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Bell Mountain mine, Bell Mountain District, Churchill Co., Nevada, USAi
Regional Level Types
Bell Mountain mineMine
Bell Mountain DistrictMining District
Churchill Co.County

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 39° 10' 48'' North , 118° 7' 55'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 39.18003,-118.13212
GeoHash:G#: 9qgyzudb4
USGS MRDS Record:10310500
Locality type:Mine
Köppen climate type:BWk : Cold desert climate
Nearest Settlements:
Gabbs269 (2011)39.1km

Structure: Ne-striking faults, dipping south.

Alteration: Wallrock alteration consists of silicification, chloritization, and sericitization adjacent to veins.

Commodity: Ore Materials: electrum, ARGENTITE, native silver, cerargyrite, acanthite, copper sulfides, lead sulfides Gangue Materials: MANGANESE oxides, adularia, barite, fluorite,rhodochrosite, montmorillonite

Deposit: Silver and gold mineralization occur within a massive east-trending manganiferous calcite vein (the Stockton vein) which cuts Tertiary rhyolitic tuffs and is associated with a fault with orientation N70E, 50S. Much of the calcite in the vein has been replaced by quartz. The ore is irregularly distributed but tends to occur in narrow streaks or bands. The vein averages more than 30 feet in width and crops out intermittently on the surface for nearly a mile. It is a compound structure with a calcite-cemented breccia of volcanic rocks near the footwall and banded, somewhat brecciated calcite in the central part. Ore grade mineralization is associated with manganese oxide staining. Drilling by previous operators identified gold-silver mineralization in a stockwork of quartz-calcite veins along sections of the mile-long Stockton vein. The ore is postulated to be hypogene in origin, deposited by magmatic fluids. Reserves reported in 1982 occurred along a 1000-ft segment of the vein and along a cross-structure, the Sphinx Zone. The vein is thoroughly crushed and oxidized to the depths that it has been explored. Main hypogene ore minerals are electrum and argentite with supergene native silver, cerargyrite, and acanthite. Sulfides and sulfosalts have been completely leached from the vein leaving ocherous limonite. Brecciation has destroyed much of the original vein structure, but some comb and cockade structure, banding and crustification remain.

Deposit type: Epithermal vein, Comstock

Development: Mineralization was first noted about 1905. Claims were located on the calcite-quartz vein at the Bell Mountain Mine in 1914, followed by a decade of underground development of the vein. The mine produced in the 1920s. Renewed exploration in the 1970s resulted in the discovery of a bulk-mineable deposit about 1980. The Bell Mountain mine was scheduled to go into production in the fall of 1981, but low silver prices placed the project on the inactive list. In 1985, Alhambra mines was developing the property jointly with Nevada Silver, Inc. and planned to install a heap leach operation. In 1989 Inland Gold and Silver Corp. announced a 50-50 agreement with N.A. Degerstrom to develop and mine the property as an open pit, heap leach operation scheduled to begin production in 1990. The property has continued to receive exploration attention since that time. In 1994, Globex Mining optioned the property and planned additional drilling. During the autumn of 1997, Ecu Gold Mining Company Inc. announced plans to continue to drill-test the eastern extension of the Varga Zone of the Bell Mountain Project, the most recent drill hole having yielded 0.025 opt Au and 0.409 opt Ag over 175 feet. The goal is to define resources greater than 10 million tons of ore grading more than 0.044 opt equivalent gold for open pit mining and to carry out a feasibility study for a mine producing 30,000 ounces per year. (following from Globex web site 6/2002) The property was originally staked in 1914. In 1918, Tonopah Mining Co. conducted underground development and sampling with some additional sampling conducted in 1948. A 270-metre long adit was driven in the 1970's. In 1978, Bell Mountain Mining Co., a subsidiary of American Pyramid Resources Inc., did a substantial underground sampling program including driving the 180-metre Varga adit along the Stockton Vein (Spurr). A comprehensive feasibility study was completed in 1981, which returned positive metallurgical test results. In 1984, Santa Fe Mining Co. drilled 51 reverse circulation holes principally in the Varga area and ten holes in the Sphinx area. Between 1988 and 1993, N.A. Degerstrom drilled 104 holes, completed a technical feasibility study and permitted the property for open-pit mining and heap leaching. In 1996, ECU Inc. completed a first phase drill program on the Bell Mountain property. ECU drilled five holes in three zones for 2,388 feet. Best results were returned by hole 96-5 which hit a 189 foot-long mineralized interval of 0.03 oz/T gold equivalent (Au+Ag), which included a section grading 0.058 oz/T gold equivalent over a length of 82 feet. Additional drilling was planned to follow-up these results, but, never completed Bell Mountain Gold Deposit, Churchill County, Nevada Globex owns 100% interest in a gold bearing epithermal quartz-adularia vein system situated 39 miles southeast of Fallon. Extensive reverse circulation and diamond drilling has outlined an oxidized, open pittable, resource of 2,100,000 tons grading 0.04 oz/ton gold and 1.20 oz/silver. Drilling in 1996 intersected up to 189 feet grading 0.025 oz/ton gold and 0.41 oz/ton Ag including 82 feet of 0.051 oz/ton Au and 0.60 oz/ton Ag (ECU Gold Mining Inc., 1997). Previous work has included extensive metallurgical and environmental studies, diamond drilling, drifting and underground sampling and a pre-feasibility study. The deposit is amenable to processing by inexpensive heap leach methods. Bell Mountain Property. In 2004, Globex Mining Enterprises Inc. optioned its Bell Mountain gold property to Platte River Gold (U.S.) Inc., and Platte River Gold has started surface and underground mapping and sampling in the area of the known low grade gold and silver resource.

Geology: Wallrock is a Tertiary lithic-rich rhyolitic ignimbrite commonly exposed in the area.

Ore(s): Ore formation was controlled by a fault that strikes N70E, dipping 50S.

Regions containing this locality

North America PlateTectonic Plate

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Standard Detailed Strunz Dana Chemical Elements

Commodity List

This is a list of exploitable or exploited mineral commodities recorded at this locality.

Mineral List

9 valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

Note: this is a very new system on and data is currently VERY limited. Please bear with us while we work towards adding this information!

Select Rock List Type

Alphabetical List Tree Diagram

Detailed Mineral List:

Formula: Ag2S
Reference: U.S. Geological Survey (2005) Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
Formula: BaSO4
Reference: U.S. Geological Survey (2005) Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
Formula: CaCO3
Reference: NBMG Bull 83 Geology and Mineral Deposits of Churchill County, Nevada
Formula: AgCl
Reference: U.S. Geological Survey (2005) Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
Formula: (Au, Ag)
Reference: U.S. Geological Survey (2005) Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
Formula: CaF2
Reference: U.S. Geological Survey (2005) Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
'K Feldspar var: Adularia'
Formula: KAlSi3O8
Reference: U.S. Geological Survey (2005) Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
Formula: (Na,Ca)0.33(Al,Mg)2(Si4O10)(OH)2 · nH2O
Reference: U.S. Geological Survey (2005) Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
Formula: SiO2
Reference: NBMG Bull 83 Geology and Mineral Deposits of Churchill County, Nevada
Formula: MnCO3
Reference: U.S. Geological Survey (2005) Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
Formula: Ag
Reference: U.S. Geological Survey (2005) Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.

List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification

Group 1 - Elements
'Electrum'1.AA.05(Au, Ag)
Group 2 - Sulphides and Sulfosalts
Group 3 - Halides
Group 4 - Oxides and Hydroxides
Group 5 - Nitrates and Carbonates
Group 7 - Sulphates, Chromates, Molybdates and Tungstates
Group 9 - Silicates
Montmorillonite9.EC.40(Na,Ca)0.33(Al,Mg)2(Si4O10)(OH)2 · nH2O
Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.
'K Feldspar
var: Adularia'

List of minerals arranged by Dana 8th Edition classification

Metals, other than the Platinum Group
Group 2 - SULFIDES
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 2:1
Group 71 - PHYLLOSILICATES Sheets of Six-Membered Rings
Sheets of 6-membered rings with 2:1 clays
Montmorillonite71.3.1a.2(Na,Ca)0.33(Al,Mg)2(Si4O10)(OH)2 · nH2O
Group 75 - TECTOSILICATES Si Tetrahedral Frameworks
Si Tetrahedral Frameworks - SiO2 with [4] coordinated Si
Unclassified Minerals, Mixtures, etc.
'Electrum'-(Au, Ag)
'K Feldspar
var: Adularia'

List of minerals for each chemical element

H Montmorillonite(Na,Ca)0.33(Al,Mg)2(Si4O10)(OH)2 · nH2O
C CalciteCaCO3
C RhodochrositeMnCO3
O QuartzSiO2
O CalciteCaCO3
O K Feldspar (var: Adularia)KAlSi3O8
O BaryteBaSO4
O RhodochrositeMnCO3
O Montmorillonite(Na,Ca)0.33(Al,Mg)2(Si4O10)(OH)2 · nH2O
F FluoriteCaF2
Na Montmorillonite(Na,Ca)0.33(Al,Mg)2(Si4O10)(OH)2 · nH2O
Mg Montmorillonite(Na,Ca)0.33(Al,Mg)2(Si4O10)(OH)2 · nH2O
Al K Feldspar (var: Adularia)KAlSi3O8
Al Montmorillonite(Na,Ca)0.33(Al,Mg)2(Si4O10)(OH)2 · nH2O
Si QuartzSiO2
Si K Feldspar (var: Adularia)KAlSi3O8
Si Montmorillonite(Na,Ca)0.33(Al,Mg)2(Si4O10)(OH)2 · nH2O
S AcanthiteAg2S
S BaryteBaSO4
Cl ChlorargyriteAgCl
K K Feldspar (var: Adularia)KAlSi3O8
Ca CalciteCaCO3
Ca FluoriteCaF2
Ca Montmorillonite(Na,Ca)0.33(Al,Mg)2(Si4O10)(OH)2 · nH2O
Mn RhodochrositeMnCO3
Ag Electrum(Au, Ag)
Ag AcanthiteAg2S
Ag SilverAg
Ag ChlorargyriteAgCl
Ba BaryteBaSO4
Au Electrum(Au, Ag)

