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Mount Wheeler Mine (Wheeler Peak Mine; Wheeler Mountain Mine; Pole Adit Mine), Mount Washington, Mount Washington District (Lincoln District), Snake Range, White Pine Co., Nevada, USA

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 38° 54' 18'' North , 114° 20' 39'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 38.90500,-114.34417
GeoHash:G#: 9qytq43n5
USGS MRDS Record:10174485
Locality type:Mine
Köppen climate type:BSk : Cold semi-arid (steppe) climate

A former lode Be-F-W mine located in sec. 15, T12N, R68E, MDM, 3.2 km (2.0 miles) WSW of Mount Washington (coordinates of record) and 9.3 km (5.8 miles) SSW of Wheeler Peak (coordinates of record), on private (patented) land in a National Forest (located claim). Discovered in 1870. Owned by Mt. Wheeler Mines, Inc. (100.00%), Salt Lake City, Utah (1983). MRDS database stated accuracy for this location is 10 meters.

Mt. Wheeler Mines, Inc. holds unpatented lode claims that cover the Mt. Wheeler Mine property and leases patented mining claims that cover the St. Lawrence Mine.

The Mt. Wheeler Mine was originally driven to explore for Pb-Zn ore in 1951; however, scheelite was discovered instead. Between 1952 and 1954, 1,800 tons of ore averaging 1.3% WO3 was extracted and milled at Minerva, Nevada, with 75% DMEA sponsorship. When DMEA support was terminated, measured, indicated, and inferred resources totalled 12,307 tons at 0.8% WO2. Beryllium minerals were found in significant concentrations in 1959 when tungsten concentrates were analyzed spectrographically for additional elements.

NOTE: The MRDS file attributes this mine to the Mount Washington District.

The ore body strikes N45W and dips 05S at a thickness of 5 meters, depth-to-top of 0 meters, width of 8 meters and a length of 1,000 meters, covering an area of 10 hectares. It is a lenticular-shaped, replacement type (ore body 1), and fissure vein/shear zone type (ore body 2). Primary mode of origin is unknown. Primary ore control was fracturing and secondary was bedding. The degree of wallrock alteration is unknown. Local rocks include quartzite and minor amounts of conglomerate, phyllitic siltstone, limestone, and dolomite.

Workings include underground openings with a total length of 1,500 meters. The length of the single adit is 1,189 meters.

Assay analyses results: BeO assay: grade is 1.0 weight percent, recovery is 85%. Mineral is a silicate.

Select Mineral List Type

Standard Detailed Strunz Dana Chemical Elements

Mineral List

10 valid minerals.

Detailed Mineral List:

Formula: {CaCe}{Al2Fe2+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
Description: (Published analysis shows overwhelming Ce-dominance.)
Reference: Lee, D.E. and Bastron, H. (1962) Allanite from the Mount Wheeler area, White Pine County, Nevada. American Mineralogist, 47, 1327-1331.
'Allanite Group'
Formula: {A12+REE3+}{M3+2M32+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
Reference: NBMG Spec. Pub. 31 Minerals of Nevada
Formula: Be4(Si2O7)(OH)2
Reference: Rocks & Minerals, Nov. 1999
Formula: Be3Al2(Si6O18)
Reference: Rocks & Minerals, Nov. 1999
Formula: CaF2
Reference: NBMG Bull 85 Geology and Mineral Resources of White Pine County, Nevada
Reference: NBMG Spec. Pub. 31 Minerals of Nevada
Formula: KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Reference: NBMG Spec. Pub. 31 Minerals of Nevada
Muscovite var: Sericite
Formula: KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Reference: NBMG Bull 85 Geology and Mineral Resources of White Pine County, Nevada
Formula: Be2SiO4
Reference: [MinRec 20:70, 20:390]
Formula: FeS2
Reference: NBMG Bull 85 Geology and Mineral Resources of White Pine County, Nevada
Formula: SiO2
Reference: NBMG Spec. Pub. 31 Minerals of Nevada
Formula: Ca(WO4)
Reference: NBMG Spec. Pub. 31 Minerals of Nevada
Formula: FeCO3
Reference: NBMG Bull 85 Geology and Mineral Resources of White Pine County, Nevada
Siderite var: Manganoan Siderite
Formula: (Fe,Mn)CO3
Reference: NBMG Bull 85 Geology and Mineral Resources of White Pine County, Nevada

List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification

Group 2 - Sulphides and Sulfosalts
Group 3 - Halides
Group 4 - Oxides and Hydroxides
Group 5 - Nitrates and Carbonates
var: Manganoan Siderite5.AB.05(Fe,Mn)CO3
Group 7 - Sulphates, Chromates, Molybdates and Tungstates
Group 9 - Silicates
var: Sericite9.EC.15KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.
'Allanite Group'-{A12+REE3+}{M3+2M32+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)

List of minerals arranged by Dana 8th Edition classification

Group 2 - SULFIDES
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 1:2
Group 51 - NESOSILICATES Insular SiO4 Groups Only
Insular SiO4 Groups Only with cations in [4] coordination
Group 56 - SOROSILICATES Si2O7 Groups, With Additional O, OH, F and H2O
Si2O7 Groups and O, OH, F, and H2O with cations in [4] coordination
Group 58 - SOROSILICATES Insular, Mixed, Single, and Larger Tetrahedral Groups
Insular, Mixed, Single, and Larger Tetrahedral Groups with cations in [6] and higher coordination; single and double groups (n = 1, 2)
Group 61 - CYCLOSILICATES Six-Membered Rings
Six-Membered Rings with [Si6O18] rings; possible (OH) and Al substitution
Group 71 - PHYLLOSILICATES Sheets of Six-Membered Rings
Sheets of 6-membered rings with 2:1 layers
Group 75 - TECTOSILICATES Si Tetrahedral Frameworks
Si Tetrahedral Frameworks - SiO2 with [4] coordinated Si
Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.
'Allanite Group'-{A12+REE3+}{M3+2M32+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
var: Sericite
var: Manganoan Siderite

List of minerals for each chemical element

H Allanite-(Ce){CaCe}{Al2Fe2+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
H Allanite Group{A12+REE3+}{M23+M32+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
H BertranditeBe4(Si2O7)(OH)2
H MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
H Muscovite (var: Sericite)KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Be BertranditeBe4(Si2O7)(OH)2
Be BerylBe3Al2(Si6O18)
Be PhenakiteBe2SiO4
C Siderite (var: Manganoan Siderite)(Fe,Mn)CO3
C SideriteFeCO3
O Allanite-(Ce){CaCe}{Al2Fe2+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
O Allanite Group{A12+REE3+}{M23+M32+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
O BertranditeBe4(Si2O7)(OH)2
O BerylBe3Al2(Si6O18)
O Siderite (var: Manganoan Siderite)(Fe,Mn)CO3
O MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
O PhenakiteBe2SiO4
O QuartzSiO2
O ScheeliteCa(WO4)
O Muscovite (var: Sericite)KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
O SideriteFeCO3
F FluoriteCaF2
Al Allanite-(Ce){CaCe}{Al2Fe2+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
Al BerylBe3Al2(Si6O18)
Al MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Al Muscovite (var: Sericite)KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Si Allanite-(Ce){CaCe}{Al2Fe2+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
Si Allanite Group{A12+REE3+}{M23+M32+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
Si BertranditeBe4(Si2O7)(OH)2
Si BerylBe3Al2(Si6O18)
Si MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Si PhenakiteBe2SiO4
Si QuartzSiO2
Si Muscovite (var: Sericite)KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
S PyriteFeS2
K MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
K Muscovite (var: Sericite)KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Ca Allanite-(Ce){CaCe}{Al2Fe2+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
Ca FluoriteCaF2
Ca ScheeliteCa(WO4)
Mn Siderite (var: Manganoan Siderite)(Fe,Mn)CO3
Fe Allanite-(Ce){CaCe}{Al2Fe2+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
Fe Siderite (var: Manganoan Siderite)(Fe,Mn)CO3
Fe PyriteFeS2
Fe SideriteFeCO3
Ce Allanite-(Ce){CaCe}{Al2Fe2+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
W ScheeliteCa(WO4)

