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Tres Marias mine, Mun. de Manuel Benavides, Chihuahua, Mexicoi
Regional Level Types
Tres Marias mineMine
Mun. de Manuel BenavidesMunicipality
Chihuahua- not defined -
MexicoCountry

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Name(s) in local language(s):Mina Tres Marias
Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 29° 5' North , 103° 45' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 29.08333,-103.75000
GeoHash:G#: 9tnjrn7w9
Locality type:Mine
Köppen climate type:BWh : Hot deserts climate
Nearest Settlements:
PlacePopulationDistance
Manuel Benavides916 (2014)15.4km
Álamos de San Antonio131 (2013)17.9km
Study Butte233 (2011)33.7km
Other/historical names associated with this locality:Dos Marias mine


Carbonate-hosted Zn–Ge deposit, characterised by extremely Ge-rich sphalerite and Ge-rich hemimorphite and willemite. Willemite has up to 2 wt.% Pb and 4000 ppm Ge. The metals content, mineralogy and style of mineralization indicate a Mississippi Valley Type brine-origin. The presence of cinnabar suggests a genetic link to (or overprinting by) mercury mineralization related to the Terlingua District across the river.

For completely unknown reasons at various times this small mine has been known as either Tres Marias or Dos Marias. It lies just south of the Rio Grande, just west of Big Bend National Park in the mountains above Nuevo Lajitas, Chihuahua; essentially just across the border from the Terlingua-Lajitas, Texas stretch of the Rio Grande. There is some recent ore deposits literature under the name Tres Marias stemming from recent interest in the high Germanium content of the ores (cf Saini-Eidukat et al., 2009, Mineralium Deposita v. 44, p. 363-370) Unfortunately not enough has been found to justify production and no additional orebodies have been found.

The mine was operated intermittently between the late 40s and 1992 for zinc oxide mineralization with a high Germanium content. Eagle Picher was the principal purchaser of the ores, which they blended with moderate Ge lead-zinc ores from San Pedro Corralitos. Perhaps 125,000 tonnes were mined. A number of exploration companies have evaluated the property since the 1990s with extensive work and limited success.

The orebody is an inverted carrot-shaped breccia chimney in lower Cretaceous Santa Elena (Georgetown) Limestone, probably a result of hydrothermal karsting by acidic ore fluids ascending along intersecting structures. Mineralization preferentially occurred around the margins of the breccia pipe as both open-space fillings and partial replacement of limestone fragments. Oxide ores were the principal mining interest, with zinc grades to 40%. Primary mineralization is galena and sphalerite, with lesser marcasite, pyrite, wurtzite, and cinnabar. The sphalerite is low-iron, honey colored and commonly occurs as stalactitic masses coated with a thick crust of pyrobitumen (called gilsonite by some workers). Silver grades are very low, but Germanium ranges from 300-960 ppm. Secondary minerals include cerussite, anglesite, wulfenite, mimetite, descloizite, plumbojarosite, minium (?), greenockite, hemimorphite, smithsonite and willemite in a matrix of mixed iron-manganese oxides. Calcite, fluorite, dolomite, fine-grained quartz and barite are the principal gangue species.

Regions containing this locality

North America PlateTectonic Plate

Select Mineral List Type

Standard Detailed Strunz Dana Chemical Elements

Mineral List


25 valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

Note: this is a very new system on mindat.org and data is currently VERY limited. Please bear with us while we work towards adding this information!

Select Rock List Type

Alphabetical List Tree Diagram

Detailed Mineral List:

