Green Valley Gold District, Payson, Arizona
March 2016 by W. Dan Hausel
Most prospectors learn early that pyrite is fool's gold...but the truth is it can be an excellent indicator mineral for gold and in many cases does contain small amounts of gold.
An example of some of this extraordinary ore was a lot of about four tons from the Florence mine during the last days of a lease that averaged over 300 ounces of gold per ton.
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.
In 1967, a local resident showed me a pouch of small gold nuggets and flakes. Several years later I asked the same person where that gold was found. He responded, “From the streambed below the old stamp mill at Apex.”
Gold in clastic black shale
My partner had the contacts and it wasn’t long before we had an agreement in place and the company had a geologist on site. I recall a time when he was getting the lay of the land, so to speak, and he broke off a rock sample and inspected it with his magnifier.
Most of the commercial mineral deposits are on the south and southwest part of the range between Minersville and Milford, though small amounts of gold and silver have also been found in iron-rich outcrops in the basalt to the south of Milford.
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