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Minnietta Mine (Minnietta Mines; Minietta Mine; Minneatta; St. John), Lookout City, Lookout District (Modoc District), Argus Mts (Argus Range), Inyo Co., California, USA

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 36° 14' 16'' North , 117° 25' 55'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 36.23778,-117.43194
Köppen climate type:BWk : Cold desert climate

A former Pb-Ag-Zn-Au-Cu-Mn mine located in sec. 33, T19S, R42E, MDM, 0.9 km (0.6 mile) SSE of Lookout City, on the lower S slope of Lookout Mountain, along Thompson Canyon, E slope of the Argus Range (9 airline miles SE of Panamint Springs). Operated during the period 1902 to 1952. MRDS database stated accuracy for this location is 10 meters.

"The Minietta operated on and off until 1915. In 1924 this silver-lead-gold mine was reopened and the Modoc Mine was leased. [21] Their slag piles and dumps were reworked, yielding gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc. In the mid-1930s the Minietta was leased and refinanced and a mill and modern equipment were to be installed. If gold and silver prices held, the future of the mine seemed bright. [22] By 1938 the Modoc Mine had produced $1,900,000 worth of ore and the Minietta $1,000,000." (National Park Service).

Mineralization is sphalerite ore hosted in limestone. The ore body strikes N40-45E and dips 45-22NW. Diabase dikes are in close proximity to some stopes and may have controlled deposition of ore. The ore occurs along the sole of a thrust sheet and in steeply dipping faults below the thrust. The outcrop is marked by Mn and Fe oxides. Local alteration involved silicification. Diabase is an associated rock. Local rocks include Devonian marine rocks, unit 1 (Death Valley).

Local geologic structures include faults and a thrust.

Workings include surface and underground openings with a length of 106. 68 meters and comprised of 3 levels with the upper level ore stoped. from the 85 foot drift to the surface. The middle level consists of a 65 foot adit. The lower level is a 250 foot adit.

Production data are found in: Goodwin, Joseph Grant (1957).

Production statistics: Year: 1949 (through 1949): ^16% Pb. The last ore shipped in 1952 contained 12.1% Pb, 8.2 ounces Ag/ton plus recoverable Cu & Au. Zn production has not been large, about 12,000 pounds (1948 & 1950).

Mineral List

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

13 valid minerals.

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

Late Devonian - Middle Devonian
358.9 - 393.3 Ma

ID: 2989924
Devonian marine rocks, unit 1 (Death Valley)

Age: Devonian (358.9 - 393.3 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Sultan Limestone; Lost Burro Formation; Nevada Formation; Devils Gate Limestone

Description: Limestone and dolomite, sandstone and shale; in part tuffaceous

Comments: Southeastern California. Consists primarily of dolostone, limestone, and minor quartzite

Lithology: Major:{limestone,dolostone}, Incidental:{sandstone, marble, quartzite}

Reference: Horton, J.D., C.A. San Juan, and D.B. Stoeser. The State Geologic Map Compilation (SGMC) geodatabase of the conterminous United States. doi: 10.3133/ds1052. U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1052. [133]

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

Localities in this Region

  • California
    • Inyo Co.
      • Argus Mts (Argus Range)
        • Lookout District (Modoc District)
          • Lookout City

This page 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.


Tucker, W. Burling & Reid J. Sampson (1938), Mineral resources of Inyo County, California: California Journal of Mines and Geology (Report 34): 34(4): 445.

Goodwin, Joseph Grant (1957) Lead and zinc in California. California Journal of Mines and Geology, Division of Mines (Report 53): 53(3&4): 490.

Hall, Wayne Everett & Hal G. Stephens (1963), Economic geology of the Panamint Butte quadrangle and Modoc district, Inyo County, California: California Division of Mines & Geology Special Report 73: 24, 25, 25-35, 26, 27, 32 & 34.

Murdoch, Joseph & Robert W. Webb (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 75, 124, 160, 163, 174, 223, 266, 303.

Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California; Van Nostrand Reinholt Press: 84, 101, 164, 167, 168, 184, 194, 229, 230, 276, 324.

USGS (2005), Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS): U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, loc. file ID #10076633 & 10236349.

U.S. Bureau of Mines, Minerals Availability System (MAS) file ID #0060270157.

External Links (National Park Service: Death Valley - Historic Resource Study - A History of Mining)

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