Since Hausel no longer leads field trips, you many want to take your own trip using one of several field trip guides published by the professor. Get a free guide by visiting the GemHunter's website and click on the following PDF (Field trip guide to South Pass). You will also want to take the GemHunter's 97-page book on South Pass with you to the field.
|Figure 2. Field trip to South Pass|
|Another field trip to South Pass out front of the Atlantic City Mercantile. The GemHunter at far left corner.|
South Pass was Wyoming’s principal gold-bearing greenstone belt enclosing a group of gold district. Two other significant greenstone belts included the Rattlesnake Hills and Seminoe Mountains, where Hausel also discovered significant gold and started gold rushes to both areas.
|The GemHunter talks to group at South Pass.|
|The GemHunter to the right looks at camera while his field trip attendees|
listen to a history lecture at South Pass city.
|Welcome to Atlantic City (photo by Sharon Hall).|
|Oregon Buttes seen in the distance from South Pass. This area includes a giant gold paleoplacer and reworked|
placers. The paleoplacer (the ridge in the lighted area in the background below Oregon Buttes) was suggested by the US
Geological Survey to host upwards to 28.5 million ounces of gold, making it one of the largest undeveloped gold deposits
in North America, about three-quarters the size of the giant Donlin Creek Alaska deposit. The source of the gold for
Oregon Buttes has not been identified but in all probability is part of the buried South Pass greenstone belt at depth
beneath the sedimentary cover near the buttes (photo by W. Dan Hausel).
|And if you think Atlantic City is big.|
|View of the Duncan mine and mill. Significant gold was detected enclosed in a distinct|
fold at this mine by the GemHunter. A 2.5 channel sample yielded 0.96 ounce per ton gold!
|A pot of gold at the end |
of the rainbow at the Duncan mine
(photo by W. Dan Hausel).
|Iron Formation from South Pass showing open fold.|
|Banded iron formation from the former Atlantic City|
iron ore mine showing many folds.
|Figure 10. Visible gold in sample from the Carissa mine dump.|
The Fisher dredging operation was not efficient in gold recovery and it is clear that it rejected many coarse gold nuggets, as nugget hunters in the past have found more than a hundred "reported" nuggets with metal detectors searching the mined tailings. Who knows how many unreported nuggets were recovered. In addition, the plant for the dredge likely was not effective in fine gold recovery and much of that gold likely was also lost to the tailings. It was not uncommon for placer miners in the 19th and 20th centuries to ignore fine gold recovery. The placer operation continued mining gold until ordered closed at the beginning of World War II to force domestic production to focus on the war effort. Gold was not considered a strategic metal at the time. After the war, a very large portion of the commercial gold mines did not resume operations as many of the men associated with the mines had been displaced, died, or lost interest in mining. In addition, the country was rebuilding and many metal structures in these gold mines had been scrapped for the war effort. So, even though the Rock Creek mine was considered commercial, it did not resume after the war.
|Gold from the Gerald Stout placer operation on Rock Creek at South Pass.|
|A 7.5 ounce nugget recovered from the E.T. Fisher dredge|
tailings by a prospector from Rock Springs.
|Another field trip group at South Pass with the GemHunter|
|Looking at the Fritag plaeoplacer near Oregon Buttes|
|The Gerald Stout placer operation on Rock Creek.|
- 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., 1991, Economic geology of the South Pass granite-greenstone belt, Wind River Mountains, western Wyoming: Geological Survey of Wyoming Report of Investigations 44, 129 p.
- Hausel, W.D., 1993, Mining history and geology of some of Wyoming's metal and gemstone districts: Wyoming Geological Association Jubilee Anniversary Field Conference Guidebook, p. 39-63.
- Hausel, W.D., and Hull, J., 1990, Guide to gold mineralization and Archean geology of the South Pass greenstone belt, Wind River Range, Wyoming, in Roberts, S., Geologic field trips to western Wyoming: Geological Survey of Wyoming Public Information 29, p. 178-191.
- Hausel, W.D., 1994, Mining history of Wyoming's gold, copper, iron, and diamond districts: Mining History Association 1994 Annual, Reno, Nevada, p. 27-44.
- Hausel, W.D., and Love, J.D., 1991, Guide to the geology and mineralization of the South Pass area, in S. Roberts, editor, Mineral Resources of Wyoming: Wyoming Geological Association 42nd Annual Field Conference Guidebook, p. 181-200.
- Hausel, W.D., and Love, J.D., 1991, Guide to the geology and mineralization of the South Pass area: Wyoming State Geological Survey Reprint 49, 20 p.
- Snyder, G.L., Hausel, W.D., Klein, T.L., Houston, R.S., and Graff, P.J., 1989, Precambrian rocks and mineralization, Wyoming Province: 28th International Geological Congress guide to field trip T-332, July 19-25, 48 p.
|Dave Fritag shows vial filled with gold mined from the dry |
alluvial placers at Oregon Gulch (photo
by W. Dan Hausel, and courtesy of Dave Fritag).
|Another of many field trips to South Pass as the GemHunter (green jacket)|
talks about the gold-bearing shear zones at South Pass. In addition to leading
field trips for the general public, rock hound, prospecting and history
groups and clubs, the GemHunter also led field trips for various
regional, national and international field conferences including the Wyoming
Geological Association, International Geological Congress, and more. No
other geologist in the history of the Wyoming Geological Survey had won
so many honors including the Thayer Lindsley Award for a Major
Gold Discovery (this was presented to 6 other geologists
including Hausel) , the Wyoming Geological Association's Distinguished
Service Award and many others.