Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How to Find Gold Deposits

Would it be nice to be able to find gold deposits.  How about diamonds, colored gemstones, base metals and more?  In my recent books, I tell prospectors how to find these with examples, clues and locations. My three latest books work hand in hand providing details on gold deposits, how to find gemstone and diamond deposits, and describing how to identify minerals and rocks. If you are a prospector and enjoy the search for treasure, I hope you will enjoy prospecting with these books available at Amazon.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Professor Hausel's Guide to Gold

Be careful of legends - Not Me! The Superstition Mountains! Many gold
legends are nothing more than a legend. Wonder why no one ever found the
Lost Dutchman mine? Well, maybe there is a mine out there, but why bother
there are plenty of known gold mines and properties around the West.
You've probably heard it before. "Gold is where you find it". Not sure what wise guy came up with that saying - but its true even though it should be obvious. But the problem is finding the "where you find it".  As a geologist who found more than 40 million ounces and possibly as much as 50 million ounces of gold in the ground, I think I have a nose for finding gold deposits and its not as hard as some make it out to be. I was awarded the Thayer Lindsey Award with 6 other geologists for making one major discovery, and also presented the 2004 Distinguished Service Award for many other discoveries.

Here are some suggestions for finding gold:
(1) Use science. Sounds pretty straight forward, but it is amazing how many promoters and scam artists out there profess using unscientific methods such as dowsing, witching sticks, legends, wet dreams and feelings to find gold. None of which have worked as far as I'm aware.
The iron stained (gossan) at the Vulture gold mine, Arizona. Learn what
you can about veins and how to follow them if you want to find gold.
When I was at the Wyoming Geological Survey, I had one dowser who would read my ICMJ prospecting and mining journal articles and next he would dowse the paper and ink maps in the article, sketch over a couple of pencil lines and then send me back a copy of the article to tell me where the mother lode was on each paper map. This went on for a few years and I finally lost touch with this person, so he was either recaptured or promoted to the obama administration. Another dowser would often send me advertisements for his school of dowsing (all hand written) for a variety of courses - and I kid you not, all of his classes sounded like part of the Twilight Zone. One of the better ones was how to find lost dogs and other pets using a dosing rod while flying over the country in a 747. Now if you don't laugh, you better seek help.

Gold nuggets from Arizona
Then there was Barbara - a little old lady prospector from Atlantic City Wyoming who knew where the gold was. It was apparently in other people's wallets. Barbara was well known for scamming people. She was only about 97 pounds soaking wet, a chain smoker, heavy drinker, and actually entertaining. She once sold a guy a jar full of gold at a reduced price. He was excited to show everyone his jar of gold at Atlantic City until he discovered he had a $5000 jar full of mica.  A short time later, the Atlantic City volunteer fire department was called out to put out a fire in Barbara's Cadillac.

Visible gold in rhyolite from Arizona. When you see this much gold - you
struck it rich. A rule of thumb. If you see one tiny spec of visible gold on a
rock sample, it will assay close to 1 ounce per ton. A rock with this much gold
likely would assay 100 ounces per ton.
On another day, Barbara latched on to a well-dressed tourist from Missouri who stepped into the Atlantic City Mercantile to ask directions. Barbara sat down with the unsuspecting visitor and tried to sell him a gold mine until he told her that he and his son actually owned the Mary Ellen mine.
Then there was a University of Wyoming professor. The professor had written on UW letterhead that 297,000,000 ounces of gold reserves had been identified at Pine Mountain west of Casper and near the Rattlesnake Hills. The only problem, no gold had ever been identified at Pine Mountain even though it has been a popular site for mining scams similar to the South French Creek area in the Medicine Bow Mountains. After this professor and others were investigated by the secret service, no charges were files as no money had yet exchanged hands - so the university promoted the professor.

One way to learn about gold is to read some good gold prospecting books. Then find a gold district near your town you can visit (don't buy and jars of gold) and get out on some mine dumps and start examining the area around the old mines. Look for any lineaments such as narrow quartz veins running towards the old mine dump you are standing on and walk along this vein. If there area lots of prospects on the vein, this start looking at the vein and learn all you can. See if you can follow the vein for a few hundred feet, a few thousand feet.
You might also look for linear depressions. These could be related to faults or shear zones. See if there is much in the way of prospects on these depressions. If there are, it is likely an old mineralized shear zone.

(2) Learn what gold looks like. This is important. Visit museums, look at photographs in books and on the Internet. Usually, the only thing that can be mistaken for gold is pyrite and mica and most mistaken mica for gold - like Barbara's friend at the Atlantic City mercantile. Years ago, I wrote an article for the ICMJ about some prospector living in Centennial Wyoming who had been jumping someone else's mining claim on the Middle Fork of the Little Laramie River all winter long. His name may have been 'John', but he used three different aliases when talking to me. Anyway, he mined all winter long using snow shoes to get to the claim and recover all of the gold he could, without being discovered. He told me he had a few barrels filled with the gold in his single wide trailer at Centennial, and finally brought in a couple of Ball jars filled with the material to verify his riches. You could see the disappointment when I told him he had some high-quality plant soil, but no gold.

Gold and silver-bearing vein north of Oatman, Arizona. The Gold Road vein is seen as the white quartz-calcite-adularia vein in the Oatman andesite. But also note all of the material to the left of the vein - this is a fault zone with quartz stringers and it likely contains low grade gold values.

Visible gold in quartz and hematite, Carissa Mine, South Pass
(3) Visit old mining districts. Read about the old mining districts you visit and keep in mind a couple of things - legends are just that - they are legends often concocted by an old prospector in a bar in the past after having one too many drinks. So why waste your time on some one's past drunk when there are still plenty of gold deposits to be found. It is extremely rare (actually rarer than getting the truth from a politician) for any gold mine to be mined out. Gold miners always leave a lot of gold in the mines and in the veins that they mined along. At one time not so long ago, gold prices were only about $18/ounce, then about $20/ounce and then $35/ounce. The other day, they were about $1,300/ounce. When gold prices were low, miners mined only the high grade material, typically material that assayed better than 0.2 opt Au. Today, some companies mine gold ore than averages only about 0.01 to 0.02 opt (ounces per ton) and better. So, in many old gold mines, the miners left all of the low-grade gold ore and sometimes missed a lot of high-grade gold ore. Think about it, how many times have companies gone back into old mines or old mine districts and began mining in an old mine. New mining districts are rarely found, so stick to the mining districts unless you have a lot of geological experience.

Gossan stained fault (shear zone) cut by the Giant King gold
mine in California. Gossans and faults like these should be
It is also worthwhile to visit old mines that were making good money prior to the War Minerals Board closing all gold mines in the US in 1942.  Some of these mines never reopened after the second world war for many reasons.

Giant King gold mine, CA. Note the iron stained (gossan) in the blue serpentinite. Some serpentinites have gold, some platinum and palladium, some will have nickel, and in California, some may have gemstones of benitoite or sapphire.
The Superstition Mountains - home to the 'lost. Dutchman gold mine.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


A blog about prospecting for gold
Gold-lode quartz vein at the Vulture mine, Arizona
A gold mine at the end of the Rainbow - Duncan
gold mine, South Pass, Wyoming
At one time, justice was swift and thieves did not have to wait around on death roll for 20 years. People were a little more honest in those days because thieves were quickly thinned out of the population.
A 7.5 ounce nugget recovered from dredge tailings in Wyoming.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Gold Processing and Extraction

Visible gold in goethite and quartz, Mary Ellen Mine
If you decide to mine lode gold, you can keep it simple and dig for specimen-grade gold samples from veins and breccias. Although such samples with visible gold are rare and more valuable than the price of gold, if you have the right vein or ore shoot, they are worth pursuing. When ever you see gossans or tawny to brown limonite and goethite in quartz - look for visible gold! Gossans are something prospectors need to learn to recognize.

If you decide to mine your lode using open pit or underground methods - you will need deep pockets to pay for mining as well as permitting. In this case, it may be easier to start looking for a company that has the expertise and deep pockets.

Detrital gold is by for the best type of gold to search for as a prospector as it has already been mined by Mother Nature, and now it is up to you to figure out how to concentrate it. To extract placer (detrital) gold from a creek using a gold pan (not recommended as it will wear out your back), sluice, trommel, dredge or some other concentrating equipment, you will likely need permits from the State or Feds. The government is totally out of touch when it comes to permitting, as in most cases they will try to permit you to death. Some states may even require a permit to operate a gold pan on public property even though this would be as absurd as requiring a permit to operate a fork in a restaurant; however, Democrats were actually talking about this when I left Wyoming. One of the easiest ways to find out rules and regulations for prospecting in your state is to join a local prospecting club. The ICMJ Prospecting and Mining Journal has a number of useful resources you may want to check on.  Many gold prospecting clubs are associated with the Gold Prospectors Association of America: and there are independent groups such as the Wyoming Prospectors Association. When I was in Wyoming, there was a faculty member in the University of Wyoming Geology Department who thought gold panners were polluting Douglas Creek. Obviously, she never tried to operate a gold pan herself, otherwise she would not have made such ridiculous statements.  If you find the right creek, and have a backhoe and trommel, some people can make a nice living.
Gold Panning in the Medicine Bow Mountains. This lady was one of
several who attended one of my field trips to the Medicine Bow Mountains
in the historical Centennial Ridge district. I showed the attendees how to
pan for gold and then let them try their luck in the Middle Fork of the
Little Laramie River. No one found gold at what was known as the
Mother Lode prospect, but some found nice specimens of pyrite (fool's gold)
and several found almandine and pyrope garnet! Pyrope garnet is a
tracer mineral used to find diamond deposits! So, somewhere upstream
(or up-slope) there is an eroding diamond pipe leaking pyrope garnets into
the creek. In addition, many people discovered why it takes a strong back
to pan for gold.
Years ago, I met two prospectors from Lander Wyoming who were working Smith Gulch at South Pass while I was mapping the greenstone belt and old mining districts, and they were recovering about 20 ounces of gold per week (Hausel, 1991). At 1600/ounce, that's only about 32,000 per week. Not bad for two guys.

Often we get used to seeing gold pans filled with gold - this does not really happen in real life; so when we see gold filled pans, remember, the gold was found with some other equipment and placed in the pan for a photo opt.

To assist you in your prospecting, I have several publications that are available for free download on my website.

Panning is an easy process - it just takes a little confidence and a couple of pans full of sand and mud, and soon you will be an expert. Gold has a very high specific gravity (15 to 19.3) which means you are going to have to make a serious effort to wash gold out of your pan. So put a little effort into your panning. If you are ending up with a tablespoon or two of what are known as black sands (mostly magnetite with a few other minerals such as ilmenite, zircon, etc), those have specific gravities of around 4 to 5. Thus gold is going to be 3 to 4 times heavier than those black sands.

