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History & Geology

What Are Those Rocks In My Pan?

The placer mineral identification key is designed to answer this question. It attempts to recognize all the minerals in your gold pan concentrates.

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The Rush to Treasure Hill


There were some exceptional times in the far-flung history of the West. Rich finds of minerals that set men’s souls ablaze. From the rich gold fields of California, men who arrived too late to find riches went searching in every direction. The trail that we will follow leads east, past the shining silver district of the Comstock Lode.

The Pearce Mineralized Area, Dragoon Mountains, Arizona


...I would bet considerably more lode gold and silver remains to be found in this area, and there are possibilities for small placers and nugget shooting.

Rare Silver Nuggets And Their Origins


Silver nuggets have been described as “ultra-rare,” “prized” and “unique.” Naturally occurring silver nuggets are rare enough to suggest caution when purchasing. Fakes have reportedly been produced and misrepresented for sale as genuine specimens.

It Pays to Know Your Bedrock


On our last trip, we brought ropes and went down the first waterfall forty vertical feet, only to be confronted by a second, sixty-foot-high, overhanging waterfall that emptied into a slot canyon.

Iron Ores and Iron Mining


For more than 40 years, iron ore prices have been decided by private negotiations conducted between the largest of the iron miners and the largest steel producers. These two sides dominate both the spot and contract iron ore markets.

Gold Deposits of Montana


Historically, Montana has been an important gold producer, in terms of both lodes and placers, and it still produces gold for the prospector today.

Kennecott Copper Mine, Kennecott, Alaska


For approximately 30 years, the mines produced good ore, some so rich it was simply sent straight to bagging, bypassing milling and loaded directly on the rail cars.

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