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Climax Mine (Climax Open Pit Mine), Climax, Climax District, Lake Co., Colorado, USA

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Climax Mine power station, processing mill, and mine headquarters

Climax Mine, Climax, Climax District, Lake Co., Colorado, USA
Climax Mine power station, processing mill, and mine headquarters

Climax Mine, Climax, Climax District, Lake Co., Colorado, USA
Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 39° 22' 24'' North , 106° 10' 33'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 39.3735916667, -106.175916667

Near the summit of Fremont Pass, in Lake Co., approximately 15 miles north of Leadville. Owned by AMAX Corp. A molybdenum mine comprised of a large open pit and underground workings. When working up to 50,000 tons of ore processed daily.

Produced stopped in 1985 due to low Mo prices, but will recommence during 2012.

The Climax ore deposit is the type example of the Climax-type porphyry molybdenum deposit. The geology of this type of ore deposit is described by Ludington and Plumlee (2009). They note that Climax-type molybdenum deposits are quite rare and give only 13 examples. Of these, the Climax ore deposit is far and away the largest. The next largest, the Henderson deposit, is approximately 60% it's size.

For many years Climax was an underground mine worked through adits. Ore was produced by a block caving system. When this author toured the mine with a college AIME group in 1968 production was 22,000 t/d, all from the Storke level. Starting with a 60 inch gyratory crusher the entire 22,000 tons was reduced by ranks of rod and ball mills to a particle size sufficiently small to move in suspension. Separation of minerals was accomplished by flotation (moly, monazite), humphrey spirals (pyrite) and shaker table (wolframite).

Since reactivation of the mine in 2012, after 17 years of dormancy, the underground operation has been replaced by a surface open pit.

Mineral List

33 valid minerals.

The above list 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.


- Dana 7:I:330
- Rocks & Mins.:61:8 & 75:313.
Butler, B. S.; Vanderwilt, J. W. (1933) Contributions to economic geology (short papers and preliminary reports), 1933. The Climax molybdenum deposit, Colorado, with a section on history, production, metallurgy, and development, by C. W. Henderson. USGS Bulletin: 846-C

Ludington, Steve, and Plumlee, G.S., 2009, Climax-type porphyry molybdenum deposits: U.S. Geological Survey OpenFile Report 2009–1215, 16 p.

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