Enrichment of Mineral Deposits by Weathering—Part II
April 2016 by Chris RalphWhile both zinc and lead deposits also are enriched by the surface weathering process, in part two we will look at the enrichment process for copper and also gold deposits, and at the interpretation of leached outcrops to figure how rich the concentrated deposits below them may be.
I couldn’t wait to get started. With no field budget, an assay budget of $100/year, a 1975-Ford Bronco that was a road hazard, a gas card, a topo map and full support of the director, I headed to the State Line district near Tie Siding along US Highway 287 to begin mapping kimberlite.
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.
If you have been prospecting for any length of time, then you have probably heard something like, “All the gold ever mined would equal a cube 60 feet on each side.”
When prospecting for lithium, after confirming for macro attributes through research and field work, including examination of surface geology, the main tool is an accurate lithium assay.
The most obvious benches are usually near the valley floor, but they can be thousands of feet above the valley floor. Since benches were made by streams, they can contain placer deposits.
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.
Geology is a science of general tendencies with frequent exceptions, not one of hard and fast rules that are always true and never vary. For almost every well-accepted rule of gold deposits, I can point you to a number of important exceptions.
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