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March-April 2014

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The Benson Mines, St. Lawrence County, New York: History of the Discovery, Mining, and Mineralogy of the Deposit

BENSON MINES is a Grenville-aged (about 1.1 billion-year-old), gneiss-hosted iron deposit located in the Adirondack Mountains, St. Lawrence County, New York. It was mined as an open pit that grew to about 4 kilometers long and 244 meters wide (figs. 3a and 3b). Published information on the geology and mineralogy of this deposit is very scarce (Hagni 1968; Tumialan 1968; Hagni, Masiello, and Tumialan 1969; Lupulescu, Bailey, and Hawkins 2010); as a result, the mine has not received much attention from mineral collectors. This article presents a summary of existing information on the discovery and history of Benson Mines, as well as new data on the mineralogy of the deposit. Additionally, the origin of the deposit will be discussed within the context of our current knowledge of the geology of the Adirondack region.

Dr. Marian V. Lupulescu is museum scientist and curator of geology at the New York State Museum, Albany, New York.

Dr. David G. Bailey is a professor of geoscience at Hamilton College, Clinton, New York, and a research associate at the New York State Museum, Albany, New York.

Michael Hawkins is manager of the geology collections at the New York State Museum, Albany, New York.

Dr. James D. Carl is emeritus professor of geology at the State University of New York College, Potsdam, New York.

Dr. Jeffrey R. Chiarenzelli is a professor of geology at St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York, and a research associate at the New York State Museum, Albany, New York.

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