Exploring Iron Oxide Copper Gold Deposits
November 2017 by Chris Ralph
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.
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.
This area could be re-evaluated for placer scheelite and gold potential in the future along with sand and gravel processing…
…we focused on various layers of hard-packed flood material out of the creek, and we also obtained some material up quite a ways from the creek itself on bedrock.
Kimberlite is very difficult for geologists to find, let alone prospectors and rock hounds. This is because kimberlite is rarely exposed on the surface and few people know how to identify the rock.
We descended hunched over, down a long, steep, wooden staircase to the 1,000-level.
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.
These conditions don’t just apply to Alaska and the Yukon; they apply to western Canada and even to the mountainous western United States.
The Bawl Mill • Legislative and Regulatory Update • Ask The Experts - How do I work this glacial deposit? • Ask The Experts - How do I best recover gold in pyrite? • It Pays to Know Your Bedrock • BLM Cancels 10-Million-Acre Sage Grouse Mineral Withdrawal • Take it to Bedrock • The Beatty Mining District of Nevada • Flood Plain Gold Deposits—What Are They Really? • Conrey Dredge No. 4 • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices