|Shorty (Sketch by the author).|
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.
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.|
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.|
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|