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History & Geology

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Geology and stories from the past

Gold Placers in Italy


Gold is a fairly widespread mineral in the Italian Alps and in the Northern Apennines. It is found both in primary mineralization and in past and recent floods.

Critical Minerals: Titanium—Part II


There are both hard rock and beach sand types of titanium deposits, but the hard rock deposits need to be at least 10 percent titanium while the beach sands often are economic with only two or three percent titanium.

Detector Brings New Life to An Old Lode Mine


…it was immediately evident the previous owner had not been using a detector. During just a few months of working the dumps part-time, he recovered gold in quartz specimens valued in excess of $40,000.

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The Batteries Metal Rush


There is a major change coming in the economy of the world and now is the time for prospectors and miners to grab a ticket and get on board.

Mining Pegmatite Deposits


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.

SS Central America Gives Up Millions in Gold Rush Era Gold


A treasure-seeking young man whose name will forever remain anonymous made the months-long journey either over land or by sailing ship to California after word spread about the gold strike in 1849.

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Las Médulas—The Gem of the Roman Gold Mines


This mine was a real wonder of engineering, and the water supply and drifts had to be carefully managed to keep it in operation. In fact, it didn’t close due to lack of gold, but instead closed with the fall of the Roman Empire.

The Miner’s Switchback


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.

The Wild Rush To Find More Cobalt—Part II


In this second part on cobalt, I will take a look at the various types of cobalt deposits and how you can prospect for them. Who knows—perhaps the next big cobalt strike will be yours.

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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.

Sulfides and Intergrain Gold Wire Nuggets


...these nuggets have not traveled far from the lode because the golden wire lattices would have been torn apart or flattened during weathering of rock and deposition by violent stream action.

$50 Million in Gold From 1857 Shipwreck Approved for Sale


The gold is all for sale. Just one tiny coin alone could go for $1 million because of its combination of rarity and the history behind it...

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Bedrock Gold: When It’s There and When It Isn’t


Has your experience ever led you to wonder why some gold is deposited on bedrock and in crevices, while other gold is not? We’re going take a deeper look at this and see what we can figure it out.

Mass Wasting & Gold Deposits


Not all of these slides and debris flows will produce results, but if you search for these while prospecting in your gold producing areas, then you can increase your odds of finding new gold.

The Wild Rush to Find More Cobalt—Part I


While some future cobalt will come from recycling lithium batteries and other products, the coming huge need for cobalt is virtually a perfect storm of heavy demand and insufficient supply.

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California: The Land of Big Nuggets—Part II


There are a number of Tertiary river channels in the area, most of which trend south-southwest. They tend to be steep, narrow, and rich with coarse gold.

Third Largest Nugget in Existence Returns to Dallas


While the bullion value of the nugget is already substantial, the size and rarity of the Ausrox Nugget combine to make its worth invaluable in the collector market.

Butte, Montana—The Richest Hill on Earth


I recently had the opportunity to spend a day exploring around Butte, Montana and was amazed by the amount of mining that has taken place there. The old-timers called Butte “the richest hill on earth” and had pretty good reasons for doing so.

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Conrey Dredge No. 4—Part II


These were the men who periodically picked up the gold amalgam from the tables and sluices in the dredge, processed it, and transported the gold ingots to the railroad express office in Alder. Their trustworthiness must have commanded a prominent wage.

California: The Land of Big Nuggets—Part I


The nugget sat there in plain sight, though it was covered in dirt, while hundreds of people had passed that way every day.

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