Red Mountain Alunite Deposit

The Red Mountain Alunite Deposit is a aluminum, sulfur, sulfuric acid, and potassium mine located in Hinsdale county, Colorado at an elevation of 12,825 feet.

About the MRDS Data:

All mine locations were obtained from the USGS Mineral Resources Data System. The locations and other information in this database have not been verified for accuracy. It should be assumed that all mines are on private property.

Mine Info

Name: Red Mountain Alunite Deposit  

State:  Colorado

County:  Hinsdale

Elevation: 12,825 Feet (3,909 Meters)

Primary Mineral: Aluminum, Sulfur, Sulfuric Acid, Potassium

Lat, Long: 37.97778, -107.33333

Map: View on Google Maps

Satelite View

MRDS mine locations are often very general, and in some cases are incorrect. Some mine remains have been covered or removed by modern industrial activity or by development of things like housing. The satellite view offers a quick glimpse as to whether the MRDS location corresponds to visible mine remains.


Satelite image of the Red Mountain Alunite Deposit

Red Mountain Alunite Deposit MRDS details

Site Name

Primary: Red Mountain Alunite Deposit
Secondary: Red Mountain Deposit


Commodity

Primary: Aluminum
Primary: Sulfur, Sulfuric Acid
Primary: Potassium


Location

State: Colorado
County: Hinsdale
District: Lake (Lake City) District


Land Status

Land ownership: BLM Administrative Area
Note: the land ownership field only identifies whether the area the mine is in is generally on public lands like Forest Service or BLM land, or if it is in an area that is generally private property. It does not definitively identify property status, nor does it indicate claim status or whether an area is open to prospecting. Always respect private property.


Holdings

Not available


Workings

Not available


Ownership

Owner Name: U.S. Bureau Of Land Management
Years: 1984 -

Owner Name: Earth Sciences, Inc.
Home Office: Golden, Co.
Years: 1984 -

Owner Name: Prospecting Applic. Earth Sciences, Inc.
Info Year: ?


Production

Not available


Deposit

Record Type: Deposit
Operation Category: Occurrence
Deposit Type: Replacement
Operation Type: Unknown
Discovery Year: 1911
Discovery Method: Ore-Mineral In Place
Years of Production:
Organization:
Significant: Y
Deposit Size: M


Physiography

General Physiographic Area: Rocky Mountain System
Physiographic Province: Southern Rocky Mountains
Physiographic Detail: Red Mountain, San Juan Mountains


Mineral Deposit Model

Model Name: Epithermal quartz-alunite Au


Orebody

Form: HUGE IRREG. LENS

Form: CONICAL


Structure

Type: R
Description: San Juan Volcanic Field, San Juan Depression

Type: L
Description: San Juan-Uncompahgre Calderas, Lake City Caldera, Red Mountain Lava Dome


Alterations

Alteration Type: L
Alteration: alunitization
Alteration Text: See Comments


Rocks

Name: Quartz Latite
Role: Associated
Age Type: Host Rock
Age in Years: 23.300000+-1.100000
Dating Method: K-Ar
Age Young: Miocene

Name: Quartz Latite
Role: Associated
Age Type: Host Rock
Age in Years: 22.900000+-1.600000
Dating Method: K-Ar

Name: Quartz Latite
Role: Host
Age Type: Host Rock
Age in Years: 23.300000+-1.100000
Dating Method: K-Ar
Age Young: Miocene

Name: Quartz Latite
Role: Host
Age Type: Host Rock
Age in Years: 22.900000+-1.600000
Dating Method: K-Ar

Name: Rhyolite
Role: Associated
Age Type: Host Rock
Age Young: Miocene

Name: Rhyolite
Role: Associated
Age Type: Associated Rock
Age Young: Miocene


Analytical Data

Analytical Data: X-RAY DATA INDICATE QUARTZ-ALUNITE ORE RELATIVELY FREE OF CONTAMINANT


Materials

Ore: Alunite
Gangue: Kaolinite
Gangue: Hematite
Gangue: Pyrite
Gangue: Quartz


Comments

Comment (Development): OF AUGUST 1983, BLM HAD PREPARED DRAFT EIS FOR PROJECT AND CONDUCTED PUBLIC MEETINGS IN LAKE CITY. DEVELOPMENT OF COLORADO'S LARGEST AND POSSIBLY ONE OF WORLD'S LARGEST ALUNITE DEPOSITS COULD BE COMPLICATED BY (1) ITS INCLUSION IN WILDERNESS STUDY AREA, (2) POTENTIAL IMPACT ON LAKE CITY WATER SUPPLY, AND (3) RUGGEN TERRAIN.

