Mineral Resource Investigation of the Smokies Study Area, Blaine, Camas, and Elmore Counties, Idaho.
In 1989 and 1990, the U.S. Bureau of Mines conducted a mineral resource investigation of the 162,300-acre smokies study area in south-central Idaho. The study area is underlain by granitic rocks of the Idaho batholith, a Tertiary-age granitic rock complex. Paleozoic-age sedimentary rocks, and Challis volcanics; gold-bearing alluvial deposits occur in the area. Mineralized structures are mainly gold- and silver-bearing quartz veins and shear zones cutting Idaho batholith granitic rocks; fissure fillings and replacement structures in Paleozoic sedimentary rocks contain silver and base metals. Total production from study area mines is approximately $3.5 million (historic value); most production was from the Sawtooth, Vienna, Little Smoky, and Skeleton Creek Mining Districts. Nine lode properties contain an estimated total of 375,000 tons of identified gold-silver resources averaging between 0.03 and 0.308 Oz/ton gold, and from 0.3 to 20 oz/ton silver. Three placer properties have more than 8.1 million yd3 of gravel with a maximum average of $1.00/Yd3 at a gold price of $400/oz. Forty-eight other properties have a likelihood for resources. Approximately 1,500 lode and 100 placer claims have been located or relocated in the study area since 1872; 1,050 lode and 21 placer claims were current in February 1990. There are 69 patented lode and 8 patented placer claims in the area. Approximately 360 workings grouped into 62 properties were examined during the fieldwork for this study.