Gold in Rotten Rock
February 2004 by Edgar B. Heylmun, PhDRotten rock (saprolite) can be found in all warm, humid regions, but is best developed in humid, subtropical climates, like that found in the American South. Outwardly, it looks like bedrock, but upon closer inspection, it can be seen that roots penetrate it and that it can be worked with a shovel or hydraulic monitor.
The discovery of gold at Alder Creek, centrally located in Madison County, Montana, was unusually well documented, with the date and time placed at May 26th, 1863, at about 4 o’clock in the afternoon. A group of six miners had been searching the area with little luck until the leader, Bill Fairweather, spotted an exposed area of promising bedrock. He dug up a shovel full of dirt and put it in Henry Edgar’s pan for washing. About the same time that Edgar was busy washing out the pan, Fairweather was poking around the bedrock with his pocketknife. Both spotted the color of gold at once.
Thom Calandra, well known for promoting mining companies and precious metals through CBSMarketWatch.com for the past several years, will pay over $540,000 to settle charges he used his investment newsletter to profit from stocks that he owned.
It is a fact that many of the well-known placer districts of the Western US have small veins that contain sparse pockets of coarse gold as their source. This is the main reason why many rich placer districts have seen little or no hard rock mining...
At the end of the day, Jerry showed me how to clean out the sluice box and then how to pan out the concentrates. As we finished panning, there it was—a little tiny smile of gold...
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