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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Utah Geological Association


Geology and Geologic Resources and Issues of Western Utah, 2009
Pages 133-142

Discovery of the Barneys Canyon and Melco Gold Deposits, Salt Lake County, Utah

T. R. Gibson


The Barneys Canyon and Melco gold deposits are located in the northern Oquirrh Mountains southwest of Salt Lake City and approximately five miles (8.1 km) north of Kennecott’s Bingham Canyon porphyry copper deposit. These two sediment-hosted gold deposits are approximately one and one-half miles (2.4 km) apart along a northeast-trending mineralized corridor. The deposits were re-discovered by a team of Bear Creek Mining Company (Kennecott Exploration) geologists in the early 1980s. Gold mineralization came to the surface at each location, but did not outcrop due to recessive weathering. Geologic mapping of alteration and geochemical sampling of both rock and soils led to the delineation of drill targets. Both deposits were highly anomalous in gold and arsenic in rock and soil and both deposits were intercepted in the first round of drilling. The third hole of the initial six hole program at Barneys Canyon in 1985, encountered 100 feet (30 m) of 0.125 opt (4.28 ppm) Au. At Melco, in 1986, the first hole of an initial three hole program encountered 95 feet (29 m) of 0.139 opt (4.76 ppm) gold. Subsequent work in the 1990s delineated several other smaller satellite deposits.

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