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Open-file Report - 617
Geology and mineral deposits of the Gallinas Mountains, Lincoln and Torrance Counties, New Mexico

Virginia T. McLemore, Shari Kelley, Matthew J. Zimmerer, Evan Owen, Ethan B. Haft, Tyler Cantrell, Alexander Gysi, Haley Dietz, Stellah Cherotich, and Amy Trivitt


The growing market for alternative technologies like solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, electric cars, desalination plants, and carbon capture and storage require non-traditional elements for their manufacture. In December 2017, President Trump signed an executive order (U.S. Presidential Executive Order (EO) No. 13817) that required the Departments of Interior and Defense to develop a list of critical minerals. In May 2018, the U.S. Department of the Interior published its final list of 35 critical minerals. As defined by EO No. 13817, “a critical mineral is a mineral (1) identified to be a nonfuel mineral or mineral material essential to the economic and national security of the United States, (2) from a supply chain that is vulnerable to disruption, and (3) that serves an essential function in the manufacturing of a product, the absence of which would have substantial consequences for the U.S. economy or national security”. Many critical minerals are 100% imported into the United States. These mineral resources are essential to our economy and have supply chains that may be disrupted (Committee on Critical Mineral Impacts of the U.S. Economy, 2008; Subcommittee on Critical and Strategic Mineral Supply Chains Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Sustainability, 2018).

Rare earth elements (REE) are one group of critical minerals that are essential in most of our electronic devices, such as cell phones, laptops, computer chips, wind turbines, hybrid/electric cars, etc. (Committee on Critical Mineral Impacts of the U.S. Economy, 2008; Long et al., 2010; McLemore, 2011, 2015b). Other developing technologies such as solar panels, water purification and desalination systems, magnetic refrigeration, and efficient light bulbs also require REE and other critical elements in their manufacture. Most of the current world production of REE comes from China, but the U.S. has significant REE resources that could be developed in the future. Established REE deposits are located in New Mexico (Long et al., 2010; McLemore, 2015b), such as those in the Gallinas Mountains, but they have not been important exploration targets in the past because demand has been met elsewhere. However, with the projected increase in demand and potential lack of available REE production from China, the New Mexico deposits are being re-evaluated for their potential, and several areas are undergoing current exploration.

Many REE deposits are common in carbonatites and alkaline igneous rocks and are associated with alkaline metasomatism, known as fenitization. Therefore, re-examination of the REE deposits in the Gallinas Mountains in northern Lincoln and southern Torrance Counties is warranted in light of today’s potential economic importance of REE. A series of alkaline igneous rocks, including trachyte, syenite, andesite, and rhyolite laccoliths, sills, and dikes, have intruded Permian sedimentary rocks in the Gallinas Mountains and have potential for REE (Kelley et al., 1946; Kelley, 1949; Kelley, 1971, 1972; Perhac, 1961, 1970). A small amount of bastnäsite (671 short tons), a REE fluorocarbonate mineral, was recovered during historic processing for fluorite. Host rock alteration types recognized previously, are associated with the igneous intrusions, and include brecciation, silicification, and fenitization (Griswold, 1959; Perhac, 1961, 1970; Woodward and Fulp, 1991; Schreiner, 1993). Small skarns are found in limestones and sandstones within the Yeso Formation adjacent to the trachyte, syenite, and rhyolite (exoskarn) or within the trachyte (endoskarn).

