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Georgetown-Silver Plume District, Clear Creek Co., Colorado, USAi
Regional Level Types
Georgetown-Silver Plume DistrictMining District
Clear Creek Co.County
ColoradoState
USACountry

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84):
39° 41' 58'' North , 105° 42' 45'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal):
Locality type:
Köppen climate type:


Also known as Griffith or Silver Plume. Ag, Zn, Pb, Au, Cu.

Location and history: The Georgetown-Silver Plume District occupies an area of about 25 square miles in the west-central part of Clear Creek County, surrounding the towns of Silver Plume and Georgetown. Georgetown is situated at the junction of Clear Creek and South Clear Creek and Silver Plume is on Clear Creek 2 miles southwest of Georgetown. The principal mines are on the south slope of Republican Mountain, just north of Silver Plume, but there are some important mines to the southwest, northeast, and northwest of Georgetown. The district is well watered by the drainage of Clear Creek and is very rugged, ranging from 8,400 to 12,400 feet in altitude.

Precious metals were first discovered in the district in 1859, when several lodes were located near Georgetown, at that time called Elizabethtown. The rich surface ores were worked chiefly for gold, although most of the veins in depth have since produced more silver than gold. Among the most prominent was one located on August 1, 1859, by George Griffith. In 1864 a rich silver vein, the "Belmont lode," was discovered in the Argentine district southwest of Silver Plume, and as silver at that time was worth $1.34 an ounce there was a rush of prospectors to the Silver Plume-Georgetown region seeking silver lodes. During 1865 and 1866, many silver-bearing veins were discovered near Georgetown and Silver Plume. In 1867 the Blackhawk smelter began to operate and greatly stimulated mining in the Front Range. In 1870 mining in the region was further helped by the completion of two railroads to Denver and one from Denver to Golden. The period of important silver-lead mining really commenced in 1872, reached its peak in 1894, and gradually declined thereafter.

Mineralogy and Geology: The chief metals produced in the Silver Plume-Georgetown district are silver, lead, gold, and zinc, but in general the gold occurs in separate areas. In the very productive area covering about 2 square miles just north of Silver Plume, the veins contain silver, lead, and zinc almost to the exclusion of gold, and this is also true of the veins on Republican Mountain and on Democrat Mountain, 1½ to 2½ miles north-northeast. In these areas veins of both northeast and northwest trend are prominent and important, but commonly the trends are nearer east-west than north. One and a half to 2 miles south of Georgetown is a smaller but important silver mining area-that of the Colorado Central group-the abundant ores of which are largely of high grade and very similar to those of the Silver Plume area. This silver belt is represented farther to the northeast by the Conlet-Aetna and Magnet veins, about a mile east of Georgetown. In this belt the predominant strike of the veins is northeast.

Between the two silver belts is a narrow gold belt about three-fourths of a mile wide extending from Leavenworth Mountain, 1½ miles south of Georgetown, northeastward to Saxon Mountain. In this belt the important veins. all trend northeastward. The gold- bearing veins commonly contain some silver, and at the northern end of the belt the value of the silver content is somewhat higher than that of the gold. On Lincoln Mountain, 3½ miles northwest of Georgetown, some veins are chiefly valuable for silver and others for gold.

Mineralogically the two groups of ores may be classified as (1) galena-sphalerite ores with some pyrite, chalcopyrite, gray copper, and polybasite, and (2) pyritic ores containing chiefly pyrite and chalcopyrite, with subordinate quantities of galena and sphalerite, and less commonly tetrahedrite.

Regions containing this locality

North America PlateTectonic Plate
Rocky Mountains, North AmericaMountain Range

Select Mineral List Type

Standard Detailed Strunz Dana Chemical Elements

Mineral List


30 valid minerals.

