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Morning Star Mine (Curtz Mine; Ardis Mine), Mogul Peak, Monitor - Mogul District, Alpine Co., California, USA

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 38° 40' 58'' North , 119° 41' 57'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 38.68278,-119.69917
GeoHash:G#: 9qfuh1vxx
Köppen climate type:Csb : Warm-summer Mediterranean climate

A former lode Au-Cu-Ag-Sb-Pb-Zn-As-baryte mine located in the W½ sec. 29, T10N, R21E, MDM, 1.7 km (5,500 feet) ESE of Mogul Peak and 2.0 km (6,400 feet) N of Loope, along Mogul Gulch (3 miles NW from Heenan Lake), on National Forest land. MRDS database stated accuracy for this location is 100 meters.

Mineralization is hosted in Pliocene andesitic rhyolite. Geologic structures involve a shear zone. Alteration is local (silicification). This deposit is on the E side of the major alteration/silicification of the district. The shear zone appears to trend SW through the Curtz & Georgiana Mines, and then SE along the S side of Monitor Canyon near the Zaca mill. The mine dump has white, silicified rock that contains mostly fine- to medium-grained minerals. The silicified hilltop stands out from surrounding unaltered andesite. The silicified rock is iron oxide-stained in places. This mine resembles other district producers except that enargite is more abundant. Enargite (or other copper-arsenic-antimony sulfosalts) is the most important copper ore mineral (Burchard 1883). A body of enargite mixed with pyrite was found in the late 19th century, measuring 10 to 15 feet thick and 20 to 30 feet long. Local rocks include Tertiary pyroclastic and volcanic mudflow deposits, unit 9 (Cascade Range).

From Wachter (1971): Jasperoid outcrop is mostly quartz and has silver and gold with high trace elements. Hydrothermal alteration at the Morningstar deposit was caused by fluids with a low K+/H+ ratio (orthoclase is almost absent). The "clay" associated with enargite is quartz, kaolinite, and pyrite. The "clay" associated with massive pyrite is quartz with lesser sericite and dickite. Sericitic alteration and quartz-jasperoid present at Morningstar and Mogul Peak.

Also from Wachter (1971): A sample of enargite yielded 16% copper, 50 ounces per ton silver, and 0.5 ounce per ton gold. Similar material showed blebs of an unknown silver mineral in enargite, and possible cylindrite was intergrown with enargite. A sample of porous pyrite (with no other visible sulfides) yielded 0.2% copper, 5 ounces per ton silver, and 0.08 ounce per ton gold.

Workings include underground openings. A 1,200 foot main adit, trending SSE, is known as the 148 foot level. A 480 foot deep shaft connected 922 feetN from the portal. There are also 220, 280 and 480 foot levels. Crosscuts extend to the ore zone. Also stopes and winzes. The main adit & shaft were still open in 1971. Workings of the Georgiana & Curtz Mines were for a time driven for ore bodies in the same zone.

Production data are found in: Clark (1977).

Some enargite ore (carrying $400 (period values) per ton in Cu, Au & Ag) was shipped as far as Swansea, Wales, for smelting. The mine produced fairly steadily during the period 1863 - 1904 on a fairly large scale. Minor exploration was done in 1951, 1952 & 1957.

1882: Over a six month and 16 day period, an average of 3.5 tons of ore per day was processed in the Exchequer mill with the Hunt, Douglass, and Stewart Process. The total output for this period was 70,895 pounds of copper and $18,172 (period values) of Au & Ag.

1901: 22 tons of ore yielded 17% copper, $32.00 (period values) in Au, and 49 ounces of Ag per ton.

Mineral List

25 valid minerals.

Regional Geology

This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.

Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on

Gelasian - Chattian
1.806 - 28.1 Ma

ID: 2786829
Tertiary pyroclastic and volcanic mudflow deposits, unit 9 (Cascade Range)

Age: Cenozoic (1.806 - 28.1 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Alturas Formation; Bonta Formation; Cedarville Series; Delleker Formation; Ingalls Formation; Mehrten Formation; Nomlaki Tuff Member; Penman Formation; Reeds Creek Andesite; Spanish Canyon Formation; Tropico Group; Tuscan Formation; Valley Springs Formation

Description: Tertiary pyroclastic and volcanic mudflow deposits.

Lithology: Major:{andesite}, Minor:{rhyolite}, Incidental:{basalt, basaltic andesite}

Reference: Horton, J.D., C.A. San Juan, and D.B. Stoeser. The State Geologic Map Compilation (SGMC) geodatabase of the conterminous United States. doi: 10.3133/ds1052. U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1052. [133]

66 - 145 Ma

ID: 3192002
Mesozoic intrusive rocks

Age: Cretaceous (66 - 145 Ma)

Lithology: Intrusive igneous rocks

Reference: Chorlton, L.B. Generalized geology of the world: bedrock domains and major faults in GIS format: a small-scale world geology map with an extended geological attribute database. doi: 10.4095/223767. Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 5529. [154]

Data and map coding provided by, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

This page contains all mineral locality references listed on This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.


