Geological Society of Nevada 2020 Symposium, May 14–24, 2020

Early Registration Ends Friday, February 28, 2020!
Geological Society of Nevada 2020 Symposium, May 14-24, 2020

4 full days of Technical Sessions!
6 Field Trips!
11 Short Courses!

Keynote Speakers:  Rich Goldfarb, Quinton Hennigh, Joe Mazumdar, Keith Meldahl, Elizabeth Miller, John Prochnau, Eric Seedorff, Dick Sillitoe, Moira Smith, and Chuck Thorman.

Presentations, Field Trips, and Short Courses by NBMG Faculty:  Jim Faulds, Andrew Zuza, John Muntean, Bridget Ayling, Mike Ressel, Chris Henry, Rich Koehler, Mark Coolbaugh, and students Justin Milliard and James Ingraffia.

NBMG is a CO-HOST! Look for NBMG at Booth 69.

The Symposium is being held at the Nugget Casino Resort, Reno/Sparks, Nevada.

Call for information:  775-433-8758.

GSN December Meeting— Wednesday, December 18

Speaker: Greg Crouch
Topic: The Bonanza King: John Mackay and the Battle Over the Greatest Fortune in the American West


“Mark your calendars and register now for the GSN [Geological Society of Nevada] Christmas Meeting, Raffle and Silent Auction being held in the Grand Ballroom at the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks, NV.  The date is Wednesday, December 18, 2019 with festivities beginning at 6 p.m. 

Our speaker this year is Greg Crouch, author of “The Bonanza King: John Mackay and the Battle Over the Greatest Riches in the American West”.  “A monumentally researched biography of one of the nineteenth century’s wealthiest self-made Americans…Well-written and worthwhile” (The Wall Street Journal) it’s the rags-to-riches frontier tale of an Irish immigrant who outwits, outworks, and outmaneuvers thousands of rivals to take control of Nevada’s Comstock Lode. This should be an amazing talk and interesting to all who attend! “


GSN student members are free!

RSVP by Friday, December 13th! We only have space for 300 guests so it is best to reserve now!

Schedule for the evening:
6:00 PM – Open Bar, Raffle, and Silent Auction opens
7:00 PM – Dinner will be served (Buffet style including salads, vegetables, 3 entrees and an assortment of desserts)
7:45 PM – Live auction in the dining room
8:00 PM – Presentation begins (Silent Auction ends and raffle prizes will be drawn starting at this time.)

OUR GENEROUS SPONSOR FOR THE EVENING IS: Envirotech Drilling LLC – Thanks Steve Neilsen!

GSN Monthly Meeting—Friday, September 20

Speaker: Lucia Patterson, Nevada Division of Minerals
Topic: The New User-Friendly NDOM Open Data Site
Date: Friday, September 20, 2019
Time: Drinks @ 6:00 pm, Appetizers @ 6:30 pm, Talk @ 7:15
Where: TAPS & TANKS, Reno, Nevada

The first GSN Reno meeting for this fiscal year is on FRIDAY, September 20th at the Great Basin Brewing’s Taps & Tanks facility, 1155 S. Rock Blvd., #490.  The entrance is on McCarran Blvd. just south of the intersection w/Rock Blvd.  Attached is a map if needed.    We will be serving Appetizers for $15 and you can pre-pay at this link: or pay at the door.  No RSVPs required.  (Non-Member Guests for drinks only are still $5 each.)   GSN Students eat for free but will need to pick up a wrist band.

CHECKING IN:  Pick up your permanent nametag off of the display board when you arrive. If you don’t have a printed nametag on the board please let us know and we will make one for next time.  Meanwhile there will be sticky nametags for you and guests.  PLEASE RETURN YOUR NAMEBADGE AND HOLDER AT THE END OF THE MEETING FOR RE-USE IN OCTOBER!  (If you accidently take it home you can always bring it with you next time.) Everyone who has paid for appetizers will need to pick up a wristband at the check-in table.

GSN Regular Membership Meeting—May 17


“The location is again at Great Basin’s Taps & Tanks, 1155 S. Rock Blvd. Reno, NV. Drinks @ 6:00 pm, APPETIZERS @ 6:30 pm, Talk @ 7:15 pm. Speaker, Mike Ressel, NBMG/UNR. Title: “Carlin-type Deposits As Part of the Great Basin’s Eocene Metallogeny“. DRINKS SPONSORED BY: FALCON DRILLING AND HARRIS EXPLORATION DRILLING! Appetizers only for $15—prepay online or pay at the door. GSN students are free. For more info contact Laura Ruud at or 775-323-3500. Details on page 3. To PREPAY for appetizers please click on this link:

No reservations required but avoid the line by pre-paying!”

