Sante Fe County is in north-central New Mexico, along the western edge of the Great Plains physiographic province.
Gold has been mined from placers and lode along the western boundary of the county in the Cerrillos Hills, Ortez Mountain, and San Pedro Mountains. These ranges are cicular in outline and were formed by doming of Carboniferous and Cretaceous sedimentary rocks by laccolithic sheets of Tertiary monzite porphyry. Gold placers were mined as early as the 1830's; therefore, the early production can only be estimated. The principal gold districts are the Old Placer and the New Placer: each produced an estimated $2 million in gold. Total county gold production through 1959 probably was between 150,000 and 200,000 ounces.