New Mexico-Texas-Colorado sediment-hosted Cu

Region West, Southwest
Mineral systems
Deposit types
Other minerals

Information leading to the delineation of this focus area

Basis for focus area North-south belt of permissive rocks for redbed copper in central New Mexico from National Assessment tracts CP02 and CP03, includes the Scholle district and Chupadera Mesa area. Includes mining districts from McLemore (2017) with sedimentary-copper deposits, Carizzo district in southeastern Colorado, and along the Cimarron River in west Texas.
Identified resources Historical production of copper, silver, and uranium.
Production Historical workings, small-scale Cu production. Stauber mine production: 0.24 Mt @ 2.57% Cu, 5.5 g/t Ag. See McLemore (2017).
Status Past mining. Current exploration in the San Jon district, New Mexico.
Estimated resources Unknown.
Geologic maps Barnes, Eifler and others (1983), scale 1:250,000; New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (2003), scale 1:500,000.
Geophysical data Inadequate Rank 4 aeromagnetic coverage.
Favorable rocks and structures Abo and Chinle Formation redbeds.
Deposits Stauber mine (MRDS dep_id: 10014847), Warnock mine (MRDS dep_id: 10087887), Scholle district (MRDS dep_id: 10014849), Carrizo Creek (Soule, 1956), Sabinoso district.
Evidence from mineral occurrences MRDS; McLemore (2017).
Geochemical evidence Small orebodies with high-grade copper zones (0.58 to 5.72% Cu).
Geophysical evidence Unknown.
Evidence from other sources McLemore (2017).
Comments Copper is the primary mineral, associated with U, V, Ag, Pb, and trace Au in several stratabound horizons in bleached sandstones and siltstones. Deposits are associated with carbonaceous debris in sandstone, siltstone, and conglomerates; small pods of uneconomic U associated with Cu. This focus area contains districts from central-eastern New Mexico, west Texas, and southeastern Colorado, as discussed by geologist from the three states. A detailed geochemical sampling survey along with geologic mapping would determine if any of these deposits have potential for Co, Ga, Ge, PGE, Re, U, V, and Zn, as inferred from the mineral system/deposit type table (Hofstra and Kreiner, 2020).
Cover thickness and description Exposed-surface workings as pits and trenches, shallow shafts.
Authors Jane M. Hammarstrom, Virginia T. McLemore.
New data needs Geochemical analyses for critical minerals.
Geologic mapping and modeling needs Mapping needed in New Mexico districts.
Geophysical survey and modeling needs High resolution geophysical coverage needed.
Digital elevation data needs Lidar complete.