OF-03-07 Evaluation of Mineral and Mineral Fuel Potential of El Paso County State Mineral Lands Administered by the Colorado State Land Board


This open file report for El Paso County an introduction to the geology and mineral resources of the county along with an index map of tract locations, as well as maps of metallic mineral prospects, industrial mineral prospects, coal resources, and oil and gas test wells and oil field locations. The main body of the report is an evaluation of each individual tract, which includes text as well as corresponding topographic and geologic maps. Digital ZIP download. OF-03-07D

Four general categories of resources are included in this inventory:

  • oil and gas
  • coal
  • metallic minerals
  • industrial minerals and construction materials

Each individual tract evaluation includes:

  • A bar graph which ranks each tract’s resource potential for each of the four mineral categories. An explanation of the categories may be found at the end of this introduction
  • Tract identifier number, county name, and county location map
  • Tract location on a 7-1/2-minute United States Geologic Survey topographic map
  • Tract location on a United States Geologic Survey surface outcrop map
  • Location as to section, township, and range and approximate acreage
  • Overview of tract geology
  • Specific assessment of the resource potential for the four resource categories
  • References used in assessing tract potential

From the Introduction:

El Paso County is located in east-central Colorado. The eastern four-fifths of the county is located on the High Plains and is underlain by the Denver Basin. The western one-fifth is in the southern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains and includes Pikes Peak. This evaluation of the mineral and mineral fuel resource potential was conducted for the nearly 185,000 acres of state mineral lands within the county. It was conducted as part of its long-term evaluation of approximately 4 million acres of state lands administered by the State Land Board. For evaluation purposes, the county was divided into 94 individual tracts that range from approximately 40 to 24,260 acres in size.

No oil or gas fields have been discovered in El Paso County as of the date of this report. Coal was produced from the Colorado Springs coal field between 1882 and 1957. Compared to modern coal mines on Colorado’s western slope and in Wyoming, the coal beds in this area are too thin and discontinuous to be mined economically.

El Paso County has never been a large producer of metals. Small amounts of copper, gold, uranium, thorium, and rare earth minerals have been recovered from small mines in the Front Range portion of the county. Minor uranium deposits are present on the plains within the Dakota Sandstone and the Dawson Arkose. A few of these have had very small production.

Several varieties of industrial minerals and construction materials are present in El Paso counties, including construction sand and gravel, clay, crushed stone, silica sand, sandstone, gypsum, fluorspar and pegmatites (mica and feldspar). Resource details are provided in the report and maps.