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Wonder Mine (Wonder prospect; Wallace Wonder Mine; Wonder No 1), Ophir Mountain, Darwin District, Darwin Hills, Inyo Co., California, USA

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 36° 17' 2'' North , 117° 34' 34'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 36.2838888889, -117.576111111
A former small Pb-Ag-Cu-Au mine located in the NW¼ sec. 18, T19S, R41E, MDM, 2.2 km (1.3 miles) ESE of Ophir Mountain (coordinates of record) and 7,290 feet N38E from Darwin, at an elevation of 4540 feet (N and S of the Lane Canyon Road (now N. Main Street)). The property consisted of 4 claims. Originally owned by Richard Wallace, later the Anaconda Co. owned the mine. Operated in 1947. MRDS database stated accuracy for this location is 100 meters. Updated description and position of the mine N36.28397 W117.57632 and N36.28501 W117.57648 by Richard Muster, based on observations in 2007. The older parts of the workings are at N36.28020, W117.58036; N36.27976, W117.57995; N36.28003, W117.57941 and N36.28054, W117.57949.

It is argued by some that the Wonder Mine and the Bruce Mine are one entity but Hall, Wayne Everett & E.M. Mackevett list them as separate mines; furthermore, the Wonder Mine is a Ag-Pb mine, whereas the Bruce Mine is a W mine.

Mineralization is hosted in hornfels. The ore body is lenticular in shape, strikes N27W and dips 55SW, at a thickness of 1.83 meters. The ore occurs as irregular lenses of galena and lead-carbonate along a fissure in the limestone that strikes northwest and dips 45° W. The vein-filling is a coarse calcite with some crystalline fluorite. Local structures include a fault and fold. Local rocks include Carboniferous marine rocks, unit 2 (SE California Carbonate Assemblage).

Ore occurs along the vein. A steep N70E trending fault cuts the vein in the adit 60 feet from the portal and off-sets the southern segment approximately 8 feet to the W. Similar ore is exposed on the crest of an anticlinal fold at the collar of the inclined shaft or Wonder No. 1 claim. Ore extends down the west limb as a bedding plane vein 4 to 6 feet thick, strikes N10W and dips 55SW.

Rocks in the area are calc-hornfels and locally tactite at the top of the lower member of the Keeler Canyon Formation. Rocks are intersected by a number of N70E fractures that are part of the Lane Fault, between the Wonder and Wonder No. 1 claims. North of the fault, the workings are along the crest of an open anticlinal-shaped fold.

Workings include surface and underground openings. The older workings consisted of an adit S of the Canyon Road. The newer workings, N of the Canyon Road, consisted of 2 inclined shafts, an adit and several surface pits. Little is known of the older parts. The mine N of the Canyon Road was mainly worked in 1947.

Production data are found in: Goodwin, J.G. (1957): 523.

Considerable ore was shipped in 1947. Smelter recovery was 2.45% Pb, 3.84 ounces Ag/ton plus recoverable Cu.

Mineral List

12 entries listed. 10 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.


Knopf, Adolf (1914), The Darwin silver-lead mining district, California: USGS Bulletin 580: 1-18; […(abstract): Geol. Zentralbl., Band 21: 597]: 17.

Tucker, W. Burling (1926), Inyo County: California Journal of Mines and Geology, California Mining Bureau. (Report 22): 22(4): 504.

Kelley, Vincent Cooper (1938), Geology and ore deposits of the Darwin silver-lead mining district, Inyo County, California: California Division Mines (Report 34): 34: 424, 426, 459, 480, 559.

Goodwin, Joseph Grant (1957) Lead and zinc in California. California Journal of Mines and Geology, Division of Mines (Report 53): 53(3&4): 523.

Hall, Wayne Everett & E.M. Mackevett (1958), Economic geology of the Darwin quadrangle, Inyo County, California: Calif Division of Mines Special Report 51, 77 pp.: 41.

Murdoch, Joseph & Robert W. Webb (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 119, 244.

Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California; Van Nostrand Reinholt Press: 102 (map 3-6), 299.

USGS (2005), Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS): U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, loc. file ID # 10034002 & 10261093.

Rocks & Minerals (2006): 81: 208-213.

Mineral Availability System (MAS) database file #0060270563.

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