Detailed Mineral List:

Acanthite
Formula: Ag2S
Reference: Minerals of Colorado (1997) E.B. Eckel
Ankerite
Formula: Ca(Fe2+,Mg)(CO3)2
Reference: USGS PP 223(Lovering,1950)
Aragonite
Formula: CaCO3
Reference: Minerals of Colorado (1997) Eckel, E. B.
Augite
Formula: (CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6
Reference: USGS PP 223(Lovering,1950)
Azurite
Formula: Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2
Reference: USGS PP 223(Lovering,1950)
Baryte
Formula: BaSO4
Reference: USGS PP 223(Lovering,1950)
Bornite
Formula: Cu5FeS4
Reference: Minerals of Colorado (1997) Eckel, E. B.
Calcite
Formula: CaCO3
Reference: USGS PP 223(Lovering,1950)
Cerussite
Formula: PbCO3
Reference: USGS PP 223(Lovering,1950)
Chalcocite
Formula: Cu2S
Reference: USGS PP 223(Lovering,1950)
Chlorargyrite
Formula: AgCl
Reference: Minerals of Colorado (1997) Eckel, E. B.
Dolomite
Formula: CaMg(CO3)2
Reference: USGS PP 223(Lovering,1950)
Enargite
Formula: Cu3AsS4
Reference: Minerals of Colorado (1997) Eckel, E. B.
Fluorite
Formula: CaF2
Reference: USGS PP 223(Lovering,1950)
Gold
Formula: Au
Reference: USGS PP 223(Lovering,1950)
Hessite
Formula: Ag2Te
Reference: USGS PP 223(Lovering,1950)
Kaolinite
Formula: Al2(Si2O5)(OH)4
Reference: USGS PP 223(Lovering,1950)
'K Feldspar'
Reference: Minerals of Colorado (1997) E.B. Eckels
'K Feldspar var: Adularia'
Formula: KAlSi3O8
Reference: Minerals of Colorado (1997) E.B. Eckel
'Limonite'
Formula: (Fe,O,OH,H2O)
Reference: USGS PP 223(Lovering,1950)
Magnesite
Formula: MgCO3
Reference: USGS PP 223(Lovering,1950)
Malachite
Formula: Cu2(CO3)(OH)2
Reference: USGS PP 223(Lovering,1950)
Matildite
Formula: AgBiS2
Reference: Minerals of Colorado (1997) E.B. Eckel
Minium
Formula: Pb3O4
Reference: Minerals of Colorado (1997) E.B. Eckel
Orthoclase
Formula: K(AlSi3O8)
Reference: USGS PP 223(Lovering,1950)
Polybasite
Formula: [(Ag,Cu)6(Sb,As)2S7][Ag9CuS4]
Reference: USGS PP 223(Lovering,1950)
Polybasite-Tac
Reference: Minerals of Colorado (1997) Eckel, E. B.
Proustite
Formula: Ag3AsS3
Reference: Minerals of Colorado (1997) Eckel, E. B.
Pyrargyrite
Formula: Ag3SbS3
Reference: USGS PP 223(Lovering,1950)
Rhodochrosite
Formula: MnCO3
Reference: USGS PP 223(Lovering,1950)
'Scapolite' ?
Reference: Minerals of Colorado (1997) E.B. Eckel
Stephanite
Formula: Ag5SbS4
Reference: USGS PP 223(Lovering,1950)
Tetrahedrite
Formula: Cu6[Cu4(Fe,Zn)2]Sb4S13
Reference: USGS PP 223(Lovering,1950)
Torbernite
Formula: Cu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 12H2O
Reference: Minerals of Colorado (1997) E.B. Eckel

List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification

Group 1 - Elements
Gold1.AA.05Au
Group 2 - Sulphides and Sulfosalts
Acanthite2.BA.35Ag2S
Bornite2.BA.15Cu5FeS4
Chalcocite2.BA.05Cu2S
Enargite2.KA.05Cu3AsS4
Hessite2.BA.60Ag2Te
Matildite2.JA.20AgBiS2
Polybasite2.GB.15[(Ag,Cu)6(Sb,As)2S7][Ag9CuS4]
Proustite2.GA.05Ag3AsS3
Pyrargyrite2.GA.05Ag3SbS3
Stephanite2.GB.10Ag5SbS4
Tetrahedrite2.GB.05Cu6[Cu4(Fe,Zn)2]Sb4S13
Group 3 - Halides
Chlorargyrite3.AA.15AgCl
Fluorite3.AB.25CaF2
Group 4 - Oxides and Hydroxides
Minium4.BD.05Pb3O4
Group 5 - Nitrates and Carbonates
Ankerite5.AB.10Ca(Fe2+,Mg)(CO3)2
Aragonite5.AB.15CaCO3
Azurite5.BA.05Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2
Calcite5.AB.05CaCO3
Cerussite5.AB.15PbCO3
Dolomite5.AB.10CaMg(CO3)2
Magnesite5.AB.05MgCO3
Malachite5.BA.10Cu2(CO3)(OH)2
Rhodochrosite5.AB.05MnCO3
Group 7 - Sulphates, Chromates, Molybdates and Tungstates
Baryte7.AD.35BaSO4
Group 8 - Phosphates, Arsenates and Vanadates
Torbernite8.EB.05Cu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 12H2O
Group 9 - Silicates
Augite9.DA.15(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6
Kaolinite9.ED.05Al2(Si2O5)(OH)4
Orthoclase9.FA.30K(AlSi3O8)
Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.
'K Feldspar'-
'var: Adularia'-KAlSi3O8
'Limonite'-(Fe,O,OH,H2O)
Polybasite-Tac-
'Scapolite' ?-

