Las Médulas—The Gem of the Roman Gold Mines
July 2018 by Alan J. Chenworth
This mine was a real wonder of engineering, and the water supply and drifts had to be carefully managed to keep it in operation. In fact, it didn’t close due to lack of gold, but instead closed with the fall of the Roman Empire.
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.
Silver nuggets have been described as “ultra-rare,” “prized” and “unique.” Naturally occurring silver nuggets are rare enough to suggest caution when purchasing. Fakes have reportedly been produced and misrepresented for sale as genuine specimens.
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.
Apart from the hard rock mines, there are abundant gold-bearing placers, especially in the areas in and around Oriental Wash.
...we will visit three dormant mining districts that lie in the Oquirrh Range in Utah. Some major activity that transformed the lives of thousands of people occurred here from the mid 1860s to the late 1990s.
The big interest to prospectors thinking about the effect of erosion is not what might happen long into the future, but what they might find in the rivers later this summer when the water levels go down.
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