Sunday, October 13, 2013

Wyoming Gold

Panning for gold & diamonds in Wyoming

Gold References

Albert, K.G.,1986, "Reported gold concentrations in sediment samples from U.S. Department of Energy's National Uranium Resource Evaluation (NURE) reports," Geological Survey of Wyoming, Open File Report 86-4, scale 1:1,000,000.
Allen, F.S.,1942, "Letter to the Board of Directors of the Polaris Mining Company," Geological Survey of Wyoming, mineral files (unpublished), 3p.
Allsman, P.T., Majors, F.H., Mahoney, S.R., and Young,W.A.,1949, "Investigation of Sublette Ridge vanadium deposits, Lincoln County, Wyoming," U.S. Bureau of Mines, Report of Investigations 4476, 8p.
Antweiler, J.C., and Love, J.D.,1967, "Gold-bearing sedimentary rocks in northwest Wyoming-A preliminary report," U.S. Geological Survey, Circular 541, 12p.
Antweiler, J.C., Love, J.D., Mosier, E.L., and Campbell, W.L.,1980, "Oligocene gold-bearing conglomerate, southeast margin of Wind River Mountains, Wyoming," Wyoming Geological Association, 32nd Annual Field Conference Guidebook., p.223-237.
Ball, S.H., 1907, "Copper deposits of the Hartville uplift, Wyoming," U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 315-B, p. 93-107.
Bayley, R.W.,1968, "Ore deposits of the Atlantic City district, Fremont County, Wyoming," in J.D. Ridge (ed), Ore Deposits of the United States, 1933-1967, AIME, New York, N.Y, p. 589-604.
Bayley, R.W., and James, H.L.,1973, "Precambrian iron-formations of the United States," Economic Geology, v. 68, p. 934-959.
Beeler, H.C.,1905, "Mining in the Grand Encampment copper district, Carbon and Albany Counties, Wyoming," Office of the State Geologist, misc. rept., Cheyenne, 32p.
Beeler, H.C.,1908, "A brief review on the South Pass gold district, Fremont County, Wyoming," Office of the State Geologist, misc. rept., Cheyenne, 23p.
Boberg, W.W.,1986, "Lake Alice copper district, Lincoln County, Wyoming," in S. Roberts (ed), Metallic and Nonmetallic Deposits of Wyoming and Adjacent Areas, Geological Survey of Wyoming, Public Information Circular 25, p.54-55.
Borrowman, S.R., and Rosenbaum, J.B.,1962, "Recovery of thorium from a Wyoming ore," U.S. Bureau of Mines, Report of Investigations 5917, 8p.
Bow, C.S.,1986, "Structural and lithologic controls on Archean greywacke-hosted gold mineralization within the Sweetwater district, Wyoming, USA," in  Turbidite-Hosted Gold Deposits, Geological Association of Canada, Spec. Pap. 32, p.107-118.
Condie, K.C., 1976, "The Wyoming Province in the western United States," in B.F. Windley (ed), The Early History of the Earth, John Wiley & Sons, New York, p.499-510.
Conoco Minerals Company,1982, "Summary report on the Huston and Fletcher Parks massive sulfide deposits,"  Geological Survey of Wyoming, mineral files, 82p.
Currey, D.R.,1965, "The Keystone gold-copper prospect area, Albany County, Wyoming," Geological Survey of Wyoming, Preliminary Report 3, 12p.
Darton, N.H.,1906, "Mineral resources of the Bighorn Mountain region," U.S. Geological Survey, Bulletin 285, p.303-310.
deQuadros, A.M.,1989, "Report on the diamond drill program July-August 1989 at the Carissa mine property, South Pass City, Fremont County, Wyoming, for Consolidated McKinney Resources Ltd.," Vancouver, B.C.: (unpublished report), 76 p., plus drill logs and assays.
Dersch, J.S., 1990, "Snowy Range withdrawal," U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Mineral Report WYW-115104, 19p.
Harrer, C.M., 1966, "Wyoming iron-ore deposits," U.S. Bureau of Mines, Information Circular 8315, 114p.
Hausel, W.D.,1982, "General geologic setting and mineralization of the porphyry copper deposits, Absaroka volcanic plateau, Wyoming," Wyoming Geological Association, 33rd Annual Field Conference Guidebook, p.297-313.
Hausel, W.D.,1986, "Mineral deposits of the Encampment mining district, Sierra Madre, Wyoming-Colorado," Geological Survey of Wyoming, Report of Investigations 37, 31p.
Hausel, W.D., 1987, "Structural control of Archean gold mineralization within the South Pass greenstone terrain, Wyoming (USA)," in  R.W. Hurst, T.E. Davis, and S.S. Augustithis (eds), The Practical Applications of Trace Elements And Isotopes to Mineral Resource Evaluation, Theophrastus Publications, Athens, Greece, p.199-216.
Hausel, W.D.,1989a, "The Geology of Wyoming's Precious Metal Lode and Placer Deposits," Geological Survey of Wyoming, Bulletin 68, 248p.
Hausel, W.D.,1989b, "Precambrian geology of the Seminoe gold district, Bradley Peak Quadrangle, Carbon County, Wyoming," Geological Survey of Wyoming, Open File Report 89-10, scale 1:24,000.
Hausel, W.D., 1990a, "Geologic map of the South Pass granite-greenstone belt, southern Wind River Mountains, Wyoming," Geological Survey of Wyoming, Report of Investigations 44, scale 1: 48,000.
Hausel, W.D., 1990b, "Au, Ag, Cu, Zn, Pb, Cr, and Ni anomalies from rock samples from Bradley Peak, Seminoe Mountains," Geological Survey of Wyoming, Mineral Report 90-2 (unpublished), 10 p.
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,  in press.
Hausel, W.D., 2009, Gems, Minerals and Rocks of Wyoming. A Guide for Rock Hounds, Prospectors & Collectors. Booksurge, 175 p.
Hausel, W.D., Graff, P.J., and Albert, K.G.,1985, "Economic geology of the Copper Mountain supracrustal belt, Owl Creek Mountains, Fremont County, Wyoming," Geological Survey of Wyoming, Report of Investigations 28, 33p
Hausel, W.D., and Hausel, E.J., 2011, Gold – Field Guide for Prospectors and Geologists (Wyoming and Adjacent Areas). Booksurge, 365 p.
Hausel, W.D., and Hull, J.M., 1990, "Guide to gold mineralization and Archean geology of the South Pass greenstone belt, Wind River Range, Wyoming," in  Sheila Roberts (ed), Geologic Field Tours of Western Wyoming, and Parts of Adjacent Idaho, Montana, and Utah: Geological Survey of Wyoming, Public Information Circular 29, p. 178-191.
Houston, R.S., 1983, "Wyoming Precambrian Province-example of the evolution of mineral deposits through time?", in  Sheila Roberts, (ed), Metallic and Nonmetallic deposits of Wyoming and Adjacent Areas, 1983 Conference Proceedings: Geological Survey of Wyoming, Public Information Circular 25, p.1-12.
Houston, R.S., and Karlstrom, K.E.,1979, "Uranium-bearing quartz pebble conglomerates-exploration model and United States resource potential," U.S. Department of Energy, Open File Report GJBX-1(80),510p.
Karlstrom, K.E., Houston, R.S., Flurkey, A.J., Coolidge, C.M., Kratochvil, A.L., and Sever, C.K.,1981, "Volume 1, A summary of the geology and uranium potential of Precambrian conglomerates in southeastern Wyoming," U.S. Department of Energy, Open File Report GJBX-139(81), 541p.
Kerr McGee Corporation, 1988, "Letter and report to W. D. Hausel from W.P. Leedy on the discovery of umangite," Geological Survey of Wyoming, mineral files, 7p.
King, J.K.,and Harris, R.E.,1987, "Rare earth elements and yttrium in Wyoming," Geological Survey of Wyoming, Open File Report 87-8, 43p.
Klein, T.L.,1974, "Geology and mineral resources of the Silver Crown district, Laramie County, Wyoming," Geological Survey of Wyoming, Preliminary Report 14, 27p.
Klein, T.L.,1981, "The geology and geochemistry of the sulfide deposits of the Seminoe district, Carbon County, Wyoming," Ph.D. thesis, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, 232p.
Loose, S.A., and Boberg, W.W.,1987, "Sedimentary facies control on mineralization at the Lake Alice district in the Wyoming Overthrust Belt," Wyoming Geological Association, 38th Annual Field Conference Guidebook, p.309-327.
Loucks, R.R.,1976, "Platinum-gold-copper mineralization, central Medicine Bow Mountains, Wyoming," M.S.thesis, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, 290p.
Love, J.D.,1984, "Gold, silver, and other selected trace elements in the Phosphoria Formation of western Wyoming," Wyoming Geological Association, 35th Annual Field Conference Guidebook, p.379-391.
Love, J.D., and Antweiler, J.C.,1973, "Copper, silver and zinc in the Nugget Sandstone, western Wyoming," Wyoming Geological Association, 25th Annual Field Conference Guidebook, p.139-147.
Love, J.D., Antweiler, J.C., and Mosier, E.L.,1978, "A new look at the origin and volume of the Dickie Springs-Oregon Gulch placer gold at the south end of the Wind River Mountains," Wyoming Geological Association, 30th Annual Field Conference Guidebook, p.379-391.
McCallum, M.E., and Orback, C.J.,1968, "The New Rambler copper-gold-platinum district, Albany and Carbon Counties, Wyoming," Geological Survey of Wyoming, Preliminary Report 8, 12p.
McKinney, A.A., and Horst, H.W.,1953, "Deadwood conglomerate monazite deposit, Bald Mountain area, Sheridan and Big Horn Counties, Wyoming," U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, RME-3128, 40p.
Nevin, A.E.,1973, "Interim report, Copper King property, Laramie County, Wyoming," Henrietta Mines Ltd. company report: Geological Survey of Wyoming, mineral files (unpublished), 16p.
Schrader, F.C.,1913, "Gold placers on Wind and Bighorn Rivers, Wyoming," U.S. Geological Survey, Bulletin 580, p.127-143.
Snyder, G.L., Hausel, W.D., Klein, T.L., Houston, R.S., and Graff, P.J.,1989, "Precambrian rocks and mineralization, southern Wyoming Province," 28th International Geological Congress, Field Trip Guidebook T332, 48p.
Spencer, A.C.,1904, "Copper deposits of the Encampment district, Wyoming," U.S. Geological Survey, Professional Paper 25, 107p.
Spry, P.G., and McGowan, K.I.,1989, "Origin of Archean lode gold mineralization at Atlantic City-South Pass, Wyoming: fluid inclusion stable isotope study," 28th International Geological Congress, Abstracts, v.3. p.3-163.
Staatz, M.H.,1983, "Geology and descriptions of thorium and rare earth deposits in the southern Bear Lodge Mountains, northeastern Wyoming," U.S. Geological Survey, Professional Paper 1049-D, 52p.
Stockwatch, 1987, "Exploration update on Caledonia Resources Ltd.," September, 1987, Canjex Publishing, Ltd., Vancouver, B.C., p.9
Thurston, P.B.,1986, "Geochemistry and provenance of Archean metasedimentary rocks in the southwestern Beartooth Mountains: M.S. Thesis, Montana State University, Bozeman, 74p.
Welch, C.M.,1974, "A preliminary report on the geology of the Mineral Hill area, Crook County, Wyoming," M.S. thesis, South Dakota School of Mines, Rapid City, 83p.
Wilmarth, V.R., and Johnson, D.H.,1954, "Uranophane at Silver Cliff mine, Lusk, Wyoming," U.S. Geological Survey, Bulletin 1009-A, 12p.
Wilson, W.H., undated, "Muskrat Creek", Geological Survey of Wyoming,  mineral files (unpublished), 6p.
Wilson, W.H.,1951, "A monazite deposit in the Big Horn Mountains, Sheridan and Big Horn Counties, Wyoming," Geological Survey of Wyoming, Mineral Report 51-3 (unpublished), 3p.
Woodfill, R.D.,1987, "Hartville uplift, southeastern Wyoming", unpublished consultant's report, Geological Survey of Wyoming, mineral files, 20p.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Hidden Gold Deposits in Wyoming

