HARD ROCK & RESIDUAL MINERS EDITION
Over the last few months of “Where’s the Gold?”, I’ve been told that some of the editions were “too easy.” That said, let’s take your education up a notch or two. Let’s see how you do in locating the residual placer coming out of the lode material.
Just a refresher, the residual is the first placer deposit that breaks away from the lode. In this area there are five active lode mines within a stone’s throw of where this photo was taken.
A. Is an eroding bull quartz (white with very little to no mineralization) on the vertical.
B. Is a crushed slate, dirt and vegetated material, that is moving down the bedrock from the upper elevation.
C. Historically called “green stone” that contains only trace amounts of iron and other metallic minerals.
D. Is a green stone and quartz contact layer running on the horizontal plane through the area.
THERE IS ONE WORD THAT EXPLAINS ALL OF THIS AREA AND THE MATERIAL THAT IS BEING PROCESSED BY THE SURROUNDING MINES...
If you chose A, then you are using the tool that the old-timers used to locate an area. Surface bull quartz stands have been used in almost every mining state as locators, mainly because they are easy to see from a distance. Miners would head to these areas then use them as the jumping off spots to get on the right material that carried the gold.
If you chose B, you’re placer mining and this is all about the residual placer as it moves from the lode.
If you chose D, you fell into the mindset that all gold is associated with quartz material. The oldest saying about gold is that it is where you find it. I will assure that D is a spot that almost every miner looked at first then moved on.
If you chose C, you are a lode miner who understands the importance of research before boots on the ground. I said that there was one word that explains all of this area and that word is “historically.”
When this area was located in the early 1900s, the mining reports from the mining operations listed the green stone as the lode material with high values coming from all of the mines. Many of these mines are still in operation today, working the same material that first started the strikes.
As a modern placer miner there are a lot of great opportunities in these locations. All of the mines in the surrounding area were founded in the same way that most lode mines have been found since the beginning of mining — locate the placer and move up to the lode.
By the way, the green stone is geologically identified as amphibolite schist.
Kevin Hoagland is the Executive Director of Development at the Gold Prospectors Association of America and the Lost Dutchman’s Mining Association of America. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org