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Circular 2—Geology and Ore Deposits of the Ground Hog Mine, Central District, Grant County, New Mexico

By S. G. Lasky, 1930, 14 pp., 1 fig.

Within the past 2½ years a large amount of ore has been developed at the Ground Hog mine near Vanadium, Grant County, NM. This is the first important ore body of the vein type that has been developed in the igneous rocks of the southwestern part of the Central mining district. In recognition of the possibility of other similar deposits in this locality, the NM Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey has instituted a survey and study of the ore deposits of this area. The present report precedes a detailed report on the district which will be prepared by the writer following a more exhaustive examination. The preliminary examination occupied three days in October, 1930.

The Ground Hog mine is in sec 5 T18S R12W about ¾ mi southeast of Vanadium post office and about 2 mi southwest of Santa Rita. The mine is situated in a saddle-like draw separating the western foothills of the Santa Rita Mountains and an outlying hill. The Lucky Bill mine adjoins the Ground Hog mine on the southwest and is in the same draw, which slopes both ways from the Ground Hog mine.

The San Jose claim of the Ground Hog mine was located in 1875. Due to the fact that the outcrop on the Ground Hog claim, which adjoins the San Jose on the southwest, was mostly covered with rock debris and the exposed parts of the vein were barren quartz, this claim was not located until 1900. The net smelter returns of shipments from the Ground Hog up to 1917 were about $50,000, representing about 2,000 tons, derived from lead-copper ores encountered about 100 ft below the surface at the south end of the claim. The mine was sold in 1917 and from then until February 1920, when shipments ceased due to temporary closing of the smelters, the property produced 6,430 tons of lead-copper carbonate and sulfide ore. During this period, under the stimulus of high metal process, the Main shaft was sunk to below the 300 level and the property equipped for air drilling.

The mine was idle from February 1920 until the fall of 1924, when it was taken over by the Hayward-Richard Leasing Company. This company deepened the shaft to the 400 level and explored the vein on that level. Some small ore bodies were stopped south of the shaft and in the spring of 1928, after courageous drifting northward through a long barren zone, the present extensive ore shoot was discovered. In June, 1928 a controlling interest was sold to the Asarco Mining Company, a subsidiary of the American Smelting & Refining Company. The total production of the mine to November 1, 1930 was approximately 123,260 tons of ore. Milling and smelting returns are not available, so the net value of this production is not known, but it is estimated at approximately $2,250,000. Production from January 1 to November 1, 1930 was 39,512 tons of ore which contained 25–30% of the valuable metals. This is indicative of the importance which the property has attained.

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