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The Oquirrh Mountains are located in north-central Utah, immediately south of the Great Salt Lake, in the easternmost part of the Basin and Range physiographic province. The range consists of northerly-trending aligned peaks 56 kilometers long flanked on the west by Tooele and Rush Valleys and on the east by Jordan and Cedar Valleys. The range hosts several of the more prominent base- and precious-metal and desseminated-gold mining areas in the western United States. The 130-year old Bingham porphyry copper mining district, which is of world-class magnitude in the central part of the range, is still active. The Mercur mining district, which has recently become inactive, was one of the first of the new-type disseminated gold deposits; the Ophir and Stockton base- and precious-metal mining districts are inactive at present. The newest active mining areas in the range are the Barneys Canyon and adjoining Melco disseminated gold deposits, considered to be part of the Bingham mining district by the operator. The Oquirrh Mountains and its flanks also contain a number of industrial mineral resources useful in the infrastructure construction and the smelting industries. Here-to-fore, much information about these mining areas is scattered in numerous publications and has not been placed in a current geologic framework that permits construction of a unified regional deposit model of use in further exploration in the range and elsewhere. This report summarizes regional geologic data as a basis for added resource perspective, identifies as yet unresolved controversial geological interpretations, and is a platform on which to frame future geologic research and exploration. A geologic map of the range (Tooker and Roberts, 1998) is available at a scale of 1:50,000.


Open-File Report 99-571.

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