From the California Gold Rush days until today thousands upon thousands of holes, pits, tunnels and shafts have been dug in the western states for gold. Some lucky prospectors made millions, many made a good living but for the most part these thousands of diggings did not produce enough gold if any to fill a cavity in a tooth.
Holes dot the mountains and deserts across the west. Even highly trained geologists have walked over fortunes. Can you or your prospecting buddies tell for sure what lays a foot or so below your feet?
During the Gold Rush days the same metals and minerals exsisted but were unknown or had very little value. Times have changed and many of these metals, once thought of as useless; are now worth as much if not more than gold. A nice example would be Lithium. This along with some of the rare earth elements (REE) are capable of making you a multi-millionaire almost overnight. I personally have walked over these elements and I'm sure many of you have also.
Why would you or I pass them by? Primarily because they are hard to recognize in the field. Can you honestly recognize Lithium or any of the REE's while you're out in the field? I highly doubt it. Since the good old days there have been many instruments developed to aid all of us. Examples Include:
GEIGER COUNTERS - Surplus machines can be purchased for as low as $100. These instruments are used to locate uranium, thorium and some of the REE's which are weakly radioactive.
ULTRA VIOLET LAMPS - New short wave lamps range between $300-$400. These instruments will aid in the discovery of scheelite, a high grade ore of tungsten. As well as autunite, a secondary mineral of uranium and numerous other minerals that will lead you to ore deposits.
METAL DETECTORS - These instruments price ranges from $150 to as much as $6000 for the top of the line brand new. I have personally found more gold with a $250 instrument then a high dollar machine. Metal detectors are just what the name says, they detect metal. I have found several beautiful meteorites with a detector worth more than gold. We have other other uses for metal detectors than finding gold or meteorites. These instruments are capable of tracing iron rich veins and deposits that contain gold and other valuable metals.
There are no inexpensive instruments to locate lithium deposits that I know of. Lithium occurs in dry lake beds, certain clays and some pegmatites.
When in doubt on any metal or mineral I suggest a 35 element test, using a reputable lab.
If you have any questions please contact us and good luck.