Stamp mill at Goldfields, Arizona
While panning for diamonds in California, we recovered a gemstone known as benitoite near Poker Flat and chromian diopside from serpentinites in northern California (Hausel, 1996). In Wyoming, we recovered many gem-quality garnets, some diamonds, and numerous sapphires and rubies from our pan concentrates and found dozens of localities where gold had not been reported before (one was the Laramie City landfill!) (Hausel and others, 1994). In several samples collected in the Laramie Mountains near Vedauwoo, we recovered fluorite (easy to recognize in black sands as it is purple in this area and crushes easily) and many samples with chromian diopside and pyrope garnet in the vicinity of Eagle Rock. This suggests there are undiscovered diamond pipes! While searching for evidence of diamond pipes, we found a distinct, but very small, structurally-controlled vegetation anomaly (41o17'39.96"N; 105o22'46.95"W) along the edge of Eagle Rock. This same area has several beaver ponds to the northwest, any of which could be hiding a diamond pipe.

Not too far from Eagle Rock, we identified other possible diamond pipes that remain a mystery. These included what I originally called the Bowling Pin Anomaly (41o11'15.39"N; 105o19'34.67"W), a circular depression with carbonate in soils that had a couple of bowling pins in the depression when I first visited it several years ago. The entire area has many such anomalies including the HJ17 depression (41o12'01.92"N; 105o19'10.46"W).  Further south (actually just south of the interstate) I also identified 42 highly suspicious cryptovolcanic structures of which anyone of them could be a kimberlite (diamond) pipe. All of these anomalies remain untested due to various access problems.

Arrastra gold concentrator. This was a very primitive grinder with large rocks
attached to a pivot at the center. A mule would walk around in circles pulling
a lever that would continue to drag the boulders over a trough where gold-
bearing quartz would be placed to be crushed.
Other minerals of interest that I found while panning included a lot of white material that was impossible to pan out. It was too heavy! So I stuck it under a black light and with short wave ultraviolet light, it exhibited strong blue fluorescence - it was scheelite (a tungsten ore)! This was recovered from samples (along with some gem-quality iolite) near the old strong mine along the 9th street road in the Laramie Mountains.

And what else did I find in my panned samples - at one location in extreme northwestern Colorado, I recovered 4 diamonds, 17 rubies and 24 pyrope garnets while dry panning. Wow, what a find!  Actually, this was the site of the historical 1872 diamond hoax fraud which occurred near what is now called Diamond Peak (Hausel and Stahl, 1995). This great diamond hoax was amazing as it was an outcrop that was salted in 1871 and 1872 and the prospectors scammed some US Senators (first time in history that scam artists scammed scam artists).

A primitive roller mill displayed at the Douglas Museum, Jerome, Arizona.
Eric Hausel stands adjacent to the mill.
Well, got to go, I hear my wife yelling at me. Until next time, happy prospecting from the GemHunter. You can also follow some of my thoughts on Facebook. And if you are interested in breaking rocks - and what rock hound isn't - you can follow me on my other Facebook pages at Arizona and International.

References Cited

Hausel, W.D., 1991, Economic geology of the South Pass granite-greenstone belt, Wind River Mountains, western Wyoming: Geological Survey of Wyoming Report of Investigations 44, 129 p.

Hausel, W.D., 1996, Pacific Coast diamonds-an unconventional source terrane in Coyner, A.R., and Fahey, P.L., eds., Geology and ore deposits of the American Cordillera, Geological Society of Nevada Symposium Proceedings, Reno/Sparks, Nevada, p. 925-934.
Hausel, W.D., and Stahl, S., 1995, The great diamond hoax of 1872: Wyoming Geological Association Resources of Southwestern Wyoming Guidebook, p. 13-27.
Hausel, W.D., Marlatt, G.G., Nielsen, E.L., and Gregory, R.W., 1994, Study of metals and precious stones in southern Wyoming: Geological Survey of Wyoming Open File Report 94-2, 61 p.

Gold from Douglas Creek Wyoming. Photo shows gold recovered with the black sands removed (the penny is just used for scale). To remove black sands, simply wait until your panned concentrates are dry. Get a large and strong magnet, cover it with a paper towel and slowly sweep over the concentrates - whamo - nearly all of the black sands will be removed. What you have left is a little gold, garnets, mica and if you look close, you may even find diamond indicator minerals such as pyrope garnet, chromian diopside, picroilmenite, chromite and/or diamond. Diamond has a specific gravity of 3.5 and will often end up in the black sand concentrates. Much of the lighter colored material will be removed during panning: most of which will be quartz with a little feldspar. Quartz has a specific gravity of only 2.7.

Mining on Douglas Creek using a long tom and a
dredge on a rotating platform with shovel.

Gold nuggets in gold pan. The nuggets from Julian
Creek were recovered using a sluice and long tom
and not recovered in the pan.

Gold mined from Smith Gulch at South Pass using a backhoe and trommel.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Some of my Favorite Gold and Base Metal Prospects

Miners Delight mine, South Pass, Wyoming
Underground in the Carissa mine, South Pass, WY
Last night I was thinking about all of the gold, platinum-group metal, base and precious stone deposits I've looked at or studied. If one were rich and could get some senators in their pocket, they might be able to make a few mines. Anyway, these are my choices for some good properties.

