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    Olinghouse Gold

    The Olinghouse District, in northwestern Nevada, was first discovered in the early 1860's during the beginning of the earliest Comstock boom. At that time only surface prospecting and small-scale underground mining was done.

    Serious work did not begin until early 1900s and in 1906 a railroad track was built to Wadsworth. Unfortunately, at about the same time the district started a major decline in production and, one by one, all of the larger mines closed. Some smaller-scale gold, copper, and tungsten mining continued through 1930s but after that commercial mining ceased.
    Fine Gold wire nest specimen from the Olinghouse Mining District in NW Nevada Fine Gold wire nest specimen from the Olinghouse Mining District in NW Nevada

    Click here for larger photos

    A renewed interest was sparked in the area in 1997 with the advent of bulk-mineable heap leaching. When Phelps Dodge (a well known copper mining company) was unable to find sufficient reserves the property was picked up by Alta Gold Company. During 1999 and 2000 the property yielded about 30.000 ounces of gold. Then disaster hit, gold prices dropped, and Alta Gold went bankrupt. With less than a day's notice operations permanently shut down and the property has now reverted to the former owners who are embroiled in lengthy court battles.

    During Alta Gold's operations, very fine, unusual gold wire 'nests' were discovered at the 813 pit. Over 800 specimens of these beautifully complex pieces were removed and carefully preserved for mineral collectors.

    The photos you see above are of just one of them. We were in the right place at the right time when the owner brought it in to our local expert and mentor, Mike Anderson at The Blue Opal.

    Thanks Mike for the great pictures!

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