The Gold Nugget

Vol. 8, No. 1
Gold Prospectors of the Rockies
January 2003

Join Us on the Third Wednesday!

Lloyd G. Clements Community Center
1580 Yarrow St., Lakewood, Colorado
(One block west of Wadsworth, one block north of Colfax)

7:00 PM (Board Meeting at 6:00 PM)
Information: (303) 932-1076   <>

The Prez Sez
by Gary Hawley

      Greetings to all "Gold Prospectors of the Rockies."
      This is my first newsletter article as President of the Gold Prospectors of the Rockies. I would like to thank all of you who voted me into this position. From a personal standpoint, it was a "feel good" moment to know that so many of you have enough confidence in me to elect me as president of the club.
      I also want to thank those who have volunteered to accept the responsibilities of some major positions that were recently vacated. Kathleen Graham will replace Ada Keim as Refreshment Coordinator; John Schneider will take over as Membership Chairman, replacing Barrett Palumbo; Rick Miska has agreed to become Website Coordinator, replacing Steve Johnson; and Shawn and Pinie Conell, who are new Board members, will assist with planning of events. Ken Barker is taking my place as Vice President and I have assumed the duties of President that Rick Miska has been handling for the past two years.
      It might take a meeting or two to realign Board positions and get everyone into a slot where they are comfortable but I can assure you that this Board is going to be very active. Every Board member has indicated to me that he or she wants to see the club grow, not only in membership, but also in activities, outings, and camaraderie.
      If, in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, elections, and potluck dinner, I have missed anyone who has volunteered, please attend the next meeting and bring it to my attention. I promise that I will make the correction in the following newsletter.
      I want to extend my appreciation to those who have held positions during my tenure as Vice President. It has been your help and dedication that has made this club as great as it is today. I understand the need to move on to other endeavors but I want you to know that your efforts wer noticed and you will be missed. Please continue to be a member of the GPR and visit us often.
      To the general membership, thank you for your support. Please attend as many meetings as you can and bring two things with you: a desire for gold and a willingness to help make this the best gold prospecting club along the Front Range (we'll tackle the State next year!).
      Until next time, may the gold you find be worth the effort you put into finding it.

The President's Q&A
by Gary Hawley

      The VP's Q&A took a vacation last month and look what happened--it became the President's Q&A. You just can't turn you back for a minute. The January question is: After the miner's "shot" the mine face near the end of their ten-hour shift, the next shift had to remove the broken rock. What was this removal process called?
      Give the correct answer and receive one free drawing ticket. I have had a wonderful time putting together the VP's Q&A each month. In fact, I was approached by another club and asked if I would mind if they "borrowed" the concept for use in their newsletter. I was honored that they felt the idea was worth imitating.
      Well, the old Q&A needs your help. It is time for someone else to undertake this project. So, if you like Colorado mining history, have enjoyed this section of the newsletter, and would like to help the club, contact me at the next meeting and you, too, could be seeing your name in print!

The VP's Corner
by Ken Barker

      It's a New Year and a new beginning. As the new VP, I want to welcome all of you back for what we hope will be a very good year for the club and the members. We are going to try to have a lot more things for members to do this year. As we start this process, one of the thoughts we had would be to have a Question of the Month come from a different person each month. This means that one of you, each month, would provide a question for the club and someone else would provide the answer.

For example:
      Q)  (Name)
      What is a dry washer and how does it work?

      A)  (Name)
      Dry washers are used in desert areas or areas where there is no water.
      They vary in use from hand-cranked to blower-driven with a shaking or vibrating motion.
      They are similar in design to a high banker, as you shovel material into the screens to classify the material, allowing the finer material to go through the screen to the collectors where the lighter material is blown away and the "heavys" are trapped in the riffles. You now have your concentrates that you can pan down.

      I know that this will be a very interesting section in the newsletter with all of the new members we have in the club. It should provide some good topics of discussion.
      May you always find Gold in the bottom of your pan.

Gold Panning Demonstrations

We can schedule
Gold Panning Demonstrations
for your event!

Contact Ken Barker
(303) 932-1076   <>   GPR Panning Demos

The VP's Q&A
by Ken Barker

      During the December meeting we had no Q&A because of the potluck, so we will start the new year with a couple of Q&As.
      this has been a very popular section of the newsletter and the monthly meetings and, as the new VP, I will start the new year with the first Q&A.

Question #1
      During 1970, the Colorado Attorney General's office began receiving complaints from investors who had brought back a famous saying, "A gold mine is a hole in the ground with a liar at the top." Who said this?

Question #2
      What is the name of the highest gold mine in Colorado and what is its elevation?

