The Tombstone Silver-Lead District, Arizona
April 2016 by W. Dan HauselIn 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.
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.
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.
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.
The hair stood up on the back of my neck when I saw this, especially the nice patches of wash in the bottoms of the gullies, a sure sign of an auriferous source being nearby.
Even as late as 1906, Delamar was second only to Tonopah and Goldfield in production outshining many better known areas. Since the first discoveries, more than 700,000 ounces of gold have been produced from the mines here.
There are many other locations in the area where gold has been found, but Woods Creek is the most famous of the creeks and gulches in the area where the 49ers searched for that elusive yellow metal.
There are both hard rock and beach sand types of titanium deposits, but the hard rock deposits need to be at least 10 percent titanium while the beach sands often are economic with only two or three percent titanium.
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