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Big Indian Mine, Big Indian District (Big Indian Wash - Lisbon Valley Area), San Juan Co., Utah, USA

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 38° 14' 28'' North , 109° 15' 50'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 38.24110,-109.26375
Köppen climate type:BSk : Cold semi-arid (steppe) climate

A former Cu occurrence/mine located in sec. 34, T29S, R24E, SLM, at the head of Big Indian Valley, on Bureau of Land Management administered land.

Mineralization is hosted in Late Cretaceous shale, Dakota Formation sandstone and conglomerate. The ore body is tabular, lenticular and podiform, with a width of 243.84 meters and a length of 914.4 meters, at a thickness of 6.1 meters. Controls for ore emplacement included fractures. Local rocks include Cretaceous (1) sedimentary rocks in southeastern Utah.

Local geologic structures include clastic units 10 to 15 feet thick, separated by 30 feet of barren gray-green shale, and the Lisbon Valley Fault.

workings include surface openings comprised of strippings and open pits along with leaching ponds and settleing ponds that extend over an area 5,000 feet by 2,000 feet.

Reserve-resource data are found in: Jones, H. (1978).

Mineral List

15 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

Cenomanian - Aptian
93.9 - 125 Ma

ID: 3000053
Dakota Ss and Cedar Mtn. or Burro Canyon Formations

Age: Cretaceous (93.9 - 125 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Dakota Sandstone; Cedar Mountain Formation; Burro Canyon Formation

Description: Dakota Ss and Cedar Mtn or Burro Canyon Formations.

Comments: Dakota Ss overlies Cedar Mtn/Burro Canyon Fms; fluvial and near shore; Dakota marks initiation of the Western Interior seaway

Lithology: Major:{sandstone}, Minor:{mixed 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]

100.5 - 113 Ma

ID: 2183496
Burro Canyon Formation

Age: Early Cretaceous (100.5 - 113 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Burro Canyon Formation

Description: Sandstone, conglomerate, and mudstone, locally containing nodules and thin beds of limestone and shale; sandstone and conglomerate are mostly yellowish brown or gray, weathered surfaces are darker; sandstones are mostly medium-grained, moderately to moderately well sorted, with subrounded to subangular grains of quartz, colored chert, and white feldspar, commonly firmly cemented by quartz cement; conglomerate consists of black, brown, red, and grayish-green subangular to rounded pebbles and cobbles averaging 12 to 13 millimeters (0.5 in) in diameter in a matrix of coarse to medium-grained sand; formation has medium to massive lenticular beds forming ledges and cliffs; locally in three parts: a basal light-gray to yellowishbrown medium- to coarse-grained cross-bedded sandstone containing pebble conglomerate lenses and sparse silicified logs, overlain by a sequence of lightgreen mudstone and siltstone, overlain by shale with thin beds of siliceous limestone, chert, and orthoquartzite; the lower contact is generally mapped at the base of the lowest persistent sandstone; 24 to 90 meters (80-300 ft) thick, averaging 38 meters (125 ft); Lower Cretaceous, Albian.

Reference: Doelling, H.H. Geologic map of the La Sal 30'x60'quadrangle, San Juan, Wayne, and Garfield Counties, Utah and Montrose and San Miguel Counties, Colorado. Utah Geological Survey. [31]

Early Jurassic - Late Triassic
174.1 - 237 Ma

ID: 3185972
Mesozoic sedimentary rocks

Age: Mesozoic (174.1 - 237 Ma)

Lithology: Sandstone-conglomerate

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, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

This page 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.


Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Jones, H. (1978).
Weir, G.W., and Puffett, W.P. (1982), Incomplete manuscript on Stratigraphy and Structural Geology and Uranium-Vanadium Deposits of the Lisbon Valley Area, Utah-Colorado, USGS Open-file Report 81-39, 292 pp.
Monison, S.J. and Parry, W.T. (1986), Formation of Carbonate-Sulfate Veins Associated with Copper Ore Deposits from Saline Basin Brines, Lisbon Valley, Utah, Economic Geology: 81: 1853-1866.
Rocks & Minerals (1993): 68(6): 381-393.
Mineralogical Record (1995): 26(5): 486.
USGS (2005), Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS): U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, loc. file ID #10015032.
Mineral News: 8(1): 6-7.
Mineral News: 10(12): 5.

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