Strategic Metals—Part II
December 2013 by Bill RichThere are literally thousands of abandoned wasterock and ore dumps that dot the United States that could hold many tones of strategic metals.
In 1877, a prospector named Ed Schieffelin discovered silver in “the middle of nowhere” and staked two claims: “Tumbstone” and “Graveyard.” Soon a town and mining district were organized and acquired the name “Tombstone” after making a spelling correction.
The gravels in contact with the bedrock or false bedrock base are often the richest. The same facts apply to the alluvial paystreaks that are formed on gravel bars; the lowest level of the gold-bearing gravel is normally the richest.
I set up my dry washer on the north side of the cut and sampled the bed rock and dumps around me. As I was only sampling, I ran for 20-30 minutes, shoveling from a variety of areas.
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.
In some places, semi-continuous sections of riverbed can easily be linked in many places to identify the path of the ancient rivers.
Alaska is getting a lot of interest these days, not least because of all the gold prospecting shows on television. Hardly a month seems to pass without some new prospecting show being announced, and a couple of the most popular feature Alaska.
In developing a mineral property or mining claims, one of the first goals is to identify and quantify valuable deposits. The classic method of doing this is by drilling holes into the ground to sample what is below the surface. The problem is that one or two holes usually are not going to tell you a whole lot...
The Bawl Mill • Ask the Experts • Ask the Experts • Ask the Experts • Sierra County Gold—Part I • ICMJ's Annual Index • Ophir—Possibly the Best Kept Secret in Alaska—Part II • Hunting for Hardrock: The Basics • Gold in the San Francisco District Oatman, Mohave County, Arizona • Heavy Glacial Rocks and Gold in the Midwest • The Amazing Mineral Tourmaline • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices