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History & Geology

The Long Road to Gold Point, Nevada

Apart from the hard rock mines, there are abundant gold-bearing placers, especially in the areas in and around Oriental Wash.

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Epithermal Gold and Silver Deposits


Epithermal deposits form in the ground at shallow depths. They are popular with prospectors because can yield very rich deposits and they are widespread in the Western US.

Understanding and Prospecting Benches


The most obvious benches are usually near the valley floor, but they can be thousands of feet above the valley floor. Since benches were made by streams, they can contain placer deposits.

Critical Minerals: Tungsten


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.

The Wisdom of Mark Twain—And Tales of Cheating the Unwary Prospector


I (enjoy) Twain’s description of a gold mine, “A hole in the ground with a liar at the top.” Some humor here? You bet, but I’m sure he meant it to be a real eye opener as well.

Alaska Gold: Lisianski Inlet's First Bonanza


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.”

Critical Metals: Lithium


Prospecting for lithium deposits can take a number of different directions, because this metal can be extracted from a variety of geologically differnet sources.

Know Your District


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.

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