The Vienna mineralized area of south-central Idaho was an important silver-lead-producing district in the late 1800s and has intermittently produced lead, silver, zinc, copper, and gold since that time. The district is underlain by biotite granodiorite of the Cretaceous Idaho batholith, and all mineral deposits are hosted by the biotite granodiorite. The granodiorite intrudes Paleozoic sedimentary rocks of the Sun Valley Group, is overlain by rocks of the Eocene Challis Volcanic Group, and is cut by numerous northeast-trending Eocene faults and dikes. Two mineralogically and texturally distinct vein types are present in a northwest- and east-trending conjugate shear-zone system. The shear zones postdate granodiorite emplacement and joint formation, but predate Eocene fault and dike formation. Ribbon veins consist of alternating bands of massive vein quartz and silver-sulfide (proustite and pyrargyrite) mineral stringers. The ribbon veins were sheared and brecciated during multiple phases of injection of mineralizing fluids. A quartz-sericite-pyrite-galena vein system was subsequently emplaced in the brecciated shear zones. Both vein systems are believed to be the product of mesothermal, multiphase mineralization. K-Ar dating of shear-zone sericite indicates that sericitization occurred at 80.7?2.8 Ma; thus mineralization in the Vienna mineralized area probably is Late Cretaceous in age.
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USGS Numbered Series
Geology of the Vienna Mineralized Area, Blaine and Camas Counties, Idaho