Liberty and the Phoenix Mine
June 2013 by C.A. "Charlie" CookLiberty, Washington is located in the mountains near Yakima and Ellensburg. There is nothing much in Liberty except for about 20 houses on patented mining claims and a lot of dry holes.
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.
Gold in clastic black shale
A few years ago I had a tremendous opportunity to visit Australia and hunt for gold there. The geology of the gold deposits there was somewhat different from what I was used to here in the US. I learned a lot about greenstone belt gold deposits while prospecting them in person, and it was an amazing trip.
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.
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.
In our May 2013 issue, we took a look at the mineral quartz, a mineral very commonly associated with gold. However, gold is not the only reason prospectors are interested in quartz. Quartz can also be very valuable as a gemstone
The Bawl Mill • Breaking Rock the Old School Way • My Lucky Month of March • Gold Rush in the Congo—Part II • A Journey Into the Silver Peak Range • Ancient River Channels of Trinity County • Which Nugget Detector Should I Get? • Confluence Placers • Spanish Gold Ledge Still Producing Gold • Nevada Mining Tax Cap Repeal Clears Committee • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices