Thursday, December 10, 2009


It’s common knowledge - one can literally walk into the Superstition Mountains in Arizona, trip over the Lost Dutchman mine, fill their pockets full of gold, crawl out to Apache Junction and buy the other half of the US.

That's me, former Senior Economic Geologist at the Wyoming Geological
Survey (University of Wyoming). Some say the most successful geologist in the history
of Wyoming for mineral discoveries. Sounds impressive until you find out about the
other geologists, such as 'General George' who spent 35 years collecting a salary to
research George Armstrong Custer (you are probably asking what does that have
to do with geology? And so were we. The general was rewarded by
a raise and promotion to management in 2006).

Or 'Rawhide' who took longer than the ice age to edit manuscripts
(Rawhide was given one 42- page manuscript to edit and review.
After he received the manuscript in 1997, I wrote a 374-page book on
diamond deposits with Dr. Ed Erlich. We started the book from scratch a few
years after the 42-page manuscript was submitted, and it still took 3 years longer for
Rawhide to review, edit & publish than it took SME to review, edit & publish the
diamond book). So, the state geologist awarded Rawhide with a raise and
promotion to management in 2006.

There was 'Howard Costel', the greatest sportscaster in the history of the Wyoming
Geological Survey (when awake). Yes I was also surprised we had our own
sportscaster.  In 2006, the state geologist gave him a raise and promoted him to management.
Is there a pattern here?

The state geologist hired many of his friends. I suspect some
Rodeo fans in Gillette would be shocked to find their
tax dollars went to pay salaries for a Chinese communist who had
no idea what he was doing at the Geological Survey along with the Russian geophysicist
who may have spoken English, but apparently kept it a secret (and also had no idea what
he was doing at the Geological Survey according to an interpreter).

We still wonder about payments made by the Geological Survey to a fictitious company
located at a dentist's office in Laramie? What was that all about?
Well, lets get back to mineral discoveries.
Legend after legend tells of untold riches at the Lost Dutchman but with little evidence that the mine ever existed; yet this mine is talked about by nearly every prospector in North America and you can bet scam artists will raise $millions to search for this Lost mine. I must say, I’m intrigued by these myths and why we believe them. Human nature? Why don't we just spend time searching for real gold deposits - there are hundreds out there, all we need to do is look. In nearly every present and past gold mining district in the world, there are dozens of good deposits that were overlooked by the past prospectors and mining companies. All it takes is for one to spend time learning about the characteristics of the deposits in the area, the regional geology and then doing some prospecting.
A specimen of the Lost Dutchman gold inlaid in this matchbox on display
at the Superstition Mountain Museum. Did this come from the
Vulture mine?
Gold Panning on the Middle Fork of the Little Laramie
River in the Medicine Bow Mountains. We use to offer
prospecting field trips to teach how to find gold, but the
US Forest Service demanded that we must have a permit
to do such nasty things on our public land. In 2010, a
 group of 20 people were looking forward to prospecting.
But the US Forest Service denied a permit because
we might step on some flowers. Not that the other
100,000 people who visit the MBM might step on flowers.
So, I no longer teach this field classes. If you would like to
see me back in the field, write to your Congressman and
tell them that the FS and BLM are misusing our public
Take Gold Rush Alaska. These guys started looking for gold on the Discovery Channel, but they should have read 'Gold Mining For Dummies' first, as they did everything exactly backwards (i.e., one should first prove a deposit has gold before spending several $hundred thousand driving to the deposit with equipment that they had no idea if it would work or not). 

It was even apparent that none of these wannabe miners had any idea on how to operate a gold pan, let alone a trommel.  Guess what surprises me most about this program is that these guys just show up in Alaska and in the Yukon and start mining. Talk about a tough venture. The only time people do things like this is when the economy collapses and people can no longer find jobs. So the best way to resolve this is to search for gold! It didn't take long before these gold prospectors ran into a serious problem - no not the weather, but the government inspectors.

