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Thorium investigations, 1950-52, Wet Mountains, Colorado

September 30, 2009

The Wet Mountain thorium district was discovered in 1950 by members of the U.S. Geological Survey during reconnaissance investigations for uranium made on the behalf of the Atomic Energy Commission The size of this new district is incompletely known, but the deposits found to date are in an area 20 miles long and about 10 miles wide, the southwest boundary of which extends northwest from Querida and Rosita Custer County, into Fremont County. Most of the deposits, however, are in the southeastern half of this area The thorium minerals occur in barite-sulfide veins along northwest-trending shear zones that cut a pre-Cambrian complex or amphibolite, biotite-granite gneiss, metagabbro, migmatite, microcline granites, pegmatite and white granite, and syenite (?) o Along the shear zones are premineralization basic (lamprophyre (?)) dikes. Thorite has been tentatively identified as the principal radio-
active mineral It is associated with barite: quartz, galena, fluorite, limonite, and pyrite Some of the shear zones perhaps can be traced for as much as 2 miles, but the largest known thorium-bearing ore body is as much as 300 feet long, 26 feet wide, and 400 feet deep. Samples from the veins contain as much as 1.6 percent equivalent Th02 Eleven diamond drill holes, totaling 3,292.4 feet have explored five shear zones on the Haputa Ranch. Three ore bodies of possible economic interest are indicated in two interconnecting shear zones. No other deposits in the wet Mountains have been explored, or even sampled adequately to hazard an estimate as to grade and tonnage of reserves.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1953
Title Thorium investigations, 1950-52, Wet Mountains, Colorado
DOI 10.3133/tei250
Authors R.A. Christman, A. M. Heyman, L. F. Dellwig, G. B. Gott
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Trace Elements Investigations
Series Number 250
Index ID tei250
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse