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Paymaster Mine group (Victoria group), Olive Camp, Pima District (Olive District; Mineral Hill District; Twin Buttes District), Sierrita Mts, Pima Co., Arizona, USA

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 31° 56' 48'' North , 111° 7' 15'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 31.94667,-111.12083
Other regions containing this locality:Sonoran Desert, North America

‡Ref.: Ransome, F.L. (1922) Ore deposits of the Sierrita Mountains, Pima County, Arizona, in Contributions to Economic Geology (Short Papers and Preliminary Reports), 1921 - Part I.--Metals and Nonmetals except Fuels: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 725J: 413, 424-425.

Mayuga, M.N. (1942) The Geology and Ore Deposits of the Helmet Peak Area, Pima County, Arizona, PhD thesis, University of Arizona.

Wilson, E.D., et al (1950), Arizona zinc and lead deposits, part I, Arizona Bureau of Mines Bull. 156: 49-50.

Cooper, J.R. (1960) Some geologic features of the Pima mining district, Pima County, Arizona: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1112-C, p. 63-103, 1 sheet, scale 1:31,680.

Waller, H.E., Jr. (1960) The geology of the Paymaster and Olivette mining areas, Pima County, Arizona: Tucson, University of Arizona, M.S. thesis, 48 p.

Keith, Stanton B. (1974), Arizona Bureau of Geology & Mineral Technology, Geological Survey Branch Bull. 189, Index of Mining Properties in Pima County, Arizona: 136 (Table 4).

USGS Twin Buttes Quadrangle topo map.

Arizona Bureau of Mines file data.

MRDS database Dep. ID file #10039583, MRDS ID #M050372; and, Dep. ID #10283151, MAS ID #0040190356.

A former small underground Pb-Ag-Cu-Zn-Au mine located in East-central sec. 16, T.17S., R.12E., about 1¼ miles SW of the Helmet Mine workings and 4½ miles NW of Twin Buttes. Produced 1880-1950. Owned/operated at times, or in part, by Ellington & Hagen; the Paymaster Mining Co.; Arizona Paymaster Mining Co.; Paymaster Consolidated Mining Co.; and the Paymaster Silver & Lead Co.

Mineralization is partly oxidized sulfides and sulfosalts with quartz, in spotty and irregular, complex, ore lenses along fissure zones, associated with strong clay and sericite alteration in Cretaceous andesite and andesite breccia and tuff at the eastern edge of the San Xavier thrust fault block above Precambrian granite. The ore consists mainly of argentiferous galena with subordinate copper and zinc minerals. It occurs in strong fissure zones marked by soft, crushed andesite and gouge. These fissures strike from about N.8ºE. to NNW and have variable dip which averages about 70ºW. above the 205 level but reportedly changes to eastward below the 250 level. The vein dips westerly on the surface, but turns easterly at the 250 level and follows the andesite-Precambrian granite contact.

The mineralization tends to prefer the more steeply dipping parts of the vein. The ore body is 91.44 meters depth to bottom.

Here the surface rock consists of andesite breccia. It is underlain, at a depth of 300 feet, by granite. High angle reverse and normal faults are found in the San Xavier Thrust Sheet parallelling its margins.

The Lead vein is reported to contain mainly galena and the Iron vein mainly pyrite with a little chalcopyrite and tetrahedrite.

Workings include a vertical shaft 340 feet deep and an unknown amount of drifting. The 205 level, which extends 120 feet NE from the shaft, cuts the Lead vein and the Iron vein. Worked sporadically from the late 1880's to 1941, producing some 13,000 tons of ore averaging about 3% Pb, 20 oz. Ag/T, 2% Cu and minor Au and Zn. Reported production during 1887-1908 is 260,000 pounds Pb and 200,000 ounces Ag, and a little Ag-Pb ore in 1939-40.

Mineral List

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

8 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

Ypresian - Campanian
47.8 - 83.6 Ma
Early Tertiary to Late Cretaceous volcanic rocks

Age: Phanerozoic (47.8 - 83.6 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Williamson Canyon Volcanics

Description: Rhyolite to andesite and closely associated sedimentary and near-surface intrusive rocks; commonly dark gray to dark greenish gray or greenish brown. In the ranges west of Tucson, this unit includes thick welded ash-flow tuffs. Volcanic rocks of this unit are inferred to be derived from vents and volcanoes above magma chambers that solidified to form the granitic rocks of map unit TKg. These rocks are restricted to southeastern Arizona except for a small outcrop near Bagdad. (50-82 Ma)

Comments: Related, broadly, to unit TKg

Lithology: Major:{rhyolite,dacite,andesite}, Minor:{clastic}

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, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

Localities in this Region


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