Soap Creek Parallel and Independence Parallel faults. Cross-sectional copper distribution is depicted in figure J-6. Mike contains two parallel copper layers that occur in the oxide zone and dip gently towards the center of the deposit. They roughly parallel the base of oxidation. The upper copper layer is 100 to 250 feet (30–75 m) thick and is centered 450 to 500 feet (135–150 m) above the base of oxidation. The lower copper layer is 100 to 200 feet (30–60 m) thick and is centered 150 to 200 feet (45–60 m) above the oxidation

surface. A third, 0- to 25-foot (0–8 m) thick, discontinuous copper concentration occurs at the top of the sulfide zone (too small to show on fig. J-6). Copper layers are continuous across the contact between the Rodeo Creek and Popovich

sections, and across both the Corridor and Good Hope faults.

However, these layers are thicker and of higher grade proximal

to these two faults. Secondary copper mineralization is best

developed in calc-silicate hornfels of the Popovich and

Roberts Mountains Formations. Copper layers also extend

into quartz hornfels of the Rodeo Creek unit. Mineralization

occurs almost entirely, but not exclusively, in the

decarbonatized zone. Nearly all copper-bearing zones contain

less than 0.5 wt.% carbonate carbon, and would not be high

acid consumers in an acid heap leach.

A long section through the Good Hope copper lobe is

shown in figure J-7, and copper mineralization again occurs

roughly in two layers. The upper layer occurs in the hanging

wall of the Good Hope fault and the lower layer straddles this

structure. The copper layers roughly parallel the base of

oxidation and the Good Hope fault, and with these features are

progressively down dropped to the northwest along northeast-

and north-striking normal faults. Thicker and higher-grade

concentrations of copper occur in the footwalls of the Soap Creek and Soap Creek Parallel faults, largely in the area of deeper oxidation below the Main Mike gold deposit. Copper

is concentrated dominantly in the decarbonatized central part

of the deposit, but also extends to the northwest and southeast

into calcareous wedges bordering Main Mike, in the hanging

wall of the Good Hope fault.

In detail not shown on the cross sections, copper is locally

concentrated on the margins of incompletely oxidized and

decarbonatized, thin (15- to 30-foot [5–12 m] thick) marble

lenses in the Roberts Mountains Formation at Main Mike (Teal

and Branham, 1997). Copper is similarly concentrated in pyritic

and limy lenses at the top of the Popovich Formation at West

Mike, in an otherwise oxidized and decarbonatized section.

Zinc concentrations accompany these occurrences.

Dikes at both the Good Hope (Branham, 1994) and

Corridor copper lobes host secondary copper mineralization.

In the Corridor lobe, native copper dendrites are well developed

on fracture planes in dikes that apparently occupy the Soap Creek fault zone. Metallurgical analyses indicate roughly four-fifths of the copper at Mike is acid soluble. The remainder is dominantly

cyanide soluble. A small minority of copper is neither cyanide nor acid soluble. Cyanide-soluble copper occurs in distinct zones, commonly in the center of the upper copper layer and at the base of the lower copper layer. The discontinuous copper concentration at the top of the sulfide zone is entirely cyanide soluble. Copper that is insoluble in either cyanide or acid occurs at the southeast end of the Corridor copper lobe. There is also a minor occurrence of insoluble mineralization in the central part of the Good Hope lobe, at the top of the upper

copper layer. Secondary copper minerals of the Mike deposit have been generally described in core logs and more specifically identified through petrographic and semi-quantitative XRD/XRF analysis (Roberts and others, 1967; Odekirk, 1993, 1998b,c; Larsen, 1994a,b; Williams, 1994). Acid-soluble copper intervals correlate with green, blue, and red-brown, variably hydrous copper silicates, clays, arsenates, phosphates, oxides, and carbonates. Reported copper minerals of these groups include chrysocolla, copper-bearing montmorillonite, conichalcite, turquoise, libethenite, tenorite, cuprite, copper-bearing limonites, malachite, and azurite. Cyanide-soluble copper intervals correlate with charcoal-black chalcocite, other gray to indigo secondary sulfides (covellite, digenite), and native copper in dendritic, massive, and foil forms. Copper insoluble in both cyanide and acid has not been correlated with specific host minerals. Copper mineralization ranges from thorough replacement to weak fracture coating. Highest copper grades occur in intervals thoroughly replaced by blue-green and red-brown secondary copper minerals, and with layers hosting charcoal- black, spotted to replacement-style chalcocite. Copper-bearing sections are commonly clay altered, mostly to montmorillonite and less commonly to sericite. Alunite is also present as a major gangue constituent in many of the copper intervals (Larsen, 1994b; Odekirk, 1998c). At Main Mike, alunite crosscutting chalcocite-covellite mineralization was K/Ar dated at 19.70.5 Ma (Branham, 1994). Brown and red iron oxides are also present in copper zones. Secondary copper mineralization generally occurs interlayered with, but not coincident with, oxide gold. Several West Mike drill holes have 500- to 800-foot (150–240 m) thick, continuous, interlayered intervals of this type. For example, drill hole REB-88 intersected 285 feet (85.5 m) of oxide gold grading at least 0.01 opt (0.34 g/t) gold and 251 feet (75.3 m) of secondary copper grading at least 0.1 wt.% copper. Only 35 feet (10.5 m) of those intervals overlapped, and the coincident sections were either gold dominated (0.028 opt [0.96 g/t] gold and 0.18 wt.% Cu) or copper dominated (1.40 wt.% Cu and

0.017 opt [0.58 g/t] gold).

Cyanide-soluble copper in chalcocite-bearing layers has some overlap with oxide gold. More complex processing would be required for ores that contain both of these metals in cyanide-

soluble form. Fortunately, this overlap is minimal. A study by Peltonen (1998) of all Mike deposit oxide-zone drill samples found that only 10% of those drill intervals that contain at least

0.006 opt (0.21 g/t) gold also contain at least 300 ppm cyanide-

soluble copper.

Mike Deposit

Zinc (Iron, Manganese)

A contour map of the drill-indicated grade-thickness of zinc

(0.5 wt.% cutoff) indicates a large concentration at West Mike,

apparently discontinuous pods northeast of the Good Hope fault, and a zone at northwest Tusc (fig. J-11). Zinc is overwhelmingly concentrated at the top of the sulfide zone; therefore, the contour map essentially represents the concentration of zinc at that level. Above-cutoff zinc concentrations in this zone range between 1.0 and 4.0 wt.%, with thinner intervals grading 5.0 to 10.8 wt.%. The large body of zinc-rich rock at West Mike is 2,700 feet (820 m) in northeast dimension, extending from the

footwall of the Corridor fault to the footwall of the Good Hope fault. In northwest dimension, this zinc concentration is 1,900

to 2,900 feet (580–880 m) wide. It extends southeast to the

Independence fault and is open to the northwest. Zinc grade-thickness contours at West Mike suggest the deposit may be divided into the distinct, but contiguous, Central and Corridor Footwall zones. The Central zone is the best- developed mineralization at Mike, with a core of greater than

300 foot-percent zinc. This zinc concentration is approximately

coincident with the northeast-striking Soap Creek Parallel fault.

It also roughly overlaps the West Mike gold zone in plan (fig.

J-11). The Corridor Footwall zone is elongate parallel to the

northwest-striking Corridor fault. It is also roughly coincident

in plan with the Corridor copper lobe (compare figs. J-11 and

J-13), although below it in section. The three zinc pods northeast of, and aligned approximately parallel to, the Good Hope fault occur near the intersection of this northeast-dipping fault with the top- of-sulfide surface (figs. J-11 and J-6). The best developed of these pods is located in the footwall of the Soap Creek Parallel fault. The apparently discontinuous zinc concentrations along the Good Hope fault trend may reflect inconsistent drill-hole penetrations to zinc mineralization at the top-of-sulfide horizon. Zinc concentrations also occur at northwest Tusc, generally in the footwall of the Copper King fault and

straddling the Good Hope fault. Zinc concentrations in the uppermost sulfide zone at Mike occur largely in the structural block footwall to both the Good

Hope and Corridor faults, and are predominantly hosted by calc-silicate hornfels of the Popovich Formation (fig. J-6). The zinc layer and coincident base of oxidation generally occur

400 to 500 feet (120–150 m) below the upper contact of the

Popovich Formation, except beneath the Good Hope fault where the zinc layer converges with this contact. Zinc overlaps gold mineralization where the latter is traversed by the base of oxidation (e.g., central West Mike). Zinc occurs dominantly in decarbonatized hornfels rock, and locally in dikes. Zinc concentration in the footwall of the Soap Creek Parallel fault at Main Mike is shown in figure J-7. Here mineralization is best developed below a trough in the top of sulfide, beneath the bulk of oxide gold and copper. The zinc mineralization at Mike has only recently been drill defined, and as yet is poorly understood mineralogically. Initial polished thin section and semi-quantitative XRD-XRF

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investigation by Odekirk (1998a,b) identified abundant brown- yellow, fine-grained sphalerite interstitial to other mineral grains in core intervals containing higher concentrations of zinc (fig. J-12b). This sphalerite habit contrasts with coarse-grained, volumetrically less significant, black-brown sphalerite in quartz veins and purple-black sphalerite in sulfide-replaced sections. The brown-yellow sphalerite also does not contain the chalcopyrite exsolution blebs found in the black-brown sphalerite. Zinc mineralization in the top of the sulfide zone is coincident with elevated iron (1.0–20.0 wt.%), manganese (0.5– 2.0 wt.%), arsenic (0.1–0.8 wt.%), and nickel (200–1,000 ppm). Odekirk (1998a,b) attributed the iron largely to siderite, and locally to hematite. Minor magnetite was also noted at West Mike in geologic logs and in a magnetometer survey of the core (Wright and Freeman, 1998). Odekirk attributed manganese to manganosiderite and to substitution in sphalerite. Also noted was arsenopyrite after partially replaced pyrite. Nickel-bearing phases have not been identified. In core, the zinc layer is yellow-brown (siderite, resin- jack sphalerite), to dark green (chlorite?), to gray (fine sulfides), with local cherry-red hematite near the top of the layer. Most zinc zones are clay altered. An unidentified lime-green mineral is common on fractures. Two zinc-bearing minerals have been identified in the oxide zone in the area of the Tusc deposit (fig. J-11), possibly providing insight to the less studied oxide-zone zinc minerals at Mike. In the Tusc pit (5,250-foot [1,600-m] level, east wall), white, fine-crystalline hemimorphite, Zn 4 (Si 2 O 7 )(OH) 2 ·H 2 O, was identified (Mallette, 1998, personal commun.). This mineral coats fractures in iron-oxide-replaced, decarbonatized silty limestone of the Roberts Mountains Formation, near the Good Hope fault. Faustite, (Zn,Cu)Al 6 (PO 4 ) 4 (OH) 8 ·4H 2 O, was first identified at the nearby Copper King Mine (Erd and others, 1953), occurring as veinlets and nodules in clay-altered siltstone and phosphate-nodule bearing siliceous mudstone of the Rodeo Creek unit.

Silver (Lead)

Silver is concentrated along and northwest of the Soap Creek Parallel fault (fig. J-13). The 50-opt-foot contour (0.01 opt (0.3 g/t) Ag cutoff) defines 3,600 feet (1,100 m) of silver mineralization in a northeasterly zone that is open to the north- northwest. An additional, poorly defined silver zone is present between the Perseverance and Next Northeaster faults, 2,000 feet (600 m) northwest of Main Mike. Silver concentrations straddle the base of oxidation. They locally coincide with other, apparently secondary deposits of copper (chalcocite) and zinc (fine-grained sphalerite). Silver at the oxide boundary does not correlate with gold. Intercepts of silver are uncommonly high grade for the Carlin trend (e.g., 92 feet [28 m]) grading 1.18 opt (41 g/t) on the northwest margin of West Mike). Lead is concentrated in the silver-rich zones, with the lead:silver ratio averaging 60:1. Silver- and lead-bearing minerals have not been identified.

