After finding gold at Bradley Peak in the Seminoes, a few years later I met a new friend - Dr. Terry Klein of the USGS. Over the years, our paths periodically intersected. Terry completed a PhD dissertation in the area and first recognized komatiite volcanics associated with this greenstone belt, as well as a broad zone of propylitic alteration surrounding the area where I found the gold specimens. This altered zone needed to be drilled and still to this day, needs to be drilled. Wyoming has a lot of gold deposits, but for some reason, the State ignores gold - even though Wyoming's geology suggests 100 to 500 times more gold should have been found in the Cowboy State. Where is all of that gold hiding?
|Normally, a sample like this would get one excited. |
It is massive cuprite with
some malachite and tenorite (copper ore).
But I think I got the entire Sunday
Morning mine ore body in this one specimen.
But on one day, I met two of the nicest people anyone could imagine - Charlie and Donna Kortes. All kinds of features in this region are named after them, such as the Kortes Dam. Anyway, they wanted me to look for mineralization in the Sunday Morning Prospect.
|Spinifex textured komatiite from the Seminoe Mountains greenstone belt. |
Such rocks are often associated with nickel and gold deposits.
Another day, Charlie and Donna talked me into looking at their gold deposit located about a mile from the Miracle Mile on the North Platte River. The area of interest was dry, and part of a Tertiary to Recent unconsolidated conglomerate. They told me to dig some dirt and pan it for gold! I dug some dirt and took it to the North Platte were I panned the material - "well I'll be a Wyoming Geological Survey's uncle", I thought to myself. Gold! Everywhere I sampled in this dry placer, I found gold. And with the gold - many samples had distinctly purple to lavender pyrope garnets - the same kind typically found associated with diamond-bearing kimberlites!
|The Bradley Peak Hilton - where I spent my |
summer vacation mapping the Seminoe
Mountains greenstone belt.
Over the years I panned numerous pyrope garnets from this paleoplacer. Every single pyrope garnet we tested with the electron microprobe at the University of Wyoming had diamond-stability geochemistry! That had never happened to us before. Of all of the pyrope garnets I sampled elsewhere in the past, only a small percentage had diamond-stability geochemistry.
I could never get the director to request money from the legislature to search for the source of the gold and garnets. But what the heck, directors often have much better things to do - such as harassing his geologists to death, and hiring communist Chinese into this department.
Another interesting experience happened when I was working near Sunday Morning Creek on the North Flank of the Seminoe Mountains. It was very late in the day and time to get off the mountain. I was tired from walking all day and it was hot. My mind said to me - "watch for rattlesnakes" and just about that time, I stepped on a coiled rattlesnake! Have you ever seen a geologist in heavy hiking boots, a backpack full or rocks and heavy utility belt break the world's record in the high jump and long jump combined? Well I did! Years later, when I mapped the Iron Mountain kimberlite district in the Laramie Mountains, I tried to break the record again.
|Jasperized banded iron formation, Seminoe Mountains, WY|