When I ran the US exploration arm for DiamonEx Ltd, we had card-carrying Greenie bureaucrats with the US Forest Service, US Bureau of Land Management, EPA, Colorado DEQ, local home owner associations and county officials wanting a handout. Just to drill a dry pond that was covered with 4-wheeler tracks using a small drill rig to a depth of about 150 feet, it took months of paperwork and permits from Larimer County, the State of Colorado and the US Forest Service (and it cost our company enough to fund the Gold Rush Alaska boys for an entire season, when it should have only cost a few $thousand at the most. The next time you buy something in Walmart, you should have a very good idea as to why everything is made in China - they have no permits that cause cost delays over $200 thousand, and they are in our leaders' pockets big time).

Then after all of of this BS, the FS delayed our drilling operation several more weeks until their local ranger could take a vacation from her donut break in Laramie to come out to the site to tell us to move the drill rig from the center of the pond to its edge so that it would be less damaging to the environment. These delays were a significant problem. When we were exploring this region, it was prior to the 2008 economic crash and every drill rig in the country had a waiting list because of the boom in mineral's exploration. When the crash came, it destroyed hundreds of companies including DiamonEx.

One of the Lost Lakes cryptovolcanic depressions in the Colorado-Wyoming
State Line district that required months of environmental scrutiny before
permits would be issued by the county, the state and the feds.
Then we wanted to build a small mill to test one of our diamond properties. But we could not find water (it didn't matter that the site was sitting adjacent to a creek that had diamonds in it, and that the two kimberlites we wanted to mine had shear zones containing water, we could not get water rights and the county wanted us to move the mill somewhere close to Ft. Collins. Then after we found a possible mill site at a gravel quarry, the county didn't want us running trucks full of diamonds on their road because it might kick up some dirt. You just can't win.

It was nice to have the title of Vice President of Exploration for a diamond company, but I will never, never do that again. The headaches are too much for this o' country boy. I make a very good independent consulting geologist, but never would I work in management again.

Back to myths. So why do so many politicians believe in the myth of human caused global warming? Our ice caps are melting and the ocean has risen several feet on the East and West coasts of the US. Or have they?  I was in California and Florida two summers ago and neither place seemed to be under water. Maybe all of the water evaporated? Is there something amiss here? You bet there is. Money, money, money. Like all good politicians and environmentalists, Al Gore and others stand to make $billions on the global warming scam. But we all know that Al Gore is the savior of the environment? Then there is the recent listing of carbon dioxide as a pollutant by the EPA - plant food! My, my, what next for the EPA, will it be water and oxygen? I will have to write about the time that the EPA invaded Laramie, Wyoming in space suits - you will love this one.
Massive pyrite, also known as fool's gold.
Myths will always be embellished, and through time such stories gain more intrigue as each person adds a little of their own flavor to they myth. But I must say that at least the Lost Dutchman has more scientific credibility than man-caused global warming, climate change, or what ever government pseudo-scientists and grant-starved academicians are calling it today. But at least many gold myths have some credibility that may start as a rock filled with pyrite (fool's gold) and grow into a Mountain of Gold as the myth is fertilized through time.

I grew up in Utah. Went to graduate school at the University of Utah and then to the University of New Mexico. I heard about the Lost Rhoades (Mormon) gold mine. It’s located somewhere near Provo and has so much gold that one could pave a highway with the precious metal – if only it could be found again. With so much gold, I’m surprised such a mine could remain hidden. I’ve been told of the evidence - Angel Moroni, a statue on top of the Salt Lake temple, is coated with gold - and of course that gold had to have come from this mine (or from prospectors who lost their hair). Take for instance Mountain Meadows. Mountain Meadows?
I never heard of it. I was surprised because I grew up in Utah as a Utah Gentile (when I worked at the Hansen Planetarium in college, my boss was Jewish, and he often remarked that he too was a Gentile in Utah). I had to take Utah history in public schools and Mountain Meadows was never mentioned, but the site of the massacre happened to be located in the middle of my thesis area. So while I was mapping volcanic rocks, I did a little reading. So did the gold come from robbing prospectors on their way back east from the Californian gold fields? To be honest with you, I have no idea. I suspect much of the gold came from Mormon miners working prospects in the Oquirrh Mountains or other localities in Utah, Colorado, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, or Nevada.

When I left the land of Zion for New Mexico and later left the Taco State for the Cowboy State, I heard about the Lost Cabin Gold Mine in the Northern Big Horn Mountains (you should be getting the impression that every state has a lost gold mine). So much gold was found that the prospectors filled their pockets and saddle bags with gold and then out-ran a band of Indians (can we still call them Indians? Is this still politically correct?) (while weighed down with tons of gold). They were unable to later rediscover the location of the mine. It still remains lost in the myths of time.

It is unfortunate so many people waste time and money on myths and scams when there are actual gold deposits to be found. But even if you find a gold deposit, real mines have to be made and worked. But for some environmental groups they would rather run scams than work for a living. People who build mines end up paying taxes to have the privilege of paying much of their hard-earned cash to government bandits - we know them as Congressmen.

Abandoned gold dredge, Flat Alaska, 1988.
Years ago, I attended a Northwestern Mining Conference in Spokane. I don’t remember the name of the person who made the statement but he said, “Mines are not found, they are made”. This person understood what was required – a lot of hard work and a whole lot of luck. Mark Twain stated “A gold mine is a hole in the ground with a liar standing over it”. Few people like to put the work into making a mine, particularly when they can sell worthless dirt for $millions. And I'll tell you about the people who sold dirt for $millions!

It is a fact that gigantic riches are hidden at vortexes that only make their appearance on the 3rd full moon of each millennium when Mars passes through Aquarius, Saturn through Leo, Kolob through who knows where, or where a compass is mysteriously deflected by a hidden UFO landing site, where dowsing rods bend, or where coffee boils at a faster rate. Why should one particular atom, i.e, gold, defy all of physical laws of the universe and create so many unexplained esoteric anomalies? When you begin searching for your Mountain of Gold, use the laws of science – forget baloney and you will be a lot better off. If nothing else, you may lose a few pounds and gain self-esteem.

There is literally thousands of gold, gemstone and other mineral deposits scattered all over North America. All one has to do is to put together honest work, learn a little geology, study a little history, have an open mind, use science, learn to differentiate fact from fiction, avoid Canadian promoters, people of prominent religious standing, lawyers and state geologists from Wyoming. There’s nothing to it. I'm not suggesting I'm not religious - because I am. Its just that one needs to beware of con-men in all professions.

In my book - MOUNTAIN OF GOLD, I will provide a guide on how to find mineral deposits. I will tell you stories that will make you cry, stories that will make you laugh. I will tell you about stupidity so rampant in government and in some exploration companies, that you will wonder if Darwin was right. I will tell you about how I identified gemstones that everyone else walked over!

I found visible gold in outcrops (typically, if you see a single pinpoint of visible gold in a rock specimen with a 10x hand lens, the sample will assay at least one ounce/ton in gold – that is $1200 per ounce of this stuff) and started gold rushes in the Seminoe Mountains, South Pass, Sierra Madre, Rattlesnake Hills and other places. I was on the discovery team of a major gold find in the Kuskokwim Mountains in Alaska that was classified as the largest undeveloped gold deposit in North America and more recently as one of the largest untapped gold deposits in the world.

The largest colored gemstone deposit on earth may have been found in 2005. As a reward, my field vehicle was confiscated and reassigned to the secretary. I was threatened to be fired by the director of the Geological Survey. Apparently, I was finding too much, making the government nervous. I discovered one thing about socialism - if you work hard, you put your job on the line. Bureaucrats and their understudies are threatened by those who disturb donut breaks. I must apologize for digressing into politics again.

I found several gemstone deposits including > hundred gold anomalies, a platinum-palladium-gold-nickel anomaly that still remains unexplored, I found mountains of iolite (wouldn't make a very good book title). I found rubies, sapphires, aquamarines, heliodors, gem apatites, jasper, agate, hills of opal (might be a good book title), diamonds, Cape Rubies, Cape Emeralds, peridots & evidence for several hundred diamond deposits. I found some of the largest kyanite gem deposits on earth. Hey, one iolite gem deposit I examined has an estimated (now get this) >2 trillion carats (now you know why my former boss was so upset). In this book I will tell you how to find and where to find real treasures.

How could one person find so much? I used scientific methods (unlike the pseudo-scientists at the University of Anglia who falsified data and models to promote their global warming scam). I didn’t have to go far. Some of these deposits were sitting right along the interstate. Some adjacent to US Highways. Several w
ere within a stone’s throw of the pavement.

This is a book about me, prospectors, about how to prospect. It is about the best people in the world (prospectors) and some scum (directors, bureaucrats, forest rangers). It is about my experience in life and the life I came to know. It is about some crazy prospectors. It is about the Mountain of Gold and how I found it. I hope you enjoy my stories! Most are true.

Gold does something to people. It is like an additive drug, booze, or gambling. Most people are semi-normal until you put gold in front of their noses, and then they do things that just don’t make sense. Sometimes you don’t even have to put gold in front of their noses, just implant the image of caves filled with gold, and they are gone – off to the holodeck – with gray mass scattered across the universe during beam up.

My personal search for gold began in 1977. I was hired as the ‘Economic Geologist’ for the Wyoming Geological Survey. In 1977, this research agency at the University of Wyoming was aptly known at the Geological Survey of Wyoming, it had previously been known as the Wyoming Territorial Survey. Over the years, one paranoid director renamed the agency the Wyoming Geological Survey. This was fine, but in a short time, it was renamed again. He wanted the public to be sure they knew we were separate from the US Geological Survey (not that anyone cared).

And before I could hand out all of my business cards, I kid you not, he changed the name again. And he was being paid big bucks to do this. This time he was concerned about the legislature. But maybe he had something here – after all, we are talking about dimwitted politicians who should have already been eliminated by natural selection. We now became the Wyoming State Geological Survey as if this would protect the agency from budget cuts. I remember throwing away hundreds of business cards as we changed the agency’s name 3 times in 2 years. What a legacy to be remembered for. But this was nothing compared to later directors.

Dan Hausel, former geologist from the Wyoming Geological Survey at the
University ofWyoming, makes the cover of the Prospecting and Mining Journal following
discoveries of the largest iolite (water sapphire) gemstones ever found on earth, along with
opals over 75,000 carats, rubies, sapphires, peridot, kyanite, commercial gold deposits,
diamonds, and more.
Compared to surrounding states, Wyoming produced only a minor amount of gold: actually, a comparatively insignificant amount. Such a discrepancy is notable when comparing the Cowboy State to Montana, South Dakota, Colorado and Idaho (we could even throw in Arizona, Nevada, California and Utah). One has to wonder how all of the surrounding states could have produced 50 to 200 times as much gold and be so endowed in silver and copper while Wyoming has practically nothing: just trivial gold, silver, copper, zinc, lead, nickel, platinum and palladium. How could metal deposits know where the state boundaries were, and how could they just stop at the boundary?The answer is, they don’t. The geology of Wyoming is favorable for discovery of significant deposits of precious metals associated with porphyry deposits, stocks, volcanics, volcanic and sedimentary breccias, replacement deposits, vein deposits, shear zone deposits, exhalites, massive sulfides, layered complexes, placers and paleoplacers to name a few. Thus one has to look at the environment in Wyoming as well as at the government to find a partial cause for this discrepancy. Why would the geology be favorable and yet the amount of mined precious and base metals be so trivial compared to neighboring states? For instance, Idaho produced 25 times more gold, Montana 50 times more gold, Colorado and South Dakota 200 times more gold than Wyoming. With Wyoming lying in the middle of these states and having similar geology, something just does not jive: it is very likely that significant gold deposits remain hidden and/or lie within the massive withdrawn areas in the state.

Wyoming was a difficult place for prospectors to work because of high winds and desolate plateaus surrounded by mountain ranges that became a battleground for immigrants and Indians. Historical records from the 1800s report constant conflicts between the Emigrants and Indians. But the government and green movements provided an even more noisome environment to mining. Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries piecemeal withdrawals of potentially productive terrains continued to occur in the state that continues to be unchecked. The size of the total area withdrawn from mining is now larger than whole states.

Over the years, I witnessed potentially productive regions being withdrawn for the most trivial reasons and it became apparent that the government sought to withdraw regions with mineral potential by using National Park, wilderness and roadless designations, the rare and endangered species act, and any other act they could dream up. Potentially, the greatest mineralized region on the planet is now incorporated in Yellowstone National Park. And the more recent Roadless designations have also been misguided. All of the lands incorporated into Roadless withdrawals that I visited are crisscrossed by dozens of roads. With the Federal government being out of control, the State Government didn’t want to be left behind and periodically flexed its bureaucratic muscles. Most notable was the purchase of private land by the State so the bureaucrats could enclose the State’s largest known gold deposit into a historic site without considering any geological studies (which were available at the time of withdrawal). In fact, the legislature purposely avoided geological studies of the Carissa mine as the author of this legislation knew that the property had considerable potential and wanted to eliminate controversy. Thus the legislation was snuck through the bureaucratic halls in Cheyenne and Wyoming’s largest known gold deposit was scheduled to be demolished to produce a picnic site for a few dozen tourists, rather than create high-paying jobs and recover significant severance taxes on gold production. Does the government have our best interests in mind? I doubt that.

