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.
The excitement over IOCG deposits began with the discovery of a monster deposit at Olympic Dam in Australia in 1976. The discovery was accidental as the operator was searching for strata-bound copper deposits.
A few quick calculations show that approximately 11 tons of gold are lost each year just in the manufacture of new cell phones.
The faulting, folding and shearing that occurred in the Mother Lode belt has created zones of structurally weak rocks or contacts between different types of rock, which has been favorable for the deposition of gold bearing ores.
Most of the commercial mineral deposits are on the south and southwest part of the range between Minersville and Milford, though small amounts of gold and silver have also been found in iron-rich outcrops in the basalt to the south of Milford.
The gravels in contact with the bedrock or false bedrock base are often the richest. The same facts apply to the alluvial paystreaks that are formed on gravel bars; the lowest level of the gold-bearing gravel is normally the richest.
Let’s take a look at diamonds and diamond mining and see how they form, how they are used beyond just jewelry, and what leads geologists to find diamond deposits.
Bodie, California, in its heyday, was once rumored to be one of the roughest and most lawless towns in the American West.
The Bawl Mill • Legislative and Regulatory Update • Ask The Experts - Looking for help smelting gold • Ask The Experts - Chlorine bleach and vinegar makes a deadly combination • Ask The Experts - Were there insufficient values to continue mining at this site? • Watch Out for Split Estates When Filing Your Claim • Detecting the Fringe Areas • Conrey Dredge No. 4—Part II • California: The Land of Big Nuggets—Part I • Gold Detecting Strategies for Hydraulic Mines and Debris Flows • New Technology for Extracting Lithium To Be Tested in Nevada • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices