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Planet Mine (Planet Copper Mine; New Planet Mine), Planet Mine group (New Planet Mine group; Great Central Mine), Planet, Santa Maria District (Planet District; Swansea District; Bill Williams District), Buckskin Mts, La Paz Co., Arizona, USA

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 34° 14' 34'' North , 113° 57' 50'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 34.24278,-113.96389
Köppen climate type:BWh : Hot deserts climate

A former underground Fe-Cu-Ag-Au-Silica mine located in the NW¼ sec. 6, T10N, R16W (Swansea 15 minute topo map), 12 miles East of Aubrey on the Colorado River; about 2 miles south of the Williams River and 28 road miles NNE of Bouse, on private land. Discovered 1863 and the principal mine of the district. This property included 31 patented claims in 1962. Produced 1863 to 1937. Owned by the Planet Copper Mining Co. Miami Copper Co. (held option on Planet Mine from the owners); and, the Arizona Ranch and Metals Co. Past operators also included Craig, Kimball Leasing Co., Northwest Leasing and Development Co., the New Planet Copper Mining Co., Polhamus, and the Great Central.

Mineralization is comprised of large bodies of ore occurring just above the contact of the underlying gneiss with limestone, the latter being replaced by hematite, which carries uncertain amounts of copper. The prevailing rock is bleached, siliceous schist which locally contains stringers of quartz & films of iron and copper oxides. Deposit occurs within a brecciated zone, several feet wide, that strikes northeastward and dips about 30ºSE. The ore zone is 548.6 meters long, 60.96 meters wide, with a depth to top of 51.82 meters, depth to bottom of 100.58 meters, and is 48.77 meters thick. Ore occurs as irregular streaks and small, discontinuous pockets of brecciated to pulverized sugary quartz with abundant dark red to black iron oxide and sericite.

The foliated structure is very pronounced in places and the general dip of the lamination plane is 15° and 30° SE. Some faulting has taken place in nthese rocks, but not nearly as much as would be supposed from a cursory examination of the relation of the overlying sediments to the older gneiss.

Workings include many shafts, drifts and tunnels to a depth of 106.68 meters. There is a 350 foot vertical shaft and several inclined shafts including one which connects with the vertical shaft at 350 feet. There are also drifts, crosscuts and raises at irregular intervals. Produced more than 6,000 tons of copper ore (20% to 60% Cu) by 1881. There was also past production of carbonates used for smelter flux. During 1933-1934 lessees mined more than a carload of rich gold ore from a newly discovered deposit on the Planet Copper Mining Company's ground, about 2 miles south of the Bill Williams River.

At 175 feet a sample contained 5.56% Cu, and 48% Fe. From 180 to 185 feet, the ore body contained 3.4% Cu. At 230 feet, the ore averaged 0.77% Cu and $1 in Au/ton. From 237 to 254 feet, the ore assayed as 8 to 9% Cu and 40 cents to $3.30 of Au/ton. At 290 feet, the ore assays as 5 to 8% Cu.

Commodity List

This is a list of exploitable or exploited mineral commodities recorded at this locality.

Mineral List

16 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

Oxfordian - Ladinian
157.3 - 242 Ma

ID: 2731277
Jurassic and Triassic sedimentary and volcanic rocks

Age: Mesozoic (157.3 - 242 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Planet Volcanics; Vampire Formation; Buckskin Formation

Description: Undivided massive quartz-feldspar porphyry of the Jurassic Planet Volcanics, quartz-rich metasandstone of the Jurassic Vampire Formation, and quartzite, phyllite, and fine grained, variably calcareous metasiltstone of the Triassic Buckskin Formation; exposed primarily in the Buckskin and Rawhide Mountains of western Arizona. This unit also includes sandstone and conglomerate beneath Jurassic volcanic rocks in the central Dome Rock Mountains. (160-240 Ma)

Comments: Planet, Vampire, Buckskin.

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

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.


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The Resources of Arizona - A Manual of Reliable Information Concerning the Territory, compiled by Patrick Hamilton (1881), Scottsdale, AZ: 75.
The History of Arizona, 2nd. state legislature, Chap. X: 69.
McCarn, H.L. (1904), The Planet copper mine, Engineering and Mining Journal: 78: 26.
Bancroft, H. (1911), Reconnaissance of the ore deposits in northern Yuma County, Arizona, USGS Bull. 451.
Wilson, E.D., Cunningham, J.B., and Butler, G.M. (1934), Arizona Lode Gold Mines and Gold Mining (revised 1967), Arizona Bureau of Mines Bull. 137: 128.
Elsing, M.J. and Heineman, E.S. (1936) Arizona Metal Production, Arizona Bureau of Mines Bulletin 140: 104.
Cummings, J.B. (1946b), Exploration of New Planet iron deposit, Yuma County, Arizona. U.S. Bureau of Mines Report of Investigation 3982.
Galbraith, F.W. (1947), Minerals of Arizona, Arizona Bureau of Mines Bull. 153: 17, 20.
Galbraith, F.W. & D.J. Brennan (1959), Minerals of Arizona: 29, 36, 54, 110.
Harrer, C.M. (1964), Reconnaissance of Iron Resources in Arizona, US Bureau of Mines Information Circular 8236.
Keith, Stanton B. (1978) State of Arizona Bureau of Geology and Mineral Technology, Geological Survey Branch Bull. 192, Index of Mining Properties in Yuma County, Arizona: 173.
Phillips, K.A. (1987), Arizona Industrial Minerals, 2nd. Edition, Arizona Department of Mines & Minerals Mineral Report 4, 185 pp.
Niemuth, N.J. & K.A. Phillips (1992), Copper Oxide Resources, AZ Dept. Mines & Min. Resources Open File Rept. 92-10: 9 (Table 1).
Sawyer, M.B., Gurmendi, A.C., Daley, M.R., and Howell, S.B. (1992) Principal Deposits of Strategic and Critical Minerals in Arizona, U.S. Bureau of Mines Special Publication, 334 pp.
Anthony, J.W., et al (1995), Mineralogy of Arizona, 3rd.ed.: 128, 142, 166, 173, 196, 246, 286, 288, 417.
Arizona Geological Survey card file.
MRDS database Dep. ID #10027705, MRDS ID #M003887.

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