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Lucky Lucy Mine, Darwin, Darwin District, Darwin Hills, Inyo Co., California, USA

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 36° 16' 24'' North , 117° 34' 30'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 36.27333,-117.57500
Köppen climate type:BSk : Cold semi-arid (steppe) climate

A former tiny Bi-Zn-Cu mine located in sec. 19, T19S, R41E (MDM), 1.5 km (1.0 mile) ENE of Darwin, near the Custer Mine. Worked in the 1950’s when the larger mines in the area were working. MRDS database stated accuracy for this location is . Once the small copper-zinc ore body was mined out, the mine was abandoned. Corrected description and position N36.27318 W117.57504 by Richard Muster, courtesy Gail Dunning, Walt Margerum and Robert Hously.

NOTE: This mine is not listed in the USGS MRDS database.

The ore body was unusual in the fact that, in an area of Pb-Ag and W mines, the ores were predominately Cu & Zn. The rocks in this near surface mine are weathered interbedded calc-hornfels and altered to tactite. Local rocks include .

It is rather different from the nearby mines and the minerals it contained were also distinctly different. The Brochantite and Serpierite were well crystallized, and the Serpierite find represented the first California locality for this mineral.

The mine is located between the St. Charles Mine and the Custer Mine, but is closer to the Custer than the St. Charles. To get there you need to hike approximately 2000 feet down (eastwards) Custer Canyon. After you pass the St. Charles loading chute you will see the Custer mine to your left. As you start up the side road to the Custer mine you will see a small road leading to your left. This is the track to the Lucky Lucy mine. There is some lumber on the side of the hill below the mine. The pit is not visible until you are almost on top of it.

Workings include surface openings comprised only of a single pit about 4 meters deep extending into the side of the hill.

Some visitors reporting minerals from the Custer mine might have been actually at the Lucky Lucy mine.

Mineral List

23 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

Cisuralian - Mississippian
272.3 - 358.9 Ma

ID: 2908410
Carboniferous marine rocks, unit 2 (SE California Carbonate Assemblage)

Age: Paleozoic (272.3 - 358.9 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Anvil Spring Formation; Bird Spring Formation; Tihvipah Limestone (part); Monte Cristo Limestone; Santa Rosa Hills Limestone; Perdido Group; Stone Canyon Formation; Tin Mountain Limestone; Indian Springs Formation

Description: Shale, sandstone, conglomerate, limestone, dolomite, chert, hornfels, marble, quartzite; in part pyroclastic rocks

Comments: Southeastern California carbonate assemblage (eastern Mojave Desert and southeastern Death Valley area). Consists primarily of limestone with minor siltstone and sandstone.Includes some rocks of Early Permian age,

Lithology: Major:{limestone}, Minor:{sandstone,siltstone mudstone}

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

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.


Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Knopf, Adolph (1914) The Darwin Lead-Silver Mining District California, USGS Bulletin 580-A, 19 p.
Norman, L.A., and Stewart, R.A.(1951), Mines and Mineral Resources of Inyo County, California, California Division of Mines and Geology Report 47): 47(1) (January 1951).
Hall, Wayne Everett & E.M. Mackevett (1958), Economic geology of the Darwin quadrangle, Inyo County, California: Calif Division of Mines Special Report 51: 65.
Hall, Wayne Everett & Edward M. Mackevett (1963), Geology and ore deposits of the Darwin quadrangle, Inyo County, California: USGS Professional Paper 368: 59, 76, 77.
Murdoch, Joseph & Robert W. Webb (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 106, 107.
Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California; Van Nostrand Reinholt Press: 102 (map 3-6), 125-126, 137, 234, 299, 333.
Stolburg, C. S. (1984) The Mines and Minerals of Darwin, California, The Mineralogical Record: 15(1): 5-18.
Randol Mining Directory (1990).
Dunning, G.E., Moelo, Yves, Roberts, A.c., & Cooper, J. F (2000)., Ag-Cu-Pb-Bi Sulfosalts New To Darwin, Inyo County, California. Occasional Web Publication of the Bay Area Mineralogists, 2000.
Margerum, W. (2002), Bulletin of the Mineralogical Society of Southern California.
Cooper; Fen and Dunning, Gail (2003) : Occasional Publication of the Bay Area Mineralogists, February, 2003.
Margerum, W. (2004) The Darwin Tungsten Area Part II: Mines and Mineralogy in the Bulletin of the Mineralogical Society of Southern California Vol. 74(5).

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