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File Name Size Last Modified
OFR-617_report.pdf 26.12 MB 11/09/2021 01:27:10 PM 31.06 MB 11/09/2021 02:12:13 PM
Appendices: 5.82 MB 11/09/2021 02:10:28 PM
Appendix-2_mines.xlsx 105 KB 11/09/2021 10:46:06 AM
Appendix-3_GallinasChemistry.xlsx 304 KB 11/07/2021 02:20:12 PM
Appendix-4_RegionalChemistry.xlsx 49 KB 11/07/2021 02:23:13 PM
Appendix-5_QAQC.docx 40 KB 11/08/2021 08:18:36 PM
Appendix-5_QAQCtable.xlsx 102 KB 11/08/2021 11:27:48 PM
Appendix-9_DrillHoles.xlsx 17 KB 05/30/2021 03:39:04 PM
Appendix-6 XRD:
AllAmericaIronMine_blue-gray.pdf 31 KB 03/22/2021 12:50:01 PM
AllAmericaIronMine_blue-gray_1.JPG 160 KB 03/22/2021 12:48:36 PM
AllAmericaIronMine_blue-gray_2.JPG 95 KB 03/22/2021 12:48:22 PM
Gal-1089.pdf 33 KB 01/27/2021 11:33:23 AM
Gal-3029_clear mineral.pdf 32 KB 04/16/2021 02:28:01 PM
Gal-3029_clear mineral_1.JPG 167 KB 04/16/2021 02:27:41 PM
Gal-3029_clear mineral_2.JPG 73 KB 04/16/2021 02:27:50 PM
Gal-3029_honey-colored mineral.pdf 32 KB 04/16/2021 02:28:07 PM
Gal-3029_honey-colored_mineral_1.JPG 164 KB 04/16/2021 02:27:56 PM
Gal-3029_honey-colored_mineral_2.JPG 69 KB 04/16/2021 02:27:42 PM
Gal-463_blue-green-fibrous.pdf 34 KB 03/22/2021 12:50:02 PM
Gal-463_blue-green-fibrous_1.JPG 161 KB 03/22/2021 12:48:57 PM
Gal-463_blue-green-fibrous_2.JPG 118 KB 03/22/2021 12:48:55 PM
GAL-571_vein.pdf 25 KB 01/27/2021 11:33:20 AM
Gal-575_black.pdf 31 KB 03/22/2021 12:50:37 PM
Gal-575_black_1.JPG 147 KB 03/22/2021 12:49:07 PM
Gal-575_black_2.JPG 105 KB 03/22/2021 12:49:04 PM
GAL-575_bx.pdf 25 KB 01/27/2021 11:33:22 AM
LM-5_wholerock.pdf 29 KB 03/22/2021 12:50:04 PM
LM-5_wholerock_1.JPG 131 KB 03/22/2021 12:49:35 PM
LM-5_wholerock_2.JPG 93 KB 03/22/2021 12:49:13 PM
LoneMt_gray_fracture.pdf 31 KB 03/22/2021 12:50:18 PM
LoneMt_gray_fracture_1.JPG 147 KB 03/22/2021 12:49:15 PM
LoneMt_gray_fracture_2.JPG 101 KB 03/22/2021 12:49:25 PM
NewMexicoTechMail-XRD_results_for9samples.pdf 328 KB 03/22/2021 12:51:15 PM
NewMexicoTechMail-XRD_results_forGAL3029 samples.pdf 137 KB 04/16/2021 02:28:38 PM
RedCloud_black.pdf 35 KB 03/22/2021 12:50:35 PM
RedCloud_black_1.JPG 197 KB 03/22/2021 12:49:27 PM
RedCloud_black_2.JPG 105 KB 03/22/2021 12:49:37 PM
SamplesXRD3_3_21.docx 11 KB 03/03/2021 03:23:08 PM
Appendix-7 geochron:
GallinasArArDataTables.xlsx 179 KB 07/24/2021 10:34:39 AM
GallinasArArPlots.pdf 1.22 MB 07/24/2021 10:34:59 AM
Appendix-8 LoneMt:
C342 spectrum1.pdf 18 KB 11/07/2021 02:43:02 PM
c342data.XLS 82 KB 11/07/2021 02:42:40 PM
LM10Plateau1.pdf 42 KB 11/07/2021 02:43:20 PM
LM6Plateau1.pdf 23 KB 11/07/2021 02:43:12 PM
LM8InvIso1.pdf 43 KB 11/07/2021 02:42:21 PM
LMDataTable.xlsx 88 KB 11/07/2021 02:42:30 PM
GallinasMountainsGeologicMap.mpk 653.24 MB 11/08/2021 08:39:53 AM

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