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About Us » Writers » Bill Rich
Bill Rich
Bill became a rock hound when he was six years old. He has a degree in natural resources management from Colorado Mountain College in Leadville, Colorado. He also attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins for advanced instruction in geology. Bill also has a fine arts degree in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute in California.

Bill has worked for major mining companies doing historical Inventories and documentation of mine and mill sites, and for the US Geological Survey and other government agencies in major research projects. You can visit his website at richvision-now.com

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Articles by Bill Rich
Drilling for Ore

In the simplest sense, drills can be divided by their mode of action—percussion, rotary or a mixture of the two.

August 2014 (Vol. 83, No. 12)
Why Did This Silver Mine Close?

Bad management, cave-ins, the lack of adequate capitalization, bad winters—the list of possible scenarios that might have closed a mine is a long one.

October 2014 (Vol. 84, No. 2)
Why Did This Silver Mine Close? Pt II

During the mid-1800s until about 1920, the settlers of the West tended to be quite optimistic, but in reality they flew with a wing and a prayer.

November 2014 (Vol. 84, No. 3)
Why Did This Silver Mine Close? - Pt III

Narrowing down a closure date will allow you to check the commodity price during that time and possibly confirm that a low price, rather than a lack of ore, was the driving force that closed the operation.

December 2014 (Vol. 84, No. 4)
The Robinson Mine—Big Things Happen Here

When I’m traveling through the West, I sometimes take detours that lead me to places that I never knew exist

January 2013 (Vol. 82, No. 5)
Heavy Sands Mining

Lately my mind has been involved with group 4 of the transition elements, namely titanium, zirconium, and hafnium. They all have similar chemical properties. Of greatest interest to economic geologists and miners is that these valuable elements often occur together in sands.

February 2013 (Vol. 82. No. 6)
The Many Facets of Iron

I’ve been fascinated by iron minerals for many years. So let’s take a look at this very interesting and colorful element.

March 2013 (Vol. 82, No. 7)
A Journey Into the Silver Peak Range

The Gold Rush in California called hundreds of thousands of souls to leave their homes to journey to the the far reaches of the West. At first the rich goldfields of the Sierra Nevada beckoned to these adventurous pioneers.

June 2013 (Vol. 82, No. 10)
The Oquirrh Mountains, Utah

...we will visit three dormant mining districts that lie in the Oquirrh Range in Utah. Some major activity that transformed the lives of thousands of people occurred here from the mid 1860s to the late 1990s.

July 2013 (Vol. 82, No. 11)
The Long Road to Gold Point, Nevada

Apart from the hard rock mines, there are abundant gold-bearing placers, especially in the areas in and around Oriental Wash.

September 2013 (Vol. 83, No. 1)
Strategic Metals—Part I

A bill was introduced and passed by the House of Representatives earlier this year that should make the exploration and opening of a mining operation faster and easier.

November 2013 (Vol. 83, No. 3)
Strategic Metals—Part II

There are literally thousands of abandoned wasterock and ore dumps that dot the United States that could hold many tones of strategic metals.

December 2013 (Vol. 83, No. 4)
The Rush to Treasure Hill

There were some exceptional times in the far-flung history of the West. Rich finds of minerals that set men’s souls ablaze. From the rich gold fields of California, men who arrived too late to find riches went searching in every direction. The trail that we will follow leads east, past the shining silver district of the Comstock Lode.

November 2012 (Vol. 82, No. 3)
Extraction of Precious Metals Using Froth Flotation

Without this versatile group of technologies, we would be hard-pressed to produce the metals so critical to our modern way of life. The robust mining industry of today would literally not exist.

December 2012 (Vol. 82, No. 4)
Journeys in the Kingman Quadrangle

This is a story of a bit of our earth, carved by lines of longitude and latitude. There is a deep mystery in this land. The naked mountains speak of long ages of thrusting and rifting—of uplift and erosion. These riddles in the rock defy explanation.

August 2007 (Vol. 76, No. 12)
Journeys in the Kingman Quadrangle—Part II

In the northwest section of the Kingman Quadrangle, the Kingston Range rises out of the alluvium of the Pahrump and Mesquite valleys. Kingston Peak, rising to an altitude of 7,320 feet, towers high above its foothills.

September 2007 (Vol. 77, No. 1)
Journeys in the Kingman Quadrangle—Part III

The sun is teasing the horizon in the heart of the Mojave. Soon, the exciting nightlife will end as the lizards and desert rats return to their homes.

October 2007 (Vol. 77, No. 2)
Journeys in the Kingman Quadrangle—Part IV

The lands that lie within the Arizona section of the Kingman Quadrangle are by far the most populated. Kingman and Bullhead City are the largest towns in the area, having a combined population of about 58,000 people.

November 2007 (Vol. 77, No. 3)
The Rocks That Burn: Is Oil Shale the Answer?—Part I

The day is old in the Rangely Oil Field in northwestern Colorado. I’ve paused in my southbound trip to take a gander at this historic field, one of the largest in the state. Intricate pipelines funnel water and carbon dioxide to the source rock far below.

February 2006 (Vol. 75, No. 6)
The Rocks that Burn—Part II Is Oil Shale the Answer?

Opinions among experts in the energy business concerning present day oil shale development vary widely. Some think that more stringent energy conservation measures would make large-scale development of lamosite resources...

March 2006 (Vol. 75, No 7)
Goldfield—Princess of the Mojave

The sunbeams are winding their way through the snowclouds. I am rising out of Death Valley to engage in some reverie, a journey into times past. Prospect pits, phantoms from boom times’ extinct, appear on the side of the road. Soon, I enter the Bullfrog Mining District.

May 2005 (Vol. 74, No.9)
The Paradox Basin—Part I

In the four corners region of America there is a place—a very special place—called the Paradox Basin. It appears empty, but is quite full if you look at it from the correct perspective.

July 2005 (Vol. 74, No. 11)
The Paradox Basin—Part II

The Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) was created soon after the war. One of their first deeds was to pass the Energy Act of 1946. This, among other things, provided monetary incentives for nearly every stage of mine development and operation.

August 2005 (Vol. 74, No. 12)
Newmont's Gold Quarry Mine

The Maggie Creek Mining District, of which the Gold Quarry Mine is a part, was first explored in the 1870s. The transcontinental railroad had recently been built through the area. Carlin, a rail stop about 7 miles south of the district...

October 2005 (Vol. 75, No. 2)