The U.S. Geological Survey has conducted geochemical studies in the Indian Pass (CDCA-355), 124 km2, and Picacho Peak (CDCA-355A), 23 km2, Wilderness Study Areas (WSA's) as part of a program to evaluate the mineral resource potential of designated areas in the California Desert Conservation Area. These two WSA's are of particular interest because they lie within a region which has intermittently produced significant quantities of Au since the mid-1800's, and is currently the site of much exploration activity for additional Au resources. Within a 15-km radius of the WSA's, there is one actively producing gold mine, a major deposit which began production in 1986, and one recently announced discovery. In the reconnaissance geochemical surveys of the two WSA's - 177 ??m (-80 mesh) stream sediments, heavy-mineral concentrates from stream sediments, and rocks were prepared and analyzed. Four areas of possible exploration interest were identified within the WSA's. The first area is characterized by anomalous W and Bi in nonmagnetic heavy-mineral concentrates, and is underlain primarily by the Mesozoic Orocopia Schist which has been intruded by monzogranite of Oligocene age. Alteration and mineralization appear to be localized near the intrusive contact. The mineralized rock at the surface contains secondary Cu and Fe minerals where the monzogranite intrudes the metabasite horizons of the Orocopia Schist and scheelite where the monzogranite intrudes marble within the Orocopia Schist. The second area is characterized by anomalous As, Sb, Ba, B, and Sr in nonmagnetic heavy-mineral concentrates and by anomalous As in - 177 ??m stream sediments. Geologically, this area is underlain by metasedimentary and metavolcanic rocks of Jurassic(?) age; a biotite monzogranite of Jurassic(?) age; and Tertiary volcanic and hypabyssal rocks composed of flows, domes, and tuffs of intermediate to silicic composition. All these rock types are cut by a set of north-south-striking normal faults. The anomalies in the heavy-mineral concentrates are believed to be related to silica-clay alteration observed in the vicinity of some of these faults. ?? 1987.
Additional publication details
Geochemical studies in the Indian Pass and Picacho Peak Bureau of Land Management Wilderness study areas, imperial county, Southern California