Anglesite
Formula: PbSO4
Reference: Saini-Eidukat et al., 2009, Mineralium Deposita v. 44, p. 363-370
Baryte
Formula: BaSO4
Reference: Saini-Eidukat et al., 2009, Mineralium Deposita v. 44, p. 363-370
'Bitumen'
Reference: Mineralium Deposita, 44 (2009) 363-370; Ostendorf, J., Henjes-Kunst, F., Schneider, J., Melcher, F., & Gutzmer, J. (2017). Genesis of the carbonate-hosted Tres Marias Zn-Pb-(Ge) deposit, Mexico: constraints from Rb-Sr sphalerite geochronology and Pb isotopes. Economic Geology, 112(5), 1075-1087.
Calcite
Formula: CaCO3
Reference: Mineralium Deposita, 44 (2009) 363-370; Ostendorf, J., Henjes-Kunst, F., Schneider, J., Melcher, F., & Gutzmer, J. (2017). Genesis of the carbonate-hosted Tres Marias Zn-Pb-(Ge) deposit, Mexico: constraints from Rb-Sr sphalerite geochronology and Pb isotopes. Economic Geology, 112(5), 1075-1087.
Cerussite
Formula: PbCO3
Reference: Saini-Eidukat et al., 2009, Mineralium Deposita v. 44, p. 363-370
Cinnabar
Formula: HgS
Reference: Mineralium Deposita, 44 (2009) 363-370
Descloizite
Formula: PbZn(VO4)(OH)
Reference: Mineralium Deposita, 44 (2009) 363-370
Dolomite
Formula: CaMg(CO3)2
Reference: Saini-Eidukat et al., 2009, Mineralium Deposita v. 44, p. 363-370
Fluorite
Formula: CaF2
Reference: Saini-Eidukat et al., 2009, Mineralium Deposita v. 44, p. 363-370
Galena
Formula: PbS
Reference: Mineralium Deposita, 44 (2009) 363-370; Ostendorf, J., Henjes-Kunst, F., Schneider, J., Melcher, F., & Gutzmer, J. (2017). Genesis of the carbonate-hosted Tres Marias Zn-Pb-(Ge) deposit, Mexico: constraints from Rb-Sr sphalerite geochronology and Pb isotopes. Economic Geology, 112(5), 1075-1087.
Goethite
Formula: α-Fe3+O(OH)
Reference: Mineralium Deposita, 44 (2009) 363-370
Greenockite
Formula: CdS
Reference: Mineralium Deposita, 44 (2009) 363-370
Hematite
Formula: Fe2O3
Reference: Mineralium Deposita, 44 (2009) 363-370
Hemimorphite
Formula: Zn4Si2O7(OH)2 · H2O
Reference: Mineralium Deposita, 44 (2009) 363-370
Marcasite
Formula: FeS2
Reference: Saini-Eidukat et al., 2009, Mineralium Deposita v. 44, p. 363-370
Mimetite
Formula: Pb5(AsO4)3Cl
Reference: Saini-Eidukat et al., 2009, Mineralium Deposita v. 44, p. 363-370
Minium
Formula: Pb3O4
Reference: Saini-Eidukat et al., 2009, Mineralium Deposita v. 44, p. 363-370
Opal
Formula: SiO2 · nH2O
Reference: Mineralium Deposita, 44 (2009) 363-370
Plumbojarosite
Formula: Pb0.5Fe3+3(SO4)2(OH)6
Reference: Saini-Eidukat et al., 2009, Mineralium Deposita v. 44, p. 363-370
Pyrite
Formula: FeS2
Reference: Mineralium Deposita, 44 (2009) 363-370; Ostendorf, J., Henjes-Kunst, F., Schneider, J., Melcher, F., & Gutzmer, J. (2017). Genesis of the carbonate-hosted Tres Marias Zn-Pb-(Ge) deposit, Mexico: constraints from Rb-Sr sphalerite geochronology and Pb isotopes. Economic Geology, 112(5), 1075-1087.
Quartz
Formula: SiO2
Reference: Mineralium Deposita, 44 (2009) 363-370
Smithsonite
Formula: ZnCO3
Reference: Saini-Eidukat et al., 2009, Mineralium Deposita v. 44, p. 363-370
Sphalerite
Formula: ZnS
Reference: Mineralium Deposita, 44 (2009) 363-370; Ostendorf, J., Henjes-Kunst, F., Schneider, J., Melcher, F., & Gutzmer, J. (2017). Genesis of the carbonate-hosted Tres Marias Zn-Pb-(Ge) deposit, Mexico: constraints from Rb-Sr sphalerite geochronology and Pb isotopes. Economic Geology, 112(5), 1075-1087.
Willemite
Formula: Zn2SiO4
Reference: Mineralium Deposita, 44 (2009) 363-370
Wulfenite
Formula: Pb(MoO4)
Reference: Mineralium Deposita, 44 (2009) 363-370
Wurtzite
Formula: (Zn,Fe)S
Reference: Saini-Eidukat et al., 2009, Mineralium Deposita v. 44, p. 363-370; Ostendorf, J., Henjes-Kunst, F., Schneider, J., Melcher, F., & Gutzmer, J. (2017). Genesis of the carbonate-hosted Tres Marias Zn-Pb-(Ge) deposit, Mexico: constraints from Rb-Sr sphalerite geochronology and Pb isotopes. Economic Geology, 112(5), 1075-1087.

