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Napoleon Mine (Nepolean Mine), Telegraph City, Foothill Copper Belt, Calaveras Co., California, USA

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A former Cu-Au-Pb-Ag-Zn mine located in sec. 23, T1N, R11E, MDM, 1.2 km (0.7 mile) SE of Telegraph City, on the lower N slope of Hog Hill and NW of Quail Hill (6 miles SW of Copperopolis), on private (patented) land. Discovered in 1860. Owned & operated by E.A. Nutter (33%); S.H. Nutter (33%); and, Katherine Tynes (33%), all of California (1977). First produced in 1865. MRDS database stated accuracy for this location is 100 meters. The Napoleon Mine is one of the oldest known major copper mines.

Mineralization is hosted in greenstone. The mineralized area is in a shear zone in quartz porphyry and felsite. The ore body strikes N70W and dips 70S at a thickness of 6.1 meters, length of 21.34 meters, width of 15.2 meters, and a depth-to-bottom of 76.2 meters. It is lenticular/irregular in form. The primary mode of origin is hydrothermal activity. The secondary mode is metamorphism. There are 3 ore bodies. The largest is the Discovery. The other two are located between the 250 & 375 foot levels. These lenses had an eastward pitch of 65 to 70 degrees. Rocks in the vicinity of the mine consists of andesitic lavas which are aphantic, and in some places vesicular or amygdaloidal. These volcanic rocks have undergone low-grade metamorphism to greenstones and green schists. The mine area is a shear zone 6 to 30 feet wide. Local rocks include Mesozoic volcanic rocks, unit 2 (Western Sierra Foothills and Western Klamath Mountains).

Local geologic structures include the shear zone which strikes N75W and dips 65 to 75SE.

Workings include underground openings with an overall depth of 131.06 meters. There are 3 shafts, of which 2 are caved. There are 4 main levels at 100, 250, 300 & 375 feet. During the period 1942-1943, the Mountain Copper Co., Ltd., rehabilitated the third shaft at 280 feet deep, and drilled 10 test holes on the 250 level.

By 1927 the reported production of Cu & Ag was $1,200,000 (period values). In 1881, 1,600 tons were shipped, averaging 11.25% Cu, 0.26 ounce Au, and 5.7 ounces Ag. Cement copper was produced during the period 1900 to 1915. Zinc production is undetermined.

Mineral List

8 entries listed. 8 valid minerals.

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Dana, E.S. (1892) System of Mineralogy, 6th. Edition, New York: 22, 82.

Logan, Clarence August and Franke, H. (1936), Mines and Mineral Resources of Calaveras Co.: California Division of Mines, California Journal of Mines & Geology, California Division of Mines (Report 32): 32(3): 314.

Heyl, George Richard (1947), Foothill copper-zinc belt of the Sierra Nevada(abstract): Geological Society of America Bulletin 58: 82.

Heyl, George Richard (1948c) The zinc-copper mines of the Quail Hill area, Calaveras County, California. California Division Mines Bulletin 144: 122-124.

Goodwin, Joseph Grant (1957) Lead and zinc in California. California Journal of Mines and Geology, Division of Mines (Report 53): 53(3&4): No. 354, p. 433.

Clark, Wm. B. & P.A. Lydon (1962), Mines and mineral resources of Calaveras County, California: California Division of Mines & Geology County Report 2; [… Geological Society of America Proceedings, 1933: 312-313, 1934]: 24, 27-32.

Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California; Van Nostrand Reinholt Press: 82, 291.

USGS (2005), Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS): U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, loc. file ID #10028626 & 10162830.

U.S. Bureau of Mines, Minerals Availability System (MAS) file ID #0060090152.

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