1. Donlin Creek, AK
2. Rattlesnake Hills (Sandy Mountain), WY
3. Carissa, WY
4. Mexican Hat, AZ
5. Gold Coin, AZ
6. Lost Basin, AZ
7. Vulture Mine, AZ
8. Kurtz-Chatterton, WY
9. Bear Lodge, WY
10. Julian Creek, AK
11. Wolf, WY
12. Drum Mountains, UT
Goldfields, Arizona
13. Miners Delight, WY
14. Mineral Hill, WY
15. South Pass City-Atlantic City-Miners Delight shear complex, WY
16. Penn Mine Complex and altered zone, Seminoe Mountains, WY
17. Copper King, WY
18. Ferris-Haggarty, WY
19. Bannack, MT (and dozens of other gold properties in Montana)
20. Alder Gulch, MT
21. Confederate Gulch, MT
22. Whitehall, MT
23. Zortman, MT
24. Kendall, MT
25. Bear Lodge, WY (Au, REE, Th)
26. Puzzler Hill, WY (Au, Cu, Pt, Pd, Ag)
27. Bald Mountain Porphyry, Kirwin WY (Cu, Ag, Au, Pb, Zn)
28. The entire withdrawn Absaroka Volcanic Range, WY, MT (Au, Ag, Cu, Zn, Pb, W, Ti) (this range has $hundreds of billions in resources, reserves and deposits waiting to be found. But the USFS piecemeal withdrew the entire mountain range over the years).
29. Grizzly Creek colored gemstone deposit, WY (iolite, kyanite, ruby, sapphire).
30. Sherman Mountain colored gemstone deposit, WY (iolite, labradorite)
31. Colorado-Montana-Wyoming diamond province (diamond and other gems).
32. Tabor Grand Mine, WY
33. Duncan Mine, WY
34. Stockwork complex south of Sandy Mountain, Rattlesnake Hills, WY
35. Alkalic intrusive stocks in the Rattlesnake Hills, WY
36. Leucite Hills, WY (diamonds)
37. Copper Creek district, AZ (this district appears to have very high potential, but the US Government allows illegals to run freely through nearby federal parks closed to US citizens, makes it very difficult and dangerous to prospect.

Underground at the Mary Ellen mine, South Pass, Wyoming. Note the faulted
gold-bearing quartz vein in metatonalite.

Underground at Superior Arizona

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

GOLD & DIAMOND PROSPECTING - Free downloadable publications.

Coffee before rock hunting - sketch by the Gemhunter
Free Down loadable Publications to help you prospect (if you have problems down-loading these, please look at our website where we have these and others attached as pdf down-loadable documents.








BIG CREEK PEGMATITE (area for rare earths, copper and gold)



ECONOMIC GEOLOGY of the COPPER MOUNTAIN district (gold, copper, gemstones). This would be a good place to prospect for aluminum-rich gems such as ruby, sapphire, iolite, kyanite, etc).

TITANIFEROUS MAGNETITE DEPOSITS (this is a very interesting area that likely has enormous resources of titanium and vanadium - it is also located near some very large labradorite and iolite gemstone deposits.
Paleoplacer gold. This is a stream deposit that has solidified over time. To mine this, one would have to blast. The largest gold deposit in the world is located at the Witwatersrand, South Africa and is in a paleoplacer

FIELD GUIDE TO THE SEMINOE MOUNTAINS (this area has significant gold and iron resources and likely has some nice gold in DeWeese Creek. We also identified a large paleoplacer gold deposit along the northern flank of the range near the Miracle Mile as well as evidence for a very rich diamond deposit) .

Underground in the Comstock mine, Sketch by the

Gold Mining Challenges

Shorty (Sketch by the author).
Government may or may not grant permits to explore or mine, water permits, drilling permits, etc. This is their privilege (at least this is what they will tell you) and we have little recourse unless you have a relative in the Senate or a herd of lawyers to milk your bank account dry. Permits can cost a fortune and take years to obtain (if at all).

A friend of mine and his family were granted a small mining permit on an old gold mine at South Pass that already existed and he even decided to avoid using any chemicals just so he could get a permit in a relatively short time - it took 11 years along with bankruptcy. The DEQ rangers in charge of this permit were not competent (they actually called me to ask about the chemicals they detected in the area - arsenic and carbon: arsenic is natural in this environment as a sulfide and carbon proved there was life on earth).

When I ran exploration in the US for diamonds for an Aussie company, we applied for permits to drill 150 feet deep to test a structure for kimberlite (and hopefully for diamonds). It took nearly 5 months to get the permits, but we had to get permits from Larimer County, Colorado State DEQ and the US Forest Service just to drill one shallow hole. Then the permit was delayed again while our company had to wait more than a week for a forest ranger to drive out to the field to inspect the site.

Obamacare is nothing new - miners of the 19th had an equivalent
they circulated in mines.
One property we leased to put into production had an active stream adjacent to the property and also had water in shear zones (faults) associated with our diamond-bearing kimberlites. Our plan was to build a small mill on the property to mine the diamond ore in Colorado. The state and county (even though they were nearly bankrupt) would not allow us to touch any of the water nor build a mill on the property. So we finally found a permitted sand and gravel quarry miles away to haul ore from the kimberlite to the gravel pit (although this would have been very costly). Next, the county told us they would not grant us a permit to use haul trucks as they did not want us to kick up dirt in the area.

I've been asked many times why did I not claim and develop many of the gold and gemstone deposits I found over the years. The answer is easy.

(1) It was considered unethical for me to claim anything I found or anyone else found while I worked at the Wyoming Geological Survey. However, any politician, any University of Wyoming faculty or staff, or any other state employee could file mining claims. I was the only person (besides another geologist - Ray Harris- who lost his life while working at the WGS) in the entire state who could not file a mining claim. But it was fine with me as I loved to search for new mineral deposits and publish reports and maps.

(2) I learned years ago that it required a fortune to put anything in production. Here are some examples:

Note the quartz veins in the back (roof) of the mine.
After I discovered gold in the Rattlesnake Hills, I figured it would be a  year or so before companies began to explore this region and hopefully outline a minable gold deposit in this favorable terrain. Commercial amounts of gold have now been established in this mining district. Yet it has been more than 30 years and there is still no mine in the Rattlesnake Hills. Even so, there is no question that the major gold deposit that has been outlined at Sandy Mountain, is similar to Cripple Creek, Colorado. Some drill intercepts by Canyon Resources, Newmont Gold and more recently by Evolving Gold have shown considerable gold at depth. The geology of this district is extraordinary and amazing that it sat there until I discovered gold in several types of deposits in 1982. It is a greenstone belt. Greenstone belts are terrains of old Precambrian rocks (former volcanic and sedimentary rocks) that have above normal gold content. This belt was intruded by at least 42 Tertiary (volcanics) alkalic volcanoes and dikes that acted as heat engines to mobilize the gold and concentrate it near these volcanic rocks. It is highly likely that this district has many more hidden and blind gold deposits. In addition, there are also gold deposits in exhalites and in stockworks.

In Alaska, a group of geologists (including me) found one of the largest gold deposits in North America - a deposit that has 4 times as much gold mined in the Klondike. This was discovered in 1988, yet it is still not in production. Why? It is simple - the deposit is located in the middle of nowhere. Recently it was reported capitalization for this gold mine would be as much as $7 billion dollars! Seven billion dollars to build the mine, mill, infrastructure and pay for government permits.

Narrow veins everywhere (white). These and the wall rock inbetween should all be sampled for gold content.
Unfortunately, government agencies tend to think most people are morons and then try to protect our lands from us. I observed this while working in Wyoming for 3 decades as the US Forest Service and US Bureau of Land Management piecemeal withdrew public lands every time there was a possibility for a mine. In the 1970s and 1980s, the Feds began taking one of the largest base and precious metal rich regions in the US. The Absaroka Mountains east of Yellowstone were withdrawn, piece by piece to provide a giant protective boundary around Yellowstone National Park. This might be compared to withdrawing the solar system to protect the sun - it just doesn't make sense.

Yellowstone is one of the most caustic geological terrains in the world and why would such a geological environment that is larger than some states need to be protected by a border that is just as big?  The answer - it doesn't.

The Absaroka Mountains likely have many tens of billions in base and precious metals as it includes giant massive, replacement deposits, porphyry copper deposits similar to those mined in Arizona, veins, mineralized breccias and more. Yet over the years, this area was hacked to death by the Feds with wilderness, primitive, roadless, and other types of withdrawals.

I watched the same happen to the volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits in the Sierra Madre Mountains. Enormous resources of copper, zinc, gold, silver, platinum, palladium all withdrawn every time someone made a discovery. Potentially $billions of metals kept from the public.

Now its happening to South Pass. First, a million ounce+ gold deposit was withdrawn by the state. Now the rest of this gold-rich greenstone belt is being piecemeal withdrawn by the State and Federal government. 

Historically, Wyoming should have produced 50 to 200+ times as much gold as it did. But it hasn't. However, there are tremendous gold resources that are now tied up in withdrawals in the Absaroka Mountains, Yellowstone, Sierra Madre and South Pass.

These are just a few of the many problems related to prospecting and mining. The US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management have confiscated public lands. The only solution is to drastically cut government, eliminate the BLM and FS and only vote for politicians who agree to reverse these withdrawals. Our country has incredible natural resources under its public lands that are not open to the public. 

Sketch, by the author

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Need a Gold Mine?

HOW TO FIND GOLD? Our new book focuses on how to find and recognize gold and describes dozens of mines and occurrences. In fact, over 20 years, I visited nearly every mine in the book and both of us provide you with our insight as geologists.

GOLD, A Field Guide For Prospectors & Geologists (Wyoming & Adjacent Areas) is available at Amazon. It is rated 5 out of 5 stars!

Based on geology and historical mining, we feel that Wyoming has been overlooked for gold and that state should have 50 to 200 times more gold than has already been mined. This is based on geology and mining history.

So where is all of that gold hiding?

Few other geologists in history have been as successful at finding gold and other mineral deposits as the authors of a new gold book. But they are not keeping these deposits a secret. The book describes how to find gold, what valuable minerals are found with some gold deposits, and where to look for gold and tells the reader exactly where to find gold in their now book at AMAZON and Createspace entitled - GOLD Field Guide for Prospectors and Geologists

Since 1977, the senior author discovered hundreds of gold anomalies and was on the discovery team of one of the largest gold deposits in North America in the Kuskokwim Mountains of Alaska - a gold deposit estimated to have more than $65 billion in gold. He and 6 others were awarded the Prospectors and Developers'Association of Canada's Thayer Lindsley Award for a Major International Discovery for this discovery.

The author also discovered an entire gold district in the Rattlesnake Hills of Wyoming, which is now being touted as another Cripple Creek. For this and other work, he was presented the Wyoming Geological Association's Distinguished Service Award.

An outstanding communicator, he was presented the American Association of Petroleum Geologists President's Award, the Education Award by the National Rock Hound and Lapidary Hall of Fame, and noted as Distinguished Speaker by the University of Wyoming Department of Geology and Geophysics.

The co-author is a geologist and graduated with degrees from the University of Wyoming in geology, astronomy, astrophysics and physics, and has been rock hounding with his dad since his youth. The father and son authors write about their experience with gold exploration.

How does one find gold? Where can one find a gold deposit? How do you recognize gold? What other valuable minerals are likely to be found around gold deposits?

Thanks to Obamanomics that is out of control, gold prices continue to rise  - already more than $1625 an ounce. Thousands of gold deposits that have been ignored by geologists and prospectors in the past are likely commercial at today's price. Gold is the only commodity with real intrinsic value.

Over the past 3 decades a few hundred gold deposits and anomalies were discovered by the senior author and many were looked at by both authors (when gold was more than 4 times lower than it is today). In this book, the authors' tell you about hundreds of gold deposits and anomalies and tell you exactly where these deposits are located. It is now up to you to visit them and see if you can make a mine out of some of these.

The authors provide the reader with information on where to find gold, how to find gold and give four decades of combined experience to help the reader understand what to look for and how to read the geology and rock outcrops.

And take a look at my other book on Amazon - that tells you what minerals, rocks and gemstones are found in Wyoming and how to recognize them. This book is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Finding GOLD

Currently I am finishing my latest book on gold - the 4th draft is almost complete (April 14th, 2011) and when finished, it will be sent to the publisher (watch for it on Amazon). The Working title for this book is "GOLD, Field Guide for Prospectors and Geologists".

Remember, this is a working title and it could be modified by time it is release. The book will point you to hundreds of gold anomalies and deposits: many have been overlooked by past prospectors, miners and companies. As an example, in 1981 (and over the next few years), I was the first to recognize the Rattlesnake Hills gold district and its potential for significant gold and identified dozens of gold anomalies in the district. For the next several years, while working at the Wyoming Geological Survey, I told company after company and geologist after geologist and presented numerous talks and lectures on this district, but it took years before anyone really dug into its potential. Now, Evolving Gold has discovered a major Cripple Creek-type gold deposit at depth in this region following up on previous exploration by American Copper and Nickel, Canyon Resources, Bald Mountain Mining and Newmont Gold. Part of my job at the WGS was to conduct research on mineral deposits and then try to attract mining companies to the state to increase the State's revenue. A potential multi-million ounce gold deposit in the Rattlesnake Hills will provide many attractive high-paying jobs as well as severance taxes, employment taxes etc. So I did my job well.

At about the same time, I found more than a dozen samples of quartz with visible gold in the Seminoe Mountains and started a modern day gold rush. I also later recovered samples of metamorphosed basalt, komatiite and banded iron formation with anomalous gold in this very interesting greenstone belt. The geology of this belt is fascinating and very unusual and rare volcanic rocks that are found in some of the more important greenstone belts in Australia, southern Africa, Canada were identified in this are by Terry Klein of the USGS. The Seminoe Mountains contain a large altered zone with gold mineralization that surrounds the places were I found gold - yet this very good gold target remains essentially unexplored to this day!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Preparation For Gold Prospecting Trips

Claim post on Federal Minerals. I often get questions about claim staking,
but I'm as confused as you are. Please contact the US Bureau of Land
Management for information and hope they provide you with the correct
While completing my latest book with my son (who is also a geologist) I thought some information would be useful for those who are interested in learning some hints for prospecting. As a prospector, you need to learn about maps. Topographical maps provide information on geography and show locations of hills, valleys, mountains, roads, trails, creeks and towns. Geological maps show rock outcrops in relationship to the geography and likely will have locations of mines, prospect pits, trenches, tunnels, veins, faults, shear zones and folds. Geological maps also provide information on types of rocks.

Know what areas are open to mining claims. Much Federal land is open to claiming, but some is closed to claims. To find out what is open, visit you local BLM (Bureau of Land Management) office. State land cannot be claimed but often can be leased. Private land cannot be claimed unless it has Federal Minerals under the private surface. One problem with mining claims is that new claims are constantly filed, and at the end of the fiscal year, others are not renewed thus claim maps change. One way to access claim information that is mostly up-to-date is to access the BLM GeoCommunicator website (sorry, the BLM apparently decided to eliminate claim information on their website recently). This can also be found by doing a Google Search for "BLM GeoCommunicator". Just like the government, this site does not always work and it is also very slow.

Gold nugget found in Rock Creek, South Pass.
The BLM attempts to keep information up to date on this site, but like anything the government does, it is not always correct. So use it as a general guide for mining claims and claim activity then you need to follow up with research in the county courthouse. When prospecting in the field, watch for claim posts as these provide information on claim locations, although just because there are claim posts in the field, this does not mean that the claim is active or even legal.

Other sources that are excellent for prospecting include Google Earth and Virtual Earth. These provide aerial photos over areas of interest as does the GeoCommunicator. With the aerial photos and associated maps on these programs, relationships between geology, topography, mines, prospects, roads and drainages can be seen from the air prior to visiting a area of interest.

Schedule a trip to the Hidden Hand gold mine and vicinity in the Lewiston district of the South Pass greenstone belt in the southern Wind River Mountains in western Wyoming. The legal description of the Hidden Hand mine is SE section 5, T28N, R98W and map coordinates are 42o25’30’N; 108o32’39”W. Thus if you examine the Radium Springs quadrangle and find section 5 with the Hidden Hand mine labeled on the map, it is located in the southeast quarter of that section. Or by using the map coordinates, you should be able to zero right in on the mine with Google Earth.

Inside the power house at the Vulture Gold Mine ghost town, Arizona.
Topographical maps that cover this area include 2 degree sheets (scale 1:100,000) and 7.5 minute sheets. The 2 degree sheets are especially useful. These can be neatly folded and carried in a shirt pocket, glove compartment, or day pack. They represent general maps covering broad regions that are great for planning field excursions and contain information on roads and geography. For greater details, 7.5 minute quadrangles (scale 1:24,000) are invaluable. Topographical maps are available at some sporting goods stores, outfitter stores, the WGS, US Geological Survey (USGS), University of Wyoming Geology Library and local colleges and libraries. The WGS and USGS will also have geological reports and geological maps, many which can be ordered on-line or over the phone.

The WGS and USGS websites should have topographic map indexes. First find a 1:100,000 scale (2 degree) topographic index for the state. Now search the coordinates T28N (vertical scale) and R98W (horizontal scale). These coordinates intersect within the boundaries of the South Pass 1:100,000 scale topographical map. This is the first map you need for your excursion. Often there is a companion 1:100,000 scale BLM map on Land Status. The South Pass Land Status map will be useful as it gives general information on location of private, public and state lands. These Land Status maps also have a layer of topography sitting under the land status designations.

Next, examine the 1:24,000 scale (7.5 minute) topographic map index. The coordinates of the Hidden Hand mine places it within the Radium Springs quadrangle near the top of the map. The map to the north is the Atlantic City map which may also be useful. Search for geological maps on the WGS website: geological maps provide important geological relationships associated with the mine, such as rock types, nearby structures such as faults, shear zones, folds. The necessary geological maps are found by searching the Map Series page on the website. This part of the WGS website is poorly organized, so you will need to dig through the list of maps. After digging, you will find a geological map of the Radium Springs quadrangle (Hausel, 1988e). Other geological maps in this area that will be of use sooner or later include Atlantic City (Hausel, 1989), Miners Delight (Hausel, 1992e) and South Pass City (Hausel, 2007). Next find the Report of Investigations page on the website. Search for Report of Investigations 44 (Hausel, 1991a). This report will be useful as it is a detailed discussion of the geology and gold at South Pass. Another report that will be useful when learning geology and rock types of the area is Reprint 49 (Hausel and Love, 1992). This will be found on the Reprint page on the WGS website. The reprint was put together for a past Wyoming Geological Association field trip guide and describes important rock outcrops and will lead you on a personal field trip through South Pass. One more page that might be of interest is the Bulletin page. This has a group of books that contain general information on mineral deposits statewide - Bulletin 68, 70, 71, and 72.

A 7.5 ounce nugget found in tributary of Rock Creek, WY

The Hidden Hand mine is located about 8 miles east, southeast of Atlantic City along the Lewiston road (also referred to as the Oregon trail road) south of both the Lewiston ghost town site and Strawberry Creek. The mine is on a patented claim. Patented claims are claims filed under the 1872 mining law that had enough value the government allowed the claimants to purchase the property at a fair market price. This was done in the 19th century to try to stimulate interest in mining and development of the West (something the government today no longer does - now they just discourage development and protect bugs, flowers and dirt). Today, it is impossible to patent claims. Although I never had access problems to this mine because it sits in the middle of BLM ground surrounded by vast, empty, wasteland, it could easily be blocked off. There is a very disturbing trend that non-mining people buy patented mining claims and then close it off because they feel they have something of value when they have little to nothing other than coyote pasture. This is what has happened to many of the diamond deposits in the State Line and Iron Mountain districts. If it isn't the democrats stealing our future, it's the government stealing our land. Have you seen what the legislature did to the Carissa mine? This once potentially productive gold mine (it likely has more than a million ounces of gold in the ground) is now Wyoming's version of Disneyland.

When this district was mapped (Hausel, 1986c) I stayed in a tent near Lewiston for much of one summer and did not see another person all summer. But that was 25 years ago. Maps that cover this area include the Radium Springs 7.5 minute (1:24,000 scale) topographic and geological maps.

Now if you examine Google Earth, you should see distinct foliation (closely spaced lines) in the Miners Delight Formation metagreywacke that trend to the northeast. The rocks in this area are folded, faulted and turned on end. Also noticeable is the alignment of the Burr Mine with the Hidden Hand mine and this trend parallels regional foliation. A nearly east-west to northeasterly trending line of vegetation is visible southwest of the Hidden Hand that represents a cross-cutting shear zone that intersects the primary shear at the Hidden Hand. There are several prospect pits and a number of backhoe trench scars (some remain open, others are reclaimed) cut perpendicular to the primary shear zone.

A portion of the Radium Springs Geological Map near the Hidden Hand mine by the author showing shear zones and mines in this part of the South Pass greenstone belt. Greenstone belts are famous for gold in veins and shear zones.

A few things to note on the map: (1) the mine is located at the intersection of a group of shear zones (wiggly lines). At least 5 shear zones (faults) are apparent in the field and on aerial photos. Because of this, the mine shaft sits in highly brecciated and incompetent rock. (2) The mines (black and white squares) and prospect pits (x’s) line up on the map and on aerial photos as these essentially follow the shear structures that are buried under a few inches of dirt. (3) The Hidden Hand shear zones are offset along faults (dark, solid bold lines) to the south (where they appear to terminate) and to the north at Strawberry Creek. (4) A few hundred feet of the shear structures continue under much younger rock and dirt labeled as Tu along the bank of Strawberry Creek. Thus there is likely some gold sitting under Tu. (5) Strawberry Creek and Burr Gulch likely accepted much of the eroded gold eroded during the past, thus downstream from these shear zones (to the east) would be a very good place to prospect for placer gold.
The shaft was sunk on a 10- to 30-foot-wide, N40oE-trending, 62oNW-dipping shear in chloritized, hematitic metagreywacke (the normally black rocks actually have a slight reddish to greenish hue due to rock alteration) The shaft was 110-feet deep and the shear was explored by at least 640 feet of drifts prior to 1926. Ore from the 30-foot level was reported to run as high as 75 opt Au (ounces per ton in gold). In 1916, about 1000 tons of ore with an average grade of 4 opt Au were reportedly stockpiled. Some specimen-grade material assayed 3,100 opt Au (since there are only 32,000 ounces in a ton, this indicates that this specimen contained 9.6% gold). I must point out that such high assays must be questioned and are suspect.

Samples of altered metagreywacke that I collected from the dump contained only trace gold (Hausel, 1989). This discrepancy suggests one of a two possibilities: (1) the reported assays were exaggerated or (2) that the property developed a reputation for producing excellent gold specimens that the mine dump was thoroughly picked over by collectors over the years. Little information about this district and mine has been published and the mine workings are inaccessible, thus it is difficult to provide much in the way of conclusions. In addition, the explored structure at the Hidden Hand mine exhibits considerable brittle deformation – something that is more typical of Laramide faulting (post gold mineralization) in this region.

When looking at the Hidden Hand or other prospects, mines and districts, try to learn as much as possible. Soon you will become an expert prospector. If a prospect has a vein, try following the vein on the surface: look for minerals that are described in the area. Try to visualize the vein in three-dimensions. What does the vein look like at depth, how far does it go into the earth: five feet, 500 feet or 5,000 feet? Does it pinch and swell at depth? Does it pinch to 1 inch, is it faulted at depth, does it swell to a giant vein? Of course you can’t be certain, but sometimes there are things around you that give you clues as to what might happen at depth. One minable gold vein in Yellowknife, Canada that I looked at several years ago was only 1 foot wide on the surface, but at 100 feet deep, it is 8 feet wide and rich in gold! What angle does the vein project downward into the earth?

Outcrop of the distinctly dipping Vulture vein.
Now it’s time to call on the wisdom of Albert Einstein because we need to take a trip back into geological time. If we could step into a time machine and go back about 50 million years, what would the vein and surrounding topography look like? How far in the air would the vein (and surrounding country rock) have projected before erosion leveled the terrain to its current level: 20 feet, 200 feet or 2000 feet? Where did all of the gold in the eroded quartz vein go? If the level of erosion was 2000 feet, there could be considerable gold in the nearby creeks, gulches and draws. Is the vein folded? Folds in quartz are often great places to look for gold enrichment known as ore shoots.

Limonite-stained gossan found in glory hole near the Vulture vein 
in Arizona.
As an example, look some photos I took of the Vulture gold mine in Arizona. The vein provides an excellent example of a dipping vein. The photo was taken along its strike (or trend) such that from the point the picture was taken, the vein continues perpendicular to the surface of the photo. Off in the distance is a wooden structure which represents part of the old headframe where a decline shaft was sunk along the vein. The dip of the vein or angle that it projects from the surface into the ground follows the flat surface along the left edge of the vein: here it dips about 40 degrees. But not only is the vein of possible interest. When you walk around this mine area, several things of interest pop up. To the right of the photo is a glory hole of altered rock that is gossaniferous and stained by tawny yellow to brown limonite that likely has some gold. This sits below the quartz vein. Sitting adjacent to this pit and on top of the rock unit is some eluvial and alluvial material that past gold miners thought might be of interest as they dug an adit into the material. In Arizona, there are lots of eluvial gold deposits that eroded from adjacent gold deposits (many are hidden today).  Also, by walking around the area, other things of interest include rehealed breccias (the angular rock fragments have been cemented together with silica rich material). These probably contain gold and in some of the rich porphyry copper districts in Arizona, similar breccia pipes are good indicators of mineralization at depth. And the possibility of older rocks in the Vulture area containing structurally controlled gold may be worth checking because the old vulture mill sits on old, folded schist and gneiss.

Adit (tunnel) dug into eluvial and alluvial material. Many gold deposits in Arizona and some in Wyoming were found in alluvial and eluvial material, but few of these were ever explored at depth.
Quartz breccia on the Vulture property is worth looking at as many breccias in Arizona (as well as elsewhere) provide a clue to former high-pressure mineralized and gaseous fluids at depth that erupted because of the gas under pressure.
Folded schist that forms the foundation of the Vulture mill.