|Some years back. The author in his lab |
at the University of Wyoming
Found more gemstone deposits and previously unknown minerals in Wyoming, than any other person in history. More than anyone should have been able to do. But, I had developed some good prospecting models for finding gold and gemstone deposits - some worked, others didn't. Some methods were so simple - such as simply looking at the quality of the minerals - if they were translucent to transparent, or had interesting colors, they were unique? Sounds simple, but no one paid attention to mineral quality until after I began finding one deposit after another - some adjacent to highways and even along the interstate. The only other person to look for gem characteristics in minerals was Dr. J.D. Love of the US Geological Survey! Why? Well it likely goes back to education. In geology, we are not taught to look for gems - it's that simple. And instead of calling peridot "peridot", geologists call it "olivine".
Then there are gemologists - sure they can recognize gems, but they have no idea how to find them in the field and few have any idea what they look like in nature since they rarely see raw gemstones. So, the education system for geologists and gemologists has this one major flaw that worked in my favor. So, do you think universities bothered to correct this flaw? I offered to teach a class in prospecting for gemstones and gold and the Geology Department told me it would be a very popular class, but politics made it impossible! Politics!
|One of more than a thousand publications|
produced by the author
Three things I brought back from that conference - they have jack rabbits that are much taller with pockets, the people all speak funny, and the newly discovered diamond deposits were found in olivine lamproite - not kimberlite. And guess who had the largest lamproite field in North America? That's right - Wyoming! And as time progressed, it was another project I placed on my 'to do' list.
|One of my finest achievements - I nearly drank as much|
beer as half of the prospectors in the Atlantic City
Mercantile - and also published this book on South Pass
Then, I had another project, another, and another. I mapped the Seminoe Mountains greenstone belt north of Sinclair Wyoming, searching for gold and gemstones. The project was very positive - and at the end, I published several more papers on the area, stepped on a rattlesnake, learned I could jump 10 feet high without a pole-vault, and found some lapidary material in the banded iron formation, some fuchsitic quartzite, cuprite, malachite, chrysocolla, visible gold specimens at the Penn mines. Likely, the two most valuable discoveries were the occurrence of a potentially giant, Tertiary to Recent gold and pyrope garnet paleoplacer along the northern flank of the Seminoe Mountains. Actually, I did not discover gold in the paleoplacer. This was made by two wonderful people - Donna and Charlie Kortes! Yes, the Kortes Dam and everything else out there with the Kortes namesake, is named after Charlie and his family tree.
I still remember meeting them at the Sunday Morning mine. They wired together a couple of step ladders and lowered me into the mine. While I was exploring the extension of the mine tunnel, the thought occurred to me - "Hey, I don't even know these two. They could easily pull out the ladder and no one would find me for weeks". But, these two were absolutely wonderful, and they did let me out of the tunnel. Thank God!
Anyway, Charlie and Donna took me out near the Miracle Mile on the North Platte River which I wrote about in one of my Gemstone Books. We started dry panning some of the dirt from the paleoplacer and finished panning at the North Platte - it all contained a few colors. While panning, I was more impressed by all of the pyrope garnets I found. Later, I was able to get some of the garnets tested for chemistry, first at a lab in Russia due to my co-author (Dr. Ed Erlich) on a diamond book we wrote who had connections in Russia. Later, we also tested other pyrope garnets at the UW microprobe laboratory - every garnet tested (not many as I didn't have any budget to speak of), tested out to have the right combination of magnesium and chromian enrichment comparable to diamond inclusion garnets indicating that somewhere in that region, there are some diamond deposits to be found! So, when you are out in this paleoplacer searching for gold, there is a good chance you may pan out diamonds.
|After finding significant gold in the Rattlesnake|
Hills, I published the above book and several other
So, how did I find so many gold deposits in the Seminoe, South Pass, Rattlesnake Hills greenstone belts and other mining districts in Wyoming? It was easy. I found hundreds of gold anomalies by using the following prospecting. I went to places that had already been mined and prospected (with the exception of the Rattlesnake Hills - for some reason, it remained an unknown commodity, but the geology was super! A greenstone belt with rocks enriched in gold, and several alkalic volcanoes that intruded the greenstone belt providing heat engines and breccias to mobilize and concentrate the gold).
|Well, now you know why I don't smile for cameras - my old|
office with dozens of awards for my accomplishments.
|Putting together the final touches on my South Pass|