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.
The favorable geology of the northeastern and central parts of the Seven Troughs Range are the parts most interesting to prospectors. They are underlain by a thick sequence of Tertiary volcanic rocks, mostly rhyolites and andesites.
Prospecting may not be as much fun as it once was. If that sounds like you and you want to figure out what to do to get back on the gold and be successful, I’ve got the answer: Research.
Depending on the ore and if significant sulfides are present, a hard rock miner may be able to get away with simply using a flux to digest the other minerals that may be present.
After paying for the mine fleet, mill capital, supplies, fuel, power and labor, at today’s metal prices, does this mine make a profit?
They tend to be big, coming in large to extremely large sizes. They can also be amazingly rich and produce huge amounts of very high-grade ore.
So you think you have an ore deposit? The work has been long and hard, but there are a few drill holes, lots of samples and assays. The data is in a reliable computer and there may be a mine at the end of the tunnel. What is the likelihood of a profitable operation? Can you raise capital for development or exploration?
I believe dry washing is an underappreciated prospecting method. There are plenty of places where there is some pretty decent gold to be had, but the spot is a long way from any water and dry processing may well be the best way to go.
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