List of minerals arranged by Dana 8th Edition classification

Group 1 - NATIVE ELEMENTS AND ALLOYS
Metals, other than the Platinum Group
Gold1.1.1.1Au
Group 2 - SULFIDES
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 2:1
Acanthite2.4.1.1Ag2S
Chalcocite2.4.7.1Cu2S
Hessite2.4.2.1Ag2Te
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 3:2
Bornite2.5.2.1Cu5FeS4
Group 3 - SULFOSALTS
ø > 4
Polybasite3.1.7.2[(Ag,Cu)6(Sb,As)2S7][Ag9CuS4]
ø = 4
Enargite3.2.1.1Cu3AsS4
Stephanite3.2.4.1Ag5SbS4
3 <ø < 4
Tetrahedrite3.3.6.1Cu6[Cu4(Fe,Zn)2]Sb4S13
ø = 3
Proustite3.4.1.1Ag3AsS3
Pyrargyrite3.4.1.2Ag3SbS3
ø = 2
Matildite3.7.1.1AgBiS2
Group 7 - MULTIPLE OXIDES
AB2X4
Minium7.2.8.1Pb3O4
Group 9 - NORMAL HALIDES
AX
Chlorargyrite9.1.4.1AgCl
AX2
Fluorite9.2.1.1CaF2
Group 14 - ANHYDROUS NORMAL CARBONATES
A(XO3)
Calcite14.1.1.1CaCO3
Cerussite14.1.3.4PbCO3
Magnesite14.1.1.2MgCO3
Rhodochrosite14.1.1.4MnCO3
AB(XO3)2
Ankerite14.2.1.2Ca(Fe2+,Mg)(CO3)2
Dolomite14.2.1.1CaMg(CO3)2
Group 16a - ANHYDROUS CARBONATES CONTAINING HYDROXYL OR HALOGEN
Azurite16a.2.1.1Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2
Malachite16a.3.1.1Cu2(CO3)(OH)2
Group 28 - ANHYDROUS ACID AND NORMAL SULFATES
AXO4
Baryte28.3.1.1BaSO4
Group 40 - HYDRATED NORMAL PHOSPHATES,ARSENATES AND VANADATES
AB2(XO4)2·xH2O, containing (UO2)2+
Torbernite40.2a.13.1Cu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 12H2O
Group 65 - INOSILICATES Single-Width,Unbranched Chains,(W=1)
Single-Width Unbranched Chains, W=1 with chains P=2
Augite65.1.3a.3(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6
Group 76 - TECTOSILICATES Al-Si Framework
Al-Si Framework with Al-Si frameworks
Orthoclase76.1.1.1K(AlSi3O8)
Unclassified Minerals, Mixtures, etc.
Aragonite-CaCO3
'K Feldspar'-
'var: Adularia'-KAlSi3O8
Kaolinite-Al2(Si2O5)(OH)4
'Limonite'-(Fe,O,OH,H2O)
Polybasite-Tac-
'Scapolite' ?-

