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Cerro Gordo Mine, Cerro Gordo, Cerro Gordo District, Inyo Mts (Inyo Range), Inyo Co., California, USA

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 36° 32' 20'' North , 117° 47' 20'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 36.53889,-117.78889
GeoHash:G#: 9qkpzeswr
Locality type:Mine
Köppen climate type:BWk : Cold desert climate

A former Ag-Pb-Cu-Zn mine located in secs. 12, 13, 23 & 24, T16S, R38E, MDM, at the site of the former town of Cerro Gordo (mining ghost town), 9.5 km (5.9 miles; 9 road miles) NE of Keeler. The property consisted of 550 acres. MRDS database stated accuracy for this location is 10 meters. This mine resulted from the consolidation of the Union and Santa Maria mines.

Mineralization is a replacement deposit (Mineral occurrence model information: Model code: 72; USGS model code: 19a; Deposit model name: Polymetallic replacement; Mark3 model number: 47), hosted in Late Devonian marble. The ore body is lenticular in form, strikes N-NW and dips 70SW at a width of 6.1 meters and a length of 21.34 meters. The predominant rock is white marble. Slate and igneous rock, with dikes of diorite and porphyry occur within the marble. Three periods of mineralization are recognizable in the mine. The earliest was of pyrite; the second was argentiferous galena and sphalerite with some pyrite; and, the last was quartz with subordinate amounts of galena and argentiferous tetrahedrite. There are 6 ore bodies: China stope, Jefferson Diabase dike, La Despreciada, Union and Belshaw. These formed along steep, N-NW fissures in the Devonian marble. Local rocks include Carboniferous marine rocks, unit 3 (SE California Clastic Assemblage).

Local geologic structures include faults, both pre-intrusive and post-intrusive, pre-mineralization and post-mineralization, some with considerable displacement.

Workings include underground openings with a length of 48,279 meters and an overall depth of 274.32 meters. The greatest vertical dimension of the stopes was about 1,000 feet. The mine was developed by a 900 foot shaft with levels at 85, 200, 400, 550, 700 and 900 feet. A 200 foot deep winze was sunk from the 900 foot level extends to the 1000 and 1100 levels. A second winze was sunk 250 feet and gave access to the 1030 and 1150 levels S of the shaft. Total underground workings are about 30 miles in extent.

During the period 1943 to 1945, the Golden Queen Mining Co. shipped 750 to 1,000 tons of ore, which assayed 17.5% Pb and 13.2 ounces/ton Ag. Total production was estimated to be over $17,000,000 (period values). The recorded production since 1906 is over $6,000,000.

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

45 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 Macrostrat.org

66 - 145 Ma

ID: 3192002
Mesozoic intrusive rocks

Age: Cretaceous (66 - 145 Ma)

Lithology: Intrusive igneous rocks

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]

Cisuralian - Late Devonian
272.3 - 382.7 Ma

ID: 2937539
Carboniferous marine rocks, unit 3 (SE California Clastic Assemblage)

Age: Paleozoic (272.3 - 382.7 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Keeler Canyon Formation; Tihvipah Limestone; Rest Spring Shale; Perdido Group; Mexican Spring Formation; Leaning Rock Formation; Kearsarge Formation; Squares Tunnel Formation

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

Comments: Southeastern California clastic assemblage (northwestern Death Valley area). Consists primarily of Lower to Upper Mississippian limestone, Upper Mississippian shale, and Pennsylvanian to Lower Permian limestone (turbidite facies).Includes some rocks of Late Devonian age.

Lithology: Major:{shale,limestone}, Minor:{siltstone,chert}, Incidental:{conglomerate, argillite}

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 Macrostrat.org, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

Localities in this Region
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This page contains all mineral locality references listed on mindat.org. 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 mindat.org 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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Raymond, Rossiter Worthington (1869), The mines of the West, Report to the Secretary of the Treasury, 256 pp., New York: 29.
Hanks, Henry Garber (1884), Fourth report of the State Mineralogist: California Mining Bureau. Report 4, 410 pp. (includes catalog of minerals of California pp. 63-410), and miscellaneous observations on mineral products): 71, 124.
Rogers, Austin Flint (1901), Mineralogical notes: American Journal of Science, 4th. Series: 12: 42-48.
Eakle, Arthur Starr (1908), Notes on some California minerals: University of California, Department of Geological Science Bulletin: 5: 225-233.
Guild, Frank Nelson (1911), Mineralogische Notizen: Zeitschr. Kristallographie, Band 49: 321-331.
Rogers, Austin Flint (1912b), Notes on rare minerals from California: Columbia University, School of Mines Quarterly: 33: 374.
Knopf, Adolf (1914b), Mineral resources of the Inyo and White Mountains, California: USGS Bulletin 540: 105, 106.
Waring, Clarence A. (1915), Inyo County; 15th Report of the State Mineralogist, California Mining Bureau: 74.
Knopf, Adolf (1918a), A geologic reconnaissance of the Inyo Range and the eastern slope of the southern Sierra Nevada, California; with a section on the stratigraphy of the Inyo Range, by Edwin Kirk; USGS PP 110, 130 pp.; […(abstract): Washington Academy of Science Journal: 9: 414 (1919)]: 114, 115-116.
Tucker, W. Burling & Reid J. Sampson (1938), Mineral resources of Inyo County, California: California Journal of Mines and Geology; California Division of Mines (Report 34): 34(4): 431-433.
Palache, Charles, Harry Berman & Clifford Frondel (1944), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana Yale University 1837-1892, Volume I: Elements, Sulfides, Sulfosalts, Oxides. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York. 7th edition, revised and enlarged, 834pp.: 409.
Palache, Charles, Harry Berman & Clifford Frondel (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: Halides, Nitrates, Borates, Carbonates, Sulfates, Phosphates, Arsenates, Tungstates, Molybdates, Etc. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged, 1124pp.: 250.
Goodwin, Joseph Grant (1957) Lead and zinc in California. California Journal of Mines and Geology, Division of Mines (Report 53): 53(3&4): 460.
Merriam, Charles Warren (1963), Geology of the Cerro Gordo Mining District, Inyo County, California: USGS PP 408, 83 pp.
Pemberton, H. Earl (1964a), Minerals new to California: The Mineralogist (August 1964): 32: 16.
Murdoch, Joseph & Robert W. Webb (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 89, 104, 114, 119, 123, 125, 213, 223, 232, 241, 244, 245, 252, 267, 292, 340, 384, 388.
Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California; Van Nostrand Reinholt Press: 48, 184, 225, 228, 229, 234, 298, 299, 339, 437.
USGS (2005), Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS): U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, loc. file ID #10076617 & 10211830.
U.S. Bureau of Mines, Minerals Availability System (MAS) file ID #0060270128.
USGS Bull 625.

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