Arizona Minerals

Here is a quick run-down of Arizona mineral collecting locations. My intention is to talk about "the way things were" as well as the way things are. I want to make comments about current access, both legal and logistical. So here we go! (This is written in 2008, has not yet been carefully edited, so certainly has spelling errors and such, but I just wanted to quickly get some ideas on paper.).
In no particular order.

  • Helvetia District This was a wonderful array of abandoned mines back in the 1970s, but has now been almost totally bulldozed. The Omega mine will involve you in several miles of 4x4 road and about a 1/2 mile steep hike. You might get underground if you were careful with a rope. The dumps have yielded micro material. There are numerous other prospects and dumps, but the Omega mine is the place folks go these days.
  • Tombstone Area There are some amazing rare minerals here (Te minerals). This is an area that has fairly easy access (most of the mines are south of town -- or under the town!), to dumps that is, and might reward a patient and persistent collector. There is definitely no legitimate underground access, and those who have been underground say that it is very dangerous.
  • Malapais Hill Great micro zeolite (heulandite and erionite) by breaking up altered basalt in railroad cuts. I have never had trouble with access and material is abundant. Easy access with almost any kind of vehicle.
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    Tom's Mineralogy Info /