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Bucfucious

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#15 : August 01, 2013, 05:54:41 PM

There are a number of kimberlite pipes around but I've not the patience to search for tiny pieces of glass. I mostly pick up jade, jasper, agates, youngite, copper boulders, geodes, and various crystals.
: August 01, 2013, 05:56:47 PM Von Mises

Kelly Thomas

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#16 : August 01, 2013, 06:09:28 PM

Just curious since much of this is done in remote nearly inaccessible areas the property owners must be varied. Private, corporate, Fed owned properties? Cutting a deal for mining must be a huge pain in the ass, no?

Bucfucious

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#17 : August 02, 2013, 11:06:28 AM

You have to do your homework first. Start with the USGS maps, they'll give you a rough idea of the geology of the area. Next, hit the local library, they're a great source of info. It's common to find thesis work from geology students. They may be thirty or forty years old, but it doesn't matter, the geology hasn't changed. In the tiny local library here, I found a Masters thesis done by a student attending the University of Utah in 1976. That's a whole lot of legwork done for you. Of course, any geological surveys you find will use grid coordinates matching the USGS, so you have to have those maps.

Once you know the age, composition, and layout of local formations, you can target what you might expect to find and where you might find it. A check of the historical mine registry will tell you what others have found. For instance, if there's an abandoned tourmaline mine between layers of dolomite and precambrian schist, use your resources to determine other areas where this same boundary is exposed. This is your new target.

Now, it's time to visit the county courthouse. Cross reference your maps of where you want to go with their maps of who pays the property tax. Time for the "cold call." Just walk up and knock on the door. My usual pitch is that I'll pick up anything I find and show it to them. They'll usually let you keep it. I tell them about any indicators I see for commercially viable reserves. This is often copper. Copper oxidizes into many forms, most of them easily recognizable. Azurite and malachite for example. When you see these minerals, they have been exposed by erosion of the surrounding terrain or sloughed off from a higher elevation. Copper is close, because these deposits do not survive water transport very well. Sometimes, groundwater leaches out so much rust that there will be a mound of discolored earth above the deposit. Less obvious but still important are plant indicators. Most plants prefer a very specific environment, and some will only grow where there is mineral composition to the water that favors them.

Personally, I don't have much interest in metal mining, but I do know a jewelry company that pays extra for native Wyoming copper. Tell a land owner they have a metal deposit, hand them a number to call, and they are pretty much loving you. Usually let you take whatever you want. At any rate, they'll almost always let you look.

For military land, go to the local base and ask to talk to the duty officer. Things will have to go up the chain of command, and then if you do get permission, it will be to look but not to take anything. Tell them that, indeed, you are very happy to see them, and that is not a ruby in your pocket. BLM  land you can usually look at unless it's being leased to someone, but you're not supposed to take anything. Not even that big chunk of native silver. The one that's just laying there. Right out in the open. Calling out to you. Don't touch it.
: August 02, 2013, 11:15:27 AM Von Mises

Kelly Thomas

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#18 : August 05, 2013, 04:13:45 PM

For military land, go to the local base and ask to talk to the duty officer. Things will have to go up the chain of command, and then if you do get permission, it will be to look but not to take anything. Tell them that, indeed, you are very happy to see them, and that is not a ruby in your pocket. BLM  land you can usually look at unless it's being leased to someone, but you're not supposed to take anything. Not even that big chunk of native silver. The one that's just laying there. Right out in the open. Calling out to you. Don't touch it.

LOL. I hear you. Message received..

Sometimes I envy this kind of lifestyle and always admire those that are able to do it. It's the type of lifestyle I would have scoffed at when I was younger but now wonder how much I might have missed out on. I find myself attracted to TV shows depicting those living off the land. Mountain Men and Hillbilly Blood. That may not be you exactly but there has to a certain sense of self satisfaction derived through independence, initiative and self reliance. Especially in an unforgiving environment.
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