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Copper Canyon deposits, Copper Canyon, Hoskinnini Mesa, Monument Valley Mining District, Navajo Co., Arizona, USAi
Regional Level Types
Copper Canyon depositsProspect
Copper Canyon- not defined -
Hoskinnini MesaMesa
Monument Valley Mining DistrictMining District
Navajo Co.County

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84):
36° 59' 39'' North , 110° 26' 22'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal):
Locality type:
Nearest Settlements:
Oljato-Monument Valley674 (2016)17.2km
Oljato-Monument Valley154 (2017)22.1km
Navajo Mountain354 (2011)31.3km
Kayenta5,189 (2011)33.9km
Shonto591 (2011)48.0km

U-Cu deposits located in the NW¼ sec. 6, T41N, R18E, G&SRM (Boot Mesa 15 minute topo map), 5.4 km (3.4 miles) W of Hoskinnini Mesa (coordinates of record), near the Utah state line.

Mineralization includes secondary copper minerals. Local rocks include Permian to Pennsylvanian sedimentary rocks.

Localization of the uranium-copper minerals:
The mineral-bearing outcrops are confined to the channel structures eroded into the Moenkopi formation and filled with Shinarump sands and gravels. In the mapped area, 42 channel outcrops are now known; 18 have been examined and 24 have been observed by aerial reconnaissance and study of photographs, Of the 18 channels examined, 17 were found to be copper-bearing and 15 contained copper and uranium.

No uranium minerals have been found higher than 20 feet above the base of the channels and the best concentrations are in the lower 5 feet. In some channels, the copper minerals are confined to the lower part of the channel; in one, however, on the western side of Hoskinnini Mesa, abundant copper minerals were found frame the base upward through a vertical interval of 100 feet.

Uranium occurs as carnotite, filling interstices between the sand grains and as a replacement of fossil trees, twigs, and carbonaceous trash; copper occurs as chalcocite surrounded by halos of malachite, azurite, chrysocolla, and brochantite in bedding-plane seems and replacements of fossil woody material. It is believed that there is no constant ratio between copper and uranium, as some of the best copper deposits are low in uranium.

Size and shape of the deposits:
The mineralized deposits, being confined to fossil channel-bottoms, are elongated along the courses of the channels. As the channels are roughly U-shape, the mineralized portions are not as large as the tops of the channels. A channel 1000 feet wide at the top probably nowhere contains more than 1000 to 1100-foot widths of mineralized material at its base. As uranium minerals have, in no locality, been observed higher than 20 feet above the channel base and are, in some places, confined to horizons as thin as a few inches, it is believed that the average thickness of the ore does not exceed 10 feet.

Drilling near the Monument No. 2 mine and elsewhere in the Monument Valley region has indicated that ore occurs in lenses in the channels, and that about 6% of the total length of a channel is mineralized.

Lateral extent of the deposits:
Several channels have been observed crossing promontories on Hoskinnini Mesa; others have been projected across the mesa; several of them have been observed entering Nokai Mesa on the western side of Copper Canyon. Those channels which have been projected with a reasonable assurance of
accuracy embrace a surface area of 3.8 square miles. In the entire Copper Canyon district, it is calculated that 38 square miles of the surface is underlain by channels, of which about 2.25 square miles may reasonably be expected to be mineralized.

Grade of the material:
A face of ore 40 feet long by 5 feet thick opened by Navajos on the western side of Copper Canyon averages 0.35% U308. Samples assaying from 0.10% to 0.66% U308 have been obtained from widely separated points. Copper assays as high as 18% have been obtained. A copper-bearing outcrop 100 feet high on the eastern side of Copper Canyon appears, from visual examination, to contain a minimum of 1% copper. Sane of the uranium-bearing outcrops, on the other hand, are quite low in copper content. From data now at hand, it seems likely that the grade of material, if mined from 5 to 20 feet thick, might range around 0.10% U308 and 1.0% copper. These figures may have to be revised as drilling proceeds.

Regions containing this locality

North America PlateTectonic Plate
Colorado Plateau, USAPlateau
Navajo Nation Indian Reservation, USAReservation
Hopi-Navajo Indian Reservations, Colorado Plateau, Apache; Navajo and San Juan Cos., Arizona & Utah, USA

Select Mineral List Type

Standard Detailed Strunz Dana Chemical Elements

Commodity List

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

Mineral List

5 valid minerals.

