Ask The Experts
June 2015 by Chris RalphGold in clastic black shale
Three homonyms come to mind when I think of gemstones, gold and vegetables: carrot, carat and karat. Let’s look at carrot first.
Every time we prospected here we found gold, sometimes some really coarse flakes, but no large nuggets (yet).
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.
There are many other locations in the area where gold has been found, but Woods Creek is the most famous of the creeks and gulches in the area where the 49ers searched for that elusive yellow metal.
Prospectors who specialize in electronic detecting for nuggets in desert areas are especially interested in this type of deposit, as it yields nuggets that are close to the surface of the ground...
For the prospector, knowing what oxidized hydrothermal alteration looks like in the field is an important exploration tool.
The fact that mineral deposits can contribute specific types of heavy minerals is why the analysis of the heavy mineral concentrates in the streams of an area can be an important prospecting technique for finding undiscovered mineral deposits.
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