Kennecott Copper Mine, Kennecott, Alaska
October 2017 by Jack Geck
For approximately 30 years, the mines produced good ore, some so rich it was simply sent straight to bagging, bypassing milling and loaded directly on the rail cars.
There are both hard rock and beach sand types of titanium deposits, but the hard rock deposits need to be at least 10 percent titanium while the beach sands often are economic with only two or three percent titanium.
For a time uranium was more popular with prospectors than gold, but this is no longer true, and it has been decades since it was common to see individuals armed with Geiger counters out in the field.
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.
We have to remember that the earliest miners were not geologists, but came from a variety of backgrounds. Their survival depended on finding enough gold so they worked hard and adapted to whatever challenges these new areas presented.
I recently had the opportunity to spend a day exploring around Butte, Montana and was amazed by the amount of mining that has taken place there. The old-timers called Butte “the richest hill on earth” and had pretty good reasons for doing so.
Narrowing down a closure date will allow you to check the commodity price during that time and possibly confirm that a low price, rather than a lack of ore, was the driving force that closed the operation.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could know if there is gold in the ground without setting foot on the ground? Well you can, to a certain extent, if you can recognize mined ground from unmined.
The Bawl Mill • Legislative and Regulatory Update • Ask The Experts - Where should I get my geology degree? • Ask The Experts - How much rock shall I crush to determine the value? • Placers Directly Associated with Lode Deposits • Is It Time for a Change? New Ways to Find More Gold • MMAC Update • Silverton's Gold • Procuring Mine Owner Permission at a Mine Site • Champions Crowned at the California State Gold Panning Championships • Drywashing for Fine Gold • ICMJ Gold Prospecting and Mining Summit Postponed • High Prices for Gold, Silver & Copper: What Does it Mean for Prospectors? • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices