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Kramer Borate deposit, Boron, Kramer District (Kramer Borate District), Kern Co., California, USA

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 35° 2' 28'' North , 117° 41' 14'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 35.04111,-117.68722
GeoHash:G#: 9qhr3gnc2
Köppen climate type:BWk : Cold desert climate

A large borate-B-As-Sb-clay deposit located in secs. 19, 23 & 24, T11N, R8W, SBM, approximately 7 miles NW of Kramer and 4 miles NW of Boron. MRDS database stated accuracy for this location is 10 meters. Discovered in 1913 by Dr. John K. Suckow. Suckow discovered colemanite when drilling a water well. In 1925, a second water well discovered a huge deposit of borax. Initial production occurred in 1927 and continues). Owned-Operated by the U.S. Borax (Subsidiary Of Rtz Borax Ltd. Of Rtz Corp. PLC (London, UK), Los Angeles, California (end 1992). Listed as "Kramer Borate deposit" by the USGS-MRDS database. The name was changed to the USGS name to prevent confusion with the other "Kramer pit," (MAS No. 0060290688). Listed in MAS and not on the USGS list (June, 1994).

Mineralization is a sedimentary deposit (Deposit model: Model code: 260; USGS model code 35b.3; Deposit model name: lacustrine borates), hosted in the Tank Hill Limestone, Ricardo Formation shale, claystone, sandstone and volcanic ash. The ore body is generally lenticular in form with a dip 10-15SE at a thickness of 91.44 meters, depth-to-top of 91.44 meters, width of 804.65 meters and a length of 3,218.6 meters. Controls for ore emplacement included a structurally closed basin and the presence of B-bearing thermal springs during deposition. The deposit was buried by 1,000 to 2,000 meters of continental sediments. Although much of this material had been removed by erosion and subsequent uplift. The shale is greenish in color. Associated rocks include Pliocene-Miocene Saddleback Basalt. Local rocks include Quaternary alluvium and marine deposits.

The ore layer extends over 500 acres. The deposit is a roughly lenticular crystalline mass of borax and kernite containing interbedded claystone. The deposit is completely enveloped by ulexite-bearing shales. Studies have indicated that the borates were deposited in a small structural, non-marine basin, associated with thermal spring activity. The deposit consistently grades 10 to 30% B2O3, and very few other salts occur with the borates. Only borax, kernite, and minor tincalconite are exploited. The overburden thickness ranges from 60 to 150 meters (1992).

Local structures include a down warped ancient lake bed, folded and faulted, structural basin, and the Portal Fault (strikes West). Related tectonic structures include the West-central Mojave Desert.

Workings included surface and underground openings with the underground openings subsequently being subhumed by the open pit mining operations.

Production data are found in: World Mining Developments 1979-19: 419.

Reserve-Resource data are found in: Kistler and Smith (1985); and in Roskill (1993).

99%+ of all the specimens from this deposit have come from the open pit mine. Very few specimens exist or can be verified from any of the underground mines in the deposit that were operated before the open pit mine began. The exception to this are the many specimens of borax crystals that were almost exclusively from the underground sections of the deposit and probably the majority of those were collected from shallow flooded stopes in the West Baker mine. Almost all of these specimens have long since dehydrated to white Tincalconite pseudomorphs after borax and have fallen apart and been thrown out. Each year, for many years the company has collected fresh borax specimens from the underground for the benefit of the local gem and mineral society which are sold at their annual show. Also, most of the Ulexite "clam shells" were collected from the overhead shale underground in the West Baker mine. Almost all other specimens have been collected from the open pit mine itself or from the dumps that lie mostly to the north of the mine.

Analytical data results: Averaged 25% B2O3.

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





'var: Carbonate-rich Apatite'


var: Strontian Aragonite













'Chlorite Group'










'Fayalite-Forsterite Series'

'Feldspar Group'

'Garnet Group'


Gerstleyite (TL)





var: Satin Spar Gypsum

var: Selenite
















'K Feldspar'







Mazzite-Na (TL)




'Mica Group'







var: Illite









Probertite (TL)









var: Ferroan Saponite















Tunellite (TL)






83 valid minerals. 4 (TL) - type locality of 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

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Alphabetical List Tree Diagram

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 Macrostrat.org

Quaternary - Miocene
0 - 23.03 Ma

ID: 3185380
Cenozoic sedimentary rocks

Age: Cenozoic (0 - 23.03 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]

Holocene - Pliocene
0 - 5.333 Ma

ID: 2885167
Quaternary alluvium and marine deposits

Age: Cenozoic (0 - 5.333 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Temescal Formation; Modesto Formation; Victor Formation; Alameda Formation; Aromas Red Sands; Bautista Beds; Brawley Formation; Borrego Formation; Burnt Canyon Breccia; Cabezon Fanglomerate; Campus Formation; Casitas Formation; Chemehuevi Formation; Corcoran Clay; Cushenbury Springs Formation; Dos Picachos Gravels; Dripping Springs Formation; Frazier Mountain Formation; Friant Formation; Harold Formation; Heights Fanglomerate; Hookton Formation; Huichica Formation; La Habra Formation; Manix Lake Beds; Mohawk Lake Beds; Montezuma Formation; Nadeau Gravel; Ocotillo Conglomerate; Orcutt Formation; Pacoima Formation; Pauba Formation; Peckham Formation; Pinto Formation; Resting Springs Formation; Riverbank Formation; Rohnerville Formation; San Dimas Formation; Shoemaker Gravel; Temecula Arkose; Battery Formation; Bay Point Formation; Colma Formation; Lindavista Formation; Lomita Marl; Merritt Sand; Millerton Formation; Palos Verdes Sand; San Pedro Formation; Sweitzer Formation; Timms Point Silt

Description: Alluvium, lake, playa, and terrace deposits; unconsolidated and semi-consolidated. Mostly nonmarine, but includes marine deposits near the coast.

Lithology: Major:{coarse alluvium}, Minor:{fine alluvium}

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 Macrostrat.org, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

Localities in this Region
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This page contains all mineral locality references listed on mindat.org. 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 mindat.org 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.


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Yale, Charles G. & Hoyt S. Gale (1913), Borax: Mineral Resources of the United States, 1912, part 2: 839-846.
Noble, Levi Fatzinger (1926a), Borate deposits in the Kramer district, Kern County, California: USGS Bulletin 785-C: 45-61; […(abstract): Geol. Zentralbl., Band 37: 185 (1928)]: 45-61.
Schaller, Waldemar Theodore (1927), Kernite, a new sodium borate: American Mineralogist: 12: 24-25.
Eakle, Arthur Starr (1929), Probertite, a new borate: American Mineralogist: 14: 427-430.
Schaller, Waldemar Theodore (1930), Borate minerals from the Kramer district, Mohave Desert, California: USGS PP 158-I: 137-170; […Mineralogical Magazine: 22: 622 (1931)]: 137-170.
Murdoch, Joseph (1945), Probertite from Los Angeles County, California: American Mineralogist: 30: 719-721.
Gale, Hoyt Stoddard (1946), Geology of the Kramer borate district, Kern County, California: California Division Mines Report 42: 332, 362.
Frondel, Clifford & V. Morgen (1956), Inderite and gerstleyite from the Kramer borate district, Kern County, California: American Mineralogist: 41: 839-843.
Frondel, Clifford, V. Morgan & J.L.T. Waugh (1956), Lesserite, a new borate mineral American Mineralogist: 41: 927-928.
Smith, George Irving, Hy Almond, & D.L. Sawyer, Jr. (1958), Sassolite from the Kramer borate district, California: American Mineralogist: 43: 1068-1078.
Christ, C.L. & R.M. Garrels (1959), Relations among sodium borate hydrates at the Kramer deposit, Boron, California: American Journal of Science: 257: 516-528.
Pemberton, H. Earl, Wm. Moller, Jack Schwartz & George Masimer (1960), The minerals of Boron, California, 40 pp. (Published by the Mineral Research Society of California, Montebello, CA): 25, 31.
Schaller, Waldemar Theodore & Mary Emma Mrose (1960), The naming of the hydrous magnesium borate minerals from Boron, California – a preliminary note: American Mineralogist: 45: 732-734.
Barnard, R.M. & R.B. Kistler (1961), Stratigraphic and structural evolution of the Kramer sodium borate ore body, Boron, California, in: Second Symposium on Salt, J.L. Rau (editor): Northern Ohio Geol. Sc.: 133-150.
Bowser, C.J. & F.W. Dickson (1961), Chemical zonation of the borates of Kramer, California, In: J.L. Rau (ed.), Second Symposium on Salt: 1: 122-132, Northern Ohio Geological Society.
Obert, L. and Long, A.E. (1962) Underground borate mining, Kern County, California. US Bureau of Mines Report of Investigation 6110, 67 pp.: 1-12.
Troxel, Bennie Wyatt & P.K. Morton (1962), Mines and mineral resources of Kern County, California: California Division Mines & Geology County Report 1, 370 pp.: 63.
Ver Planck, Wm. E., Jr. (1962), Kramer Borate District, California Division of Mines and Geology; County Report 1: 39-40.
Hay, Richard Le Roy (1964), Phillipsite of saline lakes and soils American Mineralogist: 49: 1367.
Rumanova, I.M. and Ashirov, A. (1964) The determination of the crystal structure of inderite. Soviet Physics-Crystallography: 8: 414-428.
Bowser, C.J. (1965a), Geochemistry and petrology of the sodium borates in the non-marine evaporative environment: Unpublished Ph.. dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles, 307 pp.: 49-50, 147-148.
Dickson, F.W. and W.J. Raab (1965) Origin of stibnite associated with borax at Kramer, California. Geological Society of America Program: 44-45.
Pecora, W.T. and Staff (1965) Mineral Resources. Geological Survey Research, 1965. USGS Professional Paper 525-A, 376 pp.: 9.
Hay, Richard Le Roy (1966) Zeolites and zeolitic reactions in sedimentary rocks: Geological Society of America Special Paper 85, 130 p.: 44.
Murdoch, Joseph & Robert W. Webb (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 154, 229, 235, 236-237, 295, 319.
Dibblee, T.W., Jr. (1967a) Areal geology of western Mojave Desert, California. USGS Professional Paper 522: 126-127.
Smith, W.C. (1968) Borax solution at Kramer, California. Economic Geology: 63(2): 877-883.
Morgan, V. and Erd, R.C. (1969) Minerals of the Kramer borate district, California California Division of Mines and Geology Mineral Information Service: 22(9): 143-153, 165-172.
Carnahan, V. (1970), Notes on some minerals from Boron: Bulletin of the Mineralogical Society of Southern California, November: 10.
Razmanova, .P., Rumanova, I.M., and Belov, N.V. (1970) Crystal structure of kurnakovite Mg2B6O11•15H2O = 2Mg[B3O3(OH)5]•5H2O. Soviet Physics, Doklady: 14: 1139-1142.
Kistler, R.B., and Smith, W.C. (1975), Boron and Borates, in: Lefond, S.J., editor, Industrial Minerals and Rocks (non-metallics other than fuels): New York, A.I.M.E.: 473-496.
Puffer, J.H. (1975) The Kramer borate mineral assemblage. Mineralogical Record: 6: 84-91.
U.S. Bureau of Mines Minerals Yearbook, 1978-1979: volume 1: 120.
Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California; Van Nostrand Reinholt Press: 51, 52, 66, 69, 71, 72, 115, 127, 132, 137, 161, 162, 168 (photo 4-5), 171, 174, 186, 191, 210, 213, 215, 219, 222, 216, 240, 243, 249, 256, 259, 266, 278-279, 280, 286, 292, 315, 355, 360, 368, 375, 382, 385, 401, 427, 428, 438, 439, 510, 512.
Smith, George Irving (1985) Borate deposits in the United States: Dissimilar in form, similar in geologic setting, in Barker, J.M., and LeFond, S.J., 1985, Borates: Economic Geology and Production; Proceedings of a symposium held on October 24, 1984, at the fall meeting of SME-AIME in Denver, Colorado: New York, Society of Mining Engineers of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc: 38-51.
California Division of Mines and Geology (1990), Mines and mineral producers active in California (1988-89), California Department of Conservation, Division of Mines and Geology, Special Publication 103.
O'Driscoll, Mike (1990), “Minerals in the US Southwest - breaking rocks in the hot sun” Industrial Minerals, no. 272: 56, 59.
Tschernich, R. (1992): Zeolites of the World: 64.
Roskill Information Services Ltd. (1993), “The Economics of Boron 1993, 7th ed.” London, Roskill Information Services Ltd., 156 p.
American Mineralogist (2005): 90: 1186-1191.
USGS (2005), Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS): U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, loc. file ID #10080426 & 10284982.
Currier, Rock (2010), personal communication with Mindat/org.
U.S. Bureau of Mines, Minerals Availability System (MAS) file #0060291052.

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