Permian Basin Rustler Formation

Region West, Southwest
Mineral systems
Deposit types
Critical minerals
Other minerals

Information leading to the delineation of this focus area

Basis for focus area Area underlain by stratabound polyhalite-dominated potash mineralization of the Permian Rustler Formation.
Identified resources Identified resources of potash.
Production None.
Status In permitting.
Estimated resources The polyhalite domains of the Ochoa polyhalite beds are estimated to contain approximately 330 Mt of Measured plus Indicated polyhalite mineral resources at a mean grade of 89.3% polyhalite (Saint Don and others, 2016).
Geologic maps New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (2003), scale 1:500,000; Barnes and others (1992a), scale 1:500,000.
Geophysical data Rank 3 and 4 aeromagnetic coverage; Rank 5 aeroradiometric coverage.
Favorable rocks and structures Rustler Formation stratabound potash-bearing salt.
Deposits Ochoa Polyhalite Project (Saint Don and others, 2016).
Evidence from mineral occurrences McLemore and Austin (2017).
Geochemical evidence Polyhalite in the Rustler Formation occurs with carbonate and evaporite minerals (halite, anhydrite, gypsum).
Geophysical evidence None.
Evidence from other sources Targeted mineralization at Ochoa is polyhalite, hosted with anhydrite in the Tamarisk Member of the Rustler Formation (Saint Don and others, 2016).
Comments A Final EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) that analyzed the environmental effects of the Ochoa mine project is available at:
Cover thickness and description Depths of 1200-2400 ft.
Authors Jane M. Hammarstrom, Virginia T. McLemore.
New data needs Examine petroleum and water well records for depths to top and base of Rustler Formation.
Geologic mapping and modeling needs None requested at this time.
Geophysical survey and modeling needs None requested at this time.
Digital elevation data needs Buried resources; not needed.