The Verde Copper-Gold-Silver-Zinc District, Jerome, Arizona
October 2012 by W. Dan HauselWhen I was a student in the College of Mines at the University of Utah, the Verde district was used as an exploration model for “submarine volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits.” So I looked forward to visiting this district and the town of Jerome in central Arizona in the spring of 2012.
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.
In 1983, some of the ore yielded more than 2,500 ounces of gold within 30 feet of the surface. The shoot pinched to a narrow vein.
While a large number of locations have yielded some placer gold, most of the state’s placer production has come from a few productive districts.
Sylvester Smith and his younger brother Nathan were among this group who rode and led their Indian ponies, while climbing the rugged Salmon River breaks and rockhewn mountains, looking for a path that would lead them up and over the uncharted wilderness.
My partner had the contacts and it wasn’t long before we had an agreement in place and the company had a geologist on site. I recall a time when he was getting the lay of the land, so to speak, and he broke off a rock sample and inspected it with his magnifier.
Prospectors who specialize in electronic detecting for nuggets in desert areas are especially interested in this type of deposit, as it yields nuggets that are close to the surface of the ground...
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.
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