The Western San Juan Mountains (Figure 1) comprise a major metallogenic province that has produced more than 5.5 billion dollars worth of metals at today’s prices (Table 1 — see page 6). The region contains hundreds of quartz-base metal-precious metal veins which are similar to each other in mineralogy, alteration, and overall paragenesis (Burbank and Luedke, 1968). However, two thirds of the production in the Western San Juans came from only four mines: Shenandoah-Dives, Idarado, Sunnyside and Camp Bird (Table 1). Why were the veins from these mines so productive in contrast...

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