Wyoming is sitting on tens of billions of dollars in gold! So why would the Gemstone State* sit on so much gold and do nothing about it? Is it because Mother Nature is not willing to give up her secrets easily? The answer is yes, but government agencies have also made a living off of withdrawing potentially productive land that contains a mountain of gold and base metals.

The North American Craton showing the very old Archean (Archon) cores (rocks greater than 2.5 billion years in age) with younger Proterozoic Provinces (rocks greater than 600 million years and less than 2.5 billion years). The Archon and Proton Provinces form the continental craton.
When geologists look for places to explore for gold, one of the first places we look are cratons. The word craton is derived from the Greek word kratos, meaning ‘strength’. And for those of you who are not familiar with the term; cratons are the very old, stabilized cores (or foundations) of the earth's continents. Where these cores are exposed, they contain old, hard, schists, gneisses, and granitic rocks that geologists refer to as ‘hard rocks’ as compared to younger, stratified sedimentary ‘soft rocks’ that often cover large portions of the cratons and lap onto the margins of the cratons extending from these margins to the sea. The old Continental cores are formed of rocks that yield age dates of more than 600 million years old, and many are rich in golddiamonds, rubies, sapphires and other gemstones as well as rare metals such as chromium, titanium, nickel, copper and platinum group metals.  

The Duncan gold mine at South Pass.
Some of the great gold mines (and diamond mines for that matter) are found in cratons. In Western Australia, the Super Pit at Kalgoorlie is located withiin the Yilgarn Craton. The giant open pit gold mine is so large that it can be seen from space and it produces 850,000 ounces of gold each year (more than twice the amount of gold mined in Wyoming's entire history). Another great gold mine was the Homestake mine in South Dakota. This mine produced 40 million ounces of gold over 123 years before shutting down in 2001. The Homestake sits on the edge of the Wyoming Craton. These are just two of many examples of major gold mines in cratons around the world. So based on geology, Wyoming’s portion of the craton should have considerable gold and should at least be comparable to Montana and South Dakota.

If we compare total historical gold production in Wyoming to the surrounding states, it becomes apparent Wyoming is a very significant anomaly! In the past, Wyoming produced only 348,000 ounces of gold according to Hausel (1980, 1989, 1997), and Hausel and Hausel (2011). This is very minor compared to all other western States. Yet, all of Wyoming is underlain by a Craton, and the state contains many favorable geological terrains including Archean greenstone belts (greater than 2.5 billion year old volcanic-sedimentary basins that are well-known for containing significant amounts of gold elsewhere in the world), Tertiary-Quaternary volcanic rocks (such as Yellowstone, the Absaroka Mountains, Mineral Hill, Bear Lodge Mountains, Rattlesnake Hills) and Proterozoic (600 million years old to 2.5 billion years old) rocks. Based on geology alone, Wyoming should have produced 100 to 500 times more gold than it has.

The Carissa Gold mine, South Pass.
For instance, South Dakota produced 145 times more gold than Wyoming; Montana produced 47 times more gold than Wyoming and both of these states are partially underlain by the same craton as Wyoming  (Hausel, 2008).

Colorado produced 144 times as much gold as Wyoming, Utah produced 85 times more gold, Arizona 46 times more gold, California 340 times more gold, Alaska 115 times more gold, and Nevada produced 437 times more gold than Wyoming

So where is all of that Wyoming gold hiding? Well, I will tell you in my future blogs and newsletters. Just follow my website, some of my gold blogs and my facebook page to learn more about gold in Wyoming, diamonds, and other treasures that prospectors search for.

