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.
The actions of the hot, ore-bearing solutions are not limited only to the deposition of material within the walls of the fissures.
The more experienced prospectors know these lesser known spots are the types of places where big finds are still made.
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.
Gold can potentially be found in all the glaciated areas of the Midwest, but to find it in any appreciable amount one needs to look to areas where the gold gets concentrated by more recent water flows.
The area was mined intermittently from around 1900 to 1915, but was also mined in the late 1800s, with a total output valued at about $100,000, which is around $9.5 million at the current gold price.
Prospecting for lithium deposits can take a number of different directions, because this metal can be extracted from a variety of geologically differnet sources.
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.
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