Blue Lady Mine (Blue Tourmaline claim; Blue Bell deposit; Blue Bell mine; Exposition claim; Panama claim; San Diego claim; San Diego group), Chihuahua Valley, Warner Springs District, San Diego Co., California, USA
|Latitude & Longitude (WGS84):||33° 23' 31'' North , 116° 37' 56'' West|
|Latitude & Longitude (decimal):||33.39194,-116.63222|
|Köppen climate type:||Csa : Hot-summer Mediterranean climate|
Whoe'er she be, That not impossible She, That shall command my heart and me.
-Crashaw, Wishes to His (Supposed) Mistress
A gemstone-bearing pegmatite mine located in the SW¼ sec. 12 and in the NW¼ sec. 13, T9S, R3E, SBM, 12.2 km (7.6 miles) N of Warner Springs and 10 miles E of Oak Grove.
The Blue Lady mine was discovered in 1905 by Bert Simmons of nearby Oak Grove. Simmons subsequently staked a lode mining claim along 1500 feet of the layered pegmatite vein series, which he named the "Blue Tourmaline". In 1906, Simmons explored the deposit extensively by developing open cuts and several short tunnels in search of gem-quality blue tourmaline (indicolite). These workings were reported to have been abandoned around 1907.
The next discovery made at the mine was described in Waldemar T. Schaller's 1916 report on U.S. mineral resources for the United States Geological Survey. Schaller's report detailed the circumstances behind the Roy Carson tourmaline discovery which was described as a "rich pocket". Carson and his associates E. L. Haney, and D. H. A. Fiske, located three lode mining claims known as the "San Diego, Panama, and Exposition" which covered the area of Simmons' abandoned workings. Carson's group of claims were thoroughly examined by Schaller as a potential source for high-grade tin, due to irregular masses and imperfect crystals of cassiterite which had been discovered. At this time Schaller described "about a hatful of small blue tourmalines" obtained from the cassiterite-bearing pocket.
In 1983, several lode mining claims were once again staked over the old workings by Mark Carter of Long Beach, and Bill Magee of Pala. Working with several partners including Magee's son Lance, Dave Morrow of Pala and Bill Carmona of Chino, work proceeded to extend existing underground development headings. Drilling, blasting and mucking, the group closely followed the enriched sections of the gem-bearing pegmatite. Several hundred feet of interconnected irregular drifts and rooms were constructed which effectively honeycombed the area of historic production. The group encountered many large pockets which produced considerably outstanding specimens. Witnesses account the discovery of several hundred pounds of quartz crystals, as well as several kilos of blue tourmaline pencils. One remarkable specimen recovered during this period was an intensely colored and well formed orangey pink beryl crystal (morganite), which measures 20 cm across, with a bright grayish white quartz point attached to its side. This aesthetically pleasing large beryl with quartz was acquired in 1986 by the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, where it is currently on display to the public within the California Minerals exhibit.
Between 1990 and 1999, Carter worked weekends at the mine with several local prospectors including Otto Komarek, Byron Wegee and Jim Clanin of Pala, often assisted by Arthur McCollum of Sun City. Mechanized excavation along the edge of the existing roadway adjacent and north of the underground development encountered pockets of significance which produced many specimens of blue tourmaline, aquamarine, garnet and quartz.
The mine is currently located on property managed by San Diego State University for the public purpose of botanical study, and federal law forbids the disposal or sale of the mineral estate by the University during such studies. University regulations warn all visitors to not collect, remove, or disturb any natural elements or organisms on the Field Station without first obtaining state and federal permits and the permission of the Field Station Director. Please notify the Field Station Director of any violations you observe at the Field Station.
A series of relatively shallow tunnels into the mountain in a pegmatite deposit. This mine (and rock on the dump) shows a superb display of the "line rock" above and below the pegmatite vein. According to D. Peeler, this is where a cavity allowed fluid and gases to collect and interaction over time with the surrounding country rock. One can visualize them as "bath tub rings" showing the effects of local contact metamorphism. They are alternating bands where muscovite, then garnet, and then possibly a few other minerals have concentrated based on distance out from the pocket and chemical interaction between the penetrating vein fluid/gases and the country rock over time. The bands may be seen to repeat from the inside out as the vein cools and crystallization depletes the fluid/gas phases. (Goldstein 2005)
13 valid minerals.
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 Macrostrat.org
|Late Cretaceous - Middle Jurassic|
66 - 174.1 Ma
|Mesozoic granitic rocks, unit 2 (Peninsular Ranges)|
Age: Mesozoic (66 - 174.1 Ma)
Stratigraphic Name: Bonsall Tonalite; Bradley Granodiorite; Cactus Quartz Monzonite; Cajalco Quartz Monzonite; Corona Hornblende Granodiorite Porphyry; Domenigoni Valley Granodiorite; Escondido Creek Leucogranodiorite; Estelle Tonalite; Fargo Canyon Diorite; Green Valley Tonalite; Home Gardens Quartz Monzonite Porphyry; Indian Mountain Leucogranodiorite; Lakeview Mountain Tonalite; Lake Wolford Leucogranodiorite; La Sierra Tonalite; Mount Hole Granodiorite; Rattlesnake Granite; Roblar Leucogranite; San Jacinto Granodiorite; Stonewall Quartz Diorite; Woodson Mountain Granodiorite
Comments: Peninsular Ranges. Primarily tonalite, granodiorite, and minor quartz monzonite and granite. Emplacement ages mostly 80 to 105 Ma in eastern part of area and 105 to 140 Ma in western part; minor Jurassic rocks in central part
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.