Mineral Resource Investigation of the Black Warrior Study Area Adjacent to the Sawtooth Wilderness, Elmore County, Idaho.
In 1990, the U.S. Bureau of Mines conducted a mineral resource investigation of the 12,320-acre Black warrior Study Area, one of several proposed additions to the Sawtooth Wilderness. No identified mineral resources were delineated. There were 123 lode and placer claims in or adjacent to the study area. There is a known hot spring adjacent to the study area, but presently no geothermal leases are pending. Lode mines in or adjacent to the Black Warrior Study Area have produced 4,022 tons or ore, from which 1,981 oz of gold and 811 oz of silver were recovered. None of the mines are currently active. During the field study 125 rock samples were taken. Significant gold assays and favorable geologic characteristics at seven properties indicate that gold occurrences and resources with byproduct metals may exist in the study area. Two other sites yielded anomalous gold assays; however, some favorable geologic characteristics are lacking. Presently, identified gold resources are being delineated by drilling programs in the nearby Atlanta and Rocky Bar Mining Districts. These districts have geologic characteristics similar to those of the Black Warrior Area. During the field study 22 placer samples were taken. In most places where an anomalous concentration of gold was found, the stream channels are too narrow for operations other than recreational suction dredges. However, one area is estimated to contain over 2 million yd3 of gold-bearing gravels.