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Abstract

Within the central part of the Sulphur Creek Mining District six epithermal gold-mercury deposits have been mined, the West End, Central, Cherry Hill, Empire, Manzanita, and Wide Awake (Fig. 1). The mining district also includes the Abbott, Elgin and Rathburn mercury deposits and several hot springs that are depositing gold and cinnabar. The association of gold and mercury in the district was recognized early and gold was mined at the Cherry Hill and the Manzanita Mercury Mine from 1865 to 1891 with total production being about 3,000 oz of Au (Whitney, 1865, and Bradley, 1916). Whitney (1865) describes cobbles of cinnabar from the Sulphur Creek Mining District containing plumes of gold distributed through out the cinnabar. Fine placer gold is also present in drainages within the Sulphur Creek district, but has not been mined. Total mercury production from the district has been about 33,000 flasks, primarily from the Abbott mine. The Wide Awake mine was reported to have reserves of 24,000 flasks in 1899 and substantial unreported production may have come from this mine. In 1977, Homestake Mining Co. delineated a small gold deposit in the area of the Cherry Hill, West End, and Wide Awake Mines. The mineralization extends under the Sulphur Creek valley which separates these mines. Although numerous high-grade gold veins are present, typically greater than 0.3 oz of Au with multiple oz assays common, the veins are widely spaced and the deposit is presently uneconomic.

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