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History & Geology

All About Pyrite

Most prospectors learn early that pyrite is fool's gold...but the truth is it can be an excellent indicator mineral for gold and in many cases does contain small amounts of gold.

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Green Valley Gold District, Payson, Arizona


Most gold-bearing quartz veins found in the district were fracture fillings in faults enclosed by crushed quartz zones along their margins. Since the host rocks were often extensively weathered, portions of the veins stood out as positive, resistant outcrops. The gold-bearing veins ranged from a few inches wide to the vein at the Gowan mine that was as much as 12 feet wide. 

California's Mother Lode Quartz Veins


The actions of the hot, ore-bearing solutions are not limited only to the deposition of material within the walls of the fissures.

Critical Minerals: Tungsten


Because tungsten minerals are heavy, exploration can be done using stream sediment samples. Prospectors looking for gold have found scheelite or wolframite in their placer concentrates, and in some cases this has led them to make important tungsten finds.

The Wild Rush to Find More Cobalt—Part I


While some future cobalt will come from recycling lithium batteries and other products, the coming huge need for cobalt is virtually a perfect storm of heavy demand and insufficient supply.

Montana’s Rosetta Stone: Discovering Mines In The Treasure State


This is the intelligent way to start modern prospecting. The value of literary research yields challenging outings, specimens, history and geologic research.

The Verde Copper-Gold-Silver-Zinc District, Jerome, Arizona


When I was a student in the College of Mines at the University of Utah, the Verde district was used as an exploration model for “submarine volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits.” So I looked forward to visiting this district and the town of Jerome in central Arizona in the spring of 2012.

Conrey Dredge No. 4—Part II


These were the men who periodically picked up the gold amalgam from the tables and sluices in the dredge, processed it, and transported the gold ingots to the railroad express office in Alder. Their trustworthiness must have commanded a prominent wage.

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