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Orocopia Mine (Oro Copia Mine; Dos Palmas Mine; Fish Mine; Fish deposit; Black Jack claim), Dos Palmas District, Orocopia Mts (Dos Palmas Mts), Riverside Co., California, USA

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 33° 32' 52'' North , 115° 42' 57'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 33.5477777778, -115.716111111

A former gold occurrence/mine located in the SE¼ sec. 22, T7S, R12E, SBM, on the S slope of the Orocopia Mountains, 21 miles W of Mecca.

Oro Copia: Spanish, meaning “lots of gold”.

Already in the late 1700’s gold was mined in this area by the Spanish.
In the 1890’s the mountain was called by the miners “Dos Palmas Mountains” because it was not named on the old maps. Only in 1905 when the Orocopia Mining Company took over the mining in this area it was called “Orocopia Mountain.” Activities were stopped in 1905 because of legal problems, in 1912 work was resumed but this lasted only for a short period.

Several quartz veins are gold bearing in this area, the Orocopia Mine has been developed on a large gold-bearing quartz vein about 5 feet wide. Local rocks include Precambrian rocks, undivided, unit 2 (Mojave Desert and Transverse Ranges).

Workings include underground openings. In 1894 the workings comprised 2 adits together about 300 feet long. Later a third adit was driven and in 1982 three adits were accessible, lower 290 feet, middle 106 feet and upper 66 feet The adits are connected with stopes and with an ore chute for moving the ore to the lower adit and from there by a 400 foot tramway to the nearby mill.The adits run in a NE direction.

The first mill was constructed at the Canyon spring but it could not process the ore with any success. A new mill based on the cyanide process was constructed near to the lower adit. Water was pumped from the Dos Palmas spring to the mill site. Remains of the mill and tailings could still be seen in 2005.

The ore contains an average of 34 ppm gold based on samples taken in 1984. It is estimated that about 850 tons of ore with about 34 ppm remains in the middle and upper adit.

Site coordinates: Mill at N33.54732 W115.71661; old mill at N33.54503 W115.65407; Dos Palmas spring at N33.50601 W115.82385; lower adit at N33.54782 W115.71619; middle adit at N33.54820 W115.71660; upper adit at N33.54888 W115.71652.

Mineral List

2 valid minerals.

This page 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.


Crawford, J. J. (1894): Riverside County. In: California Mining Bureau (Report 12): 12: 221.

Crawford, J. J. (1896): Riverside County. In: California Mining Bureau (Report 13): 13: 311.

Merrill, F. J. H and Waring, C. A. (1917): Report of the State Mineralogist (Report 15): 15: 541.

Tucker, W. B. (1929): Riverside County, In: Report of the State Mineralogist , Vol. 25, p. 477.

Hilton, J. W. (1938): Bloodstone in the Orocopias, Desert Magazine: March: 14.

Hilton, J. W. (1940): Petrified Bacon, Desert Magazine: November: 13.

Tucker, W.B. and Sampson, R.J. (1945): Mineral resources of Riverside County: California Journal of Mines and Geology, Volume 41(3): 121-182.

Henderson, R. (1947): Water Hole on the Old Bradshaw Trail, Desert Magazine: January, 1947: 4.

Saul, R. B., Gray, C. H. and Evans, J. E. (1961): Mineral Resources of Riverside County, California. In: California Division of Mines and Geology, unpublished report.

Open File Report 77-14 (1977): California Division of Mines and Geology, p. 348, 349.

Vredenburgh, L. M., Shumway, G. L, Hartill, R. D. (1980): Desert Fever: An Overview of Mining in the California Desert Conservation Area: 27, 28.

Open-file Report MLA 7-84 (1984): U.S. Bureau of Mines: 7, 8.

Gunther, J. D. (1984): Riverside County, California, Place Names: Their origins and their stories.

Kreidler, T. J., Haxel, G. B., et al (1988): Mineral Resources of the Orocopia Mountains Wilderness Study Area, Riverside County, California (1988): In: USGS Bulletin, 1710-E.

An Yin (2002): Passive-roof thrust model for the emplacement of the Pelona-Orocopia Schist in southern California, United States Geology, February, 2002, Vol. 30, p. 183-186.

Lech, S. (2012): Pioneers of Riverside County: The Spanish, Mexican and Early American Periods.

USGS (2005), Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS): U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, Deposit ID 10116303.

Mineral Availability System (MAS/MILS ID) database file # 0060650697.

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