Jack D. Mount

Mining has been one of the leading industries throughout Arizona's history -- the development and history of the State is largely tied to the mineral discoveries, miners and mining companies. Even the name of the State of Arizona refers to the "Arizona" or "Arizonac" mining district active in colonial Spanish times and located in what is now northern Sonora. Arizona continues to be one of the leading mining states; in fact, 65% of America's copper comes from Arizona.

This article is a brief guide to publications currently available in print which will help in identifying and researching Arizona's mining activities and economic minerals. It may also serve as a "core list" for information managers developing their collections.


Geology of Arizona. By J. Dale Nations and Edmund Stump. Kendall/Hunt; 2nd edition, 1996. In textbook format, this well illustrated reference is designed for the reader with no formal geologic training. One chapter is devoted to mining and the origins of the ores.

Geologic Evolution of Arizona. By J. P. Jenney and S. J. Reynolds, editors. Arizona Geological Society; 1989. This large volume is intended to be a technical summary of current knowledge of Arizona's geology. Many of the chapters are devoted to the geologic origins of the ore deposits and mining activities.

History of Mining in Arizona. By J. Michael Canty and Michael N. Greeley, editors. Mining Club of the Southwest Foundation, 1987-1999. Now in three volumes, this reference is a well-illustrated and a fairly comprehensive discussion of the topic.

There are a number of other monographs currently in print discussing various aspects of Arizona's mining history. Some of the interesting titles are: Arizona's Ghost Towns and Mining Camps: A Travel Guide to History, by Philip Varney, 1998; Bisbee, Arizona Yesterday & Today: A Comparative View of the Queen of the Copper Camps, by Neil L. Bush, 1992; Holding the Line: Women in the Great Arizona Mine Strike of 1983, by Barbara Kingsolver, 1997; Mining Camps and Ghost Towns; A History of Mining in Arizona and California Along the Lower Colorado, by Frank Love, 1974; and Quest for the Pillar of Gold: The Mines & Miners of the Grand Canyon, by George H. Billingsley, Earle E. Spamer, and Dove Menkes, 1997.

Mineralogy of Arizona. By John W. Anthony, Sidney A. Williams, Richard A. Bideaux, and Raymond W. Grant. University of Arizona Press; 3rd edition, 1995. With its beautiful color illustrations, this book is a comprehensive study of Arizona's minerals and their occurrences.

Minerals of Arizona: A Field Guide for Collectors. By Neil R. Bearce. Geoscience Press; 1999. Designed more for the hobbyist, this reference gives detailed descriptions to collecting localities throughout the State.

Serial Publications

Directory of Active Mines in Arizona [year]. Arizona Department of Mines and Mineral Resources, published irregularly [the current issue is for 2000]. Indispensable for an Arizona reference collection. The first 8 pages are a discussion of Arizona's mining activities for the previous 2 years.

Some of the other useful titles from the Arizona Department of Mines and Mineral Resources' various serial publications include: Arizona Mining Consultants, by N. J. Niemuth, 1993; Laws and Regulations Governing Mineral Rights in Arizona, by V. H. Verity and L. D. Clark. 9th Edition, 1988, updated 1998; Arizona Industrial Minerals, by K. A. Phillips, 1987; Arizona Copper Reserves, periodically updated; and Arizona Mining Law Change - 1989, 1990.

AZGS Bulletin. AZGS Circular. AZGS Contributed Report. AZGS Open-File Report. AZGS Special Paper. Arizona Geological Survey; irregularly published serials. These publications are scientific/technical papers for professional earth scientists. The AZGS is the successor to the old Arizona Bureau of Mines and many of these publications treat mining and economic geology. Some mining-related titles available include: Gold Placers and Placering in Arizona, by E. D. Wilson, G. R. Fansett, C. H. Johnson, and G. H. Roseveare, 1961; Coal, Oil, Natural Gas, Helium, and Uranium in Arizona, by H. W. Peirce, Stanton B. Keith, and J. C. Wilt, 1970; Index of Mining Properties in Cochise County, Arizona, by Stanton B. Keith, 1973; Index of Mining Properties in Pima County, Arizona, by Stanton B. Keith, 1974; Index of Mining Properties in Santa Cruz County, Arizona, by Stanton B. Keith, 1975; Index of Mining Properties in Yuma County, Arizona [includes La Paz County], by Stanton B. Keith, 1978; and Metallic Mineral Districts and Production in Arizona, by Stanley B. Keith, D. E. Gest, Ed Dewitt, N. W. Toll, and B. A. Everson, 1983.

Arizona Geology [previously Fieldnotes]. Arizona Geological Survey [AZGS]; since 1971; published quarterly. Each issue has a feature article on a timely Arizona geology or mining subject or specific geographic area. It also reviews new publications and geologic "happenings" around the State. It is free; but even better, it comes prepunched for three-ring binders!

Arizona Geological Society Digest. Arizona Geological Society. Published irregularly since 1958, each volume is a large book devoted to a specific geologic theme including economic geology. Its latest issue, Volume 20 published in 1995, is titled: Porphyry Copper Deposits of the American Cordillera. Some earlier issues still available: Gold and Silver Deposits of the Basin and Range Province, Western U.S.A., Volume 15, 1984; and Frontiers in Geology and Ore Deposits of Arizona and the Southwest, Volume 16, 1986.

Minerals Yearbook. U. S. Geological Survey [previously published by the U. S. Bureau of Mines]. Published annually. Volume 2 of this annual 3-volume set has a chapter "The Mineral Industry of Arizona" which discusses the performance of the mining and mineral production activities for that year and includes a map showing the active economic minerals deposits.

USGS Bulletin. USGS Circular. USGS Open-File Report. USGS Professional Paper. U. S. Geological Survey; irregularly published serials. These publications are also scientific/technical papers for professional earth scientists. The USGS' activities include those previously performed by the now defunct U. S. Bureau of Mines. Some of their recently published titles of mining interest include: Mineral Resource Assessment of Selected Nonmetallic Resources of the Coconino National Forest, Arizona, by J. D. Bliss, 1997; Mineral Resource Assessment of Undiscovered Mineral Deposits for Selected Mineral Deposit Types in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona, by J. D. Bliss, 1993; and Mineral Resource Potential and Geology of Coronado National Forest, Southeastern Arizona and Southwestern New Mexico, by E. A. duBray, 1996.

Western Mining Directory [year]. Howell International Enterprises.; published annually. Has a section on Arizona.


Bibliography for Metallic Mineral Districts in Cochise, Graham, and Greenlee Counties, Arizona, by Lorraine Schnabel and J. W. Welty, 1986; Bibliography for Metallic Mineral Districts in La Paz, Mohave, and Yuma Counties, Arizona, by Lorraine Schnabel and J. W. Welty, 1986; Bibliography for Metallic Mineral Districts in Pima and Santa Cruz Counties, Arizona, by Lorraine Schnabel, J. W. Welty, R. A. Trapp, and S. J. Reynolds, 1986; Bibliography for Metallic Mineral Districts in Gila, Maricopa, Pinal, and Yavapai Counties, Arizona, by J. W. Welty, Ed DeWitt, and Lorraine Schnabel, 1989; and Bibliography for Metallic Mineral Districts in Apache, Coconino, and Navajo Counties, Arizona, by J.W. Welty and W.L. Chenoweth, 1989. Arizona Geological Survey.

Bibliography of the Geology and Mineral Resources of Arizona, 1848-1964. By R. T. Moore and E. D. Wilson; 1965. Bibliography of the Geology and Mineral Resources of Arizona, 1965-1970. By J. S. Vuich and J. C. Wilt; 1974. AZGEOBIB: A List of References on the Geology of Arizona. By R. A. Trapp, Nancy Schmidt, S. J. Reynolds, and K. C. Horstman; 1995. Arizona Geological Survey. These 3 publications offer a fairly comprehensive list of citations up to about 1994.

Thesis and Dissertations on Arizona Geology, 1891-1978. By P. L. Wright, R. A. Trapp, S. J. Reynolds, S. M. Richard, and H. W. Peirce. Arizona Geological Survey; 1985. Includes mines, mining, and economic geology.


Some of the useful maps available from the Arizona Department of Mines & Mineral Resources include: Arizona Mineral Potential Map, by K. A. Phillips and others, 1984; Metallogenic Provinces of Arizona, by P.F. O'Hara, N. J. Niemuth, and G. Ryberg, 1989; and Arizona Mining District Map, by E. Wilson, R. O'Haire, and F. McCoy, 1961.

The Arizona Geological Survey has published several maps of mining interest: Map of Known Metallic Mineral Occurrences (Excluding Base and Precious Metals) in Arizona, by Stanton B. Keith, 1969, scale 1:1,000,000; Geologic Map and Cross Sections of the Washington Camp­Duquesne Mining District, Patagonia Mountains, Santa Cruz County, Arizona, by N.E. Lehman, 1978, scale 1:4,800, 3 sheets; Geologic Setting of Precious Metals Mineralization, King of Arizona District, Kofa Mountains, Yuma County, Arizona, by D. D. Hankins, 1984, scale 1:12,000.

Web Sites

During this "Age of the Web", I must offer at least a few choice Web sites.

The Arizona Department of Mines & Mineral Resources is at: . The site includes a list of publications currently available. Many of the titles in its "Circulars series" are available full-text on-line at no charge.

The Arizona State Mine Inspector has a website at: . This site includes full-text of their publications -- some of the titles are: Arizona Mining Fatalities: 1912-2000; Miner Details: Newsletter of Arizona State Mine Inspector's Office; and their annual reports.

The Web site for the mining department at the University of Arizona -- --, is a gateway for additional information.

The "Mineral and Energy Resources" page for the Arizona Geological Survey -- -- includes a map of economic minerals occurrences. The AGS' website, , includes a list of their available publications.

I have created four useful web pages for mining: "Mining and Economic Minerals Resources" - ; "Mining and Mining Engineering: Reference Sources for Research" - ; "Mining Pathfinder" - ; and "Books About Mining Currently Available" - . ¨

*[ Reprinted from Special Libraries Association-Arizona Chapter Bulletin, volume 24, number 4, December 2001, pages 7-9. ]

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