All the Gold Ever Mined...
February 2012 by Chuck LassiterIf you have been prospecting for any length of time, then you have probably heard something like, “All the gold ever mined would equal a cube 60 feet on each side.”
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.
The big interest to prospectors thinking about the effect of erosion is not what might happen long into the future, but what they might find in the rivers later this summer when the water levels go down.
I get a number of questions from people about testing and treating hard rock ores. The simplest way, but also an expensive one, is to just have an assay test done by an independent assay firm. As an alternative...
I recently had the opportunity to spend a day exploring around Butte, Montana and was amazed by the amount of mining that has taken place there. The old-timers called Butte “the richest hill on earth” and had pretty good reasons for doing so.
There are a number of Tertiary river channels in the area, most of which trend south-southwest. They tend to be steep, narrow, and rich with coarse gold.
The specific gravity of chalcedony is 2.58 to 2.64. This is slightly lower than coarsely crystalline quartz because of slight porosity in chalcedony. Being so light, it will easily wash out of a gold pan.
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