Geology of the Vulture Mine
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Jan 1, 1990
The Vulture mine near Wickenburg, Arizona was a major gold producer from 1863 to 1942, having yielded about 11t(12.1 st) Au and 8t (8.8st) Ag. Gold occurs as coarse native metal and electrum in quartz veins and also finely dis¬seminated within a quartz monzonite sill and its silicified wall rock. The sill is semi-conformable within a Proterozoic volcaniclastic-dominated sequence, all dipping north about 35°. Early mining focused on the vein-hosted gold, particularly in the immediate hanging wall and footwall of the sill. Later efforts included some open-pit mining of the outcropping sill and adjacent altered and mineralized rock. Two sets of post-mineral faults have complicated the orebody geometry. The sill is a 350 m (1148 ft) long apophysis from a quartz mozonite stock to the west of the mine area. The stock has been dated at 85 my and contains abundant lesser gold occurrences in its core and about its margins. The Proterozoic rocks are notably lean in precious metals except where altered in proximity to the Creataceous stock and sill. Circumstances dictate an interpretation of epigenetic mineralization related to the Laramide intrusion.