Hausel often taught prospectors, rock hounds and geologists his methods
for finding mineral deposits.

Where the American Indians failed, the government succeeded. In 2003, after some press releases about discovery of a major opal deposit had been released by my office (Cedar Ridge deposit), it became apparent that the US Bureau of Land Management looked to withdraw this discovery to protect a desolate area filled with sagebrush and pump-jacks. But this became even more obvious when one realizes that the BLM had no idea where in the state this opal deposit was located – but they still wanted to withdraw the land and protect anything they could dream up. After I had sampled the 16 mi2 region, I purposely kept the opal discovery site secret so that all citizens of the US could have equal opportunity to stake claims on a major gem and decorative stone deposit. Before the report was released, I was called by the BLM who demanded to know the location prior to the report’s release. I refused. Even so, as soon as the report was released, the BLM went to work to try to stop the public from staking claims and exploring for commercial opal deposits. They championed a non-indigenous flower as a reason to protect this desolate area from prospectors. But this was not the first time the government showed their intentions to keep the public mineral wealth from the public.
Professor Hausel leads one of many field trips to the South Pass gold
district. After being rewarded with some of the more prestigious awards
in science and geology, he took early retirement in 2007 from the Wyoming
Geological Survey to work as VP of Exploration for an international diamond
mining company. It was rumored the professor left the WGS
on ethical grounds - he could not work for a complete idiot. 

Several years earlier, I had been asked by the US Forest Service to accept a grant to study and map all of the known mines in the Medicine Bow National Forest because I knew these better than any other person. The purpose of the project was to reclaim dangerous mines, which there were very few that were actually dangerous. In the grant proposal, I had stated I would use $20,000 per year to test mineralized and altered rock for metal content while mapping – I felt it was important for the USFS to know what they were reclaiming and planning to bury. I had already seen abuse of the abandoned mine program in several places in the state where the government paid a $million+ for a copper exchange unit to extract copper from a trickle of water from a historic copper mine that used a plastic Walmart kiddy pool with a cow manure bucket. Another property was a potentially economic strategic and precious metal deposit that was reclaimed at a very high price, so the land could be subdivided and sold as cabin sites by the contractor who had received the funds. And there were many more.

When the grant report was presented to the USFS, they used 6 months to review it and signed off on the grant. It had been active for one month when I got a call from the project chief in Denver who indicated that he had just read the grant proposal (after having it in his possession for 7 months!). He said he had just read the proposal and needed to modify the project. They would not allow me to take any samples or test any rocks and would not allow me to even collect samples! They apparently realized that even though I knew where all of the old mines were located, had visited most of them over the years, my reputation as a mine finder had got to them. They did not want me to find any more mineral deposits. I politely told the USFS to shove the grant up their adit.


  1. Hey Dan,
    Thanks for all the info. I'm hoping to get your book on Wyoming gemstones in the mail shortly. Probably the biggest issue that I see in getting to anything is private land ownership. One family in particular has bought up large pieces of land around grizzly creek. Even forest service folks cannot get there now.

  2. Thanks for the note on the access to Grizzly Creek. Too bad - there are many places outsiders are buying and making access a problem.

    However, I can understand not letting the USFS in. To keep the place dignified, I wouldn't let them in either.

  3. Happy New Year Dan. The field trip last summer was wonderful. The USFS must have found out you were involved and so denied the permits. I was bummed. I wanted to go to Grizzly creek but that's out. Surely there are other outcrops to be found in the area. Palmer cnyn is claimed so I will look elsewhere for Kyanite. I am buying all your books and reports to be better prepared this year. Even have a basic geology course book. Looking forward to the new books.

  4. That is just INSANE!!! I knew the Government in this Nation was Corrupt, I had NO Idea just how Bad!!! What is Wrong with These People!!!??

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