Can You Recognize Valuable Ores?
August 2016 by Chris RalphThe process of recognizing ores all starts with being able to recognize some basic minerals and knowing what hard rock ore looks like in the districts where you prospect.
We have to remember that the earliest miners were not geologists, but came from a variety of backgrounds. Their survival depended on finding enough gold so they worked hard and adapted to whatever challenges these new areas presented.
Only the richest ores could be worked and shipped off for processing at a profit. As a result, early mining in the southern part of the Humboldt Range was short-lived. In the 1880s, placers were discovered in Spring Valley and American Valley on the east side of the range...
There are times when being able to recognize a type of rock can make you a much more successful prospector.
The actions of the hot, ore-bearing solutions are not limited only to the deposition of material within the walls of the fissures.
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.
For the prospector, knowing what oxidized hydrothermal alteration looks like in the field is an important exploration tool.
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.
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