Development for Sublevel Open Stoping at the Carr Fork Mine

McArthur, George
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 7
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1982
GEOLOGY One of the largest copper resources in North America occurs in the Bingham mining district, located 40 km (25 miles) southwest of Salt Lake City, UT. Anaconda's present contribution to the development of this resource is the Carr Fork mine. (Fig. 1, Bingham district plan map.) The Carr Fork story began about 300 million years ago when a thick sequence of sedimentary quartzite and limestone was deposited in the Oquirrh Basin. Subsequent earth stresses formed a series of west-northwest-trending overturned anticlines and synclines that were later offset by northwest-striking thrust faults and northeast-trending normal faults. (Fig. 2, Bingham district cross section.) About 38 million years ago the Bingham stock was intruded into some of the folds, resulting in the formation of porphyry ore in the intrusive, and fissure, replacement, and skarn ore deposits in the sediments. The Carr Fork skarns were formed preferentially in two limestone units, called the Yampa and Highland Boy, which average about 46 m (150 ft) in thickness, separated by about 76 m (250 ft) of quartzite. Copper mineralization consists almost entirely of chalcopyrite associated with pyrite and molybdenite in a gangue of garnet, diopside, magnetite, quartz, and carbonate. Molybdenum, gold, and silver are economic byproducts. (Figs. 3 and 4, indicated ore in plan and section.) EXPLORATION HISTORY The West Mountain mining district, of which Carr Fork is a part, was organized in 1863, after leaf-silver ore was discovered in the Carr Fork of Bingham Canyon. However, it was not until 1873, when the Bingham and Camp Floyd railroad to the town of Bingham was completed, that the mining camp flourished. Many small mining companies in the district were reduced, often through consolidation. By 1937 only the National Tunnel and Mines Co. was active in the Carr Fork area. In 1948 it declared bankruptcy, and was later purchased by The Anaconda Co. Anaconda conducted geologic investigations in the Bingham district until 1968, when a concerted diamond drilling program was initiated to fully evaluate the geologic potential of the Carr Fork area. The exploration program commenced with one diamond drill, but was enlarged to three drills following discovery of the first major ore intercept. Near completion of the exploration effort, large oil well rotary drills were used to drill to depths of 762 to 914 m (2500 to 3000 ft), after which the holes were completed by standard diamond drilling techniques. All holes were collared vertically, but considerable deviation occurred because of structure and rock conditions. Wedging and directional drilling were used to keep the holes on target and to provide multiple ore intercepts in the deeper holes. Geophysical surveys, in-
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