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Peridot Mesa (Peridot occurrence 38), San Carlos, San Carlos Indian Reservation, Gila Co., Arizona, USA
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Peridot Mesa, San Carlos, San Carlos Indian Reservation, Gila Co., Arizona, USA

Photo: Orbital Joe
Latitude: 33°19'49"N
Longitude: 110°29'35"W
A peridot/olivine mine located in secs. 18, 19 & 30, T1S, R19E; and in secs. 22-27, T1S, R18E, immediately SW of San Carlos. This site has been described as the most productive peridot locality in North America.

Mineralization is a mesa capped by a basalt flow from 10 to more than 100 feet thick, underlain by flat-lying tuffs, siltstones & gravels. These sedimentary rocks are regarded as the equivalent of the Gila Conglomerate and therefore of Pliocene or Pleistocene age. The peridot occurs in roughly ellipsoidal bombs, or segregations, in basalt & cinders erupted from a volcanic cone that occupies the SW corner of the mesa. It is present as euhedral crystals and as rounded grains. The ellipsoidal segregations containing the peridot make up 25 to 40% of the rock volume and average 3 to 8 inches in maximum diameter.

Workings: Mined intermittently by individuals (up to 50), who worked scattered portions of the deposit using hand methods. Also was mined by 5-10 person operations that are more mechanized. Most stones are gathered from debris resulting from the erosion of basalt. Prime locations are around the rim of the colcanic cone, in washes adjacent to the cone, and in small canyons that breach the north rim of the mesa.

Assay data: The olivine zone should maintain a minimum olivine content of 30% to be economical. The portions of the deposit olivine-rich zone with greater than 30% olivine are: SE¼ sec. 15, S½ sec. 14, sec. 22, N½ and SW¼ sec. 23, NW¼ sec. 26, and the NE¼ sec. 27, T1S, R18E.

Mineral List

'Clinopyroxene Subgroup'
var: Peridot
Magnetite ?

9 entries listed. 5 valid minerals.

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Bromfield, C.S. & Shride (1956), Mineral resources of the San Carlos Indian Reservation, AZ, USGS Bull. 1027-N: 686-687.

Peirce, H.W. (1969), Gem Materials, in USGS & Arizona Bureau of Mines & US Bureau of Reclamation, Mineral and Water Resources of Arizona, Arizona Bureau of Mines Bull. 180 (USGS Bull.871): 359.

Rabb, D.D. and Vuich, J.S. (1975) San Carlos Indian Reservation Peridot Mine: Inspection Report B75-2, Arizona Bureau of Mines, University of Arizona, Tucson, 34 pp.

Moore, R.T. and Vuich, J.S. (1977) An Evaluation of the Olivine Resources of the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservations and Recommendations for Potential Development. NADSAT Project Completion Report No. 1. Arizona Bureau of Mines, 34 pp.

Garcia, M.O., et al (1980), Volatiles in Ti-rich amphibole megacrysts, southwestern USA, American Mineralogist: 65: 306-312.

Koivula, John (1981), San Carlos peridot, Gems and Gemology: 17: 4: 205-214

Peirce, H. Wesley (1990), Arizona Geological Survey Industrial Minerals card file.

Anthony, J.W., et al (1995), Mineralogy of Arizona, 3rd. ed.: 114.

MRDS database Dep. ID #10060353, MRDS ID TC10730; and Dep. ID #10113001, MAS ID #0040070542.

Uchida et. al (2005) Single Crystal x-ray diffraction of spinels from the San Carlos Volcanic Field: Spinel as a geothermometer: American Mineralogist v. 90 p. 1900-1908.

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