The Oquirrh Mountains, Utah
July 2013 by Bill Rich...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.
If developed with metal detecting in mind, this virgin ground could be a bonanza for nugget hunting.
Exploration for and prospecting in search of similar deposits should focus on rhyolite bodies located in fluorite-bearing areas.
There are a large number of different kinds of gangue minerals, and each of them has its own tale to contribute to the story of the chemistry and geology of a deposit.
In the summer of 1854, John Selkirk, a discouraged placer miner who was down on his luck and ready to go back to Massachusetts, tied his mule up in a gulch north of what is now downtown Angel's Camp.
Even though these were some of the earliest placer deposits to be worked, there is still plenty of gold left today—it just takes more work to recover. Knowing about the old locations where gold has been found is the first step to success.
One of the first minerals most prospectors learn to recognize is quartz, because, in the right circumstances, it can be an excellent indicator mineral for prospectors. Quartz is common, easy to identify, and is often associated with gold and other valuable metal deposits.
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.
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