Speaker: Mike Ressel, NBMG

Topic: Carlin-type Deposits As Part of the Great Basin’s Eocene Metallogeny

Mike Ressel, Curtis Johnson, Elizabeth Hollingsworth, Christopher Henry, and Philipp Ruprecht, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and/or University of Nevada, Reno

Abstract: Late Eocene (~42-34 Ma) ore deposits have contributed a majority of the Great Basin’s precious- and base-metal production through 2015, including about 6.2 Kt Au (199 Moz), 27.6 Kt Ag (887 Moz) , 17.5 Mt Cu, and 0.5 Mt Mo. The production of these four metals alone from Eocene deposits would have a present-day value of over $400 billion (USD), ~64% of which is attributable to gold, 29% to copper. Eocene ore deposits are restricted to the northern half of the Great Basin, coincident with arc magmatism and the earliest stages of Cenozoic crustal extension. Curiously, metal production from Eocene deposits is strikingly polarized, with 79% of Au production derived from mines in north-central Nevada, and 98% of Cu and 86% of Ag derived from mines in north-central Utah. Most Nevada Au production is from three major Au belts that host giant sedimentary rock-hosted Carlin-type Au deposits: Carlin, Battle Mountain-Eureka, and Getchell. Three major Utah districts produced the bulk of Cu, Mo, Au, and Ag (Oquirrh, Park City, and Tintic), with the vast majority of Cu, Mo, and Au coming from the Bingham Canyon porphyry system. In addition, Eocene deposits in northern Nevada contain more than 1.68 Kt of Au (54 Moz) and 0.67 Mt Mo in reserves, and Bingham Canyon contains reserves of about 2.72 Mt of Cu and 0.15 Mt of Mo.

Perhaps more than any other deposit type in the Great Basin, Carlin-type gold deposits are enigmatic. After more than five decades of mining more than 150 Moz of gold from Carlin-type deposits in north-central Nevada, we continue to debate what one is, resorting to terms such as Carlin-like to qualify our uncertainty. As a result, the rest of the exploration world is even more baffled by them. Uncertainty has hindered exploration beyond the Great Basin because of lack of a well-constrained exploration model that incorporates not only elements of existing descriptive models but also the syn-mineral regional geologic framework of type deposits in Nevada.

We assess findings contributing toward a global Carlin-type deposit exploration model. Key regional components of the model based on Great Basin geology are: 1) age and age progression of Carlin-type gold mineralization, 2) spatial and temporal association of Carlin-type deposits with other gold-rich deposits, and 3) the regional geologic setting of gold deposition including crustal architecture and syn-mineral tectonism and magmatism. The progressive change in Eocene ore deposits from Au- to Cu-dominant across the central to eastern parts of the northern Great Basin is extraordinary and has major exploration implications. This change in metals parallels changes in the geochemical and isotopic character of magmatism across the Eocene arc, although rocks are grossly similar in terms of their mineralogy and bulk composition. We preliminarily interpret west to east variations in Eocene igneous chemistry and styles of metallization as interrelated, with contrasting chemistries reflecting major differences in architecture and composition of the crust through which magmas traveled.

Thus, the range of Eocene sedimentary rock-hosted, disseminated gold deposits (SHDGs), including Carlin-type deposits, in northern Nevada defines a distinct intrusion-related gold metallogeny that contrasts with the “classic” deposits formed in many other continental arc settings, including the eastern Great Basin in Utah, which are typified by porphyry Cu and Cu-Mo, polymetallic skarns and replacements, and high- and intermediate-sulfidation epithermal Au-Ag deposits. The reduced mineralogy and geochemistry of ores and Au-dominant or Au-only character of SHDGs in northern Nevada infer overall reduced ore fluids that fundamentally differ from highly oxidized fluids indicated for porphyry-related systems. We suggest that emplacement of the Eocene arc far inboard of the plate margin and into kilometers-thick carbonaceous slope and basinal rocks of the Neoproterozoic through Paleozoic passive margin progressively modified and chemically reduced mid-crustal magmas from mafic to silicic compositions through assimilation of reduced crust.

Geological Society of Nevada (GSN) Monthly Dinner Meeting—February 15

The Continua between Carlin-type Gold Deposits and Distal Disseminated and Epithermal Gold-Silver Deposits in Nevada

John Muntean

Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology
University of Nevada, Reno
Faces of GSN: John Muntean

Abstract: Most research on Carlin-type deposits in Nevada has focused on four main camps that account for 95% of the production from Carlin-type deposits in Nevada – the Carlin Trend, Cortez, Getchell, and Jerritt Canyon. Though their local geologic settings differ slightly, they share many common characteristics, including lithologic and structural controls to fluid flow and ore deposition, an As-Hg-Sb-Tl geochemical signature and low Ag:Au ratios in the ores, hydrothermal alteration and ore paragenesis, relatively low temperatures and salinities of ore fluids, and lack of lack of mineral and elemental zoning. The shared characteristics suggest a shared origin, yet there is no consensus on their genesis. Future research should focus on Carlin-style deposits, such as distal-disseminated deposits that have a clear genetic association with magmatic-hydrothermal systems associated with intrusions and deposits that have characteristics of epithermal deposits.

There has been limited research on these Carlin-style deposits. An exception is the Cove distal disseminated deposit where Johnston et al.’s (2008) detailed study demonstrated both polymetallic and proximal Carlin-style mineralization, which led them to conclude that Cove represents a continuum between magmatic-hydrothermal systems and Carlin-type gold deposits in Nevada. New research utilizing recent deep drilling (Muntean et al., 2017) clearly shows Carlin-style mineralization overprints earlier polymetallic mineralization. The recent drilling also shows the Carlin-style mineralization is strongly zoned. The Ag/Au ratios of zones of Carlin-style mineralization and the Ag concentrations of pyrite decrease from the CSD zone underneath the open pit towards the Helen zone located 3 km to the northwest. Arsenian pyrite associated with Carlin-style mineralization in the CSD is coarser grained, euhedral, and becomes much finer grained with narrow arsenian rims in the Helen zone, very similar to the pyrite textures seen in the large Carlin-type deposits. The Kinsley deposit in eastern Nevada, shows very similar zoning features away from an Eocene intrusion. Over a distance of ~3 km, proximal W-(Mo) skarn adjacent to the intrusion zones outward to polymetallic quartz veins/mantos and distal Carlin-style mineralization that locally overprints polymetallic mineralization (Hill, 2016). The overprinting of polymetallic mineralization by Carlin-style mineralization at Cove and Kinsley could be the result of a separate later hydrothermal system. Alternatively, the zoning at Cove and Kinsley represent telescoped systems, where exhumation by erosion or by faulting led to the overprint.

Other Carlin-style deposits, mainly in eastern Nevada, have epithermal characteristics and appear to have formed at much shallower depths than the large Carlin-type deposits. Nutt and Hofstra (2003) pointed out many features at Alligator Ridge deposit consistent with formation at depths of <300 to 800 m, as did Ressel et al. (2015) for deposits in the Northern Pinon Range. The features include higher Ag/Au ratios, jigsaw mosaic quartz and feathery chalcedonic jasperoid suggestive of <180˚C, hydrothermal breccias, and Eocene lacustrine sediments with elevated As, Sb, Tl, and Hg. Quartz after lattice-textured calcite is present at the Gold Point deposit, where Castor and Hulen (1996) reported electrum occurring in banded quartz that filled matrices of brecciated stratiform jasperoid. The absence of the Roberts Mountain thrust in eastern Nevada is likely the main factor for the increase of epithermal characteristics. Where present the Roberts Mountains thrust and contractional deformation in the lower plate carbonates played a major role in forming the large Carlin-type deposits, by diverting upwelling hydrothermal fluids out of high-angle faults and into reactive carbonate rocks. In the absence of such a thrust in the upper crust, as in eastern Nevada, hydrothermal fluids rose toward the surface and interacting with increasing amounts of groundwater, resulting in extensive jasperoid formation.

Meeting Details

“The GSN Reno meeting is next Friday, February 15th, again at the NEW LOCATION: Great Basin Brewing’s Taps & Tanks facility, 1155 S. Rock Blvd., #490.  The entrance is ACTUALLY on McCarran Blvd. just south of the intersection w/Rock Blvd.

