OF-03-03 Evaluation of Mineral and Mineral Fuel Potential of Las Animas County State Mineral Lands Administered by the Colorado State Land Board


This open file report for Las Animas County includes an introduction to the geology and mineral resources of the county along with an index map of tract locations, as well as maps of oil and gas test wells with oil field locations and industrial mineral resources. Maps are not included for coal regions and mines or metallic mineral resources as they are not applicable in this county. 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-03-03D

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:

The major physiographic features in Las Animas County are the Sangre de Cristo Range, which defines the western margin of the county, the Raton Basin, and the Sierra Grande Uplift, which encompasses the eastern half of the county. This evaluation of the mineral and mineral fuel resource potential was conducted for the nearly 175,318 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 243 individual tracts that range from approximately 40 to 6,040 acres in size.

Gas is the most economically significant resource in Las Animas County, produced from 9 individual fields. No oil or coal bed methane has been produced from this county. The Raton Mesa Coal Region encompasses most of the western half of Las Animas County.

Las Animas County has little in the way of metal resources. A very minor amount of lead-silver ore was extracted from the West Spanish Peak area in the La Veta-Spanish Peaks district in the 1930s. Most of this district, however, is in Huerfano County to the north. A small number of uranium occurrences are known to exist throughout the county. Sand and gravel resources, crushed stone (limestone, sandstone, and volcanic rock), clay deposits (used generally for bricks), and gypsum (used in wallboard) are the leading industrial mineral resources in Las Animas County.