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Author Topic: The Summitville Gold Boulder. 350oz gold!  (Read 13379 times)
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« on: January 14, 2011, 11:48:16 AM »

Now this is a lucky find!  Imagine walking down an old mule trail by a mine and finding an extremely rich piece of ore just laying on the ground.  I have heard of afew good finds along old mule trails where the ore was carted down the mountain.

  The Summitville gold boulder is Colorado’s most remarkable chance discovery of gold in recent times.  In 1975, ASARCO geolgists surveyed Summitville’s low grade gold resource on south Mountain. The only free gold specimens found contained particles barely visible and no one expected to find much more.
 But on the afternoon of Oct. 3rd, an equipment operator noticed a large rock lying in full view just off the shoulder of a public road below the early mine ruins.  The rock was gleaming back at him in the sunlight. He was shocked to find it laces with native gold. Returning excitedly to camp, he asked the project geologist if he wanted to see some gold.  The geologist casually agreed, but when the operator said it would take two of them to put it in the pickup, he suspected a joke.
 The specimen turned out to be, literally a “gold boulder”.  The 141 pound float boulder of  breccia consisted of  silicified vuggy quartz latite fragmets cemented together with a  matrix of fine grained crystalline quartz and barite, and crystallized gold. The boulder had apparently moved down hill by natural processes from the Little Annie Vein to the point where it was discovered. The geologists believed the boulder had been fully exposed by the road-side for at least thirty years.  Specific gravity tests determined that the boulder contained about 350 troy ounces of gold.
 Ownership of the Summitville gold boulder became a complicated issue.  When the operator first reported the boulder, the company geologist verbally agreed to his request to keep half of it. “Traditionally, prospectors providing mineral location information received a 10% finders fee, if the find was worthy of claiming or development.  But the gold boulder was alluvial float found on patented ground. The operator was a paid private contractor and finally accepted an offer of $21,000.
 ASARCO kept the find secret for a year to avert a “gold rush”. The company finally announced the find in Nov. 1976, just as Summitville was snowed in for the long winter. With the agreement of the landowner, the Reynolds Mining Co. donated the Summitville gold boulder to the Denver Museum of Natural History, where it is currently displayed. Because of higher gold prices and added worth as a rare and spectacular specimen, the gold boulder is now valued at over $500,000.
 Rockhounds and treasure hunters armed with picks, shovels, gold pans, and metal detectors rushed to Summitville the following spring. ASARCO closed several roads when gold seeker interfered with exploration activities.
 If porspectors did find more gold, they never reported it. Nevertheless, the Summitville gold boulder will always be a reminder of the bonanza ored of the 19th century and that the old timers didn’t find it all.

Mostly by; Stephen M. Voynick

This area is now a Superfund cleanup site!  The cyanide heap leach pad leaked into the Wightman Fork and Alamosa River causing a 18 + mile dead zone.  This area has produce some ounce plus nuggets in its placers.  Most of the area is private and is patrolled regularly by state officials.  I wouldn't want to put my hand in the river let alone dredge in it, but there is a potential for nugget shooters.
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