Glaciers and Placer Gold Deposits
November 2016 by Chris RalphIt also happens sometimes that glaciers will bury valuable placer deposits. This occurs when the glacier goes over the top of an existing placer deposit.
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.
In our May 2013 issue, we took a look at the mineral quartz, a mineral very commonly associated with gold. However, gold is not the only reason prospectors are interested in quartz. Quartz can also be very valuable as a gemstone
Lately my mind has been involved with group 4 of the transition elements, namely titanium, zirconium, and hafnium. They all have similar chemical properties. Of greatest interest to economic geologists and miners is that these valuable elements often occur together in sands.
One of the first minerals most prospectors learn to recognize is quartz, because, in the right circumstances, it can be an excellent indicator mineral for prospectors. Quartz is common, easy to identify, and is often associated with gold and other valuable metal deposits.
The biggest obstacle is that like many streams on the Kenai Peninsula, high water during the summer months from snow melt and rain can make dredging nearly impossible. The best dredging is in the colder months of the year.
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.
The Bawl Mill • Our Readers Say • Legislative and Regulatory Update • Detecting: Small Creek Yields Good Gold • Ask The Experts: Is this BLM demand legitimate? • The Challenge of Winter Dredging • What Have You Got to Lose? • MMAC Update • How to Upgrade Your Pocket Plunger • What's In A Name? • Oregon Miners Still Fighting • Greenhorn Finds Gold in Colorado • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices • Melman on Gold & Silver