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Fano Mine (Big Pink claim; Fano-Simmons Mine; Little Blue claim; MS 4800; Simmons Mine), Little Cahuilla Mountain, Cahuilla District, Riverside Co., California, USA

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 33° 36' 21'' North , 116° 47' 8'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 33.6061111111, -116.785833333

A rare-earth-element (REE)-gemstone-specimen producing pegmatite occurrence/mine located in the NW¼SW¼ Sec. 33, T6S, R2E, SBM, 2.3 km (1.4 miles) E of Little Cahuilla Mountain (coordinates of record), 3.3 km (2.0 miles) N of Cahuilla Mountain (coordinates of record) and 8.3 km (5.1 miles) NNW of Cahuilla (town), on private (patented) land within a National Forest. MRDS database stated accuracy for this location is 100 meters.

The deposit was first discovered by Bert Simmons in 1902, and is best known for its production of well-crystallized schorl and gem aquamarine, as well as pink tourmaline and spodumene. Two contiguous lode mining claims (Big Pink and Little Blue lodes; MS 4800) are commonly referred to as the Fano Mine, and aggregate approximately 37.54 acres. The property is private land, patented January 29th, 1912 by the Fano Kunzite Tourmaline Mining company.

Geology/Mineralogy: The ore body is a pegmatite dike that strikes NW and dips 20SW at a width of 2.44 meters. Local rocks include Mesozoic gabbroic rocks, unit 2 (undivided) and/or pre-Cenozoic granitic and metamorphic rocks undivided.

Workings: Workings include surface and underground openings. The deposit has been developed by numerous surface cuts, trenches, and minor underground drifts along the paystreak.

Mineral List

12 valid minerals.

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.


Kunz, G. F. (1905), Gems, jeweler's materials, and ornamental stones of California. California State Mining Bureau bulletin 37: 121-123.

Merrill, Frederick James Hamilton (1919), Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside Counties: California Mining Bureau (Report 15): 15: 576.

Tucker, W. Burling & Reid J. Sampson (1929), Riverside County: California Journal of Mines and Geology, California Mining Bureau. (Report 25): 25: 508.

Fisher, Daniel Jerome (1944), Some southern California pegmatites: unpublished manuscript, USGS: 68, 75.

Murdoch, Joseph & Webb, Robert W. (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 63, 103, 155, 242, 265, 346.

Rynerson, F. J. (1967), Exploring and Mining Gems & Gold in the West; Chapter 17, 118-120: Naturegraph Publishers, Inc., Happy Camp, California.

California Division of Mines and Geology Open-File Report 77-14 (1977): 251-253.

Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California; Van Nostrand Reinholt Press: 177, 179, 310, 348, 388, 430, 446, 503.

Gochenour, K. (1988), Black Tourmaline from Little Cahuilla Mountain, Riverside County, California. Rocks and Minerals: 63(6): 440-444.

Fisher, J. (2002), Gem and rare-element pegmatites of southern California. Mineralogical Record 33(5): 363-407.

USGS (2005), Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS): U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, loc. file ID #10096069 & 10139888.

U.S. Bureau of Mines (1995), Minerals Availability System/Mineral Industry Location System (MAS/MILS): file #0060650072.

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