AZ Geological Survey makes 20,000 documents available for free

Unpublished one-of-a-kind Arizona mining documents – once filed away in cabinets and cardboard boxes – are now online, discoverable, and accessible at the Arizona Geological Survey Mining Data website (

More than 20,000 files, maps, and reports contributed by dozens of exploration geologists and mining firms are now available. The website exposes more than 8,500 geologic and engineering reports; 6,800 maps – geologic maps, mining claim maps, maps with assays, plats, underground maps and cross sections; and 5,500 historic photographs dating from the 1890s to 2000.

“The ability to deliver such a large volume of historical mining maps and documents to the public, free of charge, fills a critical need for bolstering mining efforts in Arizona. It provides an invaluable resource for planning future mineral exploration efforts.” according to Lee Allison, State Geologist and Director of the Arizona Geological Survey.

This new online resource is being premiered in time for the 2016 Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Annual Conference and Expo in Phoenix from Feb. 21 – 24. The collection includes major exploration holdings from the Arizona Department of Mines and Mineral Resources, Walter E. and Grover Heinrichs, James Sell, A.F. Budge Mining Ltd., Cambior Exploration, among many others.

Since the 1850s, Arizona has been a mecca for prospectors, exploration geologists and mining firms seeking copper, gold, silver, molybdenum, zinc, lead, manganese, tungsten, uranium, and coal, turquoise and semi-precious gems. Collectively, they left a mile-high paper trail of hundreds of thousands of pages, tens of thousands reports, well logs, letters, photographs, and geologic and mine maps.

The documents comprising this online repository were originally provided to the Arizona Mines and Mineral Resources Department by exploration geologists and mining firms.

The Mining Data site includes an applied search tool filtered by key words, mine names, collections, time and place. The geographic search tool provides for a radius search of 1 to 100s of miles from a point of interest for these georeferenced data.