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Surprise Mine, Panamint Valley, Inyo Co., California, USA

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A former Ag-Pb-Cu-Au-Zn mine located in sec. 19 (and/or sec. 20), T19S, R42E, MDM, in the Panamint Valley, about 4¼ miles ENE of Lookout City and about 11 miles E of Darwin. Operated during the period 1947-1951. MRDS database stated accuracy for this location is 10 meters.

NOTE: USGS MRDS database file #10236121 places this locality within the Argus Range Wilderness; however, it is located in the center of the Panamint Valley.

Mineralization is a replacement type deposit hosted in limestone. The ore body is irregular. Controls for ore emplacement included drag folds and faults. Limestone beds are contorted but locally trend E and dip 50S. The ore is partially oxidized to anglesite and cerussite. The largest ore body mined was along the hanging wall of a reverse fault. Faults along the ore acted as channel ways for dolomitizing solutions. Local rocks include Carboniferous marine rocks, unit 2 (SE California Carbonate Assemblage) and/or Quaternary alluvium and marine deposits.

Local geologic structures include a fault and folds.

Workings include underground openings comprised of 3 adits with winzes and raises. Exploration was underway during 1952-1953.

Production data are found in: Goodwin, J.G. (1957): 515 - 516.

Ore averaged 31.6% Pb, 25.2 ounces Ag and 0.084 ounces Au/ton, with minor Cu & Zn.

Mineral List

8 entries listed. 8 valid minerals.

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Norman, L.A. & Richard M. Stewart (1951), Mines and mineral resources of Inyo County, California: California Journal of Mines and Geology (Report 47): 47: 81.

Hall, Wayne Everett & Hal G. Stephens (1963), Economic geology of the Panamint Butte quadrangle and Modoc district, Inyo County, California: California Division of Mines & Geology Special Report 73: 26, 35.

Goodwin, Joseph Grant (1957) Lead and zinc in California. California Journal of Mines and Geology, Division of Mines (Report 53): 53(3&4): 515-516.

Murdoch, Joseph & Robert W. Webb (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 144, 266, 305.

Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California; Van Nostrand Reinholt Press: 89.

USGS (2005), Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS): U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, loc. file ID #10033998 & 10236121.

U.S. Bureau of Mines, Minerals Availability System (MAS) file ID #0060270565.

Mineral and/or Locality  
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