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Corkscrew Canyon Mine (Corkscrew Mine), Ryan, Furnace Creek District (Furnace Creek Borate District; Death Valley Area Borate Deposits; Ryan area), Inyo Co., California, USA
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Corkscrew Canyon Mine, Ryan, Furnace Creek District, Inyo Co., California, USA

Photo: Elmar Lackner
Latitude: 36°22'40"N
Longitude: 116°45'36"W
A former borate mine located in the center N½ sec. 21, T26N, R2E, SBM, 10.1 km (6.3 miles) NW of Ryan, in Furnace Creek Wash at the mouth of Corkscrew Canyon, E flank of the Black Mountains, on National Park Service wilderness land (Death Valley National Park/Death Valley Wilderness). Owned by the U.S. Borax and Chemical Co. (1976). MRDS database stated accuracy for this location is 1,000 meters.

The entrance to this site is through a locked gate east on Route 190 about 1-1/4 miles beyond the exit road from Twenty-Mule-Team Canyon. Mine workings found here alongside a wash consisted of several adits, a huge wooden four-chute ore bin, and an adjacent platform loading area. Activity here was all underground.Greene, 1981

Mineralization is a Miocene borate deposit (Mineral occurrence model information: Model code: 260; USGS model code 35b.3; Deposit model name: lacustrine borates), hosted in rocks of the Furnace Creek Formation (mudstone, shale, sandstone, limestone). The ore body is 548.64 meters long and has a depth-to-top of 0.0 meters. The borate-bearing zone is about 1,800 feet long. The colemanite is massive and cavernous. Basalt occurs in the footwall; tuffaceous mudstone and sandstone occur in the hanging wall. Local rocks include Tertiary nonmarine rocks, undivided.

Workings include unspecified underground workings.

Reserve-Resource data are found in: Evans, James R., G.C. Taylor, and J.S. Rapp (1976).

Reserves and resources data: Type: in-situ: Estimate year: 1976; total resources: 172,000 metric tons of ore.

Assay results: B2O3: 31 weight per cent B (1976). 50% of these reserves were considered to be recoverable.

Mineral List

Bakerite (TL)

11 entries listed. 11 valid minerals. 1 type locality (valid mineral).

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Schaller, Waldemar Theodore (1916b), Inyoite and meyerhofferite, two new calcium borates: USGS Bulletin 610: 35.

Christ, C.L. & J.R. Clark (1960), X-ray crystallography and crystal chemistry of gowerite, CaO-3B2O3-5H2O: American Mineralogist: 45: 230-234.

Erd, R.C., J.F. McAllister & A.C. Vlisidis (1961), Nobleite, another new hydrous calcium borate from the Death Valley region, California: American Mineralogist: 46: 560-571.

McAllister, James Franklin (1961), Sborgite in the Furnace Creek area, California: USGS PP 424-B, Article 129: B299-B301.

Murdoch, Joseph & Robert W. Webb (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 228, 280.

Erd, R.C., J.F. McAllister, and A.C. Vlisidis (1970) Wardsmithite 5CaO • MgO •12B2O3 •30H2O, a new borate mineral from the Death Valley region, California. American Mineralogist: 55: 350.

McAllister, James Franklin (1970) Geology of the Furnace Creek borate area, Death Valley, Inyo County, California. California Division of Mines and Geology Map Sheet 14, 9 pp.: 9.

Konnert, J.A., Clark, J.R., and Christ, C.L. (1972) Gowerite, CaB5O8(OH) •B(OH)3•3H2O: crystal structure and comparison with related borates. American Mineralogist: 57: 381-396.

Muehle, G. (1974): Colemanite pseudomorphs from the Corkscrew mine, Death Valley, California. Mineralogical Record 5, 174-177.

Evans, James R., G.C. Taylor, and J.S. Rapp (1976) Mines and mineral deposits in Death Valley National Monument. California Division Mines and Geology Special Report 125: 1-61: 28.

Greene, Linda I. (1981), U.S. National Park Service, Historic Preservation Branch, Pacific Northwest/Western Team, Denver Service Center, Death Valley – Historic Resource Study – A History of Mining, Volume I (Parts 1 and 2): part 2: III. E.2.b)(23).

Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California; Van Nostrand Reinholt Press: 238, 246, 252.

Orris, G. (1990) estimate of ore reserves based on published data in 1990.

USGS (2005), Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS): U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, loc. file ID #10023434 & 10212511.

U.S. Bureau of Mines, Minerals Availability System (MAS) file ID #0060271264.

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