Pitchblende has been mined in commercial quantities from four gold- and silver-bearing pyrite-sphalerite-galena veins that occur in an area about one-half mile square on the south side of Quartz Hill, Central City district, Gilpin County, Colo. These veins are the Kirk, the German-Belcher, the Wood, and the Calhoun. Two of these veins, the Wood and the Calhoun, were studied in an attempt to determine the geologic factors favorable for pitchblende deposition. All accessible workings at the Wood and East Calhoun mines were mapped by tape and compass, and the distribution of radioactivity was studied in the field. Channel and chip samples were taken for chemical assay to compare radioactivity with uranium content. The pitchblende-bearing veins cat both pre-Cambrian granite gneiss and quartz-biotite schist; however, the gneiss was the more favorable host rock. Two bostonite porphyry dikes of Tertiary(?) age were crosscut by the Wood and Calhoun veins. The pitchblende occurs in lenses erratically distributed along the veins and in stringers extending outward from the veins. In the lenses it forms hard'.
masses, but elsewhere it is Soft and powdery. The pitchblende is contemporaneous with the pyrite bat earlier than the sphalerite and galena in the same vein. All the observed pitchblende was at depths of less than 400 ft. The veins probably cannot be mined profitably for the pitchblende alone under present conditions.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Pitchblende deposits at the Wood and Calhoun mines, Central City mining district, Gilpin County, Colorado
[U.S. Geological Survey],
8 p. :maps (1 fold. in pocket) diagrs. (2 in pocket) ;27cm.