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Mother Lode Belt, California, USAi
Regional Level Types
Mother Lode BeltBelt
CaliforniaState
USACountry
Mother Lode Belt, Amador Co., California, USA
Mother Lode Belt, Tuolumne Co., California, USA
Mother Lode Belt, Mariposa Co., California, USA

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Key
Latitude & Longitude (WGS84):
38° North , 120° West (est.)
Estimate based on other nearby localities or region boundaries.
Margin of Error:
~58km
Locality type:


The Mother Lode gold belt carries the most productive and best-known mining districts in California's gold country. Although the entire foothill region of the Sierra Nevada is sometimes loosely termed the "Mother Lode Country," technically the Mother Lode is a 120-mile-long system of linked or en echelon gold-quartz veins and mineralized schist and greenstone that extends from the town of Mariposa, north and
02505260014962519201205.jpg
Map of California gold belts
northwest to northern El Dorado County.

The most productive portion of the Mother Lode has been the 1-mile segment between Plymouth and Jackson in Amador County. Other major sources of gold in the Mother Lode have been the Angels Camp, Bagby, Carson Hill, Coulterville, Georgetown, Greenwood, Jacksonville, Jamestown, Kelsey, Mount Bullion, Nashville, and Placerville districts.

Commodities (Major) - Gold
Development Status: Unknown

Select Mineral List Type

Standard Detailed Strunz Dana Chemical Elements

Commodity List

This is a list of exploitable or exploited mineral commodities recorded from this region.


Mineral List

Mineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities

23 valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

Note: this is a very new system on mindat.org and data is currently VERY limited. Please bear with us while we work towards adding this information!

Rock list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities

Select Rock List Type

Alphabetical List Tree Diagram

Detailed Mineral List:

Albite
Formula: Na(AlSi3O8)
'Andradite-Grossular Series'
Reference: Duffield, W.A. ad M.H. Beeson (1973) Two-garnet rodingite from Amador County, California. USGS Jour. Res.: 1: 665-672; Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California; Van Nostrand Reinholt Press: 494.
Ankerite
Formula: Ca(Fe2+,Mg)(CO3)2
Localities:
'Apatite'
Formula: Ca5(PO4)3(Cl/F/OH)
Description: Principal gangue mineral in some deep level ore.
Reference: Hulin, Carlton D. (1930), A Mother Lode gold ore: Economic Geology: 25: 348, 351; Murdoch, Joseph & Robert W. Webb (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 78, 353.
Arsenopyrite
Formula: FeAsS
Localities: Reported from at least 12 localities in this region.
'Asbestos'
Reference: USGS (2005), Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS): U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, loc. file ID #10028261 & 10210992.
Calcite
Formula: CaCO3
Localities:
Chalcopyrite
Formula: CuFeS2
Localities: Reported from at least 11 localities in this region.
'Chlorite Group'
Chromite
Formula: Fe2+Cr3+2O4
Reference: Hanks, Henry Garber (1884), Fourth report of the State Mineralogist: California Mining Bureau. Report 4, 410 pp. (includes catalog of minerals of California pp. 63-410), and miscellaneous observations on mineral products): 136; Murdoch, Joseph & Robert W. Webb (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 138.
Clinochlore
Formula: Mg5Al(AlSi3O10)(OH)8
Reference: Lindgren, Waldemar (1888), Contributions to the mineralogy of the Pacific Coast: California Academy of Sciences Proceedings, 2nd. series: 1: 5; Murdoch, Joseph & Robert W. Webb (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 135, 136.
Clinochlore var: Chromian Clinochlore
Formula: Mg5(Al,Cr)2Si3O10(OH)8
Reference: Lindgren, Waldemar (1888), Contributions to the mineralogy of the Pacific Coast: California Academy of Sciences Proceedings, 2nd. series: 1: 5; Murdoch, Joseph & Robert W. Webb (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 135, 136.
Diamond
Formula: C
Description: Stone of 2.65 carets with some crystal faces found in 1934.
Reference: Sperisen, Francis J. (1938), Gem minerals of California: California Division Mines Report 34: 39; Murdoch, Joseph & Robert W. Webb (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 168.
Galena
Formula: PbS
Localities: Reported from at least 12 localities in this region.
Gold
Formula: Au
Localities: Reported from at least 140 localities in this region.
Graphite
Formula: C
Description: Rather abundant.
Reference: Josephson, W.G. (1932), Argonaut mine today: Mining & Metallurgy: 13: 475-476; Murdoch, Joseph & Robert W. Webb (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 206.
'Grossular-Hibschite Series'
Reference: Duffield, W.A. ad M.H. Beeson (1973) Two-garnet rodingite from Amador County, California. USGS Jour. Res.: 1: 665-672; Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California; Van Nostrand Reinholt Press: 494.
'Limonite'
Formula: (Fe,O,OH,H2O)
Reference: U.S. Geological Survey, 2005, Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
Löllingite
Formula: FeAs2
Description: Occurs as small crystals in veins in slate.
Reference: Murdoch, Joseph & Robert W. Webb (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 245.
Marcasite
Formula: FeS2
Reference: Emmons and Becker (1885) Statistics and Technology of the precious Metals. Census reports Tenth census. June 1, 1880, Volume 13 By United States. Census office. 10th census, 1880, United States. Census Office
Molybdenite
Formula: MoS2
Muscovite
Formula: KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Localities:
Muscovite var: Sericite
Formula: KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
'Ochre'
Reference: USGS (2005), Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS): U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, loc. file ID #10028314.
Pyrite
Formula: FeS2
Localities: Reported from at least 17 localities in this region.
Pyrite var: Auriferous Pyrite
Formula: FeS2
Pyrophyllite ?
Formula: Al2Si4O10(OH)2
Pyrrhotite
Formula: Fe7S8
Quartz
Formula: SiO2
Localities: Reported from at least 48 localities in this region.
Sphalerite
Formula: ZnS
Localities: Reported from at least 7 localities in this region.
Stibnite
Formula: Sb2S3
Reference: USGS (2005), Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS): U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, loc. file ID #10028175.
Strengite
Formula: FePO4 · 2H2O
Description: Occurs in the deep levels of the mine.
Reference: Hulin, Carlton D. (1930), A Mother Lode gold ore: Economic Geology: 25: 351; Murdoch, Joseph & Robert W. Webb (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 353; Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California; Van Nostrand Reinholt Press: 311.
'Tetrahedrite'
Formula: Cu6(Cu4X2)Sb4S13
Reference: Logan, Clarence August (1934), Mother Lode Gold Belt of California: California Division Mines Bulletin 108, 221 pp.: 67; Murdoch, Joseph & Robert W. Webb (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 363; Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California; Van Nostrand Reinholt Press: 133.
Uvarovite
Formula: Ca3Cr2(SiO4)3
Reference: Michael O'Donoghue (2006) Gems: Their Sources, Descriptions and Identification. Butterworth-Heinemann 6th Edition p234.

