Butte, Montana—The Richest Hill on Earth
December 2017 by Chris Ralph
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.
I regularly get inquiries along the line of: “Hey, I found this rock, and I think it might be gold ore. How can I tell?” Prospectors are always on the lookout for gold-bearing rocks that may be the source of any nearby placer gold.
In some ways, silver is the forgotten precious metal because it straddles both the world of precious metals and jewelry, while having many important industrial applications like a base metal. The price of silver reflects both the precious metal investment demand as well as the industrial demand.
The placer mineral identification key is designed to answer this question. It attempts to recognize all the minerals in your gold pan concentrates.
It would seem that we are often indeed destined to repeat history. In terms of gold discovery, even with all the advancements that have been made over the years, it seems we are once again on the cusp of returning to the 1800s world of gold mining. Even as you read this, a new gold rush is taking place in a sleepy little town in South Carolina.
Gold has always been noted to have an affinity for quartz to such a degree prospectors almost always dig on quartz veins in a search for the precious metal.
It is a gemstone, and yet it is also closely associated with many types of metal ores. It's valuable itself but often points toward other valuable minerals—that is certainly something prospectors want to know more about!
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