Wyoming's Billion Dollar Nugget—The Trilogy Ends
August 2011 by David C. FreitagOur testing over the past 15 years was to confirm or deny the USGS report completed in 1978. Besides the half acre test dig, we completed many additional test digs by hand and with the backhoe.
I had never run an impact mill before, but anything involving rocks, water and a big electric motor sounded great.
With successively lower temperatures as the water mixture cools, new sets of minerals are formed and many of those stable at a higher degree of heat became subject to alteration as the temperature progressively moved lower.
Everyone has a bucket list, and one of my items has always been to dredge and dive in a major river, Oregon’s Rogue, with the opportunity to find some chunky gold.
I pulled out the nuggets I had worked on previously and looked at the size of the wire basket that the items to be cleaned are placed into. It looks much like a miniature french fry deep fryer.
The zone of influence of each sample must be carefully considered when deciding how far sample sites should be spaced from each other.
This year was a test. We had never done anything like this before, yet we grossed $30,000 in the short time we had to mine.
Most gold-bearing veins in this region are controlled by fractures associated with the Melones Fault, a late Cretaceous structure that is 108 to 127 million years old.
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