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 Macrostrat.org

Quaternary - Miocene
0 - 23.03 Ma

ID: 3185380
Cenozoic sedimentary rocks

Age: Cenozoic (0 - 23.03 Ma)

Lithology: Sedimentary 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]

Early Cambrian - Neoproterozoic
511 - 1000 Ma

ID: 2387278
Prospect Mountain Quartzite

Age: Neoproterozoic to Cambrian (511 - 1000 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Prospect Mountain Quartzite

Description: The thick (1.5 km), resistant Early Cambrian Prospect Mountain Quartzite underlies a significant portion of the Wheeler Peak quadrangle, forming the jagged and rugged, glaciated crest of the range north of Pyramid Peak to Wheeler Peak. The Prospect Mountain Quartzite dips gently south and is well exposed in steep glacial cirques, cirque walls, and cliffs of the Southern Snake Range. The best exposure of the gradational upper contact of the Prospect Mountain Quartzite with the Pioche Shale is located on the ridge between Box and Dry Canyons north of Mt. Wheeler Mine. The top of the unit contains three or four thick layers of slope forming dark siltstone and silty shale that frequently give the top of the Prospect Mountain Quartzite a terraced appearance. A good frontal view of the main part of the unit can be seen in the cirque walls above the small glacier just to the north of Wheeler Peak. Here, the lower third to half of the formation consists of thickly bedded (.3-1.5 m) lighter colored, coarse grained quartzite, gritty to conglomeratic quartzose to feldspathic quartzite, while the upper part of the formation is somewhat thinner bedded and contains more horizons of dark silty quartzite and siltstone. In general, the Prospect Mountain Quartzite forms cliffs and talus slopes that weather rust-brown, tan, or purple. Whitebread (1969) estimates the thickness of the Prospect Mountain Quartzite as 1520 m. Due to the intruding Jurassic granite, only a partial thickness of 1250 m was measured along the ridge line south from Stella Lake in the Windy Peak quadrangle. Bedding thicknesses in the Prospect Mountain Quartzite are generally quite consistent, and the .3-1 m thick beds are ubiquitously cross- bedded, where cross-bedding is defined by dark laminations. Occasionally, soft sediment slumping of crossbeds is evident. In hand specimen, the quartzite is white to gray, well-sorted, medium to course- grained, and generally consists of 90-95% quartz, 5% feldspar, except for the more feldspathic horizons which can contain up to 25% feldspar. At the base, fine grained green intervals and purple siltstone intervals typical of the underlying Osceola Argillite are overlain by medium to coarse grained, crossbedded quartzite, gritty to conglomeratic quartzite and feldspathic quartzite. The Prospect Mountain Quartzite is distinguished from similar quartzite units in the underlying McCoy Creek Group by its general lack of pebble conglomerates (thin horizons are, however, occasionally present) and only rare pelitic intervals, by the abundance of cross-beds, and by the more regular bedding and total thickness of the unit as a whole. (OF93). Cpm (Early Cambrian Prospect Mountain Quartzite) on source map.

Reference: National Park Service Geologic Resources Evaluation program. Digital Geologic Map of Great Basin National Park and Vicinity, Nevada. National Park Service. [54]

Early Cambrian - Neoproterozoic
511 - 1000 Ma

ID: 2862826
Crossbedded quartzite, siltstone, and phyllite

Age: Neoproterozoic to Cambrian (511 - 1000 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Campito Formation; Deep Spring Formation; Harkless Formation; Poleta Formation; Reed Dolomite; Gold Hill Formation; Osgood Mountain Quartzite; Prospect Mountain Quartzite; Stirling Quartzite; Wood Canyon Formation; Zabriskie Quartzite

