Yesterday's Gold—Today's Mine
December 2011 by Craig E. RedickIt would seem that we are often indeed destined to repeat history. In terms of gold discovery, even with all the advancements that have been made over the years, it seems we are once again on the cusp of returning to the 1800s world of gold mining. Even as you read this, a new gold rush is taking place in a sleepy little town in South Carolina.
Common thought is the switchback slows the velocity of the rushing water and gold drops out from the cut bank to a fill gravel bar within or below the switchback. I am not going to disregard that model; however, I hope to improve upon it.
Potholes in bedrock can trap placer minerals and even be glory holes. They are, at least, interesting geologic phenomena, and at best, a treasure trove of gold nuggets.
The placer mineral identification key is designed to answer this question. It attempts to recognize all the minerals in your gold pan concentrates.
Lately my mind has been involved with group 4 of the transition elements, namely titanium, zirconium, and hafnium. They all have similar chemical properties. Of greatest interest to economic geologists and miners is that these valuable elements often occur together in sands.
The faulting, folding and shearing that occurred in the Mother Lode belt has created zones of structurally weak rocks or contacts between different types of rock, which has been favorable for the deposition of gold bearing ores.
The actions of the hot, ore-bearing solutions are not limited only to the deposition of material within the walls of the fissures.
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