RS-44 Geology and Mineral Resources of Saguache County, Colorado


The purpose of this publication is to describe the geological setting and the various mineral deposits of Saguache County; its objective is to provide geologic information to resource developers, government planners, and interested citizens. It presents descriptions of the county’s known precious and base metal deposits, industrial minerals and construction materials, geothermal resources, and oil and gas resources.  Includes PDF report and 1:100,000-scale geologic map plate as well as GIS files of the map (re-compiled in 2022 to USGS GeMS Level 2 standard). Digital ZIP/PDF download. RS-44D

From the Foreword:

This report describes the geology and mineral resources of Saguache County, Colorado. A geologic map at a scale of 1:100,000 was compiled from source materials at different scales and is included here as plate 1. Reconnaissance field investigations were conducted to sharpen rock-unit descriptions and to better understand the geologic setting of the main mining districts. The geologic section of this report presents an account of the geologic setting, stratigraphy, and structure of Saguache County. The section on mineral deposits includes descriptions of the deposits and mining districts in the county.

The two main metal-mining districts in Saguache County are the Bonanza (Kerber Creek) district, located northwest of Saguache, Colorado, and the Crestone district, located along the western front of the Sangre de Cristo Range. These two districts had mineral production between 1879 and 1969, but neither district is currently active. Smaller mining districts are scattered through the county, as well as areas that have potential for industrial minerals and deposits of construction materials. Uranium mining in Saguache County continued until 1976.

Oil and gas exploration in Saguache County resulted in 17 deep drill holes. No oil or gas is produced in the county. Low-temperature geothermal resources have been identified along the west side of the Sangre de Cristo Range and in the eastern San Juan volcanic field.

Included with this report is Appendix 1, which contains transcriptions of mineral deposits and mine descriptions of the Bonanza district from U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 169 (Burbank, 1932). These descriptions are preserved as originally written.