Location and Access
The Ledbetter Canyon Mine is located in Nye County, NV 49 miles north of Tonopah. Maintained gravel and dirt roads go most of the distance and final 2 miles are via a four-wheel drive dirt road that leads directly to the claim.
Elevation averages about 8700 feet. The is good water supplies nearby and camping on the claim.
The Ledbetter Canyon Mine was discovered and staked in 1923 and purchased by A. H. Ferir in 1927. Ferir milled 400 tons of ore but by 1937 the mine was idle due to his age and ill health. All the workings on the claims which include two adits, one shaft, and numerous trenches and shallow pits are from this period.
The dump representing about 200 feet of drifting is said to contain 0.4-0.5/oz in gold. This is likely because the remoteness of the mine made transporting ore for processing was costly so only selected high grade ore was shipped.
The property was leased by Homestake mining in 1984 who believed it could hold potential for a bulk tonnage low grade gold deposit.
Geology and Resources
Gold mineralization occurs in veins associated with a Tertiary rhyolite porphyry dike placed along a fault in densely welded tuff of the Toiyabe Quartz Latite. The tuffs are an intercaldera deposit, also Tertiary. The gold- and silver-bearing veins, as much as 2 feet thick, contain quartz, gouge, and a small amount of pyrite. Noteworthy is the lack of sulfide minerals occurring with precious metals. The rhyolite porphyry and welded tuff, in contact with the veins, are silicified and potassically altered. Enclosing country rock is also altered and contains quartz- and adularia-filled fractures.
While gold content at the surface is limited to narrow veins in the welded tuff, rocks at depth with more porosity, may host a large disseminated deposit. This geologic model would be analogous to the Round Mountain deposit. The lack of sulfides suggested to the company that gold mineralization may have been syngenetic with the rhyolite porphyry, and the area was explored to detect additional gold occurrences associated with the rhyolite intrusive episode.
Processing material on the dump is recommending and could turn to a very profitable operation. Opening old workings for mining of the veins is also likely to produce. At depth more porous rocks may host a large disseminated gold deposit.
Geology and sample results shown in the gallery below: