October 2007
Volume 59    Issue 10

Iron Hill (Powderhorn) carbonatite complex, Gunnison County, CO - a potential source of several uncommon mineral resources

Mining Engineering , 2007, Vol. 59, No. 10, pp. 56-56
Van Gosen, B.S.; Lowers, H.A.


The Iron Hill (Powderhorn) carbonatite complex is a 31- km2 (12-sq mile) alkalic intrusion located about 35 km (22 miles) south-southwest of Gunnison, CO. The intrusion has been well studied and described because of its classic petrology and architecture of a carbonatite-alkalic complex. The complex is also noteworthy because it contains enrichments of titanium, rare earth elements, thorium, niobium (columbium), vanadium and deposits of vermiculite and nepheline syenite. In particular, the complex is thought to host the largest titanium and niobium resources in the United States, although neither has been developed. It may be economic to extract multiple resources from this complex with a well-coordinated mine and mill plan.

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