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Darwin, Darwin District, Darwin Hills, Inyo Co., California, USA

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 36° 16' 5'' North , 117° 35' 27'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 36.26806,-117.59083
Köppen climate type:BSk : Cold semi-arid (steppe) climate


Around 1870 gold, silver, and lead deposits were again discovered in the Coso Range, West of Darwin, resulting in formation of the New Coso Mining District circa 1874. Darwin was the main commercial center, and the Defiance the principal mine of the district. Other producers were the Argus-Sterling, Christmas Gift, Lucky Jim, Custer, Independence, Keystone, Thompson, and Wonder. During the period 1870 to 1877 three smelters were erected and water was piped in from the Coso Mountains. By the end of 1875 the town boasted two smelters, twenty working mines, 200 frame houses, seventy-eight business establishments, and a population of 700. In the late 1870s, as was happening in other Inyo County camps, Darwin began to falter in production. The Defiance furnace was shut down in August 1876; all it took to completely depopulate the town were strikes in Bodie and Mammoth City around 1878, and the remaining miners took off for these promising new frontiers.

Darwin's rebirth also occurred during the revival of industry in southern Inyo County around 1906. Earlier left on the dumps or not mined because it was considered worthless, copper was now a valuable metal and copper mining was showing unprecedented profits. In 1907 Senator Tasker L. Oddie of Nevada bought nine claims in the Darwin area, while Nixon and Wingfield of Goldfield Consolidated fame also took over some property there. That Darwin had caught the fancy of miners again is evidenced by the statement of one Greenwater miner who said that Darwin's showing of copper was even more promising than that of the famous bonanza town in which he currently lived. Also by 1907 the Lucky Jim Mine was shipping lead-silver ore to Salt Lake smelters. In June 1919 the Darwin District, especially the Lucky Jim and Christmas Gift mines, was still going strong, given impetus by an advance in the price of silver. It was showing up so well, in fact, that in 1920 the stock of the Lucky Jim was placed on the New York Stock Exchange.

By 1927 the Darwin District's future seemed assured, for the area was found to contain ores of nearly all the metallic minerals: silver, lead, gold, tungsten, and copper. Production for the area from 1870 to October 1938 reached approximately $3 to $5 million, some estimates being as high as $7 million by 1945. In that year the Anaconda Copper Mining Company purchased the principal mines and took over operations there. Darwin became the chief source of lead in California, producing two-thirds of all that commodity used in the state. The total value of all lead, silver, and zinc produced has been put at $15 million.


Darwin's rebirth also occurred during the revival of industry in southern Inyo County around 1906. Earlier left on the dumps or not mined because it was considered worthless, copper was now a valuable metal and copper mining was showing unprecedented profits. In 1907 Senator Tasker L. Oddie of Nevada bought nine claims in the Darwin area, while Nixon and Wingfield of Goldfield Consolidated fame also took over some property there. That Darwin had caught the fancy of miners again is evidenced by the statement of one Greenwater miner who said that Darwin's showing of copper was even more promising than that of the famous bonanza town in which he currently lived. Also by 1907 the Lucky Jim Mine was shipping lead-silver ore to Salt Lake smelters. In June 1919 the Darwin District, especially the Lucky Jim and Christmas Gift mines, was still going strong, given impetus by an advance in the price of silver. It was showing up so well, in fact, that in 1920 the stock of the Lucky Jim was placed on the New York Stock Exchange.

By 1927 the Darwin District's future seemed assured, for the area was found to contain ores of nearly all the metallic minerals: silver, lead, gold, tungsten, and copper. Production for the area from 1870 to October 1938 reached approximately $3 to $5 million, some estimates being as high as $7 million by 1945. In that year the Anaconda Copper Mining Company purchased the principal mines and took over operations there. Darwin became the chief source of lead in California, producing two-thirds of all that commodity used in the state. The total value of all lead, silver, and zinc produced has been put at $15 million.
(Greene, Linda I. (1981): IID.1&2)


Mineral List

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

95 valid minerals. 1 (TL) - type locality of 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

Holocene - Pliocene
0 - 5.333 Ma



ID: 2751347
Quaternary alluvium and marine deposits

Age: Cenozoic (0 - 5.333 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Temescal Formation; Modesto Formation; Victor Formation; Alameda Formation; Aromas Red Sands; Bautista Beds; Brawley Formation; Borrego Formation; Burnt Canyon Breccia; Cabezon Fanglomerate; Campus Formation; Casitas Formation; Chemehuevi Formation; Corcoran Clay; Cushenbury Springs Formation; Dos Picachos Gravels; Dripping Springs Formation; Frazier Mountain Formation; Friant Formation; Harold Formation; Heights Fanglomerate; Hookton Formation; Huichica Formation; La Habra Formation; Manix Lake Beds; Mohawk Lake Beds; Montezuma Formation; Nadeau Gravel; Ocotillo Conglomerate; Orcutt Formation; Pacoima Formation; Pauba Formation; Peckham Formation; Pinto Formation; Resting Springs Formation; Riverbank Formation; Rohnerville Formation; San Dimas Formation; Shoemaker Gravel; Temecula Arkose; Battery Formation; Bay Point Formation; Colma Formation; Lindavista Formation; Lomita Marl; Merritt Sand; Millerton Formation; Palos Verdes Sand; San Pedro Formation; Sweitzer Formation; Timms Point Silt

Description: Alluvium, lake, playa, and terrace deposits; unconsolidated and semi-consolidated. Mostly nonmarine, but includes marine deposits near the coast.

Lithology: Major:{coarse alluvium}, Minor:{fine alluvium}

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]

Quaternary - Miocene
0 - 23.03 Ma



ID: 3185380
Cenozoic sedimentary rocks

Age: Cenozoic (0 - 23.03 Ma)

Lithology: Sedimentary 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]

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


Localities in this Region


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.

References

Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
The Mineralogical Record (1975): 6: 110-113.
Greene, Linda I. (1981), U.S. National Park Service, Historic Preservation Branch, Pacific Northwest/Western Team, Denver Service Center, Death Valley – Historic Resource Study – A History of Mining, Volume I, part 1, IID.1 & 2.
The Mineralogical Record (1984): 15: 5-18.

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