Old Hansonburg, one of New Mexico's forgotten mining camps
— Robert W. Eveleth and Virgil W. Lueth


The copper deposits at old Hansonburg, located near the northern boundary of the White Sands Missile Range in southeastern Socorro County, are all but forgotten today. The scene was vastly different 125 years ago when the excitement born of mineral discovery was the topic of discussion on the lips of every miner and prospector in Socorro County. The latenineteenth century entrepreneurs labored long and hard, only to meet with repeated failure, in an effort to develop what they perceived to be the largest high-grade copper-silver deposit discovered in the American southwest up to that time.

This paper traces the early exploitation by the Pueblo Indians up through re-discovery by the Spanish and eventually American prospectors into the 20th century. Little remains of the mining camp of Old Hansonburg but the deposit itself may yet prove to be a bonanza of a kind not even remotely dreamed of by the territorial prospectors. Remarkable geological and geochemical similarities between the Hansonburg copper deposit and a similar occurrence at the Apex Mine in southwestern Utah suggest the potential for discovery of the rare metallic elements germanium and gallium in the Hansonburg deposit is excellent.

Full-text (2.62 MB PDF)

Recommended Citation:

  1. Eveleth, Robert W.; Lueth, Virgil W., 2009, Old Hansonburg, one of New Mexico's forgotten mining camps, in: Geology of the Chupadera Mesa, Lueth, Virgil W.; Lucas, Spencer G.; Chamberlin, Richard M., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 60th Field Conference, pp. 399-406. https://doi.org/10.56577/FFC-60.399

[see guidebook]