Tooele County Gold Production
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WILLOW SPRINGS DISTRICT
The Willow Springs district is in the southern part of the Deep Creek Range in the southwestern corner of Tooele County. Through 1959 it produced about 11,650 ounces of gold, lead, silver, and some copper.
The district was organized in 1891, but for many years it made only a few small shipments of silver ore (Nolan, 1935a, p. 167). Its period of greatest activity was that of recorded production, 1934-50. The ore shipped during this period consisted of high-grade lead-silver and gold ores. The district was virtually idle from 1951 through 1959.
Metamorphic rocks of Precambrian age are the oldest exposed rocks. They are nonconformably overlain by the Goshute Canyon Formation of Precambrian or Cambrian age. Completing the Cambrian sequence are the Prospect Mountain Quartzite, Pioche Shale, Abercrombie Formation, Young Peak Dolomite, Trippe Limestone, Lamb Dolomite, Hicks Formation, and lower part of the Chokecherry Dolomite. The upper part of the Chokecherry Dolomite and the Fish Haven Dolomite represent the Ordo-vician System, and the Laketown Dolomite, the Silurian. Devonian formations exposed in the district are the Sevy Dolomite, Simonson Dolomite, and Guilmette Formation. In the northern part of the district, younger rocks, including the Woodman Formation, Ochre Mountain Limestone, Manning Canyon Formation of Mississippian age, and the Oquirrh Formation of Pennsylvanian age, are faulted against the lower Paleozoic units (Nolan, 1935a, pi. 1; Bick, 1959, p. 1065-1068). All the sedimentary formations are cut by faults that trend west or northwest and are deformed into a westward-tilted block by north-trending normal faults.
The ore deposits are in replacement veins and in bedded replacement deposits. The ores were probably completely oxidized at the surface and were rich in silver. Some of the vein ore examined by Nolan (1935a, p. 167-168) contained quartz, tetrahedrite, and galena.