Geology and mineral resources in the Ojo Caliente No. 2 mining district, Socorro County, New Mexico
Virginia T. McLemore
The Ojo Caliente No. 2 mining district is located in the northern Sierra Cuchillo in southwestern Socorro County. Volcanic-epithermal vein deposits (Taylor mine) and the Apache Warm Springs volcanogenic beryllium deposit are found in the district. At least three separate geothermal systems are present in the Ojo Caliente No. 2 mining district in the Montoya Butte quadrangle: 1) the oldest system forming the volcanic-epithermal veins (~28-36 Ma), 2) the system forming the Apache Warm Springs beryllium deposit and associated alteration (~24.4-28 Ma), and 3) the current, modern system related to Ojo Caliente, Willow Springs, and other warm springs feeding Cañada Alamosa. Copper-silver production has been insignificant from the volcanic-epithermal veins and a small quantity of uranium ore reportedly was produced from the beryllium deposit. The resource potential of the volcanic-epithermal veins is low with a moderate to high degree of certainty, because the vein deposits exposed at the surface are low grade and too small for economic development in the current market. The resource potential of the Apache Warm Springs beryllium deposit is low to moderate with a moderate to high degree of certainty, because the known extent of the beryllium deposit at the surface and in the subsurface where drilled is low grade and too small for economic development in the current market. But, additional exploration drilling could locate additional beryllium. Deposits of uranium and rare earth elements could be associated with the beryllium deposit. Any potential exploration or subsequent mining would have to plan for environmental issues, especially the effects of mining on the Ojo Caliente and adjacent warm and cold springs feeding the Cañada Alamosa.
- McLemore, Virginia T., 2012, Geology and mineral resources in the Ojo Caliente No. 2 mining district, Socorro County, New Mexico, in: Geology of the Warm Springs region, Lucas, Spencer G.; McLemore, Virginia T.; Lueth, Virgil W.; Spielmann, Justin A.; Krainer, Karl, New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 63rd Field Conference, pp. 547-558.