Featured Site:

Yavapai County, Arizona

  • Location: South flank of the Weaver Mountains. Tps. 9 and 10 N., Rs. 4 and 5 W.
  • Topographic Maps: Congress 30-minute quadrangle; Prescott 2-degree sheet, Army Map Service. Geologic map: Arizona Bureau of Mines, 1958, Geologic map of Yavapai County, scale 1:375,000
  • Click Here For Topographic Map Of The Weaver (Rich Hill) Mountain Placer area

  • Access: North of Congress AZ take a right at the transfer (dump) station County 109 and head east to Stanton AZ. From Stanton various roads and trails lead to placer areas. REMEMBER to stay off marked claims and always fill your holes!! There are several clubs that have claims on or around Rich Hill that you can join to get access, but there is very little open ground.
  • Extent: The Weaver placer area covers about 40 square miles on the south flank of the Weaver Mountains. The most important placer area in production and placer-mining activity is the area at the top of Rich Hill, parts of the sides of the hill, and gravels along Weaver and Antelope Creeks. This district is just north of Octave and east of Stanton (at the intersection of T. 10 N., R. 5 W.; Tps. 9 and 10 N., R. 4 W.). At the top of Rich Hill, gold was found under boulders and in crevices in the granite bedrock, where it was quickly gathered by prospectors during the early years after the discovery of the placers. Below Rich Hill, in Antelope and Weaver Creeks, the gold was found in re concentrated stream gravels, a few feet thick to more than 50 feet thick, that contained numerous large boulders.

    Other placers are found west of this area, in the vicinity of the Planet and Saturn mines (sec. 21, T. 10 N., R. 5 W.). This area probably produced the placer gold attributed to the Martinez district.

  • Production history: The Rich Hill placers were discovered by a party of prospectors led by Captain Pauline Weaver in 1863 or 1864 (one account reports 1862 as the year of discovery) about the same time as the discovery of the Lynx Creek placers. According to many reports, a Mexican in the party found loose gold on the top of Rich Hill while looking Łor a stray animal. Immense excitement and intense mining activity followed the discovery. Within 3 months, 108,000 dollars in gold ranging in size from a pinhead to large nuggets worth hundreds of dollars was recovered, and within 5 years, $500,000 in placer gold was recovered. By 1883, about 1 million dollars in placer gold was recovered.

    The placers have been worked extensively since the discovery, but because of the nature of the gravels, few large-scale operations have been attempted. Most of the mining has been done by drywashers, pans, rockers, and sluices, although some miners used power shovels and dry-separation plants.

  • Source: There has been no detailed geologic study of the Weaver Mountains, therefore details of the nature of gold-bearing veins are not known. The mountains are composed principally of Precambrian granites and schists that contain numerous gold-bearing veins considered to be of Laramide age. Some of these veins in the vicinity of the placers have been mined for their gold content, and it is probable that the placers were probably derived from these and other similar veins in the vicinity.