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Field CollectingArizona Locality Question

7th Nov 2019 03:51 UTCSteve Stuart Expert

I picked up some material off the giveaway tables at the Cleveland Micromineral Symposium labeled as being from "Castle Hot Springs Rd at Maricopa and Yavapai County borders, W of Lake Pleasant". To my untrained AZ eye, it looks like dump material from a lead/zinc mine. Are any of our Arizona experts familiar with this locality? Anyone been there? Thanks!

7th Nov 2019 20:35 UTCTom Tucker

Steve, you're  in real luck  - using multiple versions of maps of the area, it looks at though Castle Hot Springs Road might cross the Maricopa County Line twice.  I haven't found a web-friendly map yet with both the road and the county line shown.  I'll bet the Delorem Atlas would pin-point the spot.  Good luck,   Tom

7th Nov 2019 20:47 UTCTom Tucker

Steve, a Rand-McNally national road atlas would seem to show Castle Hot Springs Road crossing the Maricopa county line approximately 10 miles northeast of Mossistown. Tom

8th Nov 2019 01:22 UTCKevin Conroy Expert

The Sacred Frog Mine is almost exactly where you describe: 

8th Nov 2019 01:28 UTCSteve Stuart Expert

Here is a 2 mm FOV image. Looks like adamite to me.

8th Nov 2019 17:43 UTCJohn Wemesfelder

Just east of the Castle Hot Springs road at the mentioned county border, is a hardscape quarry in current operation.  Both the Sacred Frog and the Harris mines are adjacent to the operating quarry.  A search for mines in the White Picacho Mining District around Red Picacho Peak will show any number of old mine locations.  The current operation (Catclaw Mining) appears to have overwhelmed the site of the Sacred Frog Mine.  This morning, weather was clear, temps in the 70's.  Heavy truck traffic due to the hauling of gravel from the Catclaw Mine.

8th Nov 2019 19:05 UTCChester S. Lemanski, Jr. Manager

I've collected the Sacred Frog and the more recent, abandoned gold mine across the road from the Catclaw. The operators at the Catclaw gave us permission to trespass their land to reach the incline road leading to the Sacred Frog at the top of the hill. The Sacred Frog was a producer of finely crystallized cuprite in gossan matrix cavities. Found some hunks of the gossan but no cuprite. Dump contained lots of tan jarosite crystals coating rock surfaces but no turquoise or U minerals either. There is another (original) access unimproved semi-road to the Sacred Frog from the back side. It was hardly more than a mule trail as I recall. Don't know how to access it either. Nothing of interest found at the abandoned gold mine either - a slow collecting day.

Chet Lemanski

8th Nov 2019 19:38 UTCKevin Conroy Expert

I think that I've accidentally introduced some confusion to this discussion.   I was just using the Sacred Frog Mine as an easy way to see where Castle Hot Springs Road crossed the county line.   If you zoom in the map on the mine page you'll see the crossing.

3rd Dec 2019 02:09 UTCSteve Stuart Expert


I got an EDS spectrum of the crystalline material. Looks to be adamite. I also have specimens of a hexagonal, capped prismatic phase which I visually ID as mimetite. Apparently, there are several possible sources for this material on the border of Yavapai and Maricopa Counties, near Castle Hot Springs Road. Asking Rolf Luetcke if he has ever been there?

3rd Dec 2019 13:08 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

No, I have a few specimens from the area but gifts from a friend, have never been there myself.
Sorry I can't help with this.

5th Dec 2019 18:02 UTCJim MGlasson

I have been all over that area several times, many with my friend Richard Bideaux, the largest base metal operation is at Copperopolis (AKA UFO and other names Lone Star?) The Copperopolis mine and extensive dumps was being worked in the 70's by a scary group of Texans, who thought mining needed to be done with automatic weapons.  I was doing exploration work for a major mining company and stumbled upon these guys. They then tried to convince me that the roundish metal pieces they were sieving out of the sand near the arroyo were in fact platinum nuggets. The only big issue was they were magnetic, and many had remnants of fused slag on them. They were welding splatter.

However the mine has a good variety of lead, zinc, copper, and bismuth secondaries, some of the best fornacite I have ever seen.

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