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Heavy mineral deposits of the Fox Hills Formation located near Limon, CO

Mining Engineering , 2012, Vol. 64, No. 3, pp. 34-44

Pirkle, F. L.; Bishop, G. A.; Pirkle, W. A.; Stouffer, N. W.


A heavy mineral deposit about 1.6 km (1 mile) in length, 0.13 km (0.08 mile) in width and averaging about 3 m (10 ft) in thickness is exposed approximately130 km (80 miles) east of Denver, along Interstate 70, in Elbert County, CO near the town of Limon. The deposit is exposed in a geomorphic feature known locally as Titanium Ridge. The dominant heavy minerals, accounting for about 70% of the total heavy-mineral suite by weight, are ilmenite, garnet and zircon. The mineralized zone appears in a series of visually interpretable facies that are stacked vertically and represent subtidal, forebeach, backbeach, washover fan and aeolian depositional environments. These paleoenvironments are analogous to depositional environments represented by a modern heavy-mineral bearing facies tract on St. Catherines Island, GA. Thus, Titanium Ridge provides evidence that heavy-mineral accumulation models for late Cenozoic deposits in the Georgia and Florida coastal plains are applicable to heavy-mineral deposits of the Western Interior subsurface and, by implication, the Western Interior Seaway, extending from Mexico to the Canadian Arctic.