Description: These lowermost Cambrian to Precambrian strata are scattered over much of central and eastern Nevada and form the base of the Phanerozoic part of the continental margin stratigraphic section. They include the Campito, Deep Spring, Harkless, and Poleta Formations, and the Reed Dolomite in Esmeralda County; the Gold Hill Formation in northern Nye County; unnamed quartzite and shale in White Pine County; the Osgood Mountain quartzite in Humboldt County; the Prospect Mountain Quartzite in northern Nye, Lincoln, Eureka, and Elko Counties; unnamed quartzite and shale in Lander and Clark counties; and the Stirling Quartzite, Wood Canyon Formation, and Zabriskie Quartzite in southern Nye County. In a number of places, these rocks are depositional on Late Proterozoic unit Zqs. In southernmost Clark County, CZq is lying unconformably directly on Early Proterozoic gneiss (Xm). In the east-central part of Nevada, CZq is overlain depositionally by Cambrian carbonate (Cc) of the Carbonate shelf sequence. In the Nolan belt, these rocks are depositionally overlain by unit Ctd. In the Osgood Mountains in Humboldt County, Permian and Pennsylvanian rocks of the Siliciclastic overlap assemblage (PIPacl, Pacl) rest unconformably directly on the Osgood Mountain Quartzite.

Comments: Original map source: Crafford, A.E.J., 2007, Geologic Map of Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 249, 1 CD-ROM, 46 p., 1 plate; Scale 1:250,000.

Lithology: Major:{quartzite,siltstone,phyllite}, Minor:{shale,dolostone}

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]

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


Sort by

Year (asc) Year (desc) Author (A-Z) Author (Z-A)
Drewes, H., Palmer, A.R. (1957) Cambrian Rocks of Southern Snake Range, Nevada. American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin: 41(1): 104-120.
Drewes, H. (1958) Structural Geology of the Southern Snake Plains, Nevada. Geology Society of America Bulletin: 69(2): 221-240.
Stager, H.K. (1960) A New Beryllium Deposit at the Mount Wheeler Mine, White Pine County, Nevada, Chapter 33 in Short Papers in the Geological Sciences. USGS Professional Paper 400-B: B70-B71.
Havens, R., Nissen, W.I., Rosenbaum, J.B. (1961) Nevada, Beryllium Ore. U.S. Bureau of Mines Report of Investigation RI 5875: 14 pp.
Whitebread, D.H., Lee, D.E. (1961) Geology of the Mount Wheeler Mine Area, White Pine County, Nevada. Chapter 193 in Short Papers in the Geologic and Hydrologic Sciences, Articles 147-292. USGS Professional Paper 424-C: C120-C122.
Lee, D.E., Bastron, H. (1962) Allanite from the Mount Wheeler area, White Pine County, Nevada. American Mineralogist: 47: 1327-1331.
Lee, D.E., Erd, R.C. (1963) Phenakite from the Mount Wheeler area, Snake Range, White Pine County, Nevada. American Mineralogist: 48: 189-193.
Holmes, G.H., Jr. (1963) Beryllium Investigations in California and Nevada, 1959-1962, U.S. Bureau of Mines Information Circular IC 8158: 19 pp.
Havens, R., Nissen, W.I. (1964) Laboratory Continuous Flotation of Bertrandite and Phenacite from Mount Wheeler, Nevada, Beryllium Ores. U.S. Bureau of Mines Report of Investigation RI 6386: 18 pp.
Hose, R.K., Blake, M.C., Smith, R.M. (1976) Geology and Mineral Resources of White Pine County, Nevada. Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Bulletin 85: 105pp.
Whitebread, D.H. (1982) Geologic Map of the Wheeler Peak and Highland Ridge Further Planning Areas, White Pine County, Nevada. USGS Miscellaneous Field Studies Map, MF-1343-A, Scale 1:62,500.
Kluender, S.E. (1983) Mineral Investigation of the Wheeler Peak Roadless Area, White Pine County, Nevada. U.S. Bureau of Mines Open File Report OFR 56-83: Table 1, p. 22, Pl. 1.
Stager, H.K., Tingley, J.V. (1988) Tungsten Deposits in Nevada. Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Bulletin 105: 221.
Mineralogical Record (1989): 20: 70, 390.
Rocks & Minerals (1999): 74 (November).
USGS (2005), Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS): U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, loc. file ID #10174485.
Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, Minerals of Nevada, Special Publication 31.
U.S. Bureau of Mines, Minerals Availability System (MAS) file ID #0320330039.

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