Detailed Mineral List:

Formula: Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2
Reference: Reinhardt, E. (1952), Uranium-Copper Deposits near Copper Canyon, Navajo Indian Reservation, Arizona, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission RMO-902.
Formula: Cu4(SO4)(OH)6
Reference: Reinhardt, E. (1952), Uranium-Copper Deposits near Copper Canyon, Navajo Indian Reservation, Arizona, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission RMO-902.
Formula: Cu2S
Reference: Reinhardt, E. (1952), Uranium-Copper Deposits near Copper Canyon, Navajo Indian Reservation, Arizona, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission RMO-902.
Formula: Cu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
Reference: Reinhardt, E. (1952), Uranium-Copper Deposits near Copper Canyon, Navajo Indian Reservation, Arizona, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission RMO-902.
Formula: Cu2(CO3)(OH)2
Reference: Reinhardt, E. (1952), Uranium-Copper Deposits near Copper Canyon, Navajo Indian Reservation, Arizona, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission RMO-902.

List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification

Group 2 - Sulphides and Sulfosalts
Group 5 - Nitrates and Carbonates
Group 7 - Sulphates, Chromates, Molybdates and Tungstates
Group 9 - Silicates
Chrysocolla9.ED.20Cu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O

List of minerals arranged by Dana 8th Edition classification

Group 2 - SULFIDES
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 2:1
(AB)m(XO4)pZq, where m:p>2:1
Group 74 - PHYLLOSILICATES Modulated Layers
Modulated Layers with joined strips
Chrysocolla74.3.2.1Cu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O

List of minerals for each chemical element

H MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
H AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2
H ChrysocollaCu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
H BrochantiteCu4(SO4)(OH)6
C MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
C AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2
O MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
O AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2
O ChrysocollaCu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
O BrochantiteCu4(SO4)(OH)6
Al ChrysocollaCu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
Si ChrysocollaCu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
S ChalcociteCu2S
S BrochantiteCu4(SO4)(OH)6
Cu ChalcociteCu2S
Cu MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
Cu AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2
Cu ChrysocollaCu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
Cu BrochantiteCu4(SO4)(OH)6

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

251.902 - 298.9 Ma

ID: 3188526
Paleozoic sedimentary rocks

Age: Phanerozoic (251.902 - 298.9 Ma)

Lithology: Sedimentary rocks

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]

Kungurian - Moscovian
272.95 - 315.2 Ma

ID: 2778830
Permian to Pennsylvanian sedimentary rocks

Age: Paleozoic (272.95 - 315.2 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Hermit Formation; Supai Group; Schnebly Hill Formation; Naco Group

Description: Interbedded sandstone, shale, and limestone usually characterized by ledgy outcrops. Orange to reddish sandstone forms cliffs near Sedona. This unit includes Supai Group and Hermit Shale in northern Arizona and Naco Group in southern Arizona. It was deposited in coastal-plain to shallow-marine settings during time of variable and changing sea level. Rocks of this map unit in southern Arizona may be in part equivalent to Permian rocks of map unit P in central and northern Arizona. (280-310 Ma)

Comments: Original map source: Arizona Geological Survey, DI-8 Geologic Map of Arizona, Digital Spatial data for the Geologic Map of Arizona, v. 3.0, edited by S.M. Richard and S.M. Kneale, 2002, 10 p., 2 DOS HD disks. Arc/INFO export file (.e00) format, scale 1:1,000,000.

Lithology: Major:{sandstone,shale,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


Sort by

Year (asc) Year (desc) Author (A-Z) Author (Z-A)
Niemuth, N.J. & K.A. Phillips (1992), Copper Oxide Resources, Arizona Department of Mines & Mineral Resources Open File Rept. 92-10: 11 (Table 1).
Reinhardt, E. (1952), Uranium-Copper Deposits near Copper Canyon, Navajo Indian Reservation, Arizona, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission RMO-902.
U.S. Bureau of Mines (1995), Minerals Availability System/Mineral Industry Location System (MAS/MILS), U.S. Bureau of Mines, file ID #0040170091.
USGS (2005), Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS): U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, deposit ID #10283227.

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