|Photo of Hecla Mill, JE Stimson Collection|
|All that remains of the old Hecla mill is a rock foundation on the side of the|
The Copper King is considered one of the five best gold deposits in Wyoming and is likely the root zone of a deeply dissected Proterozoic age porphyry gold-copper deposit.
|Photo of Hecla smelter located across the road |
from the Silver Crown Mill, Ferguson Archives.
|Potassic alteration of granodiorite at the Copper King.|
(millions) (%) (opt) (waste/ore)
13.5 0.26 0.028 1.8
35.0 0.21 0.022 2.0
In 1987, Caledonia Resources leased the mine to test as a large-tonnage, low-grade, disseminated gold deposit. The company reported preliminary gold estimates on the order of 4.5 million tons of ore averaging 0.044 opt Au (or about 200,000 ounces of contained gold). Sampling suggests the deposit has a minimum strike length of 600 to 700 feet with a 300 foot width that is open at depth (Stockwatch, 1987). More recent data by Compass Minerals expanded the gold-copper resource. The company reported a gold resource of 23 million tons of ore grading at 0.82 grams or essentially 770,000 ounces of contained gold, while Paso Rico Resources indicated the deposit to contain a million ounce equivalent gold-copper resource (Hausel, 2008a). More recent work by Saratoga Gold Mining Company outlined a 2 million ounce equivalent ore deposit containing 1.2 million ounces of gold and considerable copper. And based on mapping by the author, it is likely that this resource will be expanded.
|Photo of the interior of the Hecla mill near Cheyenne |
Wyoming. JE Stimson Collection, University of Wyoming.
|Mineralized terrains showing location of Silver |
Crown district in southeastern Wyoming.
|Aerial photo showing location of the Copper King mine|
|The author (Gem Hunter) back at the Copper King |
mine in 2012.
What really surprises me is there are other mineral deposits (including gold) sitting at a number of locations in Wyoming - some with surprising size that are being ignored by industry and the State. Some are worth $millions, others $billions and at least one might be worth $hundreds of billions.
Maybe its time to go Gold Prospecting, Diamond Prospecting or Gemstone Prospecting in Wyoming.
|Geological map of the Silver Crown district|