List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification

Group 2 - Sulphides and Sulfosalts
Cinnabar2.CD.15aHgS
Galena2.CD.10PbS
Greenockite2.CB.45CdS
Marcasite2.EB.10aFeS2
Pyrite2.EB.05aFeS2
Sphalerite2.CB.05aZnS
Wurtzite2.CB.45(Zn,Fe)S
Group 3 - Halides
Fluorite3.AB.25CaF2
Group 4 - Oxides and Hydroxides
Goethite4.00.α-Fe3+O(OH)
Hematite4.CB.05Fe2O3
Minium4.BD.05Pb3O4
Opal4.DA.10SiO2 · nH2O
Quartz4.DA.05SiO2
Group 5 - Nitrates and Carbonates
Calcite5.AB.05CaCO3
Cerussite5.AB.15PbCO3
Dolomite5.AB.10CaMg(CO3)2
Smithsonite5.AB.05ZnCO3
Group 7 - Sulphates, Chromates, Molybdates and Tungstates
Anglesite7.AD.35PbSO4
Baryte7.AD.35BaSO4
Plumbojarosite7.BC.10Pb0.5Fe3+3(SO4)2(OH)6
Wulfenite7.GA.05Pb(MoO4)
Group 8 - Phosphates, Arsenates and Vanadates
Descloizite8.BH.40PbZn(VO4)(OH)
Mimetite8.BN.05Pb5(AsO4)3Cl
Group 9 - Silicates
Hemimorphite9.BD.10Zn4Si2O7(OH)2 · H2O
Willemite9.AA.05Zn2SiO4
Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.
'Bitumen'-

List of minerals arranged by Dana 8th Edition classification

Group 2 - SULFIDES
AmXp, with m:p = 1:1
Cinnabar2.8.14.1HgS
Galena2.8.1.1PbS
Greenockite2.8.7.2CdS
Sphalerite2.8.2.1ZnS
Wurtzite2.8.7.1(Zn,Fe)S
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 1:2
Marcasite2.12.2.1FeS2
Pyrite2.12.1.1FeS2
Group 4 - SIMPLE OXIDES
A2X3
Hematite4.3.1.2Fe2O3
Group 6 - HYDROXIDES AND OXIDES CONTAINING HYDROXYL
XO(OH)
Goethite6.1.1.2α-Fe3+O(OH)
Group 7 - MULTIPLE OXIDES
AB2X4
Minium7.2.8.1Pb3O4
Group 9 - NORMAL HALIDES
AX2
Fluorite9.2.1.1CaF2
Group 14 - ANHYDROUS NORMAL CARBONATES
A(XO3)
Calcite14.1.1.1CaCO3
Cerussite14.1.3.4PbCO3
Smithsonite14.1.1.6ZnCO3
AB(XO3)2
Dolomite14.2.1.1CaMg(CO3)2
Group 28 - ANHYDROUS ACID AND NORMAL SULFATES
AXO4
Anglesite28.3.1.3PbSO4
Baryte28.3.1.1BaSO4
Group 30 - ANHYDROUS SULFATES CONTAINING HYDROXYL OR HALOGEN
(AB)2(XO4)Zq
Plumbojarosite30.2.5.6Pb0.5Fe3+3(SO4)2(OH)6
Group 41 - ANHYDROUS PHOSPHATES, ETC.CONTAINING HYDROXYL OR HALOGEN
(AB)2(XO4)Zq
Descloizite41.5.2.1PbZn(VO4)(OH)
A5(XO4)3Zq
Mimetite41.8.4.2Pb5(AsO4)3Cl
Group 48 - ANHYDROUS MOLYBDATES AND TUNGSTATES
AXO4
Wulfenite48.1.3.1Pb(MoO4)
Group 51 - NESOSILICATES Insular SiO4 Groups Only
Insular SiO4 Groups Only with cations in [4] coordination
Willemite51.1.1.2Zn2SiO4
Group 56 - SOROSILICATES Si2O7 Groups, With Additional O, OH, F and H2O
Si2O7 Groups and O, OH, F, and H2O with cations in [4] coordination
Hemimorphite56.1.2.1Zn4Si2O7(OH)2 · H2O
Group 75 - TECTOSILICATES Si Tetrahedral Frameworks
Si Tetrahedral Frameworks - SiO2 with [4] coordinated Si
Quartz75.1.3.1SiO2
Si Tetrahedral Frameworks - SiO2 with H2O and organics
Opal75.2.1.1SiO2 · nH2O
Unclassified Minerals, Mixtures, etc.
'Bitumen'-

