The chief oxide-burgin area discoveries, East Tintic district, Utah; A case history

Economic Geology
By: , and 



In 1955 exploration for base and precious metals was undertaken by Bear Creek Mining Company immediately north of the Main Tintic districtUtah. During the course of this work Bear Creek became interested in the East Tintic district, primarily as a result of the activities of the U.S. Geological Survey in that area. Data published on the East Tintic district by the Survey and others were studied and map data made available from various mining companies were compiled. Preliminary economic studies were made to determine the present day value of the type of ore body discovered previously in the district. Encouraging results from these investigations led to the selection of specific targets for exploration. Recommendations for a project program were made and approved. Negotiations were successfully concluded in mid-1956 for a unit lease agreement on lands in the East Tintic district owned by the Tintic Standard and Chief Consolidated mining companies and their subsidiaries. Of the targets selected for exploration, the Chief Oxide area seemed to be one of the most prominent. Our preliminary work in the Chief Oxide area corroborated the findings of the U.S. Geological Survey described in Part I of this paper. After careful consideration it was decided to gamble the cost of an exploration shaft in this area for the purpose of providing an underground drilling platform. We also hoped by means of underground workings to establish the existence and nature of the postulated fault. A limited amount of surface drilling was done prior to shaft sinking in order to locate a shaft site and also to obtain additional information of subvolcanic structure and alteration. Underground exploration in the Chief Oxide area was started in January, 1957. The Burgin shaft was sunk to a depth of 1,100 feet and by August, 1959, lateral development on the 1050 level totaled 4,721 feet and underground diamond drilling totaled 15,480 feet. Results of the work done to date are as follows: (a) Identification of the sedimentary rock section and an interpretation of the structure in the Burgin mine area. (b) Discovery by penetration of the previously postulated East Tintic thrust fault. (c) Discovery of large zones of manganese oxides and carbonates, which were found to be closely related to silver-lead-zinc mineralization. (d) Discovery of ore-grade lead-zinc mineralization within the footwall rocks of the East Tintic thrust. (e) Discovery of high-grade silver-lead ore within the thrust zone. Insofar as ore localization is concerned the most important structural feature in the Burgin mine area is the East Tintic thrust fault-a fact that opens up new ore potential over a large part of the East Tintic district not previously explored. Although the discoveries to date must be attributed essentially to the application of geology to exploration, the tools of geochemical prospecting and geophysics were also used, and the geochemical work, in particular, was found to be a definite aid in the selection of areas for further exploration.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The chief oxide-burgin area discoveries, East Tintic district, Utah; A case history
Series title Economic Geology
DOI 10.2113/gsecongeo.55.7.1507
Volume 55
Issue 7
Year Published 1960
Language English
Publisher Society of Economic Geologists
Description 34 p.
First page 1507
Last page 1540
Country United States
State Utah
Other Geospatial east Tintic Mountains
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