Benches and Fossil Placers
March 2013 by Jim HalloranUnfortunately for us mortal humans, we have a poor perspective on geologic time. When we look at a landscape such as a stream valley, we see it only in two, or at the most, three dimensions. We have poor comprehension of the valley’s fourth and most important dimension—time.
Silver nuggets have been described as “ultra-rare,” “prized” and “unique.” Naturally occurring silver nuggets are rare enough to suggest caution when purchasing. Fakes have reportedly been produced and misrepresented for sale as genuine specimens.
Two of the major factors affecting the profitability of a placer mining enterprise are the relative efficiency of the mining equipment, and the rate and percentage of recovery obtained while conducting mining operations.
Chances are better that both types of gold did not come from the same source. Let's look at the probable conditions to cause two types of gold in a placer.
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.
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.
The more experienced prospectors know these lesser known spots are the types of places where big finds are still made.
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.
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