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Pontatoc Mine (Pontotoc Mine), Tucson, Oracle District (Control District; Old Hat District; Santa Catalina District), Santa Catalina Mts, Pima Co., Arizona, USA

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A former small underground Cu-Ag-Au-Mo mine located in the NE ¼ sec. 3, T.13S., R.14E., at the South base of the Santa Catalina Mountains, in North Tucson. Discovered 1906. Owned/operated at times, or in part, by the Ponotoc Copper Co., Ramsdell; and the Texas-Arizona Copper Co. Owned by George Wilson (1964).

Mineralization is relatively weak, spotty, and localized copper minerals and minor molybdenite as ore in a wide altered breccia zone along the Catalina foothill fault dividing Catalina Gneiss, a Laramide metamorphic, from Tertiary to Quaternary Pantano conglomerate beds. The ore zone strikes N60E and dips 27SE. Ore occurred in the fault zones wherever rock alteration is intense. Alteration included silicification, propylitization, spordic dolomitization and epidote. Sulfides precipitated with quartz.

Assay revealed a maximum 10.3% Cu, average of 5% Cu. The dump assayed 2% Cu.

Local structures include a major E-trending fault zone and subsidiary faults; Santa Catalina Fault.

Workings include a 20 foot winze, a 105 foot deep shaft sunk between 1907-1910; and a 125 foot (38.1 meters) deep new shaft sunk around 1918, plus a pit and tunnel operations. Workings were ultimately 38.1 meters deep and 38.1 meters long. This mine was located in 1906 and worked in 1907 and 1916-1917. It produced a total of some 5,000 tons of hand-picked ore averaging about 4% Cu, 0.5 oz. Ag/T and a trace of Au.

Mineral List

14 entries listed. 13 valid minerals.

The above list 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.


Guild, F.N. (1910), The mineralogy of Arizona, The Chemical Publishing Co., Easton, PA.

Moore, B.N., et al (1941), Geology of the Tucson quadrangle, Arizona, USGS Open-file Report.

DuBois, R.L. (1959), Petrography and structures of a part of the gneissic complex of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona, Arizona Geological Society, Southern Arizona Guidebook II: 117-127.

Fair, C.L. & Jinks, J.E. (1961), Santa Catalina foothills fault in the Pontotoc area, Arizona Geological Society Digest: 4: 131-133.

Wilson, E.D. (1961): 61-62.

Medhi, P.K. (1964) A geologic study of the Pontatoc mine area, Pima County, Arizona: Tucson, University of Arizona, M.S. thesis, 44 p.

Banks, N.G. (1974) Field Examination (Pontatoc Mine).

Keith, Stanton B. (1974), Arizona Bureau of Geology & Mineral Technology, Geological Survey Branch Bull. 189, Index of Mining Properties in Pima County, Arizona: 113 (Table 4).

Anthony, J.W., et al (1995), Mineralogy of Arizona, 3rd. ed.: 166, 215, 284.

USGS (2005), Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS): U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, loc. file ID #10039689, MRDS ID #M050656; and, Dep. ID #10234814.

DuHamel, Jonathan (2012), The Potatoc Mine in a north Tucson neighborhood, The Tucson Citizen, Wry Heat column, under geology (Jan 2, 2012).

Yale Peabody GNIS database (NOTE: this database is derived from USGS 1:24,000 topographic map data).

Arizona Bureau of Mines file data.

U.S. Bureau of Mines, Minerals Availability System (MAS) file ID #0040190364.

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