National mineral assessment tract CR27 (Epithermal vein, quartz-adularia)

Tract CR27
Geographic region Central and Southern Rocky Mountains
Tract area 43,600sq km
Deposit type Epithermal vein, quartz-adularia
Deposit age Tertiary

Deposit model

Model code 25c
Model type descriptive
Title Descriptive model of Comstock epithermal veins
Authors Dan L. Mosier, Donald A. Singer, and Byron R. Berger
Model code 25d
Model type descriptive
Title Descriptive model of Sado epithermal veins
Authors Dan L. Mosier, Byron R. Berger and Donald A. Singer


Confidence Number of
90% 0
50% 2
10% 5
5% 6
1% 7

Estimators: Bartsch-Winkler, McLemore, Ludington, Wallace, Nash, Berger, Spanski


Explained by Alan R. Wallace and Virginia McLemore
On the choice of deposit models
Known quartz-adularia precious-metal veins occur in felsic to intermediate volcanic rocks in this area. The general lack of information on grades and tonnages precluded classifying known deposits and potential undiscovered deposits into separate Creede, Comstock, and Sado deposit models. Base metals are not prominent in the known examples, and, as a result, the team assessed the New Mexico quartz-adularia veins using a composite model of Comstock and Sado vein deposits (Mark3 index 25).
On the delineation of permissive tracts
Extensive felsic to intermediate Tertiary volcanic fields in the area contain known quartz-adularia deposits, prospects, and occurrences. These volcanic fields are variably cut by younger intrusive rocks, and faults and caldera ring fractures are common. Therefore, permissive tracts were delineated to consist of areas of volcanic rocks of intermediate to felsic composition. The absence of faults or other fluid-focusing structures on the maps we used was not considered a negative criterion for assessment. This tract is exclusive of southwestern New Mexico, which is part of the Southern Basin and Range Province.
Important examples of this type of deposit
Cochiti (about 1.3 metric tons Au, 6.5 metric tons Ag) and Chloride are significant districts. In addition, 22 other districts and prospects were identified that are small or did not have adequate grade and tonnage information.
On the numerical estimates made
The team assessed each of the 22 prospects and arrived at a total expected value of about 0.7 deposits consistent with the combined Comstock-Sado grade and tonnage model. Additional estimates for the Black Range and for the covered area in the Jemez caldera area added 0.7 deposits. After reviewing the size of the known deposits and prospects, the extent of volcanic rocks, and the extent of covered areas, the team decided that the first estimates were uniformly between 50 and 100 percent too low. For the 90th, 50th, 10th, 5th, and 1st percentiles, the team estimated 0, 2, 5, 6, and 7 or more districts consistent with the combined Comstock-Sado grade and tonnage model.

Geographic coverage

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