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Browne, J.R. (1868), Mineral resources of the states and territories west of the Rocky Mountains: 40th. Cong. 2nd. sess., H. Ex. Doc. 202, 674 pp. [1867]: 170-172.
Burchard, H.C. (1883) Report of the Director of the Mint upon the statistics of the production of the precious metals in the United States. Government Printing Office, Washington.
Root, E.W. (1868) On enargite from the Morning Star Mine, California. American Journal of Science, 2nd. Series: 46: 201.
Raymond, Rossiter Worthington (1872), Mines and mining in the states and territories west of the Rocky Mountains (for 1870): 42nd. Congress, 3rd. session, H. Ex. Doc. 210, 550 pp.: 53.
Raymond, R. W. (1873a), Statistics of Mines and Mining in the States and Territories West of the Rocky Mountains (for 1871): U.S. Treasury Department, Washington: 95..
Raymond, R. W. (1873b), Statistics of Mines and Mining in the States and Territories West of the Rocky Mountains (for 1872): House of Representatives Executive Document No. 210, 42nd. Congress, 3rd. Session: 15.
Silliman, Benjamin, Jr. (1873b), Mineralogical notes on Utah, California, and Nevada, with a description of priceite a new borate of lime: American Journal of Science, 3rd. series: 6: 126-133; […Engineering & Mining Journal: 16: 82, 98-99]: 126.
Hanks, Henry Garber (1884), Fourth report of the State Mineralogist: California Mining Bureau. Report 4, 410 pp. (includes catalog of minerals of California pp. 63-410), and miscellaneous observations on mineral products): 78, 311, 371.
Dana, Edward Salisbury (1892), System of mineralogy, 6th. ed., 1134 pp., Wiley & Sons, New York: 148, 1095.
Aubury, Lewis E. (1902), The copper resources of California: California Mining Bureau Bulletin 23: 199.
Aubury, L.E. (1905), The Copper Resources of California: California Division of Mines and Geology, Bulletin 27.
Aubury, Lewis E. (1908), The copper resources of California: California Mining Bureau. Bulletin 50: 246.
Eakle, Arthur Starr (1908), Notes on some California minerals: University of California, Department of Geological Science Bulletin: 5: 232.
Eakle, Arthur Starr (1919a), Alpine County: California Mining Bureau. Report 15: 5-27; […(abstract): Geol. Zentralbl., Band 27: 394 (1922)]: 12, 13, 16-23.
Logan, Clarence August (1921), Auburn field division: California Mining Bureau. Report 17: 403.
Logan, Clarence August (1922), California Mining Bureau. Report 18: 362.
Logan, Clarence August (1931), Alpine County: California Journal of Mines and Geology, California Mining Bureau. (Report 27): 27: 489.
Harcourt, George Alan (1937), The distinction between enargite and famatinite (luzonite): American Mineralogist: 22: 521.
Nichols, J.B. (1946), Collecting minerals in Alpine County, California, The Mineralogist: 14: 171-175.
Eric, J.C. (1948), Tabulation of Copper Deposits in California in: Copper in California: California Division of Mines Bulletin 144: 213.
Goodwin, Joseph Grant (1957) Lead and zinc in California. California Journal of Mines and Geology, Division of Mines: 53(3&4): 413-414.
Murdoch, Joseph & Robert W. Webb (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 86, 96, 175, 180, 292, 300, 347.
Campbell, Ian & staff (1968), California Mining Review, 1967: California Division Mines & Geology Mineral Information Service: 21: 23.
Wachter, B.G. (1971) Rapid fresh and altered rock-analysis for exploration reconnaissance: infrared absorption applications in the Monitor district, California. Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University.
Clark, Wm. B. (1977), Mines and mineral resources of Alpine County, California: California Division Mines and Geology County Report 8; 48 pp.: 13, 17, 19, 20-21, 24, 33, 45, map.
Evans, James R. (1977) Zaca Mine. In W.B. Clark, Mines and mineral resources of Alpine County. California Division Mines and Geology County report 8: 24.
Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California; Van Nostrand Reinholt Press: 75, 82, 101, 108, 131, 132, 135, 138, 140, 291.
Mineralogical Record (1989): 20: 129-142.
USGS (2005), Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS): U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, loc. file ID #10006814 & 10114590.
Vikre, P.G. and C.D. Henry (2011), Quartz-alunite alteration cells in the southern segment of the Ancestral Cascades Magmatic Arc. in Steininger, Roger, and Pennell, Bill, eds., Great Basin Evolution and Metallogeny Proceedings Geological Society of Nevada 2010 Symposium, Reno, Nevada.
U.S. Bureau of Mines, Minerals Availability System (MAS) file ID #0060030029.

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