Comment (Commodity): SULFURIC ACID AND K (RECOVERABLE AS K2SO4) ARE POTENTIALLY RECOVERABLE BY-PRODUCTS OF ALUNITE-TO ALUMINA PROCESSING.

Comment (Development): LARGE REPLACEMENT ALUNITE DEPOSITS HAD BEEN IDENTIFIED IN GEOLOGIC MAPPING OF SAN JUAN REGION BY EARLY 1900S. EARTH SCIENCES INVOLVELENT BEGAN IN 1970 WITH ITS DISCOVERY OF LOW-GRADE ALUNITE IN WAH WAH MTNS OF BEAVER COUNTY, UTAH. CONSORTIUM OF EARTH SCIENCES,NATIONAL STEEL, AND SOUTHWIRE FORMED ALUMET PROJECT TO DELINEATE AND DEVELOP RESERVES. CONSORTIUM CONSTRUCTED 10-TPD-CAPACITY ALUMINA-FROM-ALUNITE PILOT PLANT IN GOLDEN IN 1973; FULL-SCALE COMMERCIAL PLANT (TO BE BUILT IN BEAVER COUNTY, UTAH) WOULD PRODUCE CELL-GRADE ALUMINA, BY-PRODUCT FERTILIZER-GRADE K2SO4, AND BY-PRODUCT INDUSTRIAL-GRADE SULFURIC ACID (FOR ACIDULATING IDAHO PHOSPHATE). LARGE CAPITAL INVESTMENT AND UNPROVEN TECHNOLOGY PREVENTED DEVELOPMENT. EARTH SCIENCES ALSO PROSPECTED IN LAKE CITY AREA IN 1970S AND BEGAN PREFERENCE-RIGHT LEASE PROCEDURES WITH BLM TO DEVELOP OPEN PIT ALUNITE MINE ON RED MTN. ORE WOULD BE TRANSPORTED IN 40-MILE PNEUMATIC PIPELINE TO MILLSITE IN MONTROSE. PROSPECTING PERMIT ISSUED IN 1974. AS

Comment (Development): PRODUCTION PLANNED: 3-4 MILLION SHORT TONS PER YEAR. 1973 EXPLORATION. (Copied from deleted record 10111312 (old MRDS DE03000)

Comment (Deposit): RED MTN CREST. FIRST AGE DATE FROM MASSIVE ALUNITE FROM CROSSCUTTING VEINLET AT 647-FT DEPTH IN EARTH SCIENCES DRILL CORE; SECOND DATE FROM DISSEMINATED ALUNITE AT 683-FT DEPTH.

Comment (Location): ALTERED AREA ON CREST AND SLOPES OF RED MTN.

Comment (Workings): FEW TEST PITS ONLY

Comment (Development): RED MTN. ONLY RECONNOITERED FOR ALUNITE; EXPLORATION PLANNED SUMMER OF 1976 (from deleted record 10009278)

Comment (Reserve-Resource): HALL, 1978, 1980 (FIRST ESTIMATE); EARTH SCIENCES, INC., (SECOND ESTIMATE, IN LYLE, 1977)

Comment (Commodity): PROJECT 9350 - 01393 ALUNITE RESOURCES (from deleted record 10009278)

Comment (General): RED MOUNTAIN APPARENTLY VOLCANIC NECK STRONGLY SOLFATARICALLY ALTERED

Comment (Deposit): DEPOSIT IS HYDROTHERMALLY AND SOLFATARICALLY ALTERED QUARTZ LATITE LAVA DOME AND FLOW ORIGINATING FROM VOLCANIC NECK INTRUDED ALONG EAST RING FRACTURE BOUNDARY OF LAKE CITY CALDERA. RED MTN AND GRASSY MTN QUARTZ LATITES BURY RING FRACTURE, COVERING MIOCENE SUNSHINE PEAK RHYOLITE TUFF THAT FILLS COLLAPSED LAKE CITY CALDERA, AND OVERLAPPING OLIGOCENE SAN JUAN-UNCOMPAHGRE CALDERA INFILL SEQUENCE CONSISTING OF EUREKA MBR OF SAPINERO MESA TUFF, TUFFACEOUS SANDSTONE OF HENSON MBR, QUARTZ LATITE FLOWS OF BURNS MBR, FISH CANYON AND CARPENTER RIDGE TUFFS, AND QUARTZ LATITE FLOWS OF UNCOMPAHGRE PEAK. MEHNERT AND OTHERS (1979) DESCRIBE ALUNITE OCCURRENCES AS REPLACEMENT OF FELDSPAR PHENOCRYSTS, IRREGULAR DISSEMINATIONS, AND THIN VEINLETS. ACID-SULFATE ALTERATION ASSEMBLAGE CONSIDERED TO BE SHALLOW FACIES OF SAME HYDROTHERMAL SYSTEM THAT DEPOSITED BASE AND PRECIOUS METALS AND LOCAL URANIUM IN NEARBY FISSURES. HYDROTHERMAL SOLUTIONS PROBABLY VENTED AS SOLFATRIC HOT SPRINGS ABOVE PRESENT LEVEL OF

Comment (Location): DEPOSIT COMPRISES MOST OF RED MOUNTAIN INTRUSIVE AND LAVA DOME. SECTIONS LISTED INCLUDE THOSE IN WHICH RED MOUNTAIN QUARTZ LATITE CROPS OUT. ELEV AND LAT-LONG GIVEN ARE FOR SUMMIT OF RED MOUNTAIN IN SW SE SW SW SEC. 179 ; INFO FROM LAND.ST :1977


References

Reference (Deposit): LIPMAN, P.W., 1976, GEOLOGIC MAP OF THE LAKE CITY CALDERA AREA, WESTERN SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS, SOUTHWESTERN COLORADO: USGS MAP I-962.

Reference (Deposit): MINING RECORD, 1983, BLM TO CONDUCT MEETING ON ALUNITE MINING OPERATION: MINING RECORD, AUG. 10.

Reference (Deposit): 1973 RECON EARTH SCIENCES, INC.: SAMPLING

Reference (Geology): STEVEN, T. A., LIPMAN, P. W., HAIL, W. J., JR., BARKER, FRED, AND LUEDKE, R. G., COMPILERS, 1974 , GEOLOGIC MAP OF THE DURANGO QUADRANGLE, SOUTHWESTERN COLORADO, USGS MISC. INV. MAP I-764 , SCALE 1:250,000.

Reference (Deposit): ENGINEERING AND MINING JOURNAL, INTERN. DIR. 1983, V. 9, NO. 10, P. 3 (Copied from deleted record 10111312 = DE03000)

Reference (Deposit): MCGREGOR, HEATHER, 1983, WEST SLOPE STRIP-MINING PLAN FOR ALUNITE STIRS CONTROVERSY: DENVER POST, JULY 6.

Reference (Deposit): HADDOW, ELLEN, 1983, MINERAL DEPOSIT SPURS CLASH ON WILDERNESS SITE: DENVER POST, APRIL 11.

Reference (Deposit): MEHNERT, H.H., AND OTHERS, 1979, K-AR AGE OF ALTERATION AT RED MOUNTAIN, LAKE CITY AREA, WESTERN SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS, COLORADO: USGS OPEN-FILE REPT. OFR-79-1642, 10 P.

Reference (Deposit): LYLE, DON, 1977, ALUNITE LODE DISCOVERED IN HIGH COUNTRY: ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, V. 119, NO. 106 (AUG. 6), P. 94.

Reference (Deposit): HALL, R.B., 1980, ALUNITE--A POTENTIALLY ECONOMIC SOURCE OF ALUMINUM AND POTASH?, IN SCHWOCHOW, S.D., ED., PROCEEDINGS OF THE FIFTEENTH FORUM ON GEOLOGY OF INDUSTRIAL MINERALS: CGS RESOURCE SER. 8, P. 77-88.

Reference (Deposit): HALL, R.B., 1978, WORLD NONBAUXITIC ALUMINUM RESOURCES--ALUNITE: USGS PROF. PAPER 1076-A, 35 P.

Reference (Deposit): LARSEN, E.S., 1913, ALUNITE IN THE SAN CRISTOBAL QUADRANGLE, COLORADO, in Lindgren, Waldemar, Contributions to economic geology, 1911, Part I, Metals and non-metals except fuels--Aluminum ores: USGS BULL. 530, p. 179-183.
Pages: p. 181-182.