List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification

Group 1 - Elements
Diamond1.CB.10aC
Gold1.AA.05Au
Graphite1.CB.05aC
Group 2 - Sulphides and Sulfosalts
Arsenopyrite2.EB.20FeAsS
Chalcopyrite2.CB.10aCuFeS2
Galena2.CD.10PbS
Löllingite2.EB.15aFeAs2
Marcasite2.EB.10aFeS2
Molybdenite2.EA.30MoS2
Pyrite2.EB.05aFeS2
var: Auriferous Pyrite2.EB.05aFeS2
Pyrrhotite2.CC.10Fe7S8
Sphalerite2.CB.05aZnS
Stibnite2.DB.05Sb2S3
'Tetrahedrite'2.GB.05Cu6(Cu4X2)Sb4S13
Group 4 - Oxides and Hydroxides
Chromite4.BB.05Fe2+Cr3+2O4
Quartz4.DA.05SiO2
Group 5 - Nitrates and Carbonates
Ankerite5.AB.10Ca(Fe2+,Mg)(CO3)2
Calcite5.AB.05CaCO3
Group 8 - Phosphates, Arsenates and Vanadates
Strengite8.CD.10FePO4 · 2H2O
Group 9 - Silicates
Albite9.FA.35Na(AlSi3O8)
Clinochlore9.EC.55Mg5Al(AlSi3O10)(OH)8
var: Chromian Clinochlore9.EC.55Mg5(Al,Cr)2Si3O10(OH)8
Muscovite9.EC.15KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
var: Sericite9.EC.15KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Pyrophyllite ?9.EC.10Al2Si4O10(OH)2
Uvarovite9.AD.25Ca3Cr2(SiO4)3
Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.
'Andradite-Grossular Series'-
'Apatite'-Ca5(PO4)3(Cl/F/OH)
'Asbestos'-
'Chlorite Group'-
'Grossular-Hibschite Series'-
'Limonite'-(Fe,O,OH,H2O)
'Ochre'-

List of minerals arranged by Dana 8th Edition classification

Group 1 - NATIVE ELEMENTS AND ALLOYS
Metals, other than the Platinum Group
Gold1.1.1.1Au
Semi-metals and non-metals
Diamond1.3.6.1C
Graphite1.3.6.2C
Group 2 - SULFIDES
AmXp, with m:p = 1:1
Galena2.8.1.1PbS
Pyrrhotite2.8.10.1Fe7S8
Sphalerite2.8.2.1ZnS
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 1:1
Chalcopyrite2.9.1.1CuFeS2
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 2:3
Stibnite2.11.2.1Sb2S3
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 1:2
Arsenopyrite2.12.4.1FeAsS
Löllingite2.12.2.9FeAs2
Marcasite2.12.2.1FeS2
Molybdenite2.12.10.1MoS2
Pyrite2.12.1.1FeS2
Group 3 - SULFOSALTS
3 <ø < 4
'Tetrahedrite'3.3.6.1Cu6(Cu4X2)Sb4S13
Group 7 - MULTIPLE OXIDES
AB2X4
Chromite7.2.3.3Fe2+Cr3+2O4
Group 14 - ANHYDROUS NORMAL CARBONATES
A(XO3)
Calcite14.1.1.1CaCO3
AB(XO3)2
Ankerite14.2.1.2Ca(Fe2+,Mg)(CO3)2
Group 40 - HYDRATED NORMAL PHOSPHATES,ARSENATES AND VANADATES
(AB)5(XO4)2·xH2O
Strengite40.4.1.2FePO4 · 2H2O
Group 51 - NESOSILICATES Insular SiO4 Groups Only
Insular SiO4 Groups Only with cations in [6] and >[6] coordination
Uvarovite51.4.3b.3Ca3Cr2(SiO4)3
Group 71 - PHYLLOSILICATES Sheets of Six-Membered Rings
Sheets of 6-membered rings with 2:1 layers
Muscovite71.2.2a.1KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Pyrophyllite ?71.2.1.1Al2Si4O10(OH)2
Sheets of 6-membered rings interlayered 1:1, 2:1, and octahedra
Clinochlore71.4.1.4Mg5Al(AlSi3O10)(OH)8
Group 75 - TECTOSILICATES Si Tetrahedral Frameworks
Si Tetrahedral Frameworks - SiO2 with [4] coordinated Si
Quartz75.1.3.1SiO2
Group 76 - TECTOSILICATES Al-Si Framework
Al-Si Framework with Al-Si frameworks
Albite76.1.3.1Na(AlSi3O8)
Unclassified Minerals, Mixtures, etc.
'Andradite-Grossular Series'-
'Apatite'-Ca5(PO4)3(Cl/F/OH)
'Asbestos'-
'Chlorite Group'-
Clinochlore
var: Chromian Clinochlore
-Mg5(Al,Cr)2Si3O10(OH)8
'Grossular-Hibschite Series'-
'Limonite'-(Fe,O,OH,H2O)
Muscovite
var: Sericite
-KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
'Ochre'-
Pyrite
var: Auriferous Pyrite
-FeS2

