Review of samples of sediments, tailings, and waters adjacent to the Cactus Queen Gold Mine, Kern County, California

Open-File Report 2011-1034
By: , and 



The Cactus Queen Mine is located in the western Mojave Desert in Kern County, California. The Cactus Queen gold-silver (Au-Ag) deposit is similar to other Au-Ag deposits hosted in Miocene volcanic rocks that consist of silicic domes and associated flows, pyroclastic rocks, and subvolcanic intrusions. The volcanic rocks were emplaced onto a basement of Mesozoic silicic intrusive rocks. A part of the Cactus Queen Mine is located on Federal land managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Staff from the BLM initially sampled the mine area and documented elevated concentrations of arsenic (As) in tailings and sediment. BLM then requested that the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with Chapman University, measure and characterize As and other geochemical constituents in sediment, tailings, and waters on the part of the mine on Federal lands. This report is made in response to the request by the BLM, the lead agency mandated to conduct a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) - Removal Site Investigation (RSI). The RSI applies to the potential removal of As-contaminated mine waste from the Cactus Queen Mine as a means of reducing As release and exposure to humans and biota. This report summarizes data obtained from field sampling of sediments, mine tailings, and surface waters at the Cactus Queen Mine on January 27, 2008. Our results provide a preliminary assessment of the sources of As and associated chemical constituents that could potentially impact humans and biota.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Review of samples of sediments, tailings, and waters adjacent to the Cactus Queen Gold Mine, Kern County, California
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2011-1034
DOI 10.3133/ofr20111034
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Western Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center
Description v, 34 p.
Country United States
State California
County Kern County
Other Geospatial Cactus Queen Gold Mine
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details