Buena Vista Iron Ore District

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The Buena Vista Iron District is located 21 miles (34 km) south of Lovelock, Nevada. The district encompasses roughly 21 square miles (54 km2) of mineral and surface rights, and is one of the largest un-mined iron ore resources in the western United States.


The district was first discovered in 1898, and production began in 1943 and continued intermittently on the Thomas, Dodge, Segerstrom, and Buena Vista deposits until the 1960s. Total production was about 4 million tons, all of it High grade 'Lump' Ore consisting of Magnetite and minor Hematite

In 2006 High Steel prices renewed Iron ore exploration which renewed interest in the district. Several different companies funded exploration efforts including geophysical exploration as well as drilling. This exploration significantly boosted reserves.

In late 2008 for the first time, the entirety of the Buena Vista Iron District was presented for sale by Western Resources Group and priced at $75 million.[1]

Recently,[when?] Richmond Mining LTD, an Australian mining company (RHM:ASX), has received a special use permit to develop the Buena Vista Iron Ore Mine in Churchill County, Nevada. One of the first steps toward putting the Iron ore of the district into production in several decades.[2]

In 2011 an exploration campaign was undertaken by Nevada Metal Mines LLC in areas of the district that had previously been overlooked. The exploration, which included ground magnetic surveys and geophysical data analysis of those surveys, has indicated the potential for several million tons of iron ore. Samples taken from these areas all assayed to be of direct shipping grade, in excess of 66% total Iron.


The geology of the Buena Vista District has been studied for decades. The district is located within a Middle Jurassic volcano-plutonic complex composed of basaltic lavas and volcaniclastics underlain and intruded by gabbroic rocks. Maffic dikes are abundant and form sheeted dike swarms. Deposition of iron was not associated with silicification or sulfidation. Host rocks contain veins and large accumulations of pure magnetite in structural or breccia zones, or are impregnated with clots of magnetite in all size ranges. Magnetite is readily liberated from the host material by crushing and the iron removed by Magnetic or gravity separation. Veins of pure magnetite in excess of 10 feet thick are common in the open pits and drill intercepts. Oxidation has produced some Hematite.

Iron ore reserves[edit]

The district contains over 500 million tons of measured and indicated iron ore, with more suggested by magnetic and drill hole data.[3]

See also[edit]



  • Reeves and Kral (1955), Johnson (1977), and Johnson and Barton (2000a, b)