|Superstition Mountains, Arizona, site of the infamous Lost Dutchmen gold mine legend.|
Gold deposits are typically found in terrains that have suffered considerable fracturing, deformation, and volcanism. Thus areas of greatest potential for gold in Arizona are within the Basin and Range and Transition zone provinces (Hausel, 2010).
But, Arizonians suffer hot summers and deserts that lack water needed for placer mining and mills, but it is still a wonderland for prospectors. If the heat isn't bad enough, there is the added concern of foreign drug runners, terrorists with automatic weapons entering the US along the Mexican border, and snowflakes from California and is emphasized by a memorial to people killed by illegal immigrants.
Phoenix became a kidnapping capital with activity related to illegal immigrants, Mexican cartels, and human smugglers. Only Mexico City had a higher kidnapping rate. One source reported 83% of all warrants issued for murder in Phoenix and 95% of warrants issued in Los Angeles were for illegal immigrants. In a 2008 book on the Sierra Madre, Mexico, author Richard Grant wrote that the largest part of Mexico’s economy is based on selling and distribution of illegal drugs - imagine that!
As incredible as it sounds, the US government closed 3,500 acres of the Buenos Aries National Wildlife Refuge to American citizens because of “… safety concerns fueled by drug and human smuggling along the Arizona-Mexican border…” according to FoxNews.com - US Parkland Bordering Mexico. It has been closed to US citizens since 2006 even though it has considerable mineral potential.
|Underground at the Resolution mine, Superior, AZ|
When mineralized; porphyries can intrude reactive rocks such as limestone. This results in rich replacement deposits and skarns. Other types of mineralization include high-grade veins, low-grade cupriferous stockworks and low-grade disseminated copper and/or gold mineralization. These veins provide excellent targets for gold and silver.
Arizona is an important source for copper (Cu), molybdenum (Mo), lead (Pb), zinc (Zn), gold (Au) and silver (Ag). In 2007-2008, miners extracted copper, molybdenum gold and silver at Morenci, Bagdad, Sierrita, Safford, Miami, Ray, Mission, Silver Bell, Pinto Valley, Mineral Park, Johnson Camp and Carlota. In addition, exploration continued at Resolution, Rosemont and elsewhere (Niemuth, 2008).
Gold deposits include eluvial placers, dry placers, stream placers, veins, faults and breccia pipes along with gold associated with porphyry copper, massive sulfides and replacement deposits. Total historical gold production from Arizona is about 16 million ounces since records were kept beginning in the late 19th century. The state might produce more by simply providing exploration and mining incentives, as we'll as free prospecting education to the public (Hausel, 2011a, b).
Primary gold lodes include the Vulture mine, which produced 370,000 ounces of gold in the Wickenburg district north of Phoenix, the Oatman and Katherine camps which produced more than 2 million ounces of gold in the San Francisco district (NW Arizona) (Koschman and Bergendahl, 1968). Gold is found at Lost Basin and Chloride in western Arizona. Many gold properties are south of Tucson at Arivaca and Oro Blanco west of Bisbee. Gold is also found at Rich Hill-Weaver Mountains near the center of the state, the Big Bug district to the northeast of Rich Hill. Gold is described in several districts by Wilson and others (1969) and Wilson (1981).
Rich, mineralized copper, gold, silver breccia, Arizona!
|The classical lode. This narrow auriferous gold vein at Mary|
Ellen mine at South Pass, is a distinct, milky quartz vein hosted
by tonalite (photo by the author).
DISTRICTS & MINERALIZED AREAS
Driving from northwestern New Mexico along I-40 to Apache County Arizona cuts through the Fort Apache and the Navajo Indian Reservations, and passes through the Petrified Forest, Painted Desert and the Canyon de Chelly all part of the Colorado Plateau. Although this terrain produces extraordinary sandstone buttes and monuments of the Chinle and Navajo Formations, the geologically stable terrain is not conducive to gold. But has potential for sandstone-type reef and roll-front uranium deposits and breccia pipes. Wilson (1961) noted gold placers of economic importance are found in every county in Arizona except Apache, Coconico and Navajo Counties (the Colorado Plateau).
Basalt with peridotite nodules, Arizona.The peridotite has considerable gem-quality peridot and
represents pieces of the earth's upper mantle plucked from
depth and brought to the surface in the basalt lava.
|Chrysocolla with secondary quartz in |
breccia from the Bagdad district, Arizona
Mines included the Commonwealth shaft; the Hardy shaft (700 feet deep); the Shamrock shaft (1000 feet deep) and the Commerce shaft (500 feet deep). An open pit extends southeast from the Commerce. Lateral cross-cuts were driven every 100 feet in the Shamrock along with 11,000 feet of drifting. Drilling occurred to depths of 1400 feet. Two mills were constructed and the mineralization became a source for siliceous fluxing ore for nearby copper smelters.
|Lavender open pit mine at Bisbee, Arizona|
|Massive chalcopyrite, Wyoming (Photo by the author).|
Metals were recovered near the surface and at depth from underground operations at the Denn, Campbell, Calumet and other shafts and from open pit operations at the Copper Queen and Lavender pits. Some rich ore averaged an incredible 23% copper. Ore minerals include native copper, chalcopyrite, sphalerite, cuprite, azurite, malachite, brochantite, tenorite, aurichalcite with minor turquoise.
|Red Hill, Bisbee, Arizona|
|Mineralized breccia, Arizona|
mineralization at San Manuel, Sombrero Butte and Copper Creek. Much exploration activity has occurred north of Sombrero Butte. Along the western margin of the district, gold was recovered at the Mammoth-Tiger mine, and copper recovered from the San Manuel open pit from 1953 to 2003.
In the background is the town of Jerome. And further back behind the
'V' in the mountains, is the old Jerome mine (United Verde). You can read
more about this mine at the Mining Journal
|An unbelievable gossan exposed at the United Verde open pit at Jerome. This rusty and copper-|
stained rock was deposited about 1.7 Ga. In other words, these mineralized rocks were deposited
1.7 billion years ago by submarine hydrothermal vents, similar to the black and white smokers seen
at great depth by specialized research vessels exploring the ocean bottom. Not only do the rocks
support this interpretation, but miners actually extracted the fumaroles fossilized hydrothermal
|A reminder of how well the |
Biden-Obama crime families protect our country.
Remember, the other side has automatic weapons
while the Biden Crime family works to take away
The author stands next to a monster truck in front of the Ray
open pit mine. Every red neck would give his ... to have a
monster truck with tires like these - including me!
|Stockwork breccia at Commonwealth (photo by the author)|
Geology suggests this area has good potential for discovery of hidden gold and base metal deposits. A variety of deposits have already been identified in a broad, north-south, regional trend. Some of the more significant deposits include the Commonwealth silver and gold deposit at the north end of the district. To the south, two gold deposits of interest include Mexican Hat and Gold Coin.
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