It is SPONSOR APPRECIATION NIGHT and we will be recognizing all those generous donors who have bought the drinks for the members at the Reno meetings.  These bar tabs average at least $2,000.00 per meeting!  Please join us in showing our appreciation for their ongoing support of the GSN membership!

Dinner cost is $25/each and dinner reservations are due by MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11TH BY 4:00 PM!!  If you’d like to PREPAY for dinner please click on this link (by Jan 11th): .

Or you can email your reservation to Laura Ruud at the GSN office: (If you make a dinner reservation and No show/No cancel by Thursday, Feb. 14th at 9 am, you will be invoiced for $25 after the meeting, students included.)

PLACE: Great Basin Brewing’s Taps & Tanks, 1155 S. Rock Blvd., Reno, Nevada

TIMES: 6:00 p.m. – Drinks and dinner check-in begin

7:00 p.m. – Buffet dinner ($25 at the door or pre-pay online by clicking this link: )


7:45 p.m.  Announcements and Talk begin”

This message was forwarded from Laura Ruud, GSN Executive Manager. If you have any questions, you can contact her here: Phone (775) 323-3500;, .

Sorry for this late notice. Laura said that anyone is welcome to attend the lecture only (begins at 7:45) for free and no reservations are required for that. Of course, you would not get dinner or free drinks.

GSN Dinner Meeting—Friday, September 22—RSVP by Sept. 20

Lithium and Gold Associated with Rhyolitesa Preview of the Society of Economic Geologists Field Course in September 2018Lecture by Jonathan Price

A message from Laura Ruud, Geological Society of Nevada (GSN) Executive Manager
:  Welcome back to the regular Fall meetings of the GSN after a busy and hopefully fruitful summer.  The meeting is this Friday, September 22, 2017 at the Reno Elks Lodge, 597 Kumle Lane, Reno, Nevada.  Our speaker is Jonathan Price, Nevada State Geologist Emeritus.  His abstract is pasted below.

Drinks are sponsored this month by BOART LONGYEAR!
Bar opens at 6 p.m., Dinner is at 7 p.m. and the talk will begin at 7:45 p.m.
Dinner cost is $25/each and dinner reservations are due no later than this Wednesday, September 20th at Midnight!  Pre-pays are due in the GSN office by noon on Wednesday. Student members eat free if they are current on their dues and make a reservation.

Please email your reservation to Laura Ruud at the GSN office: or call the office at 775-323-3500.  

(If you make a dinner reservation and No show/No cancel by Thursday night, you will be invoiced for $25 after the meeting, students included.)

SPEAKER:   Jonathan G. Price, NBMG and Nevada State Geologist Emeritus

TITLE:  “Lithium and Gold Associated with Rhyolites – a Preview of the Society of Economic Geologists Field Course in September 2018”
PLACE:  Reno Elks Lodge, 597 Kumle Lane, Reno, Nevada

TIME:   6:00 p.m. – Drinks and dinner check-in begins

7:00 p.m. – Buffet dinner ($25 at the door or pre-pay with the attached form)

7:45 p.m. – Announcements and Talk begins

Please remember that it is time to renew your membership dues for 2018 fiscal year.  You can click here to renew online  []



Laura Ruud


Abstract:  Ruth Carraher, Ted Wilton, and Jon Price will be co-leading a pre-SEG-meeting field course from Reno.  Dates are September 18-21, 2018, with three nights at the Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah.  We will examine active mines (the lithium-brine operation in Clayton Valley and the Round Mountain gold mine) and exploration projects (Eastside project in the Monte Cristo Range, Hasbrouck Mountain, lithium-clay deposits near Silver Peak, and brine targets in other basins), geochemical and geophysical data, and tectonic setting to address a series of questions about lithium and gold deposits.  What is the relation of magma chemistry to mineralization?  Is melting of peculiar crust necessary?  How do lithium-rich brines and lithium-rich clay deposits form?  What are the roles of meteoric water and hydrothermal fluids in the formation of the lithium deposits?  How does eruption of tuff impact potential gold mineralization?  How important is tectonic setting to the development of world-class lithium and gold deposits?  What are the best guides for exploration?  The GSN talk will begin to address these questions.


Bio:  Jon is a consulting geologist and the Nevada State Geologist EmeritusJon was the State Geologist and Director of the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology from 1988 until his retirement from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2012.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in geology and German from Lehigh University and master’s and Ph.D. degrees in geology from the University of California, Berkeley.


His geological career has included experience with industry, teaching, research, and government.  He has worked in copper, iron, uranium, and gold exploration and mining; taught undergraduate and graduate geology courses and supervised graduate theses; and conducted and directed research at state geological surveys.  He was the 1997 President of the American Institute of Professional Geologists, the 1998-2002 President and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Western States Seismic Policy Council, the 2000-2001 President of the Association of American State Geologists, the 2003 President of the Society of Economic Geologists, the 2006-2007 President of the Nevada Petroleum Society, the 2014-2015 President of the Geological Society of Nevada, and the 2015-2016 President of the Geological Society of America.  During 1993 and 1994, he was on loan to the National Research Council as the staff director of the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources. 


Jon was the 2009 recipient of the American Geological Institute’s Medal in Memory of Ian Campbell for Superlative Service to the Geosciences, the 2010 recipient of the Geological Society of America’s Public Service Award in Honor of Eugene and Carolyn Shoemaker, the 2012 recipient of the Western States Seismic Policy Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2013 recipient of the Gold Medal of the Mining and Metallurgical Society of America, and the 2013 recipient of the Ben H. Parker Memorial Medal of the American Institute of Professional Geologists.


Jon’s consulting work has included projects with mining and exploration companies, mineral-rights owners, and federal agencies, including investigation of mining fraud and review of the fate of radionuclides from underground nuclear explosions.

GSN September 23, 2016 Membership Meeting – Guest Speaker: Dr. Bridget Ayling – Engineered Geothermal Systems: The Habanero Project (Australia) and the FORGE Initiative (USA)

GSN logo

Guest Speaker:  Dr. Bridget Ayling, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, Associate Professor and Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy, Director
Title:  Engineered Geothermal Systems: The Habanero Project (Australia) and the FORGE Initiative (USA) 

Abstract: Engineered Geothermal Systems (EGS) have the potential to significantly contribute to our baseload clean-energy needs. After the first R&D project to test the EGS concept was initiated at Fenton Hill (New Mexico) in the 1970’s, there have been several initiatives within the USA and internationally, to evaluate the viability of EGS and develop the technologies required to make EGS economic. The key technical challenges associated with EGS center on creating and maintaining reservoir permeability.

I will present an overview of the Habanero EGS project in the Cooper Basin, central Australia, including my involvement in a geochemical tracer study at the site. Managed and developed by Geodynamics Limited, the Habanero project is one of the deepest, hottest and most challenging EGS sites developed anywhere in the world to date, and was operated as an active test site from 2002 to 2015. The project demonstrated proof-of-concept in 2013, when a 1 MWe pilot plant was operated at the site for 5 months during a closed-loop circulation test between a well doublet.

I will also introduce the US Department of Energy’s FORGE initiative (Frontier Observatory for Geothermal Energy) and the Fallon FORGE site in Nevada. FORGE aims to develop a site for the operation and testing of EGS technologies. Phase 1 of the FORGE initiative was completed in June 2016, and the successful candidates that will proceed to Phase 2 include the Fallon FORGE site (Nevada) and the Milford FORGE site (Utah).

Bio: Dr. Bridget Ayling recently joined the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and the College of Science at the University of Nevada, Reno as an Associate Professor and new Director of the Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy.  Dr. Ayling is a geologist and geochemist with over 9 years of combined experience in the geothermal and unconventional gas sector. Dr. Ayling has worked in both conventional and unconventional (i.e. Engineered Geothermal Systems [EGS]) geothermal settings in Australia and the USA, contributing to regional geothermal resource assessments, surface heat-flow measurement, characterization of reservoir fracture mineralogy, geochemical tracer studies, and conducting numerical modelling to understand reservoir fluid flow regimes. Her current research interests center on reservoir characterization and integration of multidisciplinary datasets to understand the dynamics of geothermal systems at the reservoir and basin scale.

For dinner reservations, please e-mail Laura Ruud at or call 775-323-3500  by 5:00 p.m. on WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2016
Social Hour begins @ 6:00 pm; Dinner @ 7:00 pm;
Speaker to Follow @ 7:45 pm
Location:  RENO ELKS LODGE, 597 KUMLE LANE (across from the Convention Center)
DINNER COST—$25.00 per person. (You will be invoiced if you do not cancel your reservation)