Jefferson County Montana Gold Production
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The Tizer (Wilson Creek) district is about 20 miles southeast of Helena, immediately northeast of the Elkhorn district.
Two lode mines in this district - the Callahan and Center Reef - have produced a total of 9,536 ounces of gold (Klepper and others, 1957, p. 72-73). Klepper (written commun., 1962) estimated that other lodes in this district produced about 500 ounces of gold and that placers along Wilson and Crow Creeks produced between 500 and 1,000 ounces - a total of roughly 10,500 ounces. The Callahan property was productive as recently as 1951, but no activity was reported from 1952 through 1959.
At the Callahan mine, the ore deposits are in narrow veins in andesitic extrusive rocks of Late Cretaceous age. The veins, which are as much as 6 feet thick, consist of pyritic andesite and quartz with sparse pyrite, galena, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, and specks of gold and tetrahedrite(?).
The country rock at the Center Reef mine is similar to that at the Callahan. The ore is in a narrow vein with mineralogy similar to that of the Callahan deposit (Klepper and others, 1957, p. 72-73).
Located on the south end of Bull Mountain in the south-central part of the county, the Whitehall (Cardwell) district has produced lode gold, silver, and lead.
The chief mine, the Golden Sunlight, was opened in 1890 and was operated almost continuously until 1957 (Roby and others, 1960, p. 82-83). Roughly three-quarters of the recorded gold production of 71,850 ounces between 1902 and 1957 came from this mine. Production of the Golden Sunlight from 1890 to 1910 was $1% million in gold and silver (Roby and others, 1960, p. 83). Total gold production of the district through 1959 was at least 100,000 ounces.
The rocks of the district are shales, sandstones, and sandy limestones of the Precambrian Belt Series conformably overlain by a thick sequence of Paleozoic rocks, mainly limestone. The sedimentary rocks are intruded by quartz porphyry, andesite, and basalt dikes. The ore occurs in veins in the sedimentary rocks and in the porphyry. The ore contains auriferous pyrite, galena, and sphalerite in a quartz gangue (Winchell, 1914a, p. 97-99).