Mining History of Colorado
by Jim Cappa, Chief of Minerals, Colorado Geological Society, 2000

      In 1859, prospectors from Georgia found gold in gravel deposits in Cherry Creek just south of Denver. Later prospectors discovered gold in vein deposits around present-day Black Hawk and Central City. The rush to Colorado was on. Gold production from the central Front Range through 1990 was 7.3 million ounces. Since 1859, Colorado's mines have produced about 45 million ounces of gold. Colorado's largest gold discovery was the Cripple Creek district in 1893. This one district alone produced over 22 million ounces of gold. The Cripple Creek district contains the sole remaining gold mine in Colorado with an estimated annual production of 240,000 ounces in 2000.
      Gold prospectors in the Leadville area kept finding an unknown dark mineral in their gold pans. This was later recognized as silver ore and led to the development of the Leadville, Gilman, and Kokomo districts, which produced about 1.9 million tons of zinc, 1.3 million tons of lead, 333 million ounces of silver, and 3.6 million ounces of gold through 1999.
      Molybdenum was discovered in the Climax area around Fremont Pass north of Leadville in 1879. The strange greasy metal had no known uses at the time of its discovery. By World War I, however, it had come to be used as an alloy for hardening steel for armaments. The Climax Mine continued to increase production through World War II and into the 1970s. The state-of-the-art Henderson Mine in Clear Creek County opened in 1976. Both mines produced until a price crash occurred in tghe mid-1980s. The Climax Mine was shut down in 1986, and only the Henderson Mine continues to produce molybdenum in Colorado.
      Many urnaium deposits were discovered in the southwestern portion of Colorado and in the Front Range during the 1950s. The most significant uranium mine was the Schwartzwalder Mine between Golden and Boulder. As recently as 1997, the mine produced about 500,000 pounds of uranium oxide. The mine was closed in 2000.
      Colorado is famous for its aquamarine, rhodochrosite, beryl, and diamond gemstones. Diamonds were discovered in 1975. The Kelsey Lake Mine in Larimer County began commercial production in 1996 and quickly produced some outstanding gem-quality diamonds--as large as 14 and 26 carats. Sand and gravel, crushed stone, gypsum, limestone, clay, and other rock materials are importasnt commodities that provide the basic infrastructure materials for Colorado's booming economy of the late 1990s and 2000s. Production of these commodities has increased steadily over the past decade. the Yule Marble Quarry in central Colorado was used for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and part of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
      Two companies are using a solution mining process to produce sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) from bedded nahcolite deposits in the Piceance Basin of northwest Colorado. The newest operator, American Soda LLC, plans to use an additional process to convert the sodium bicarbonate to sodium carbonate (more commonly known as soda ash-used primarily in the glass industry). American Soda plans to produce a million tons of soda ash in 2001, its first full year of operation.
      Coal mining in Colorado began soon after the first settlers and miners arrived in the Front Range. The area around Boulder and Weld counties once had over 100 producing coal mines. Coal is still produced, primarily from open cut and underground mines in the northwest part of the state. Production in 1999 was almost 30 million tons, making Colorado number 11 out of 30 coal-producing states.

Colorado Mining Museums

Colorado Springs

Western Museum of Mining and Industry. Open 9-4 Monday through Saturday, 12-4 Sunday. Call for Winter hours December through February. 1025 Northgate Road, Colorado Springs, CO 90921. (719) 488-0880. Fee.


Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum. Open Monday through Saturday 9 to 4, Sunday 1 to 4, closed Sundays in the summer and all Colorado School of Mines holidays. 16th and Maple Streets, Golden, CO 80401. (303) 273-3815. Free.


National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum. Open daily May through October 9 to 5, Monday through Friday during November through April 10 to 2, Winter weekends by appointment. 120 W. 9th Street, Po Box 981, Leadville, CO 80461. (719) 486-1229. Fee.
The Matchless Mine, 414 W. 7th Street, Leadville, Co 80461. (719) 486-3900. Guided above-ground tour of the mine associated with Horace and Baby Doe Tabor.


Nederland Historical Society and Museum. Open daily 9 to 12 and 1 to 5. 4th and Bridge Streets, Nederalnd, CO. (303) 2856-3575. Fee.


Lowell Thomas Museum. 3rd and Victor Avenue, PO Box 191, Victor. Guidebook. Open May to September. Mining equipment, exhibits.

Commercial Advertising

The Gold Nugget 

is an official publication of the Gold Prospectors of the Rockies, a Denver-based, Colorado nonprofit organization established in 1995 for the enjoyment of gold prospecting and metal detecting. Club meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month, 7:00 PM, at the Lloyd G. Clements Community Center, 1580 Yarrow Street, Lakewood, Colorado (1 block west of Wadsworth, 1 block north of Colfax). Individual or family membership fees are $30.00 for the first year, $25.00 for each subsequent year. Non-commercial business-card-sized classified text ads for members are free of charge. Commercial display ads must be detecting, prospecting, or treasure related and are available to anyone at a modest charge: 1/8 page (approximately 2"h x 3.5"w business card size) - $6.00 per month. 1/4 page (approximately 4"h x 3.5"w) - $12.00 per month. 1/2 page (approximately 4"h x 7"w or 8.5"h x 3.5"w) - $24.00 per month. Full page (approximately 8.5"h x 7"w) - $48.00 per month. The Gold Nugget  is open to and gladly accepts submission of information and articles. All article submissions must be received by the editor no later than the first Wednesday of the month for inclusion in the next month's issue. The GPR must receive any required payments for commercial ads prior to their inclusion. Include publication information on articles clipped from other publications. The Editor reserves the right to edit all submissions. Bulletin editors may print any article from this newsletter with credit given to the newsletter and the author. Contact: The Gold Nugget  Editor, The Gold Prospectors of the Rockies, PO Box 621988, Littleton, CO 80162-1988.