the Quarries

stones live here

The Arizona Onyx Quarries

lies along Big Bug Creek in Mayer,

an old cowboy town about 75 miles northeast of Phoenix that is approx. 5,000 feet above sea level. One of the first speculators on the site was a man by the name of William “ Bucky” O’Neill, a lawyer, miner, cowboy, sheriff and congressman who was one of Teddy Roosevelt’s “Rough Riders” during the Spanish-American War. O’Neill paid $150 for his one-third share of the mine, and shortly thereafter discovered that the site had “the richest deposit of onyx between Prescott, AZ and Puebla, Mexico” - according to historical documents.

The Quarry’s value is not

in its historical perspective,

but in its bright future. A core drilling study conducted in 2003 by a geologist from Milan reveals that the deposit held 120,000 cubic meters of high grade onyx. By comparison, a typical deposit of onyx is 1 to 2 meters, and 3 to 4 meters is considered to be outstanding. More recently, a geological report was done in the Spring of 2010 by Mr. James A. Duffield, a certified Geologist in Arizona. Extensive core drillings were done along with analysis of the property and laboratory testing which concluded that there was an additional 340,000 cubic meters beyond Mr. Porro’s 120,000 cubic meters.


The Arizona Onyx Quarries

However, it should be noted that

this recent study was only conducted on 50% of the property. The geological report does state that “further exploration would no doubt expand the known reserves of onyx”. These results conclude that this property is extremely unique and valuable. The reserves of onyx are so vast that this mine has enough material to last a significant period of time.

Arizona Onyx comes in

two varieties: Grand Canyon Onyx, with layers of brown, red, white and green, and Black Canyon Onyx, in black, gray, amber and white. It takes about 1 million years to create a foot of the stone. Each layer reflects the sediment left when water flowed in and out of the area. Originally used as interior ornamentation for Ford Motor Co. and other automakers, the quarry closed during the Great Depression, and laid dormant for over 70 years, until it was reopened in 2001.