The uranium-bearing nickel-cobalt-native silver deposits in the Black Hawk district, Grant County, New Mexico

Trace Elements Investigations 261

This report concerns work done on behalf of the Division of Raw Materials of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission
DOI: 10.3133/tei261



The Black Hawk (Bullard Peak) district, Grant County, N. Mex., is 21 miles by road west of Silver City. From 1881 to 1893 more than $1,000,000.00 of high-grade silver ore is reported to have been shipped from the district. Since 1893 there has been no mining in the district except during a short period in 1917 when the Black Hawk mine was rehabilitated.

Pre-Cambrian quartz diorite gneiss, which contains inclusions of quartzite, schist, monzonite, and quartz monzonite, is the most widespread rock in the district. The quartz diorite gneiss is intruded by many pre-Cambrian and younger rocks, including diorite granite, diabase, monzonite porphyry and andesite and is overlain by the Upper Cretaceous Beartooth quartzite. The monzonite porphyry, probably of late Cretaceous or early Tertiary age, forms a small stock along the northwestern edge of the district and numerous dikes and irregular masses throughout the district.

The ore deposits are in fissure veins that contain silver, cobalt, and uranium. The ore minerals, which include native silver, niccolite, millerite, skutterudite, nickel skutterudite, bismuthinite, pitchblende, and sphalerite, are in a carbonate gangue in narrow, persistent veins, most of which trend northeasterly. Pitchblende has been identified in the Black Hawk and the Alhabra deposits and unidentified radioactive minerals were found at five other localities. The deposits that contain the radioactive minerals constitude a belt 600 to 1,500 feet wide that trends about N. 45° E., and is approximately parallel to the southeastern boundary of the monzonite porphyry stock. All the major ore deposits are in the quartz diorite gneiss in close proximity to the monzonite porphyry.

The ore deposits are similar to the deposits at Great Bear Lake, Canada, and Joachimstahl, Czechoslovakia.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
The uranium-bearing nickel-cobalt-native silver deposits in the Black Hawk district, Grant County, New Mexico
Series title:
Trace Elements Investigations
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Report: 41 p.; 5 Plates: 30.43 x 23.46 inches and smaller
United States
New Mexico
Grant County
Other Geospatial:
Black Hawk District