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Open-file Report - 587
Mineral resource assessment of heavy mineral, beach-placer sandstone deposits at Apache Mesa, Jicarilla Apache reservation, Rio Arriba county, New Mexico

Virginia T. McLemore, John Asafo-Akowuah, and Alanna Robison


Several Cretaceous heavy mineral, beach-placer sandstone deposits are found in the Point Lookout Sandstone on the Jicarilla Apache Reservation, Rio Arriba County, New Mexico. Beach-placer sandstone deposits are accumulations of heavy, resistant minerals (i.e. high specific gravity) that form on the upper regions of beaches or in long-shore bars in a marginal-marine environment. They form by mechanical concentration (i.e. settling) of heavy minerals by the action of waves, currents, and winds. Modern examples are found along the Atlantic Coast in the United States, southeastern Australia, and Andhra Pradesh, India, where they are mined for titanium, zircon, and locally, monazite (a Ce-bearing rare earth elements, REE, mineral). Other potential commodities include niobium, chromium, thorium, and rare earth elements (REE). The Apache Mesa beach-placer sandstone deposit is similar in origin, texture, mineralogy, and chemical composition to beach-placer sandstone deposits elsewhere in the San Juan Basin and in the world. Although, some individual analyses of samples from Apache Mesa contained high concentrations of TiO2 (15%), Cr (590 ppm), Nb (260 ppm), Zr (10,000 ppm), Th (258 ppm), and TREE (2,692 ppm); the Apache Mesa beach-placer sandstone deposit contains only 132,900 short tons (120,564 metric tons) of ore with grades of 3% TiO2, 108 ppm Cr, 46 ppm Nb, 2,187 ppm Zr, 40 ppm Th, and 522 ppm TREE. In conclusion, the Apache Mesa heavy mineral, beachplacer sandstone deposit is too small and low grade to be economic in today’s market. No further investigation is recommended at this time.

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File Name Size Last Modified
NMBGMR_OFR-587.pdf 5.80 MB 02/01/2021 04:08:48 PM 26.36 MB 02/01/2021 04:15:44 PM
ReadMe.txt 3 KB 09/27/2016 11:00:05 AM
A01_Glossary.txt 0 KB 09/27/2016 10:34:46 AM
A02-StratReport.pdf 227 KB 02/01/2021 04:10:01 PM
A03-DrillReport.pdf 4.32 MB 02/01/2021 04:10:35 PM
A04-GraphicLogs.pdf 12.77 MB 02/01/2021 04:11:11 PM
A05-Petrology.pdf 132 KB 02/01/2021 04:11:37 PM
A06-Chemistry.pdf 176 KB 02/01/2021 04:11:56 PM
A06-Chemistry.xlsx 46 KB 09/27/2016 10:20:36 AM
A07-QAQC.pdf 197 KB 02/01/2021 04:12:20 PM
A08-MicroprobeDesc.pdf 18 KB 02/01/2021 04:13:00 PM
A09-MicroprobeData.pdf 89 KB 02/01/2021 04:13:42 PM
A09-MicroprobeData.xlsx 188 KB 09/27/2016 10:20:37 AM
A10-OreReserves.pdf 30 KB 02/01/2021 04:14:32 PM
Plate1-GeologicMap.pdf 2.25 MB 02/01/2021 04:14:51 PM
Plate2-CrossSection.pdf 859 KB 02/01/2021 04:15:10 PM

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