History & Geology
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.
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.
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.
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.
The nugget sat there in plain sight, though it was covered in dirt, while hundreds of people had passed that way every day.
On our last trip, we brought ropes and went down the first waterfall forty vertical feet, only to be confronted by a second, sixty-foot-high, overhanging waterfall that emptied into a slot canyon.
We just completed a trip to another river, and yes, there was definite movement and redistribution of gravels, and other prospectors have seen this as well.
The excitement over IOCG deposits began with the discovery of a monster deposit at Olympic Dam in Australia in 1976. The discovery was accidental as the operator was searching for strata-bound copper deposits.
For approximately 30 years, the mines produced good ore, some so rich it was simply sent straight to bagging, bypassing milling and loaded directly on the rail cars.
I regularly get inquiries along the line of: “Hey, I found this rock, and I think it might be gold ore. How can I tell?” Prospectors are always on the lookout for gold-bearing rocks that may be the source of any nearby placer gold.
Geology is a science of general tendencies with frequent exceptions, not one of hard and fast rules that are always true and never vary. For almost every well-accepted rule of gold deposits, I can point you to a number of important exceptions.
The majority of the gold produced in Goldfield has come from ores that are close enough to the surface to be oxidized by the air. This oxidized ore is normally a soft, shattered, earthy material usually stained yellow to brown by oxides of iron.
An example of some of this extraordinary ore was a lot of about four tons from the Florence mine during the last days of a lease that averaged over 300 ounces of gold per ton.
The big interest to prospectors thinking about the effect of erosion is not what might happen long into the future, but what they might find in the rivers later this summer when the water levels go down.