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

2.588 - 23.03 Ma

ID: 3186305
Cenozoic volcanic rocks

Age: Neogene (2.588 - 23.03 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Columbia River Basalt

Comments: Columbia Plateau

Lithology: Flood basalt(s); mafic volcanic rocks; basalt

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 Miocene - Oligocene
15.97 - 33.9 Ma

ID: 3023535
Intermediate silicic ash flow tuff

Age: Cenozoic (15.97 - 33.9 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Bates Mountain Tuff; Caetano Tuff; Edwards Creek Tuff; New Pass Tuff; Fish Creek Mountains Tuff; Fraction Tuff; Pancake Summit Tuff; Northumberland Tuff; Shingle Pass Tuff; Darrough Felsite

Description: Welded and nonwelded silicic ash flow tuffs. Aside from alluvium, this unit covers more of Nevada than any other rock, with over 4,000 polygons representing it on this map. It is principally exposed in the central regions of the State. It locally includes thin units of air fall tuff and sedimentary rocks. It includes rocks mapped on the Washoe South, Lyon, Douglas, and Carson Counties maps as the Hartford Hill Rhyolite Tuff (now abandoned); on the Nye South map as the tuff of White Blotch Spring, the tuffs of Antelope Springs, and the tuff of Monotony Valley; in Lander County it is mapped as the Bates Mountain Tuff, Caetano Tuff, Edwards Creek Tuff, New Pass Tuff, tuff of Hall Creek, and the tuff of McCoy Mine; in Lander and Pershing Counties it is the Fish Creek Mountains Tuff; on both of the Nye County maps it is the Fraction Tuff; it also includes the Pancake Summit Tuff, Northumberland Tuff, Shingle Pass Tuff, some outcrops of Darrough Felsite shown to be Tertiary (other outcrops have been shown to be Mesozoic or Paleozoic), tuffs of Moores station, tuffs of Peavine Canyon, tuffs of the Pancake caldera complex, the Stone Cabin Formation, tuff of Saulsbury Wash, tuff of Kiln Canyon, the Tonopah Formation, tuffs of Hannapah, tuff of Bald Mountain, the Needles Range Formation, and the Calloway Well Formation on the Nye North map; in Esmeralda County it is the Kendall Tuff and latite; and in northern Nye and Lander Counties it is the Toiyabe Quartz Latite (now abandoned), and other unnamed units. It corresponds to unit Tt2 on the 1978 State map. It crops out in every county except Clark.

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:{felsic volcanic}, Minor:{sedimentary}

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, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License


Sort by

Year (asc) Year (desc) Author (A-Z) Author (Z-A)
Willden, Ronald, and Speed, R.C., (1977), Geology and Mineral Deposits of Churchill County: NBMG Bull 83
State Inspector of Mines, (1981), Directory of Nevada mining operations active during calendar year 1980
Shamberger, H.A., (1973), The Story of Fairview; Historic Mining Camps of Nevada
Bonham, H.F., (1986), NBMG Map 91
Bonham, H.F., (1988), in NBMG MI-1987
NBMG, (1994), MI-1993
NBMG, (1995), MI-1994
NBMG, (1998), MI-1997
Johnson, Joseph L., (editor), (1984), Precious metal districts in west-central Nevada; road log/field trip guidebook: Field trip 4; Candelaria Mine, Goldfield District, Tonopah District, and Bell Mountain Mine in Exploration for ore deposits of the North American Cordillera, Assoc. Explor. Geochemists, FT4, p.11.
Long, K.R., DeYoung, J.H., Jr., and Ludington, S.D., (1998), Significant deposits of gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc in the United States: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 90-206A, 33 p.; 98-206B. one 3.5 inch diskette.
Schrader, F.C., Unpublished report on the Carson Sink area, Nevada, (1947), NBMG Files
Carpenter, E.E., (1916), Unpublished report and correspondence, File 7, Items 14,15.

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