List of minerals for each chemical element

HHydrogen
H Goethiteα-Fe3+O(OH)
H HemimorphiteZn4Si2O7(OH)2 · H2O
H OpalSiO2 · nH2O
H DescloizitePbZn(VO4)(OH)
H PlumbojarositePb0.5Fe33+(SO4)2(OH)6
CCarbon
C CalciteCaCO3
C CerussitePbCO3
C DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
C SmithsoniteZnCO3
OOxygen
O WillemiteZn2SiO4
O CalciteCaCO3
O Goethiteα-Fe3+O(OH)
O HematiteFe2O3
O HemimorphiteZn4Si2O7(OH)2 · H2O
O OpalSiO2 · nH2O
O QuartzSiO2
O WulfenitePb(MoO4)
O DescloizitePbZn(VO4)(OH)
O AnglesitePbSO4
O CerussitePbCO3
O PlumbojarositePb0.5Fe33+(SO4)2(OH)6
O DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
O BaryteBaSO4
O SmithsoniteZnCO3
O MimetitePb5(AsO4)3Cl
O MiniumPb3O4
FFluorine
F FluoriteCaF2
MgMagnesium
Mg DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
SiSilicon
Si WillemiteZn2SiO4
Si HemimorphiteZn4Si2O7(OH)2 · H2O
Si OpalSiO2 · nH2O
Si QuartzSiO2
SSulfur
S SphaleriteZnS
S GalenaPbS
S PyriteFeS2
S GreenockiteCdS
S CinnabarHgS
S AnglesitePbSO4
S PlumbojarositePb0.5Fe33+(SO4)2(OH)6
S Wurtzite(Zn,Fe)S
S BaryteBaSO4
S MarcasiteFeS2
ClChlorine
Cl MimetitePb5(AsO4)3Cl
CaCalcium
Ca CalciteCaCO3
Ca DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
Ca FluoriteCaF2
VVanadium
V DescloizitePbZn(VO4)(OH)
FeIron
Fe PyriteFeS2
Fe Goethiteα-Fe3+O(OH)
Fe HematiteFe2O3
Fe PlumbojarositePb0.5Fe33+(SO4)2(OH)6
Fe MarcasiteFeS2
ZnZinc
Zn SphaleriteZnS
Zn WillemiteZn2SiO4
Zn HemimorphiteZn4Si2O7(OH)2 · H2O
Zn DescloizitePbZn(VO4)(OH)
Zn Wurtzite(Zn,Fe)S
Zn SmithsoniteZnCO3
AsArsenic
As MimetitePb5(AsO4)3Cl
MoMolybdenum
Mo WulfenitePb(MoO4)
CdCadmium
Cd GreenockiteCdS
BaBarium
Ba BaryteBaSO4
HgMercury
Hg CinnabarHgS
PbLead
Pb GalenaPbS
Pb WulfenitePb(MoO4)
Pb DescloizitePbZn(VO4)(OH)
Pb AnglesitePbSO4
Pb CerussitePbCO3
Pb PlumbojarositePb0.5Fe33+(SO4)2(OH)6
Pb MimetitePb5(AsO4)3Cl
Pb MiniumPb3O4

Regional Geology

This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.

Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on Macrostrat.org

Quaternary
0 - 2.588 Ma



ID: 2432038

Age: Pleistocene (0 - 2.588 Ma)

Lithology: Sedimentary

Reference: Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Geografía e Informática. Conjunto de Datos Vectoriales Geológicos. Continuo Nacional. Escala 1:1’000,000. [63]

Early Cretaceous
100.5 - 145 Ma



ID: 3186170
Mesozoic sedimentary rocks

Age: Early Cretaceous (100.5 - 145 Ma)

Lithology: Carbonate,shale

Reference: Chorlton, L.B. Generalized geology of the world: bedrock domains and major faults in GIS format: a small-scale world geology map with an extended geological attribute database. doi: 10.4095/223767. Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 5529. [154]

Data and map coding provided by Macrostrat.org, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

References

Sort by

Year (asc) Year (desc) Author (A-Z) Author (Z-A)
Saini-Eidukat, B., Melcher, F., & Lodziak, J. (2009). Zinc–germanium ores of the Tres Marias Mine, Chihuahua, Mexico. Mineralium Deposita, 44(3), 363-370.
- Saini-Eidukat, B., Frank Melcher, F., Göttlicher, J., Steininger, R. (2016): Chemical Environment of Unusually Ge- and Pb-Rich Willemite, Tres Marias Mine, Mexico. Minerals: 6(1): 20; http://forum.amiminerals.it/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=12763 (2016)
Ostendorf, J., Henjes-Kunst, F., Schneider, J., Melcher, F., & Gutzmer, J. (2017). Genesis of the carbonate-hosted Tres Marias Zn-Pb-(Ge) deposit, Mexico: constraints from Rb-Sr sphalerite geochronology and Pb isotopes. Economic Geology, 112(5), 1075-1087.

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