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The Sawtooth Wilderness in Idaho consists of the former Sawtooth Primitive Area and certain contiguous tracts of land. A survey of the mineral-resource potential of the entire area disclosed hydrothermally altered and mineralized rocks at several localities, some of which have been prospected to a limited extent but none of which have produced significant quantities of ore. Sediment samples from many of the streams that drain the wilderness contained anomalous quantities of metals. At some sample sites the source of the anomalous concentrations of metals may be related to known mineralized out-crops but the source at many of the sites is unknown. The significant geochemical data, the extent of altered and mineralized rocks, and the proximity to other productive mineral districts in similar geologic environs indicate that substantial parts of the wilderness have probable mineral-resource potential. A placer deposit, in the northern part of the wilderness, has substantiated potential for rare-earth elements; an area in the southern part of the wilderness has substantiated potential for precious metals; and several mines in the wilderness have demonstrated resources of base and precious metals. The geologic setting precludes the presence of fossil fuels.
Additional Publication Details
SAWTOOTH WILDERNESS, IDAHO.
Geological Survey Professional Paper (United States)