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History & Geology

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Geology and stories from the past

Ophir—Possibly the Best Kept Secret in Alaska!


...I decided to excavate the semi-frozen high-bank that was resting on a soft shale bedrock footing. Within three feet, I encountered an intrusive!

Greenstone and Gold


Contacts, faults and zones of weak rock are all places that can act as a pipeline to convey gold-bearing fluids, leading to valuable deposits.

The Long Road to Gold Point, Nevada


Apart from the hard rock mines, there are abundant gold-bearing placers, especially in the areas in and around Oriental Wash.
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Gold in Beatty, Nevada


In this case, signs of gold were found at the bottom of the alluvial and then traced in a triangle up the face of the mountain until they stopped—that is where the digging began.

The Pearce Mineralized Area, Dragoon Mountains, Arizona—Part II


There are many prospects within the known mineralized area and along the margins of the mineralized area that should be examined for gold and silver.

The Birimian Greenstone Belts of West Africa


The country we were to visit was Burkina Faso, a small country about the same size of my home state of Nevada with about 10 times more people. The second day I was in Africa, we went out to the goldfields for the first time.
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All About Quartz—Part II


In our May 2013 issue, we took a look at the mineral quartz, a mineral very commonly associated with gold. However, gold is not the only reason prospectors are interested in quartz. Quartz can also be very valuable as a gemstone

The Pearce Mineralized Area, Dragoon Mountains, Arizona


...I would bet considerably more lode gold and silver remains to be found in this area, and there are possibilities for small placers and nugget shooting.

The Oquirrh Mountains, Utah


...we will visit three dormant mining districts that lie in the Oquirrh Range in Utah. Some major activity that transformed the lives of thousands of people occurred here from the mid 1860s to the late 1990s.
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A Journey Into the Silver Peak Range


The Gold Rush in California called hundreds of thousands of souls to leave their homes to journey to the the far reaches of the West. At first the rich goldfields of the Sierra Nevada beckoned to these adventurous pioneers.

Ancient River Channels of Trinity County


Trinity County is located in the far northwest corner of California and stirs up many different memories for those who have been there.

Liberty and the Phoenix Mine


Liberty, Washington is located in the mountains near Yakima and Ellensburg. There is nothing much in Liberty except for about 20 houses on patented mining claims and a lot of dry holes.
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Confluence Placers


Confluences of placer streams are well known as concentration sites for heavy minerals. The basic reason is that...

The Birimian Greenstone Belts of West Africa


A few years ago I had a tremendous opportunity to visit Australia and hunt for gold there. The geology of the gold deposits there was somewhat different from what I was used to here in the US. I learned a lot about greenstone belt gold deposits while prospecting them in person, and it was an amazing trip.

All About Quartz—Part I


One of the first minerals most prospectors learn to recognize is quartz, because, in the right circumstances, it can be an excellent indicator mineral for prospectors. Quartz is common, easy to identify, and is often associated with gold and other valuable metal deposits.
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Your Guide to Prospecting in Alaska


Alaska is getting a lot of interest these days, not least because of all the gold prospecting shows on television. Hardly a month seems to pass without some new prospecting show being announced, and a couple of the most popular feature Alaska.

Gold Deposits of Montana


Historically, Montana has been an important gold producer, in terms of both lodes and placers, and it still produces gold for the prospector today.

Benches and Fossil Placers


Unfortunately for us mortal humans, we have a poor perspective on geologic time. When we look at a landscape such as a stream valley, we see it only in two, or at the most, three dimensions. We have poor comprehension of the valley’s fourth and most important dimension—time.
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The Many Facets of Iron


I’ve been fascinated by iron minerals for many years. So let’s take a look at this very interesting and colorful element.

Refractory Gold Processing


After your excitement peaks when you first receive the high gold assay from the vein you just exposed, you ponder how you will extract and sell your gold. You will need to develop a flow sheet for your process to optimize your recovery and minimize your costs and permit requirements.

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