Gold

Several lines of indirect evidence suggest some remobilization of gold in the zone of oxidation at Mike. On the southwest margin of West Mike, higher-grade gold concentrations (0.1

to 0.3 opt [3.4–10.3 g/t]) locally correlate with chalcocite layers (Norby, 1999b). Other gold from this area, which is not associated with chalcocite, requires an unusually long time to dissolve in cyanide, suggesting fine-particle gold (Acar and Le Vier, 1999, personal commun.). Additionally, block-modeled distribution of gold suggests this metal is more widely dispersed in the zone of oxidation than it is in the underlying reduced section, where it is more constrained in structural trends (Jackson, 1999). As illustrated in figure J-8, gold mineralization roughly correlates with lows and embayments in the shallow magnetic signature. This color-contoured image represents the pole- reduced, airborne-magnetic signature processed (depth sliced) to depress the deeper magnetic responses (Wright, 1999). The lows and embayments on this image roughly correlate with areas of deeper oxidation, as shown on cross sections B–B I and C–C I (figs. J-6 and J-7). Gold and shallow magnetic lows/ embayments correlate with the Soap Creek structural trend at both Main and West Mike, and with the Valley fault at West Mike. Zinc concentrations at both West and Main Mike also correlate with lows and embayments in the shallow magnetic signature (compare figs. J-11 and J-8). These concentrations are apparently related to the base of oxidation, and are best developed below areas of deeper oxidation (figs. J-6 and J-7). Similar distribution of gold (fig. J-8) may indicate a deposition process for some of the gold similar to that of zinc—related to oxidation-reduction in the near-surface environment. As previously noted, the higher-grade central gold pods at both Main Mike and Tusc are relatively flat lying. Furthermore, these two oxidized gold deposits were apparently

at the same elevation prior to basin-and-range faulting. At least

a component of their gold may have been concentrated at the

same paleo-depth of oxidation. The relatively flat-lying, higher-grade oxide gold zone at Main Mike occurs above secondary copper and zinc deposits of similar geometry (fig. J-7). All three metal zones are concentrated in the footwall of the Soap Creek Parallel fault, and correlate with an area where the redox boundary is depressed. There are local, although generally insignificant, gold concentrations recognized at the present base of oxidation at Mike. The highest grade drilled interval related to the present top of sulfide is 7 feet (2 m) grading 0.224 opt (7.7 g/t) gold, 2,500 feet (760 m) northwest of Main Mike.

DISCUSSION

The distribution of hornfels at Mike suggests a causative heat source to the northwest. The district plan map (fig. J-2) shows the hornfels zone widening in that direction, and the district- scale cross section (fig. J-3) shows hornfels is thicker and encompasses more of the stratigraphic section to the northwest.

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A metal-rich intrusion is interpreted for this heat source based upon the presence in the hornfels section of metasomatic potassium feldspar, base-metal quartz veins and replacements, bismuth-mineral and sulfosalt veins, and tungsten and molybdenum mineralization. Higher tungsten and molybdenum concentrations to the northwest at Mike (fig. J-10) suggest a source in that direction. The alignment of these two elements and bismuth along the Soap Creek fault zone also suggests control along this structural trend. The dominance of sphalerite in Mike-area base-metal quartz veins indicates a peripheral location relative to a zoned porphyry system (Emmons, 1927; Lowell and Guilbert, 1970; Jones, 1992). Base-metal replacement mineralization and molybdenite concentration in skarn at northwest Mike (molybdenum shown on fig. J-10) suggest a mineral system center closer to that location. The molybdenite-bearing skarn is at 3,000-foot (914-m) depth; the system center could be at that depth or deeper. Most of the gold at Mike is interpreted to be Carlin-type in origin. The structural and stratigraphic settings, alteration style and zoning, and associated trace-element suite are all similar to those at Gold Quarry and other Carlin-type gold deposits in the Tusc Corridor. Those gold deposits have fewer of the complications found at Mike of coincident contact metamorphism and related base-metal mineralization, and intense supergene metal redistribution. The occurrence at Mike of gold in fine-grained, arsenical-pyrite overgrowths, like those identified at the Gold Quarry (Arehart and others, 1993a) and Carlin (Bakken and others, 1989) deposits, further suggests a Carlin-type gold system. Structures that apparently controlled Carlin-type gold distribution at Mike are the Soap Creek fault zone, the Valley fault, and the Good Hope fault. Near the base of the lower gold zone at West Mike, higher-grade gold concentrations associated with low-angle shear fabric suggest an additional structural control that is nearly parallel to bedding. The Roberts Mountains thrust, now eroded at Mike, may also have acted as an impermeable cap to the gold system. There are two explanations for the occurrence at Main Mike and Tusc of similar-shaped, flat-lying, higher-grade core gold zones at the same elevation in a palinspastically reconstructed section. Gold may have been reconcentrated in a supergene system along a paleo-water table, with focus areas of deeper oxidation at the intersections of major cross faults with the Good Hope fault. The intersecting faults are the Soap Creek fault zone at Mike and the North-South Feeder fault at Tusc. An alternative explanation is that these two flat-lying core zones were originally controlled by elevation in a hydrothermal depositional environment, possibly at a groundwater mixing level. The same fault intersections noted above would have served as feeders. A hypogene origin for most of the gold at Main Mike is supported by 1) the coincidence of dissolution-collapse breccia and gold mineralization (as at Tusc), and 2) the fact that sulfide-zone gold at West Mike is concentrated along the same structural trend as Main Mike oxide-zone gold—the Soap Creek fault zone (fig. J-11).

