Gold Basin

Placer Information
This information is taken directly from US Geological Survey Bulletin 1355, Placer Gold Deposits of Arizona, by Maureen G. Johnson, 1972.

The placers in the Gold Basin and Lost Basin districts are found in three major areas; the east and west flanks of the Lost Basin Range and the detrital fan in Gold Basin on the east flank of the White Hills. The placers on the east flank of the Lost Basin Range are found in arroyos incised in bajada gravels of late Miocene and early Pliocene age which cover an area of 8-10 square miles. Many individuals have dry-washed the placers at various localities. Five major placer claims are located along this flank of the range. These are the Robeson and Joy Lease, the Queen Tut placer, the Golden Nugget placer, the King Tut placer and the Lone Jack placer. The King Tut placer was the most actively mined placer in the area, and the east flank of the Lost Basin Range is frequently called the King Tut placer area.

On the west flank of the Lost Basin Range, small-scale mining of placers found in Quaternary alluvial fans is still active. These placers occupy an area comparable in size to the placer ground on the east side of the range and are located in the eastern rows of T29N and T30N R17W.

The gold bearing gravels of the Gold Basin district are found in the arroyos and gulches on the large detrital fan that slopes eastward from the White Hills to Hualapai Wash and is traversed by White Elephant Wash and its tributaries. The Searles placer mine is in sec 29 T29N R18W.

Production History:
The placers in the Gold Basin and Lost Basin districts were first actively mined in 1931, about 60 years after the discovery of lode gold. Placer gold was recovered from the Gold Basin district in 1909, but, probably because of the isolation of the district, apparently no further placer mining was done until 1931. Placer-mining activity since the early 1930's has been almost continuous but on a small scale. A few mining operation have used power shovels and small dry-concentrating plants to mine the gravels, but most activity was with the small portable drywasher so prevalent in the Southwest.

Owing to the relatively late development of the placers, early miners were able to sample virtually untouched placer ground in this area.On the east flank of the Lost Basin Range, the richer gold-bearing gravels are generally less than 2 feet thick and rest on caliche-cemented gravels.The gold contained in these surface gravels ranges in size from fine dust to nuggets as much as three-quarters of an ounce; in 1941, a nugget valued at $140 (4 oz.) was recovered from a placer near the King Tut.

Recent work by US Geological survey indicated that there are many small gold-quartz-carbonate-sulfide veins in the Precambrian rocks. Gold derived from some of these veins is the probable source of the placers.


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