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Great Divide Mine, Argus Peak, Argus Mts (Argus Range), Inyo Co., California, USA

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A former Au-Fe-Cu mine located in sec. 12, T23S, R42E, MDM, 4.5 km (2.8 miles) NNW of Argus Peak (coordinates of record) (approximately 1.7 miles SW of Quail Spring; approximately 2.8 miles SW of the Ruth Mine; and approximately 2.5 miles SE of Birchum Springs), on military reservation land (China Lake Naval Ordnance Test Station). Discovered in 1940 by Mr. John B. Hovis. MRDS database stated accuracy for this location is 250 meters. NOTE: MRDS file #10095285 places this locality in sec. 33. This claim was bought by the Naval base (NOTS 466) as part of the Great Divide owned by Earle C. Washmuth.

Site is accessed from the intersection of Mountain Springs Canyon, unction Ranch, and Birchum Springs Roads. Head S along Birchum Springs Road, keeping right, for approximately 4 miles, then head SE along Moscow Springs Road approximately 1 mile and then NE approximately 5 miles (0.5 mile ??) to the Ruby Lode Mine Road. The shaft is at the end of the road, approximately 0.5 mile. The road leading to the Little Star prospect can be seen from this road as a trail heading across a saddle inn the ridge to the E.

Mineralization is a vein deposit hosted in quartz diorite. The ore body strikes N39W and dips 64SW at a width of 1.22 meters and a length of 15.24 meters. Controls for ore emplacement included a shear zone.

No quartz is visible on the far side of the draw. This implies that the vein is cut off to the N by a NW-trending fault. The quartz outcrop is not traceable NE across the draw. It parallels an aplite dike outcropping along the ridge to the immediate W.

The deposit is massive quartz with iron staining and occasional blebs of specular hematite. The vein outcrops along a ridge, treading N32E and is paralleled by a ridge to the W with aplite outcroppings. The area is difficult to reach. Sampling of the high-grade pile revealed quartz containing minor amounts of limonite, chalcopyrite (?) and chrysocolla. Local rocks include Mesozoic granitic rocks, unit 3 (Sierra Nevada, Death Valley area, Northern Mojave Desert and Transverse Ranges).
Workings include underground openings with an overall depth of 3.66 meters. The shaft is inclined at approximately 75W and looks as though it opens up approximately 10 feet into the shaft. Possibly a second level as indicated by a change in dip of a 3 inch galvanized air line. Workings are unsafe. A wooden platform with a hoist above the shaft is badly decayed. The sets are in fair shape. It appears as if there has been a small cave-in approximately 12 feet into the shaft (½ cubic yard of material). The dump contains approximately 20 cubic yards of material. 2 small test its were dug along the blocky quartz outcropping.

Mineral List

4 entries listed. 2 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.


Sprouse, D., Atienza Moore, T.M. - Field investigations, Naval Weapons Center, 04/8.

USGS (2005), Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS): U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, loc. file ID #10036258 & 10095285.

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