Rich Hill / Stanton

Rich Hill is famous for the quality and quantity of gold that has been found in its vicinity. The drainages surrounding Rich Hill are the legendary Weaver and Antelope creeks that have been the source of successful placering operations for a century or more. These placers are still actively worked today by prospectors with metal detectors, drywashers, and even on a much larger scale with trommels and backhoes.


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

The Weaver placer area covers about 40 square miles on the south flank of the Weaver Mountains. The most important area in production and placer mining activity is the area at the top of Rich Hill, parts of the sides of the hill and gravels along Weaver and Antelope Creeks. The district is just north of Octave and east of Stanton. At the top of Rich Hill, gold was found under boulders and in crevices in the granite bedrock, where it was quickly gathered by prospectors during the early years after the discovery of the placers. Below Rich Hill, in Antelope and Weaver Creeks, the gold was found in reconcentrated stream gravels, a few feet thick to more than 50 ft thick, that contained numerous large boulders.

Production History:
The Rich Hill placers were discovered by a party of prospectors led by Captain Pauline Weaver in 1863 or 1864 about the same time as the discovery of the Lynx Creek placers. According to many reports, a Mexican in the party found loose gold on the top of Rich Hill while looking for a stray animal. Immense excitement and intense mining activity followed the discovery. Within 3 months, $108,000 in gold ranging in size from a pinhead to large nuggets worth hundreds of dollars was recovered, and within 5 years, $500,000 in placer gold was recovered. The placers have been worked extensively since the discovery, but because of the nature of the gravels, few large-scale operations have been attempted. Most of the mining has been done by drywashers, pans, rockers and sluices, although some miners used power shovels and dry-separation plants.

There has been no detailed geologic study of the Weaver Mountains, therefore details of the nature of gold-bearing veins are not known. The mountains are composed principally of Precambrian granites and schists that contain numerous gold-bearing veins considered to be of Laramide age. Some of these veins in the vicinity of the placers have been mined for their gold content, and it is probably that the placers were probably derived from these and other similar veins in the vicinity.




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