Nineteenth century mining in the California Desert concerned itself mainly with the “big five”
minerals (gold, silver, copper, lead and zinc). In the twentieth century, non-metallic minerals
play an increasingly important role, and became Inyo County's most plentiful mineral resource. In
addition to the Searles Lake developments (actually in San Bernardino County but included here) and
the borax discoveries at Ryan, salt, sulphur and talc were discovered in very large quantities
in Inyo County.
Saline Valley (Salt)
The presence of mineable salt in the Saline Valley was noticed as early as 1902, but due to its
inaccessibility, it was not until 1911 that anyone ...
Darwin (Talc, zinc)
One-half of all known talc deposits of commercial interest lie in Inyo County. Until the 1940s, the Talc City Mine, six miles northwest of Darwin, ...
Last Chance Range (Sulfur)
First discovered in 1917, the sulphur lies in a mineralized area three miles long by one mile wide. A bedded deposit 16 to 30 feet thick contains ...
A light to dark greenish gray color of perlite is found on the east side of the Dublin Hills, 2 miles west of Shoshone. Perlite is a volcanic glass ...
Owlshead Mountains (Epsom salts)
Thomas Wright, a Los Angeles florist, discovered magnesium salts 28 miles east of Searles Lake near the Owlshead Mountains in the early 1910s. The 63 mile ...
This mineral treasure chest was not recognized as such by the emigrants who camped on its shore and tasted of its brackish waters while escaping from ...