Some people do cross-word puzzles. Some do jigsaw puzzles. And some become mining exploration geologists. I suspect the same mental acuity, the same ability to form three-dimensional pictures in your head, and the same love of turning a few clues into a comprehensive whole are required.
At least those are my thoughts formed today listening to the speakers at the Alaska Miners Association Juneau meeting. We heard from the Greens Creek geologist about long-range exploration to ensure maintenance of resources and reserves. We heard from the Kensington geologist about defining the ore body and making sure the miners went after the rich stuff.
We heard the story of the struggle of the Chandalar deposits; Jim Baker admitted they spent two buckets of gold to extract one bucket of gold. But the thrill of the chase of gold, and the mental challenge of understanding how the gold got there, where it has moved to , and where it is now, were obviously more important than the cost of the chase.
We heard from a local dentist who is also an avid gold seeker. Roger Eichman told of the geology that gives rise to the many old, current, and potential new mines of the Juneau Gold Belt. If only it were not so difficult to get to the places where the deposits are, and there were not so many Federal impediments in the way, this could be a gold region to rival the largest in the world.
These geologists are steeped in the romance of exploration. Walk a ridge; spy a change of rock type; study an old map; read about tectonic plates moving a million years ago; find some money to advance a borehole; gently cradle the core and examine every fold, fleck, and flake; and you may put together a picture of another major mine. But you have to sell along the way, for it takes time, lots of it; it takes money, lots of it; and it takes patience and perseverance.
We can do no more than encourage them to continue, and urge you to read what they write, hear what they say, and invest in their ventures.