Gold in the Chinle Formation
May 2004 by Edgar B. Heylmun, PhDThe Chinle Formation, of Triassic age, underlies about 100,000 square miles in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. It adds to the scenic grandeur of the great Colorado Plateau province, noted for its high cliffs and deep canyons.
Utah is not known for gold, but a significant amount has been produced. Over 12 million ounces of lode and placer gold have been produced from Bingham Canyon alone. However, placer production, per se, has been miniscule compared to other western states, although a lot of dry placers may remain undiscovered.
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Somehow, we received the impression from these two gatherings and from other conversations that bureaucrats in general are simply not aware of how difficult it is to raise capital to finance mining operations and how important it is for newer companies to show true progress in order to receive further financing.
Picking the right spot to placer has to do with years of experience, and a little luck. The textbooks can tell you where it should be, but sometimes the rules just don’t seem to apply.
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