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Lights Creek Copper deposits (Moonlight Mine; Sulfide Ridge deposits; Lights Canyon deposits), Moonlight Peak, Taylorsville District, Plumas Copper Belt, Plumas Co., California, USA

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A group of two former Cu-Au-Ag-Pb-Mo-Zn mines located in sec. 7, T27N, R11E, MDM, 5.5 km (3.4 miles) ESE of Moonlight Peak, near Lights Creek in the Genesee Valley, on patented claim (private) land. Part of the property is located in sec 17. Discovered in 1880. First production was 1914. Lessee/Operator: Starfield Resources, Inc. (100.00%), Toronto, Canada (2009). Lessor: California-Engels Mining Co. (0.00%), Greenville, CA (2009). Owner-Operator: Placer Amex (100.00%), California (1978). MRDS database stated accuracy for this location is 100 meters.

Mineralization is a porphyry Cu deposit (Deposit model: code 53; USGS model code 17; deposit model name: Porphyry Cu). The ore body is 180 meters thick, with a depth to top of 1 meter, width of 840 meters, and a length of 1,740 meters. Two types of ore body are present: disseminated massive and fissure vein. The primary mode of origin was magmatic emplacement while the secondary mode of origin was hydrothermal. Primary ore control was fracturing and the secondary control was lithology. There is moderate wall rock alteration (potassic). Local rocks include Mesozoic granitic rocks, unit 3 (Sierra Nevada, Death Valley area, Northern Mojave Desert and Transverse Ranges).

Mafics represent 11.00 volume percent (VP). Metallics represent 3.30 VP. The order of importance is as follows: chalcopyrite, bornite, covelite, chalcocite, malachite, azurite, chrysocolla and native copper. Primary gangue minerals in order of abundance: magnetite, hematite, and pyrite. Minor minerals include pyrrhotite, molybdenite, sphalerite, galena, siderite, dolomite, calcite, epidote, chlorite, actinolite, tetrahedrite, tennanite, and luzonite. Minor oxidation minerals include limonite, manganese oxides, malachite, azurite, chrysocolla, and native copper.

The Engles Mine in a shear zone and the Superior Mine in porphyry (copper porphyry). Sometime given as a joint name: Superior-Eagles Mine or Eagles-Superior Mine. Moonlight mine is a synonym for the joint names.

Workings include surface and underground openings. Mill was a flotation plant.

Reserve estimates in 2008 were 318,000,000 metric tons of ore.

Mineral List

Mineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities

60 entries listed. 35 valid minerals.

Localities in this Region


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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): 229.

Diller, J.S. (1903), Geology of the Taylorsville Region, California, Westwood sheet.

MacBoyle, E. (1918), Mines and Mineral Resources of Plumas Co. California Division of Mines and Geology, 16th Report of the State Mineralogist: 31-36, 55-59.

Averill, C.V. (1928), Mining Activity in Plumas County, California Division of Mines and Geology, 24th Report of the State Mineralogist: 271-278.

Knopf, Adolf & Charles A. Anderson (1930), The Engels copper deposits, California: Economic Geology: 25: 14-35; …Geol. Zentralbl., Band 42: 366 (1930).

Nelson, W.I. (1930), Mining Methods and Costs at the Engles Mine, Plumas County, California, U.S. Bureau of Mines Information Circular 6260, 23p.

Anderson, Charles A. (1931a), The geology of the Engels and Superior mines, Plumas Co., California, with a note on the ore deposits of the Superior mine: University of California, Department of Geological Science Bulletin: 20: 293-330.

Nelson, W.I. (1932), Mining Methods and Costs at the Superior Concentrator of the Engles Copper Mining Co., Plumas Co., California Bureau of Mines JC6550, 23 pp.

Gentry, G.G. (1952), Engle Mine, Plumas County, California; U.S. Bureau of Mines, DMEA Report 2161. 12p.

California Division of Mines and Geology (1960), Geologic Map of California, Westwood Sheet, 1960.

Murdoch, Joseph & Robert W. Webb (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 216.

Evernden, J.F. and Kistler, R.W. (1970), Chronology of emplacement of Mesozoic batholithic complexes in California and western Nevada; United States Geological Survey, Professional Paper 623, 42 p.

Moore, L. (1970), The Engles Copper Deposit; U.S. Bureau of Mines unpublished report.

Smith, A.R. (1970) Trace elements in the Plumas Copper Belt, Plumas County, California. California Division of Mines and Geology Special Report 103: 3-26.

Putnam, G.W. (1972), Basic Metal Distribution in Granitic Rocks, Data from the Lights Creek and Rocky Hill Stocks, California, Economic Geology: 67: 511-527.

Ingco, G. (1974), Situation Report - Lights Creek Copper Mine: U.S. Forest Service, Greenville Ranger District, Plumas National Forest 71p.

Putnam, G.W. (1975), Basic Metal Distribution in Granitic Rocks, Three Dimentional Variation in the Lights Creek Stock, California; Economic Geology: 70: 1225-1241.

Storey, L.O. (1976), Geology and Mineralization of the Lights Creek Stock, Plumas County, California; Paper given at the Porphyry Copper Symposium, Tucson, Arizona, 1976, 17p.

Anonymous (1976), Porphyry Prospectors Learn How to Find Big Bodies at Arizona Geology Symposium. World Mining: 29(6): 44-45.

Storey, L.O. (1977), Written Communication to the Senior Geologist, Placer AMEX.

Economic Geology (1977): 72: 796-803.

Hillman, C.T. and Schumacher, O. (1978), Lights Creek Copper Deposit, Plumas County, California, U.S. Bureau of Mines MAS Deposit Report: 40 p.

Storey, L.O. (1978), Geology and mineralization of the Lights Creek Stock, Plumas County, California; Arizona Geological Society Digest, Volume 11, p. 49-58.

USGS (2005), Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS): U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, loc. file ID #10261965 & 10034127.

Singer, D.A., Berger, V.I., and Moring, B.C. (2008): Porphyry copper deposits of the world: Database and grade and tonnage models, 2008, US Geological Survey Open-File Report 2008-1155.

U.S. Bureau of Mines, Minerals Availability System (MAS) file ID #0060630363.

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