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Hilltop Mine (Hand Mine; Kasper tunnel; Gray Mine; Dunn shaft; Blacksmith shaft; Rhem adit), Rustler Park, California District, Chiricahua Mts, Cochise Co., Arizona, USA

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 31° 59' 7'' North , 109° 17' 25'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 31.98528,-109.29028
Köppen climate type:BSk : Cold semi-arid (steppe) climate

A former small surface and underground Pb-Zn-Ag-Cu-Au-Mo-W-As-Cd mine located in secs. 33 & 34, T16S,R30E and secs. 3,4,5, T17S,R30E (Rustler Park 7.5 minute topo map), 6 miles NW of Paradise, about 26 miles S of San Simon, and near Gleeson and near Hand's Pass. Discovered 1880. First produced 1881. The Hidden Treasure claim was first located in the district - now part of the Hilltop Mine. Owned at times by the Hilltop Silver Lead Mines Co.; Hilltop Metals Mining Co.; Piedmont Mines, Inc.; American Zinc, Lead, and Smelting Co.; and operated by the Queen Mining Co. (1973).

Mineralization is in fissure veins and in irregular replacement lenses and bodies in banded and tilted, silicified Mississippian to Permian limestones and older quartzites. Ores are base metal sulfides and carbonates with wulfenite, often argentiferous, and scheelite. The ore zone is 33.53 meters long and 15.24 meters wide. This mine is famous for the fine and abundant wulfenites it produced. Ore control was in part due to brecciation along faults and fissures in the quartzite and limestone. Locally pipes of massive sulfides (1-6 feet diameter) follow fractures into limestone for distances of up to 50 feet.

Local structures include NE-SW faults.

Workings are extensive, including several tunnels, open cuts, and short adits. They total some 6,096 meters in length and 457.2 meters deep. The Kasper Tunnel is 3,000 feet long with 6,000 feet of workings; the Gray Tunnel is 2,000 feet long with 3,000 feet of workings; the Rhem tunnel is 3,700 feet long with 3,000 feet of workings. A total of some 30,000 tons of base metal sulfide ore was produced intermittently from the early 1910's to about 1954. Best production years were 1924 - 1927.

Shipments were made by burro & wagon in the 1880'S. Several carloads of ore were shipped to El Paso in 1902-1906. About 30,000 tons of base metal sulfide ore produced from the early 1910'S to about 1954.

Mindat Articles

Hilltop Mine, Chiricahua Mountains Arizona by Rolf Luetcke

Mineral List

38 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

Campanian - Oxfordian
72.1 - 163.5 Ma

ID: 2744829
Cretaceous to Late Jurassic sedimentary rocks with minor volcanic rocks

Age: Mesozoic (72.1 - 163.5 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Temporal Formation; Bathtub Formation; Sand Wells Formation; Fort Crittenden Formation; McCoy Mountains Formation

Description: Sandstone and conglomerate, rarely forms prominent outcrops; massive conglomerate is typical near base of unit and locally in upper part. These deposits are nonmarine except in southeastern Arizona, where prominent gray marine limestone (Mural Limestone) forms the middle of the Bisbee Group. Sandstones are typically medium-bedded, drab brown, lithic-feldspathic arenites. Includes Bisbee Group (largely Early Cretaceous) and related rocks, Temporal, Bathtub, and Sand Wells formations, rocks of Gu Achi, McCoy Mountains Formation, and Upper Cretaceous Fort Crittenden Formation and equivalent rocks. (80-160 Ma)

Lithology: Major:{arenite,conglomerate}, Minor:{limestone}

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.


Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Badger, S.S. (1911) The Chiricahua Mountains: Engineering and Mining Journal: 91: 663.
Pough, F.N. (1941), Occurrence of Willemite, American Mineralogist: 26: 92-102.
Rocks & Minerals (1941): 16: 133.
Papke, K.G. (1952) Geology and ore deposits of the eastern portion of the Hilltop mine area, Cochise County, Arizona: Tucson, University of Arizona, M.S. thesis, 99 p.
Wells, R.L., and Puttuck, H.E. (1953) [Hill Top mine, California (Chiricahua) district]: U.S. Atomic Energy Commission Preliminary Reconnaissance Report, File A-P-45, 1 p. [also available in U.S. Atomic Energy Commission Report RME-154, p. 71].
Brittain, R.L. (1954) Geology and ore deposits of the western portion of the Hilltop mine area, Cochise County, Arizona: Tucson, University of Arizona, M.S. thesis, 97 p.
Galbraith, F.W. & D.J. Brennan (1959), Minerals of Arizona: 50, 80, 95.
Keith, Stanton B. (1973), Arizona Bureau of Geology & Mineral Technology, Geological Survey Branch Bull. 187, Index of Mining Properties in Cochise County, Arizona: 52 (Table 4).
Miller, D.K. and Wilson, W.E. (1983), Famous Mineral Localities: The Hilltop Mine, Mineralogical Record: 14: 121-126.
Rocks & Minerals (1988): 63: 329.
Rocks & Minerals (1989): 64: 58.
Rocks & Minerals (1990): 65.
Niemuth, N.J. & K.A. Phillips (1992), Copper Oxide Resources, Arizona Department of Mines & Mineral Resources Open File Report 92-10: 5 (Table 1).
Brown, S.D. (1993) U.S. Bureau of Mines Open-File Report, Mineral Land Assessment (MLA) 12-93.
Anthony, J.W., et al (1995), Mineralogy of Arizona, 3rd. ed.: 104, 112, 157, 420, 425.
Arizona Bureau of Mines Bull. 140.
Arizona Bureau of Mines file data.
USGS (2005), Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS): U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, loc. file ID #10102442, MRDS ID #M002167
U.S. Bureau of Mines, Minerals Availability System (MAS) file ID #0040030156.

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