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History & Geology

Gold of the Iditarod Mining District, Alaska

It was the middle of winter and the valley was covered in snow, making prospecting a matter of sinking shafts in the ground.

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Calcite and Limestone


The other distinguishing feature of calcite has to do with its chemistry. Geologists sometimes take a small bottle of dilute hydrochloric acid out into the field with them because calcite reacts with acids to make a bubbly foam.

Critical Minerals: Tungsten


Because tungsten minerals are heavy, exploration can be done using stream sediment samples. Prospectors looking for gold have found scheelite or wolframite in their placer concentrates, and in some cases this has led them to make important tungsten finds.

Confluence Placers


Confluences of placer streams are well known as concentration sites for heavy minerals. The basic reason is that...

Silver Peak, Nevada: A Little of Everything


Silver Peak is a small mining community in Esmeralda County in west-central Nevada, about 30 miles west of Goldfield. Although it’s fairly remote, it’s been an important mining center since the early days.

Prospecting for Surface Flood Gold Placers on Low and Intermediate Gradient Streams


Sample panning is a very important method used to find the richest parts of a flood gold deposit before setting up equipment and running material.

Can You Recognize Valuable Ores?


The process of recognizing ores all starts with being able to recognize some basic minerals and knowing what hard rock ore looks like in the districts where you prospect.

Prospecting Homonyms


Three homonyms come to mind when I think of gemstones, gold and vegetables: carrot, carat and karat. Let’s look at carrot first.

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