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McKinley Co., New Mexico, USA

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Excerpts from "Historical review of uranium production from the Todilto Limestone, Cibola and McKinley Counties, New Mexico" - 1985 -

by William L. Chenoweth, Consulting Geologist, Grand Junction, CO 81506

Introduction (excerpt)
The Grants area of New Mexico is well known for its large resources of uranium that occur in sandstone beds of the Morrison Formation of Late Jurassic age. The area is also one of the few localities in the United States where economic deposits of uranium occur in limestone beds. During the period 1950 through 1981, mines on 31 different sections of land in the Grants area produced 3,335.75 tons of uranium oxide from the Jurassic Todilto Limestone. This represents slightly more than 2% of the total uranium that has been mined in the Grants area. The Todilto has been the most productive limestone host rock for uranium in the United States, if not the entire non-communist world.

Production History (excerpt)
Although yellow uranium minerals had been known to exist in the Grants area for several years, it was the discovery by Paddy Martinez, a Navajo sheepherder, that triggered the uranium boom. In the spring of 1950, Martinez collected samples of Todilto Limestone from the foot of Haystack Butte that contained yellow uranium minerals. He showed the samples to Carrol Gunderson, a Grants merchant and, at the time, mayor. Gunderson contacted E. O. Hemenwav, Land Commissioner for the Santa Fe Pacific Railroad Company, who controlled the mineral rights on Sec. 19, T13N, R10W, where the samples originated.

Mineral List

Mineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities

139 entries listed. 104 valid minerals. 2 (TL) - type locality of valid minerals.

Localities in this Region


The above list contains all mineral locality references listed on This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.


Northrop (1996), Minerals of New Mexico, 3rd revised edition.

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