References 
Hausel, W.D., 1980, Gold districts of Wyoming: Geological Survey of Wyoming Report of Investigations 23, 71 p.
Hausel, W.D., 1989, The geology of Wyoming's precious metal lode and placer deposits: Geological Survey of Wyoming Bulletin 68, 248 p.
Hausel, W.D., 1997, The geology of Wyoming's copper, lead, zinc, molybdenum, and associated metal deposits in Wyoming: Geological Survey of Wyoming Bulletin 70, 224 p.
Hausel, W.D., 2008, Significant gold mineralization-Wyoming examples in Woods, A., and Lawlor, J., eds., Topics of Wyoming Geology, Wyoming Geological Association Guidebook, p. 59-76. 
Hausel, W.D., and Hausel, E.J., 2011, Gold – Field Guide for Prospectors and Geologists (Wyoming and Adjacent Areas). Booksurge, 365 p.

*In many circles, Wyoming is known as the Cowboy State, while Idaho is referred to as the Gem State. However, over a period of three decades (1975-2006), dozens and dozens of gemstones, diamonds and gold deposits were discovered in Wyoming. Many were found where others had looked, some were located where no one had looked, others were sitting adjacent to highways and interstates and some were found along 4-wheel drive roads. The discoveries were so numerous and of such a variety, that many people now refer to Wyoming the ‘Gemstone State’, particularly since the state has a much greater variety of gems than any other state in the US.

The author, discovers another mineral deposit in 2004 and ends up on the cover of ICMJ's Prospecting and Mining Journal: a few hundred mineral deposits were found in Wyoming from 1975 to 2006. The discoveries included a Cripple Creek-like gold district in Wyoming known as the Rattlesnake Hills greenstone belt. Because of these discoveries, publications, geological mapping and more, the Wyoming Geological Survey was known to be one of the top three state geological surveys in the country up until 2004, yet it was the smallest geological survey for many years. In 2004, things really started to go wrong and within 3 years, essentially half of the staff and advisory board resigned, transferred, retired or died. Some who lived through this time resigned for ethical reasons. All of this occurred under the watchful eye of a Democrat Governor.  And there has never been any investigations as to what went wrong.





One of several free field trips and talks presented by the author to help educate the public in mineral deposits and prospecting.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Wyoming Geologists Discover Giant Gold Deposit

Three Wyoming geologists recounted the discovery of a one of the largest  gold deposits ever found in southwestern Alaska in the late 1980s following presentation of the Thayer Lindsley Award of Economic Geology for a major international discovery. Richard Garnett, a member of the discovery team, accepted the award for the group at the PDAC in Toronto Canada in 2009, nearly three decades after the discovery.

In the late 1980s, WestGold began exploration for commercial gold deposits in Alaska when they hired three geologists from Wyoming - Mark A. Bronston, Paul J. Graff and W. Dan Hausel. All three were building reputations in exploration when they, with four others, found the largest gold deposit in North America in the 20th century! A deposit that contains more gold than mined from the great Homestake Mine in its 123-year mining history. 

Dr. Graff was already known for work on ancient Precambrian uranium and other metal deposits in the Sierra Madre Mountains, Dan Hausel would become the most productive geologist in the history of the Wyoming Geological Survey following hundreds of discoveries including a major gold district west of Casper, Wyoming that would literally change one's perspective of the mineral resources of the Cowboy state, and Mark Bronston ran much of the exploration operations for WestGold. Last reported, the 45 million ounces of gold had been identified at the future gold mine, which likely will increase as mining operation evolves. NovaGold recently reported the deposit contains 39 million ounces of drilled gold listed in the Indicated and Measured category along with an additional 6 million of Inferred ounces.

The three Wyoming geologists were awarded Economic Geology's most coveted award at the PDAC in Canada for discovery of the Donlin Creek gold deposit. NovaGold, which took over the project is currently filing for mine permits to develop what likely will be the largest gold mine in the world.

University of Wyoming alumnus Mark A. Bronston (BS, 1979) and Paul J. Graff (PhD, 1978), and Wyoming Geological Survey Economic Geologist W. Dan Hausel (University of Utah alumnus, BS, 1972; MS, 1974) discovered the Donlin Creek gold deposit in central Alaska in the late 1980’s working for WestGold, a subsidiary of Anglo-American and DeBeers. The deposit is worth more than $70 billion. Progress continues at the mine site in Alaska which is expected to develop into the largest gold mine in the world.