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Cerro Colorado Mine (Heintzelman Mine; Silver Queen Mine), Cerro Colorado District, Cerro Colorado Mts, Pima Co., Arizona, USA

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 31° 39' 32'' North , 111° 16' 23'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 31.65889,-111.27306
Other regions containing this locality:Sonoran Desert, North America

A former small underground Ag-Au-Pb-Zn-Cu-Hg mine located in the center of sec. 25, T.20S., R.10E. on 1 patented claim and 20 unpatented claims, about 10 miles North of Arivaca. Discovered by early Spanish explorers about 1750. Produced 1856-1937. Closed 1884 to 1901. Mill operating in 1964.
Owned at times, or in part, by the Sonora Exploration & Mining Co.; Consolidated Arizona Mine & Milling Co.; Cerro Colorado Mining & Milling Co.; Udall; the Cerro Cristo Mines Co.; Arivaca Milling & Mining Co., Steinfeld; Baker; and, Snyder. NOTE: Coordinates updated February, 2008, using Garmin hand held GPS unit (at the shaft collar) by Ronald Deblois.

Mineralization is irregular, lensing, drusy, quartz-fissure vein with spotty sulfides and secondary minerals with minor barite, calcite and much iron oxide. The wall rock is an andesite porphyry complex. Ruby silver occurred in the oxidized zone. The veins are cut off by contact of sediments with basal andesite.

Workings include shaft workings. Operated from the 1770's to about 1937, producing some 3,000 tons of ore averaging about 100 oz. Ag/T, 0.1 oz. Au/T and minor amounts of Pb & Cu.

The richest ore on record ran over 12,000 oz. Ag per ton, the average ore mined in 1859 was 770 oz/t, the average of all ore mined since then has been about 225 oz/t. No significant quantities of ore were found below 350 feet.

The main shaft is flooded to 50 feet, other shafts in the vicinity are flooded, caved, or lagged at surface. Some ground on the Cerro Colorado claim might be unstable because large stopes are known to exist not far below the surface.

Mineral List

25 valid minerals.

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

Campanian - Oxfordian
72.1 - 163.5 Ma
Cretaceous to Late Jurassic sedimentary rocks with minor volcanic rocks

Age: Mesozoic (72.1 - 163.5 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Temporal Formation; Bathtub Formation; Sand Wells Formation; Fort Crittenden Formation; McCoy Mountains Formation

Description: Sandstone and conglomerate, rarely forms prominent outcrops; massive conglomerate is typical near base of unit and locally in upper part. These deposits are nonmarine except in southeastern Arizona, where prominent gray marine limestone (Mural Limestone) forms the middle of the Bisbee Group. Sandstones are typically medium-bedded, drab brown, lithic-feldspathic arenites. Includes Bisbee Group (largely Early Cretaceous) and related rocks, Temporal, Bathtub, and Sand Wells formations, rocks of Gu Achi, McCoy Mountains Formation, and Upper Cretaceous Fort Crittenden Formation and equivalent rocks. (80-160 Ma)

Lithology: Major:{arenite,conglomerate}, Minor:{limestone}

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

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.


The Resources of Arizona - A Manual of Reliable Information Concerning the Territory, compiled by Patrick Hamilton (1881), Scottsdale, AZ: 45.

The History of Arizona, 2nd. state legislature, Chap. X: 130.

Dana, E.S. (1892) System of Mineralogy, 6th. Edition, New York: 160.

Copper Handbook (1903, 1909).

Guild, F.N. (1910), The mineralogy of Arizona, The Chemical Publishing Co., Easton, PA.

University of AZ Bull. 41 (1916-17), Mineralogy of Useful Minerals in Arizona: 51.

Guild, F.N. (1917), A microscopic study of the silver ores and their associated minerals, Economic Geology: 12: 297-353.

Elsing, M.J. and Heineman, E.S. (1936) Arizona Metal Production, Arizona Bureau of Mines Bulletin 140.

Palache, C., Berman, H. & Frondel, C. (1944), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, 7th. edition, Volume I: 191, 381.

Galbraith, F.W. (1947), Minerals of Arizona, Arizona Bureau of Mines Bull. 153: 9, 16, 17, 27.

Jones, R.D. (1957) Geology of the Cerro Colorado mining district, Pima County, Arizona: Tucson, University of Arizona, M.S. thesis, 59 p., 2 sheets, scale 1:14,080.

Galbraith, F.W. & D.J. Brennan (1959), Minerals of Arizona: 42, 43, 45, 72.

Keith, Stanton B. (1974), Arizona Bureau of Geology & Mineral Technology, Geological Survey Branch Bull. 189, Index of Mining Properties in Pima County, Arizona: 114 (Table 4).

Heylmun, Edgar B. (1987) Cerro Colorado Silver Mine, Arizona: California Mining Journal: 56(11): 75-78.

Anthony, J.W., et al (1995), Mineralogy of Arizona, 3rd. ed.: 163, 169, 259.

Arizona Bureau of Mines file data.

MRDS database Dep. ID file #10026796, MRDS ID #M000284; and, Dep. ID #10039562, MRDS ID #M050286; and, Dep. ID #10161603, MAS ID #0040190154.

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