Mike Deposit

The coincidence of gold concentrations, structures, and local lows in the shallow-sourced magnetic anomaly at Mike (fig. J-8) can be explained by a sequence of related processes. Carlin-type gold, with associated fine-grained, replacement- style sulfide, was preferentially concentrated along feeder structures. The abundance and fine-grained habit of these sulfides facilitated the production of acidic fluids during later oxidation, resulting in deeper oxidation down the same structural zones previously used as hydrothermal conduits. Furthermore, the gold may have been reconcentrated to some extent in the oxide zone, also focused in the deeper areas of oxidation along structures. Copper mineralization in and at the base of the oxide zone appears to be secondary in origin. This interpretation is supported by the presence of broad copper layers, which are parallel to each other and to the present depth of oxidation. These copper layers are continuous across northwest-striking faults, but are down-dropped by northeast- and north-striking faults that offset the Carlin Formation. Secondary copper minerals at Mike are those commonly found in other secondary deposits. After a quarter century of work on the project, it still appears that Akright’s (1974) interpretation as to the origin of the copper is valid. Based on results from the first three holes drilled on what is now defined as the Good Hope copper lobe (fig. J-13), chalcocite layers and associated oxide-copper zones were interpreted to represent fossil chalcocite blankets. Original formation and subsequent incomplete oxidation of these layers were related to successively deeper levels of oxidation associated with water tables at successively deeper levels. The paucity of chalcopyrite in base-metal quartz veins and replacements in the sulfide zone suggests there was not enough primary copper in what is now the oxidized part of the Mike deposit to account for the volume of secondary copper defined there. Additionally, no local porphyry copper source has been intersected by deeper drilling at either West Mike (2,900-foot [880 m] section of Paleozoic bedrock) or Main Mike (2,000-foot [600 m] section of Paleozoic bedrock). The enriched copper lobes are probably exotic concentrations formed hydrologically down gradient from a so-far undiscovered, primary copper deposit located peripheral to the immediate Mike area. A source to the northwest is suggested by the fact that the Corridor and Good Hope copper lobes are open in that direction and pinch out to the southeast (fig. J-13). The envelope of non-reactive, decarbonatized rock is also open to the northwest (fig. J-3). Therefore, acidic solutions originating from that direction could have transported copper to the southeast without being neutralized and dropping out their copper (Mallette, 2000, personal commun.). Concentration of copper along the Soap Creek fault zone indicates local structural control. Zinc and silver distributions suggest supergene-style concentration at or near the present top of sulfide. The fine- grained habit and lack of iron in sphalerite concentrated at this location further support a secondary origin. Supergene sphalerite has been proposed at few other deposits, but apparently occurs at the Chuquicamata porphyry copper deposit in Chile (Gustafson, 1998, written commun.). At Mike, open

