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Geology and stories from the past

The Tombstone Silver-Lead District, Arizona


In 1877, a prospector named Ed Schieffelin discovered silver in “the middle of nowhere” and staked two claims: “Tumbstone” and “Graveyard.” Soon a town and mining district were organized and acquired the name “Tombstone” after making a spelling correction.

Enrichment of Mineral Deposits by Weathering—Part II


While both zinc and lead deposits also are enriched by the surface weathering process, in part two we will look at the enrichment process for copper and also gold deposits, and at the interpretation of leached outcrops to figure how rich the concentrated deposits below them may be.

The Bawl Mill


• Do as I say, not as I do...
• By the numbers...
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Green Valley Gold District, Payson, Arizona


Most gold-bearing quartz veins found in the district were fracture fillings in faults enclosed by crushed quartz zones along their margins. Since the host rocks were often extensively weathered, portions of the veins stood out as positive, resistant outcrops. The gold-bearing veins ranged from a few inches wide to the vein at the Gowan mine that was as much as 12 feet wide. 

Nevada's Silver City Gold District—Part I


The name Silver City is quite ironic as it doesn’t really fit the area’s metal production. The area encompassing the Silver City district is a great, stand-alone gold district, where the production value of gold has been much more than that of silver. Since the initial discovery of gold-bearing veins in the mid-1850s, the area has been a center of continuous small and large-scale gold production.

Enrichment of Mineral Deposits by Weathering—Part I


The exact minerals formed in the concentrated supergene deposits depends much on the type of country rock around the deposit and the chemistry of the deposit itself, but if conditions are right, this process will form some rich patches of bonanza ore, in some places valued at thousands of dollars to the ton.
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Alaska: Kodiak Islands Mineral Resources


The fresh material is worked and concentrated by the waves on the flat, wide beach platform. The waves wash away the lighter minerals, leaving the heavies near the bluffs and in depressions on the beach.

Gold in Quartz


Because quartz and gold may be deposited together across a considerable range of temperatures, not all quartz veins are the same, and there are several different types of gold-quartz deposits.

Northwestern Alaska Mineral Resources


Gold and jade are actually only minor mineral resources for the Northwestern Alaska region as a whole. Modern prospecting has focused more on base metal than precious metal resources.
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Electrum: Gold and Silver Together


...if you are out prospecting and find something that looks very much like a nugget but has an odd greenish-gray cast to it, don’t be too quick to simply toss it aside as junk.

Mineralized Faults and Contacts in the Search for Gold


Fault zones and rock contacts are important because the vast majority of gold and silver deposits, as well as those of many other metals, are formed by hot, mineralized water solutions.

The Significance of Nuggets in Placers


Chances are better that both types of gold did not come from the same source. Let's look at the probable conditions to cause two types of gold in a placer.
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Charles P. Watson, Chief Geologist

The Strange History of the Utica Mine


In the summer of 1854, John Selkirk, a discouraged placer miner who was down on his luck and ready to go back to Massachusetts, tied his mule up in a gulch north of what is now downtown Angel's Camp.

Researching Mineralized Areas


There are a load of ways to do research, and I’m going to talk about how I do it—maybe you’ll get some ideas that will work for you, too.

All About Minerals


There are several common ways that new mineral crystals form and grow. Perhaps the simplest is when minerals form through the cooling of molten rock and the atoms bond together into mineral crystals.
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Associated Gold Placers of the Comstock


What many people don’t realize is that the Comstock Lode produced over 8,000,000 ounces of gold…

Gold in Tertiary Gravels


In some places, semi-continuous sections of riverbed can easily be linked in many places to identify the path of the ancient rivers.

Rock and Formations of the Mother Lode Gold Belt


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.
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Iron Ores and Iron Mining


For more than 40 years, iron ore prices have been decided by private negotiations conducted between the largest of the iron miners and the largest steel producers. These two sides dominate both the spot and contract iron ore markets.

Prospecting for Silver Deposits


In some ways, silver is the forgotten precious metal because it straddles both the world of precious metals and jewelry, while having many important  industrial applications like a base metal. The price of silver reflects both the precious metal investment demand as well as the industrial demand.

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