Lucky Group, Lathrop Wells, Nevada

Lucky Group, Lathrop Wells, Nevada
Looking north from the Lucky Group towards Lathrop Wells and the Amargosa Desert.

The Lucky Group mine (also known as Looney Copper and the Lucky Claim), is a minor occurrence of copper located in Nye County, Nevada approximately 5 miles southeast of Lathrop Wells in the Striped Hills. Positioned at geographic coordinates -116.34754, 36.64386 (PLSS Mount Diablo Meridian, Township 15S, Range 50E, Section 15, NW4 of SW4 of SW4).

The economic potential of the Lucky Group mine is classified as small, with the site marked as non-significant by the MRDS. Malachite is the primary ore material found here, with hematite as the gangue mineral, indicating significant copper deposits. Workings include 100 foot adit on the 3,000' contour line and 4 prospect pits each about 50' higher than the previous. Research indicates the claims were first filed by Claude Looney in 1946 and that a trial shipment of ore was made between then and 1950. There were no indications of ore processing on site.

Geologically, the Lucky Group is hosted within the Wood Canyon formation, a Late Cambrian (570ish million years old) quartzite that is slightly calcareous and highly fractured with minor banding. This formation also includes minor amounts of conglomerate, phyllitic siltstone, limestone, and dolomite, indicative of the complex geologic history of the area. The site's quartzite is intersected by a set of parallel N80E, 75N faults, forming a 2-foot shear zone, which has contributed to the formation's mineralization.

The Lucky Group mine falls within the Upper Amargosa watershed, part of the Northern Mojave hydrologic subregion. It is mapped within several USGS quadrangles, including Striped Hills, Beatty, and Death Valley, further situating it within a broader geological and hydrological context.

Topo showing the Lucky Group.
Road to the Lucky Group. It was in pretty good condition but washed in a few spots. The gate was barely on the hinges and a bit of a pain to open and close.
The Lucky Group is in the Striped Hills southeast of Lathrop Wells. Sand Hill peak, the leftmost in the background, is about 1 3/4 miles from where I'm standing and is directly on the border of the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS), a no go zone for anyone exploring the desert out here!
The main workings consisted of an adit and single small waste rock pile with the old ore track timbers still in place.
The old ore track crossties are still embedded in the top of the waste rock pile.
A lone creosote grows at the entrance of the adit. The right rib of the mine shows a good example of a hanging wall along the fracture zone that contains the ore.
The footwall shows small amounts of malachite and copper stain.
The adit goes in about 50' then a drift turns left (towards the east-southeast). Again, notice the prominent example of the hanging wall creating the right side rib of the mine. In the back (roof) of the mine you can see several pronounced fractures. There wasn't a lot of scaling on the floor which indicate the rock here being reasonably competent.
Good example of the higher grade ore which was chrysocolla with embedded hematite.
As we headed out, I noticed one of the old claim markers on the other side of the wash.
Cornwall, H.R., 1972, Geology AND Mineral Deposits of Southern Nye Co.: NBMG Bull. 77, PL. 1.