|Summary / Abstract
||Rare earth elements (REE) are becoming more important in our society. REE deposits are found throughout NM. Some REE past production (1950s), as bastnaesite, came from the Gallinas Mountains district, Lincoln County, NM. Several companies and the U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) have conducted exploration programs to identify REE potential. Four types of deposits are found in the district: epithermal REE-F veins, Cu-REE-F veins, REE-F breccia pipe and iron skarn deposits; all are associated with Tertiary peraluminous, alkaline to alkalic-calcic volcanic rocks. District zonation is defined by base metals (REE-F-Cu veins) that form center of the district, surrounded by REE-F veins. The magmatic-hydrothermal breccia pipe deposits form a belt partially surrounding the veins. Iron skarns formed at the top and edge of the trachyte intrusion and are likely the earliest stage of mineralization. In 1991-1992, USBM calculated an inferred resource of 0.487 million metric tons with a grade of 2.95% total REE. With the projected increase in demand of REE, areas such as the Gallinas Mountains district in New Mexico are being re-examined for additional REE potential.