Cactus Queen Mine
Location In Kern County south west of Mojave on Tehachapi Willow Spring Road. 34 57.45n 118 17.24w Willow Springs Quad
Mineral gold silver
History The Cactus Queen Mine is located on the southwest slope of Middle Buttes, 10 miles southwest of Mojave in the southern half of Sec. 17, T. 10 N., R. 13 W. (fig. 4). Gold was discovered at the Cactus Queen Mine site in 1934, and shortly after, Clifford Burton purchased the property and sold it to Cactus Mines Co. Ore was initially mined in a quartz vein occurring in dacite that strikes N. 45° E. and dips 35° SE with a width of about 16 ft (Julihn and Horton, 1937). Very fine free gold occurs in the quartz vein, along with finely disseminated cerargyrite.
. The mine operated from 1935 until WWII when underground
mine operations were shut down by the War Production Board. During this period
230,000 tons of ore with an average 0.35 ounces per ton of gold and 10 ounces
per ton of silver were mined, resulting in a total production of 92,000 ounces
of Au and 2,300,700 ounces of Ag (Terra-Gen Power, 2009). Some of the ore
extracted at the Cactus Queen mine was hauled to the Tropico Mill for processing
(Julihn and Horton, 1937).
In 1986, Cactus Gold Mines Co. began open-pit mining combined with heap leaching in the Middle Buttes area. Open-pit mining ceased in 1992, but heap leaching of stockpiled ore continued through 1996. Total production during this period was about 400,000 ounces of gold and 3,000,000 ounces of silver (Terra-Gen Power, 2009). The ores contained a significant amount of mercury (Hg) in the mineral corderoite and Hg was recovered as a byproduct (Blaske and others, 1991). Subsequent exploratory drilling in 1997 by Summo Minerals Corp. discovered an additional gold resource, which may contain as much as 600,000 additional ounces of gold; however, no further mining has occurred at the mine (Terra-Gen Power, 2009).
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