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Sunflower District (Mazatzal Mountains District; Quicksilver District), Mazatzal Mts, Gila Co., Arizona, USA

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Location is approximate, estimate based on other nearby localities.
Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 33° North , 111° West (est.)
Margin of Error:~32km
Other regions containing this locality:Sonoran Desert, North America
Köppen climate type:BSk : Cold semi-arid (steppe) climate

This is a mercury mining area located in T5-7N, R8-10E, in the Mazatzal Mountains, principally on the eastern slope, but also on the western slope in Maricopa County. The district is named after the Sunflower Mine, one of the prominent mines in the district. Production ceased about 1955.

The quicksilver deposits of the Sunflower District are lodes, which in general conform to the lamination of the schist in which they lie. In the southwestern part of the quicksilver belt three approximately parallel lodes are recognized. These are from 300 to 500 feet apart. The middle or Packover lode appears to be the longest and the best metallized and is the one on which nearly all development work has been done.

The lodes consist of veinlets, films, and specks of cinnabar in schist and as a rule have no definite walls. Associated with the cinnabar, particularly in the larger veinlets, is more or less gangue. The usual gangue-forming minerals below the zone of oxidation are calcite; a buff ferruginous carbonate, probably of variable composition, which leaves a residue of limonite on weathering; and quartz. Some barite is reported. Sulfides other than cinnabar are rare within the veinlets, although small crystals of pyrite closely associated with flecks of cinnabar are fairly abundant in some of the schist near veinlets. A very little chalcopyrite was noted. Globules of native mercury occur with some of the cinnabar.

Most of the veinlets or stringers lie in the cleavage planes of the schist and range from mere films to veins 6 inches thick. Stringers over an inch thick are exceptional. In some places stringers cut across the schistosity. As a rule the veinlets interleaved with the schist are not individually persistent for more than a few feet; they thin out and are succeeded by others. Many of the stringers that cut across the schists are very irregular in course and width. The abundance of the cinnabar veinlets and the total width of the metallized zone vary greatly from place to place.

Although the individual veinlets are not persistent, the Packover lode as a whole is traceable with reasonable certainty for at least 3 miles (5 km).

Commodity List

This is a list of exploitable or exploited mineral commodities recorded from this region.

Mineral List

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

17 valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

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

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Localities in this Region

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.


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Ransome, F.L. (1916), Quicksilver Deposits of the Mazatzal Range, Arizona, in Contributions to Economic Geology by F.L. Ransome & H.S. Gale, USGS Bull. 620: 111-128.
Faick, John N. (1958), Geology of the Ord Mine, Mazatzal Mountains Quicksilver District, Arizona, USGS Bull. 1042-R.
Orr, R. L. (1990). Geology and mineralization associated with the early proterozoic alder group, the Sunflower Mining District, Maricopa and Gila Counties, Arizona. Masters thesis: University of Arizona.
Anthony, J.W., et al (1995), Mineralogy of Arizona, 3rd. ed.: 153, 211.

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