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contours to the northwest on zinc and silver grade-thickness plan diagrams (figs. J-11 and J-13), as with copper, indicate a source for these metals to the northwest. However, in contrast to copper, there is significant zinc in sphalerite-dominated base- metal veins and replacements in the local section at Mike. Where oxidized, these sphalerite occurrences may have provided significant source zinc for the secondary deposits. Similarly, some of the silver now concentrated in the supergene deposits may have been sourced from oxidized, silver-bearing quartz-carbonate-sulfosalt veins at Mike. At Mike, any erosion of the oxidized upper parts of the Carlin-type gold and secondary copper-zinc-silver-gold deposits took place prior to being covered by the Miocene Carlin Formation. The thick oxide and supergene zones were not further eroded during more recent basin-and-range faulting, as they were preserved in the down-dropped basin on the northwest margin of the horst at Schroeder Mountain (plate 3). The same is true on the southeast margin of the horst where the Gold Quarry deposit, including an 800- to 1,200-foot (240– 370 m) thick oxidized zone, was preserved under 100 to 300 feet (30–90 m) of Carlin Formation. Along the Getchell and Battle Mountain-Eureka trends, oxide zones of Carlin-type deposits were similarly preserved under gravel cover. Significant deposits include Twin Creeks (Thoreson and others, 2000), Pipeline (Foo and others, 1995), Archimedes (Dilles and others, 1995), and the Marigold alignment of deposits (McGibbon, 2001). Sanidine from air-fall tuff layers in the gravel cover at Twin Creeks is K/Ar dated at 14.1 to 13.5 Ma (Madden-McGuire and others, 1991), indicating that north- central Nevada basal gravels, at least those gravels northeast of the Osgood Mountains at Twin Creeks, are only slightly younger than the 15.1 to 14.4 Ma Carlin Formation at the Carlin trend (Fleck and others, 1998). The basal sections of both of these cover deposits predate most of the period of basin-and- range faulting, 17 Ma to present (Zoback and Thompson, 1978). Where these cover deposits are eroded off range blocks, the oxidized tops of underlying mineral deposits may be diminished by erosion. Exploration implications are that basin margins are optimal settings for preserved, but not restrictively deep, oxidized Carlin-type and secondary-enrichment deposits.

GENETIC MODELS

Teal and Branham (1997) concluded that the potassium- enriched hornfels at Mike is Cretaceous, based on 111–107 Ma dates of replacement-style potassium feldspar in both siltstone at Main Mike and dike rock along the Good Hope fault. The distribution of hornfels mapped in this study suggests the Good Hope and Corridor faults are largely bounding features to contact metamorphism, and are therefore Cretaceous or older. The presence of dikes of Cretaceous age or older along the Good Hope fault similarly indicates a minimum age for this structure. Branham and Arkell (1995) and Teal and Branham (1997) further interpreted base-metal, bismuth, molybdenum, and tungsten mineralization to be related to the hornfels and potassium metasomatism. Recent work continues to demonstrate the correlation of base-metal veins, base-metal

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replacements, and sulfosalt veins with hornfels. Scheelite and powellite are concentrated on the margins of the contact metamorphosed section. The strongest concentration of molybdenite at Mike occurs in garnet skarn. Teal and others (1994) and Teal and Branham (1997) suggested some gold was introduced during an intrusion- related, early metasomatic base-metal event. This relationship is supported in this study by the coincidence of gold and hypogene zinc. Additionally, at the central and northwest parts of West Mike, gold locally occurs with molybdenite, tennantite, tellurobismuthinite, and bismuthinite. Branham and Arkell (1995) proposed a copper-gold porphyry and Teal and Branham (1997) proposed a copper- bearing hypabyssal intrusion related to the hornfels section, potassium metasomatism, and associated metallization. A porphyry similar to that proposed by Branham and Arkell (1995) is inferred in this study, with the addition of a molybdenum component. Porphyry mineralization of this type is suggested by the abundance of tungsten, silver, zinc, and molybdenum. The covered southeast part of the Richmond stock (fig. J- 9) may have been the porphyry source of the mesothermal mineral system at Mike. This stock is approximately the same age as the replacement-style potassium feldspar at Mike. The Richmond stock has associated copper, zinc, and tungsten mineralization, as does the Mike deposit. The southeast part of the Richmond stock is vectored by the distributions at Mike of hornfels, intrusion-related elements such as bismuth and molybdenum, replacement-style base-metal mineralization, and secondary copper. The Carlin-type gold system at Mike is not dated, but crosscuts contact metamorphosed rock. Gold-bearing, dissolution-collapse breccias are not metamorphosed or healed. Decarbonatization correlates with the gold system in an otherwise calcareous calc-silicate hornfels and marble section. Gold-associated quartz-orpiment veins crosscut hornfels rock. Gold-bearing silica-sooty sulfide structures also crosscut hornfels sections. The stock inferred at north Mike from the deeper-sourced magnetic anomaly is interpreted to be Eocene. Its deeper- sourced magnetic signature is virtually identical to that of the 38 to 37 Ma (Silberman, 1971, written commun. referenced by Evans, 1980; Ressel and others, 2000a) Welches Canyon stock (Wright, 1999, personal commun.). Maggie Creek district Carlin-type gold mineralization could be related to the North Mike stock. Recent research suggests the Carlin-type systems of the Carlin trend are Eocene (Ressel and others, 2000a,b). In the Maggie Creek district, Carlin-type gold driven by and possibly originating from the North Mike stock may have been most concentrated at Gold Quarry, 3 miles (5 km) to the southeast (figs. J-2, J-3, and J-9). Primary conduits for the gold system were the district-scale Good Hope fault and the Gold Quarry fault zone. Smaller gold deposits (West-of-West, Voodoo, McPod, Mac, Little Hope, and Tusc) were also developed in the Tusc Corridor at other structural intersections. As the system cooled back to the northwest, a second large Carlin-type gold deposit, Mike, formed closer to the stock along the other major cross structure

