Working the Belmont Mine Butte, Montana—1953
October 2002 by Bob SchlosserWaiting to go underground in the Belmont Mine in Butte, Montana, I hoped that I didn’t look like a green college kid. I enjoyed watching the ropes run through the sheaves at the top of the head frame as the shaft crew was busy changing over...
Then I came to a section of recently exposed gravel that looked unworked. Water seeped out all around, making the ground beneath a sea of slick mud.
Of all the difficult gold placer sites to evaluate, none can compare with trying to dig to bedrock through twenty or thirty feet of soaked overburden through which water is slowly seeping downgrade.
Some 250 million years ago, the Earth had just one supercontinent, known as “Pangaea.” For whatever reason, the supercontinent began to break apart. South America and Africa remained joined, as “Gondwana,” until 65 million years ago, when they split apart. The obvious “fit” of South America with Africa was noted by geologists back in the 19th century, but it was not until Alfred Wegener came out with his “continental drift” hypothesis in 1912 that people took note.
Placers that are directly associated with lode deposits are sometimes overlooked and may have good potential for those who are willing to search for them.
We decided to check some spots that were pretty good to us on previous trips. The detector was deceptively simple with few buttons and auto-ground balance.
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