Critical Minerals: Tungsten
July 2017 by Chris Ralph
Because tungsten minerals are heavy, exploration can be done using stream sediment samples. Prospectors looking for gold have found scheelite or wolframite in their placer concentrates, and in some cases this has led them to make important tungsten finds.
• Do as I say, not as I do...
• By the numbers...
Most gold-bearing veins in this region are controlled by fractures associated with the Melones Fault, a late Cretaceous structure that is 108 to 127 million years old.
These were the men who periodically picked up the gold amalgam from the tables and sluices in the dredge, processed it, and transported the gold ingots to the railroad express office in Alder. Their trustworthiness must have commanded a prominent wage.
Historically, Montana has been an important gold producer, in terms of both lodes and placers, and it still produces gold for the prospector today.
While the bullion value of the nugget is already substantial, the size and rarity of the Ausrox Nugget combine to make its worth invaluable in the collector market.
This was one of those stories where you have no doubt that the person telling it believes it to be true. But was it?
While a large number of locations have yielded some placer gold, most of the state’s placer production has come from a few productive districts.
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