Preliminary observations on the mining history, geology, mineralization of the Jicarilla mining district, Lincoln County, New Mexico
Virginia T. McLemore, Mark Ouimette, and Robert W. Eveleth
The Jicarilla mining district comprises much of the Jicarilla Mountains in central New Mexico. The three types of mineral deposits that occur in the district are placer, quartz veins and iron skarn/replacement deposits. Production has been minor and amounts to less than 800 oz of placer gold, 800 oz of lode gold, 38,000 oz of silver, 4.2 million lbs of copper, and 3000 lbs of lead. In addition, about 8000 tons of iron ore were produced in the 1900s. Mining began two or three hundred years ago and the district was perhaps the site of the first drill-rig in New Mexico in 1881. The mineral deposits appear to be related to Tertiary intrusives that are diverse in lithology and composition. Two age dates of about 37-38 Ma were obtained on samples of the igneous rocks. The origin of the mineral deposits was a complex process of magmatic fractionation and differentiation, perhaps involving upper mantle and lower crustal sources. The placer deposits are large but low grade, and the scarcity of water prevents developments. The district has potential for gold-bearing veins and possible breccia deposits, but subsurface drilling will be required to determine their extent.
- McLemore, Virginia T.; Ouimette, Mark; Eveleth, Robert W., 1991, Preliminary observations on the mining history, geology, mineralization of the Jicarilla mining district, Lincoln County, New Mexico, in: Geology of the Sierra Blanca, Sacramento and Capitan Ranges, New Mexico, Barker, James M.; Kues, Barry S.; Austin, George S.; Lucas, Spencer, G., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 42nd Field Conference, pp. 311-316.