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Locality Correct? - Minium, Plumbojarosite, Cerrusite specimens from Tres Marias, Chihuahu
  
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daviddillman




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PostPosted: Jan 03, 2017 00:17    Post subject: Locality Correct? - Minium, Plumbojarosite, Cerrusite specimens from Tres Marias, Chihuahu  

I would like to request any feedback from the forum members about the locality validity of some specimens purchased from estate sale of a mineral dealer who was active from the 1950s to the late 1980. The dealer was Bill Hayward of Denver Colorado.

The specimens (over a flat worth) are labeled at "Minium, Plumbojarosite, Cerrusite from Tres Marias, Mexico" . ? I tried looking on Mindat and didn't find Minium associated with Tres Marias. I searched the Minrec general indexes and did not find anything.

I can see areas of white mineralization, both massive and some extremely thin, white, "hairs" that could be cerrusite. The specimens seem very friable and leave little crumbs in the fold up boxes after handling.



S2, second try.jpg
 Mineral: Minium?
 Description:
Tres Maria, Chihuahua, Mexico?
8cm x 9cm x 4cm
 Viewed:  784 Time(s)

S2, second try.jpg



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PostPosted: Jan 03, 2017 00:35    Post subject: Re: Locality Correct? - Minium, Plumbojarosite, Cerrusite specimens from Tres Marias, Chih  

I didn't not get all the attachments included.


s1, front, second try.jpg
 Mineral: Minium?
 Description:
Tres Maria, Chihuahua, Mexico?
11cm x 9cm x 3 cm
 Viewed:  770 Time(s)

s1, front, second try.jpg



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PostPosted: Jan 03, 2017 00:37    Post subject: Re: Locality Correct? - Minium, Plumbojarosite, Cerrusite specimens from Tres Marias, Chih  

Third specimen


S3, second try.jpg
 Mineral: Minium?
 Description:
Tres Maria, Chihuahua, Mexico?
8cm x 4cm x3cm
 Viewed:  771 Time(s)

S3, second try.jpg



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John Betts




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PostPosted: Jan 03, 2017 07:47    Post subject: Re: Locality Correct? - Minium, Plumbojarosite, Cerrusite specimens from Tres Marias, Chih  

Minium is listed in the Minerals of Mexico from the Dos Marias Mine, Chihuahua, Mexico.
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PostPosted: Jan 05, 2017 18:27    Post subject: Re: Locality Correct? - Minium, Plumbojarosite, Cerrusite specimens from Tres Marias, Chih  

John: Thanks for the information. I dug around in my office and realized I had the Panczer book and you are correct.
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PostPosted: Jan 07, 2017 15:55    Post subject: Re: Locality Correct? - Minium, Plumbojarosite, Cerrusite specimens from Tres Marias, Chih  

David, I know this mine well ...and it has been variously called Tres Marias and Dos Marias. Your query stimulated me to write a better description of the place for Mindat...which I copy below

Minium has been reported from Tres Marias for many years...as has cinnabar, which is logical considering the mine falls well within the limits of the Terlingua Mercury District.

I am guessing that both identifications were made based on color and familiarity rather than analysis, and these things tend to get stuck in the literature and labeling. It's hard to say from your pictures but the color looks too red for typical minium, which I would expect to be more orangy in color, and much more like cinnabar. I do know that samples I have taken of the ores are very high in mercury (beyond detection limits), so I would urge you to get it analyzed


For completely unknown reasons at various times this small mine has been known as either Tres Marias or Dos Marias. It lies just south of the Rio Grande, just west of Big Bend National Park in the mountains above Nuevo Lajitas, Chihuahua; essentially just across the border from the Terlingua-Lajitas, Texas stretch of the Rio Grande. There is some recent ore deposits literature under the name Tres Marias stemming from recent interest in the high Germanium content of the ores (cf Saini-Eidukat et al., 2009, Mineralium Deposita v. 44, p. 363-370) Unfortunately not enough has been found to justify production and no additional orebodies have been found.

The mine was operated intermittently between the late 40s and 1992 for zinc oxide mineralization with a high Germanium content. Eagle Picher was the principal purchaser of the ores, which they blended with moderate Ge lead-zinc ores from San Pedro Corralitos. Perhaps 125,000 tonnes were mined. A number of exploration companies have evaluated the property since the 1990s with extensive work and limited success.

The orebody is an inverted carrot-shaped breccia chimney in lower Cretaceous Santa Elena (Georgetown) Limestone, probably a result of hydrothermal karsting by acidic ore fluids ascending along intersecting structures. Mineralization preferentially occurred around the margins of the breccia pipe as both open-space fillings and partial replacement of limestone fragments. Oxide ores were the principal mining interest, with zinc grades to 40%. Primary mineralization is galena and sphalerite, with lesser marcasite, pyrite, wurtzite, and cinnabar. The sphalerite is low-iron, honey colored and commonly occurs as stalactitic masses coated with a thick crust of pyrobitumen (called gilsonite by some workers). Silver grades are very low, but Germanium ranges from 300-960 ppm. Secondary minerals include cerussite, anglesite, wulfenite, mimetite, descloizite, plumbojarosite, minium (?), greenockite, hemimorphite, smithsonite and willemite in a matrix of mixed iron-manganese oxides. Calcite, fluorite, dolomite, fine-grained quartz and barite are the principal gangue species.

The metals content, mineralogy and style of mineralization indicate a Mississippi Valley Type brine-origin. The presence of cinnabar suggests a genetic link to (or overprinting by) the nearby mercury mineralization of the Terlingua District across the river.

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daviddillman




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PostPosted: Jan 07, 2017 21:15    Post subject: Re: Locality Correct? - Minium, Plumbojarosite, Cerrusite specimens from Tres Marias, Chih  

Dr. Megaw,

Thanks you for this detailed information. This explains the discrepancies I have been finding. I will have the specimen analyzed to make the cinnabar vs. minium determination.
Several individuals all recommended you as an excellent point-of-contact. Your assistance is greatly appreciated. I just found a reference to a technical report you authored for a company (War Eagle) that has been involved in Tres Marias.

David

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