List of minerals for each chemical element

HHydrogen
H AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2
H KaoliniteAl2(Si2O5)(OH)4
H Limonite(Fe,O,OH,H2O)
H MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
H TorberniteCu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 12H2O
CCarbon
C AnkeriteCa(Fe2+,Mg)(CO3)2
C AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2
C CalciteCaCO3
C CerussitePbCO3
C DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
C MagnesiteMgCO3
C MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
C RhodochrositeMnCO3
C AragoniteCaCO3
OOxygen
O AnkeriteCa(Fe2+,Mg)(CO3)2
O Augite(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6
O AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2
O BaryteBaSO4
O CalciteCaCO3
O CerussitePbCO3
O DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
O KaoliniteAl2(Si2O5)(OH)4
O Limonite(Fe,O,OH,H2O)
O MagnesiteMgCO3
O MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
O OrthoclaseK(AlSi3O8)
O RhodochrositeMnCO3
O AragoniteCaCO3
O MiniumPb3O4
O K Feldspar (var: Adularia)KAlSi3O8
O TorberniteCu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 12H2O
FFluorine
F FluoriteCaF2
MgMagnesium
Mg AnkeriteCa(Fe2+,Mg)(CO3)2
Mg Augite(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6
Mg DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
Mg MagnesiteMgCO3
AlAluminium
Al KaoliniteAl2(Si2O5)(OH)4
Al OrthoclaseK(AlSi3O8)
Al K Feldspar (var: Adularia)KAlSi3O8
SiSilicon
Si Augite(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6
Si KaoliniteAl2(Si2O5)(OH)4
Si OrthoclaseK(AlSi3O8)
Si K Feldspar (var: Adularia)KAlSi3O8
PPhosphorus
P TorberniteCu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 12H2O
SSulfur
S ProustiteAg3AsS3
S BaryteBaSO4
S ChalcociteCu2S
S Polybasite[(Ag,Cu)6(Sb,As)2S7][Ag9CuS4]
S PyrargyriteAg3SbS3
S StephaniteAg5SbS4
S TetrahedriteCu6[Cu4(Fe,Zn)2]Sb4S13
S AcanthiteAg2S
S BorniteCu5FeS4
S EnargiteCu3AsS4
S MatilditeAgBiS2
ClChlorine
Cl ChlorargyriteAgCl
KPotassium
K OrthoclaseK(AlSi3O8)
K K Feldspar (var: Adularia)KAlSi3O8
CaCalcium
Ca AnkeriteCa(Fe2+,Mg)(CO3)2
Ca Augite(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6
Ca CalciteCaCO3
Ca DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
Ca FluoriteCaF2
Ca AragoniteCaCO3
MnManganese
Mn RhodochrositeMnCO3
FeIron
Fe AnkeriteCa(Fe2+,Mg)(CO3)2
Fe Augite(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6
Fe Limonite(Fe,O,OH,H2O)
Fe TetrahedriteCu6[Cu4(Fe,Zn)2]Sb4S13
Fe BorniteCu5FeS4
CuCopper
Cu AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2
Cu ChalcociteCu2S
Cu MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
Cu Polybasite[(Ag,Cu)6(Sb,As)2S7][Ag9CuS4]
Cu TetrahedriteCu6[Cu4(Fe,Zn)2]Sb4S13
Cu BorniteCu5FeS4
Cu EnargiteCu3AsS4
Cu TorberniteCu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 12H2O
ZnZinc
Zn TetrahedriteCu6[Cu4(Fe,Zn)2]Sb4S13
AsArsenic
As ProustiteAg3AsS3
As Polybasite[(Ag,Cu)6(Sb,As)2S7][Ag9CuS4]
As EnargiteCu3AsS4
AgSilver
Ag ProustiteAg3AsS3
Ag HessiteAg2Te
Ag Polybasite[(Ag,Cu)6(Sb,As)2S7][Ag9CuS4]
Ag PyrargyriteAg3SbS3
Ag StephaniteAg5SbS4
Ag AcanthiteAg2S
Ag ChlorargyriteAgCl
Ag MatilditeAgBiS2
SbAntimony
Sb Polybasite[(Ag,Cu)6(Sb,As)2S7][Ag9CuS4]
Sb PyrargyriteAg3SbS3
Sb StephaniteAg5SbS4
Sb TetrahedriteCu6[Cu4(Fe,Zn)2]Sb4S13
TeTellurium
Te HessiteAg2Te
BaBarium
Ba BaryteBaSO4
AuGold
Au GoldAu
PbLead
Pb CerussitePbCO3
Pb MiniumPb3O4
BiBismuth
Bi MatilditeAgBiS2
UUranium
U TorberniteCu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 12H2O

References

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Year (asc) Year (desc) Author (A-Z) Author (Z-A)
USGS Professional Paper 223.

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