Homestake Mining Company -- McLaughlin Mine
McLaughlin Gold!
McLaughlin Gold continued

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Below is a specimen showing coarse gold dendrites from the South Pit orebody (not the sheeted vein). The sample is about 10 cm wide. D. Enderlin photo.
Below is one of the most beautiful pieces of exploration core to ever come out of the McLaughlin mine. This piece came from an exploration diamond drill hole in the North Pit. The width of the core is about 6.5 cm (HQ size). The sample is displayed at the Homestake corporate headquarters. Ironically, this drill intercept was hundreds of feet below the bottom of the North Pit. The zone was never mined because it was too small and too deep. D. Enderlin photo.
Another example of gold that was beyond reach is shown below. This sample came from the rib of the Zodiac Drift. The drift was an exploration decline, collared in 1994 from the North Pit and run into the Zodiac Sill (basaltic andesite) to explore a narrow high-grade trend in the hopes of potentially mining it by underground methods. The high-grade was there, but the tonnage wasn't. The zone was rich enough to cause an adjustment in the North Pit open pit mine plan, and some of this material was mined in 1995. The open pit never reached the pocket where this seam was found. D. Enderlin photo.
The gold micromount collection shown below was collected by N. Lehrman, P. Schwarzer and D. Enderlin. The dendrites were found in a single vein where the carbonate gangue had leached away, freeing the gold. For the McLaughlin deposit, this is about as coarse as the gold ever gets! The specimens were collected from the 1780 (MSL) bench of the South Pit, in an area known as Josephine Hill. D. Enderlin scan.
Below is a highly magnified view of one of the above dendrites, showing the beauty and complexity of the dendritic gold. N. Lehrman photo.

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McLaughlin Mine Geology

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