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Oro Y Plata Mine (Oro-Plata Extension Mine; Red Wing Willard Mine; Pay Rock Mine; Silver Star Mine; Blue Wing Mine), Murphys, Murphys District (Esmeralda District; Sperry District), East Belt, Calaveras Co., California, USA

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A former Au-Cu-Pb-Ag-Sn-Hg-Zn-Sb mine located in secs. 5 & 6, T3N, R14E, MDM, about 1 km NW of Murphys. Owned by Mary Bess Norton (1962). MRDS database stated accuracy for this location is 100 meters. In 1962, an adit for tourist attraction was being developed .

Mineralization is a vein deposit hosted in limestone and diorite. The principal veins are the Red Wing, Oro Plata, Blue Wing and White Wing, on the contact between several NW-trending diorite bodies in limestone. The Red Wing vein strikes N85W and dips N and may be a mineralized dike, 100 feet thick with lenses of quartz asnd igneous rocks interspersed with gouge. The Oro Plata vein, N of the Red Wing vein, lies between diek rock and limestone, strikes N85W and dips vertically. The Blue Wing vein to the S branches from the Red Wing vein with limestone walls, strikes N75E and dips 75SE, and has two ore shoots. The E shoot is 8 to 10 feet thick at a width of 75 feet. The W shoot is 2.5 feet thick and 160 feet wide. The North branch of the Blue Wing vein strikes N85W and has a dip of either vertical or slightly to the NE and parallels the Red Wing vein. Two parallel pay rocvk veins occur in limestone N of the Red Wing, striking N78W and dupping SW at 2 fet thick. The White Wing vein, S of the Blue Wing, strikes N85W and dips 54NE. The recrystallized limestone and dolomite form lenses. Local alteration involved the mineralized of the network of igneous rocks. Mostly low grade Au ore on the N side of the hill, pay rock and Oro Plata veins consist mainly of galena, with Ag:Au = 6:1, while ore from the S side of the hill, the Blue Wing vein, has tetrahedrite with no galena and a an Ag:Au = 1:1. Stibnite hosting minor amounts of gold and silver has occasionally been found in the veins. Local rocks include limestone of probable Paleozoic or Mesozoic age.

Workings include surface and underground openings with an overall depth of 96.62 meters and comprised of open cuts, adits, a glory hole and a number of shafts at 286 feet and 317 feet deep, with drifts.

Production data are found in: Logan, Clarence August and Franke, H. (1936), and Clark, Wm. B. & P.A. Lydon (1962).

At the 1888 closing, ore was mostly low grade. The ore varies from 0.25 to 1.10 ounces/ton Au.

Mineral List

6 entries listed. 6 valid minerals.

The above list 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.


Mining and Scientific Press (1867), (4/13/1867): 230.

Mining and Scientific Press (1885), (1/3/1885): 8.

Morse (1887): 35-42.

Crawford, James John (1894), Twelfth report of the State Mineralogist: California Mining Bureau. (Report 12): 12: 96, 99.

Crawford, James John (1896), Thirteenth report of the State Mineralogist: California Mining Bureau. (Report 13).

Turner, Henry Ward & F.L. Ransome (1898), Description of the gold belt; description of the Big Trees sheet, California: USGS Geol. Atlas, Big Trees folio (No. 51), 8 pp.: 6.

Kerr, M.B. (1900), Register of Mines and Minerals, County of Calaveras, California, California Mines Bureau, 27 pp.

Tucker, W. Burling (1916), Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne Counties: California Journal of Mines and Geology, California Mining Bureau. (Report 14): 14: 1-172; […(abstract): Geol. Zentralbl., Band 27: 396 (1922)]: 100.

Logan, Clarence August and Franke, H. (1936), Mines and Mineral Resources of Calaveras Co.: California Division of Mines, California Journal of Mines & Geology (Report 32): 32(3): 278, 279, 280, 315.

Julihn, C.E. (1938): 124-126.

Goodwin, Joseph Grant (1957) Lead and zinc in California. California Journal of Mines and Geology, Division of Mines: 53(3&4): 434.

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]: 29, 65, 128, 172.

Murdoch, Joseph & Robert W. Webb (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 349, 363.

Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California; Van Nostrand Reinholt Press: 127, 133.

USGS (2005), Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS): U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, loc. file ID #10040656 & 10259792.

U.S. Bureau of Mines, Minerals Availability System (MAS) file ID #0060090960.

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