Uranium in the Socorro area, New Mexico
Virginia T. McLemore
Uranium occurrences in central and northern Socorro County are found as: (1) vein-type deposits, (2) early Paleozoic carbonatites in Precambrian terrains, (3) deposits in volcanic rocks, and (4) sandstone deposits in Permian, Triassic, Cretaceous, and Tertiary sedimentary rocks (fig. I, Table 1). Additional uranium occurrences in Socorro County, but not described here, are found in Permian sandstones in the Scholle and Rayo districts (McLemore, 1982), in volcanic rocks in the San Mateo Mountains (Berry and others, 1982; McLemore, 1983), and in scattered localities in eastern and southern Socorro County (McLemore, 1983). In Socorro County, uranium production has been restricted to the Jeter mine in the Ladron Mountains (locality 2, Table 1), three vein- type deposits along the Rio Grande valley (localities 23, 24, and 26), and two sandstone deposits in the Lemitar and Gallinas Mountains (localities 15 and 48; Table 2). Cumulative uranium production from Socorro County totals 28,828 kg of U308 (Table 2), which makes it the largest producing county outside the San Juan Basin area (northwestern New Mexico). Additional undiscovered uranium deposits may occur in the Gallinas—Bear Mountains, Ladron Mountains, and Rio Grande valley (Chapin and others, 1979; U.S. Department of Energy, 1980; Pierson and others, 1982; Chamberlin and others, 1982).
- McLemore, Virginia T., 1983, Uranium in the Socorro area, New Mexico, in: Socorro region II, Chapin, C. E., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 34th Field Conference, pp. 227-233.