Mineral resources in the Jemez and Nacimiento Mountains, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, Santa Fe and Los Alamos Counties, New Mexico
Virginia T. McLemore
Mining began in the Jemez and Nacimiento Mountains during prehistoric times. Significant production of metals began in 1894 at the Cochiti district. Since then, more than $53.5 million cumulative dollars worth of pumice, gypsum, gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, uranium and vanadium have been produced from eight districts in the Jemez and Nacimiento Mountains, including the Cochiti, Collins-Warm Springs, Coyote, Gallina, Jemez Springs, Nacimiento, Jemez pumice and White Mesa gypsum districts. In addition, significant amounts of sand and gravel and crushed stone have been produced, but production records are not available. Other commodities in the area include perlite, scoria, diatomite, sulfur, limestone and travertine, but little or no production of these has occurred. In addition, a low-grade molybdenum deposit has been found in the Sulphur Springs area; it is not economic, but it does demonstrate the ability of geothermal systems in the Jemez Mountains to form epithermal mineral deposits. Further development of mineral resources is assured in the Nacimiento and Jemez Mountains, especially pumice, gypsum, and sand and gravel. Existing mining and environmental regulations will protect the environmental integrity of the area, but increase the costs to the mining company and the consumer.
- McLemore, Virginia T., 1996, Mineral resources in the Jemez and Nacimiento Mountains, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, Santa Fe and Los Alamos Counties, New Mexico, in: The Jemez Mountains Region, Goff, Fraser; Kues, Barry S.; Rogers, Margaret Ann; McFadden, Les D.; Gardner, Jamie N., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 47th Field Conference, pp. 161-168.