to the Good Hope fault, the Soap Creek fault zone. There, Eocene Carlin-type gold mineralization overprinted Cretaceous mesothermal mineralization. We suggest, however, that the large-scale, Eocene Carlin- type gold system in the Maggie Creek district, including the Mike gold system, is not conclusively related to specific intrusions inferred from near-surface geology or geophysical signatures. However, gold-bearing fluids may have originated in association with coincident regional Eocene magmatism (Henry and Ressel, 2000). Hydrothermal fluids were focused along major structures, and gold was deposited in dilatent zones associated with smaller-scale structures. This model for Carlin- type gold deposits has similarities to those proposed for orogenic gold deposits (Groves and others, 2000). Supergene deposits of base metals and silver overprinted the mesothermal base-metal and Carlin-type gold systems at Mike. Copper, zinc, and silver were leached from an intrusion- proximal source in an oxidizing environment, and were transported down hydrologic gradient southeast to the area of the Mike gold deposit. Significant zinc and silver may also have been sourced locally from oxidized veins and replacements at Mike. The Good Hope fault, Corridor fault, and Soap Creek fault zone acted as fluid paths and controlled secondary mineral deposition. Secondary mineral layers were deposited in past and present top-of-sulfide zones. A minority of the gold present in the oxide zone at Mike and Tusc may also have been reconcentrated by this same process. A 30–26 Ma supergene period is documented in the district by K/Ar dates on alunites at Gold Quarry (Hausen, 1986b; Bagby and Pickthorn, 1987; Arehart and others, 1992; Heitt, 1992; plate 2). Significant supergene mineralization at Mike took place prior to 19.7 Ma, the age of alunite crosscutting secondary

Mike Deposit

chalcocite-covellite mineralization (Branham, 1994). The 15.1– 14.4 Ma age (Fleck and others, 1998) of the overlying, postmineral Carlin Formation provides another, slightly younger minimum age of supergene mineralization.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We thank Lewis Teal for encouraging us to write this paper. For their support during our work at Mike, we thank Roy Owen, manager of Carlin trend exploration, and David Groves, manager of Great Basin exploration. The project also benefited from the team efforts of Dean Peltonen (geology); Kevin Freeman and James Wright (geophysics); Robert Jackson (geochemistry); Jerry Odekirk (mineralogy); Sevket Acar, Marc Le Vier, and Gary Simmons (metallurgy); and Henrique DaSilva (modeling). We have had the pleasure of building upon the previous work of a cadre of talented explorationists, including project geologists Brian Arkell, Peter Bell, Alan Branham, David Cole, Charles Ekburg, Robert Ryneer, Lewis Teal, and the late Michael Wilson. The high-caliber figures in this paper reflect the graphic talents of Jeanette Hunter, Randall Largent, Kris Pizarro, John Renas, and Susan Tingley. The paper benefited from insightful comments and thorough edits provided by Thomas Bawden, Stephen Castor, David Groves, Steve Peters, Jonathan Price, Lewis Teal, Tommy Thompson, Joseph Tingley, and James Wright. The authors thank the management of Newmont Mining Corporation for permission to publish this article. We also appreciate the support of our family members, Cynthia, Aaron, Andrew, and Anne Norby; and Stacey, Thomas, and Andrew Orobona, during the writing of this paper.

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