The Wild Rush to Find More Cobalt—Part I
February 2018 by Chris Ralph
While some future cobalt will come from recycling lithium batteries and other products, the coming huge need for cobalt is virtually a perfect storm of heavy demand and insufficient supply.
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.
The area was mined intermittently from around 1900 to 1915, but was also mined in the late 1800s, with a total output valued at about $100,000, which is around $9.5 million at the current gold price.
A bill was introduced and passed by the House of Representatives earlier this year that should make the exploration and opening of a mining operation faster and easier.
It is a gemstone, and yet it is also closely associated with many types of metal ores. It's valuable itself but often points toward other valuable minerals—that is certainly something prospectors want to know more about!
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.
Gold and jade are actually only minor mineral resources for the Northwestern Alaska region as a whole. Modern prospecting has focused more on base metal than precious metal resources.
There are literally thousands of abandoned wasterock and ore dumps that dot the United States that could hold many tones of strategic metals.
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