During the summer of 1952 most of the mines and prospects in the Garfield and Taylor Park quadrangles of west-central Colorado were examined radiometrically by the U. S. Geological Survey to determine the extent, grade, and mode of occurrence of radioactive substances.
The region contains a relatively large number of rock types, chiefly pre-Cambrian schists, gneisses, and granites; large and small isolated areas of sedimentary rocks of Paleozoic and Mesozoic ages; and a great succession of intrusive rocks of Tertiary age that range from andesite to granite and occur as stocks, chonoliths, sills, dikes, and one batholith. The prevailing structures are northwest-trending folds and faults. Ores valued at about $30,000,000 have been produced from this region. Silver, lead, zinc, and gold have accounted for most of this value, but small tonnages of copper, tungsten, and molybdenum have also been produced. The principal ore minerals are sphalerite, silver-bearing galena, cerussite, smithsonite, and gold-bearing pyrite and limonite; they occur chiefly as replacement bodies in limestone and as shoots in pyritic quartz veins.
Anomalous radioactivity is uncommon and the four localities at which it is known are widely separated in space. The uranium content of samples from these localities is low. Brannerite, the only uranium-bearing mineral positively identified in the region, occurs sparingly in a few pegmatites and in one quartz-beryl-pyrite vein. Elsewhere radioactivity is associated with (l) black shale seams in the Manitou dolomite, (2) a quartz-pyrite-molybdenite vein, (3) a narrow border zone of oxidized material surrounding a small lead zinc ore body in the Manitou dolomite along a strong fault zone.