List of minerals for each chemical element

HHydrogen
H Limonite(Fe,O,OH,H2O)
H Clinochlore (var: Chromian Clinochlore)Mg5(Al,Cr)2Si3O10(OH)8
H ApatiteCa5(PO4)3(Cl/F/OH)
H StrengiteFePO4 · 2H2O
H MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
H Muscovite (var: Sericite)KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
H ClinochloreMg5Al(AlSi3O10)(OH)8
H PyrophylliteAl2Si4O10(OH)2
CCarbon
C DiamondC
C AnkeriteCa(Fe2+,Mg)(CO3)2
C CalciteCaCO3
C GraphiteC
OOxygen
O UvaroviteCa3Cr2(SiO4)3
O QuartzSiO2
O Limonite(Fe,O,OH,H2O)
O AnkeriteCa(Fe2+,Mg)(CO3)2
O CalciteCaCO3
O Clinochlore (var: Chromian Clinochlore)Mg5(Al,Cr)2Si3O10(OH)8
O ChromiteFe2+Cr23+O4
O ApatiteCa5(PO4)3(Cl/F/OH)
O StrengiteFePO4 · 2H2O
O AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
O MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
O Muscovite (var: Sericite)KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
O ClinochloreMg5Al(AlSi3O10)(OH)8
O PyrophylliteAl2Si4O10(OH)2
FFluorine
F ApatiteCa5(PO4)3(Cl/F/OH)
NaSodium
Na AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
MgMagnesium
Mg AnkeriteCa(Fe2+,Mg)(CO3)2
Mg Clinochlore (var: Chromian Clinochlore)Mg5(Al,Cr)2Si3O10(OH)8
Mg ClinochloreMg5Al(AlSi3O10)(OH)8
AlAluminium
Al Clinochlore (var: Chromian Clinochlore)Mg5(Al,Cr)2Si3O10(OH)8
Al AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
Al MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Al Muscovite (var: Sericite)KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Al ClinochloreMg5Al(AlSi3O10)(OH)8
Al PyrophylliteAl2Si4O10(OH)2
SiSilicon
Si UvaroviteCa3Cr2(SiO4)3
Si QuartzSiO2
Si Clinochlore (var: Chromian Clinochlore)Mg5(Al,Cr)2Si3O10(OH)8
Si AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
Si MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Si Muscovite (var: Sericite)KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Si ClinochloreMg5Al(AlSi3O10)(OH)8
Si PyrophylliteAl2Si4O10(OH)2
PPhosphorus
P ApatiteCa5(PO4)3(Cl/F/OH)
P StrengiteFePO4 · 2H2O
SSulfur
S PyriteFeS2
S ChalcopyriteCuFeS2
S PyrrhotiteFe7S8
S GalenaPbS
S SphaleriteZnS
S MolybdeniteMoS2
S TetrahedriteCu6(Cu4X2)Sb4S13
S ArsenopyriteFeAsS
S MarcasiteFeS2
S StibniteSb2S3
S Pyrite (var: Auriferous Pyrite)FeS2
ClChlorine
Cl ApatiteCa5(PO4)3(Cl/F/OH)
KPotassium
K MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
K Muscovite (var: Sericite)KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
CaCalcium
Ca UvaroviteCa3Cr2(SiO4)3
Ca AnkeriteCa(Fe2+,Mg)(CO3)2
Ca CalciteCaCO3
Ca ApatiteCa5(PO4)3(Cl/F/OH)
CrChromium
Cr UvaroviteCa3Cr2(SiO4)3
Cr Clinochlore (var: Chromian Clinochlore)Mg5(Al,Cr)2Si3O10(OH)8
Cr ChromiteFe2+Cr23+O4
FeIron
Fe PyriteFeS2
Fe Limonite(Fe,O,OH,H2O)
Fe ChalcopyriteCuFeS2
Fe PyrrhotiteFe7S8
Fe LöllingiteFeAs2
Fe AnkeriteCa(Fe2+,Mg)(CO3)2
Fe ChromiteFe2+Cr23+O4
Fe StrengiteFePO4 · 2H2O
Fe ArsenopyriteFeAsS
Fe MarcasiteFeS2
Fe Pyrite (var: Auriferous Pyrite)FeS2
CuCopper
Cu ChalcopyriteCuFeS2
Cu TetrahedriteCu6(Cu4X2)Sb4S13
ZnZinc
Zn SphaleriteZnS
AsArsenic
As LöllingiteFeAs2
As ArsenopyriteFeAsS
MoMolybdenum
Mo MolybdeniteMoS2
SbAntimony
Sb TetrahedriteCu6(Cu4X2)Sb4S13
Sb StibniteSb2S3
AuGold
Au GoldAu
PbLead
Pb GalenaPbS

References

Sort by

Year (asc) Year (desc) Author (A-Z) Author (Z-A)
Fairbanks, Harold W. (1890) Geology of the Mother Lode region. California Mining Bureau Report 10: 67-78.
Turner, Henry Ward (1894) Description of the gold belt; description of the Jackson sheet: USGS, Geol. Atlas Jackson folio (Folio No. 11), 6pp. (reprinted 1914).
Turner, Henry Ward and Ransome, F.L. (1897) Description of the gold belt; description of the Sonora sheet: USGS Geologic Atlas, Sonora folio (Folio No. 41), 7 pp.
Ransome, Frederick Leslie (1900) Description of the Mother Lode district, California. United States Geological Survey Geological Atlas, Mother Lode, Folio No. 63, 11 pp.
Storms, William H. (1900) The Mother Lode region of California. California Mining Bureau Bulletin 18: 43-87.
Knopf, Adolf (1929) The Mother Lode system of California. United States Geological Survey Professional Paper 157, 88 pp.; […(abstract): Engineering & Mining Journal: 128: 24 (1929); […Geol. Zentralbl., Band 41: 364-367 (1930)]: 49-70.
Logan, Clarence August (1934) Mother Lode Gold Belt of California. California Division Mines Bulletin 108, 221 pp.: 55-124, 141-142.
Logan, C.A. (1935) Mother Lode gold belt-Calaveras County: California Division of Mines Bulletin 108: 125-152.

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