Monday, December 23, 2013

Finding Diamonds, Gemstones and Gold

The Schaffer 15 diamondiferous kimberlite in foreground with exposed blue
ground in badger hole diggings. The entire open (treeless) park is underlain by
"I know there are many more gem, gold and diamond deposits still out there in Wyoming. I just wish I could be the one to find them" - The Gemhunter.

In 1977, I was privileged to of had the opportunity to map the State Line diamond district south of Laramie. Thanks to Dr. Dan Miller (RIP), I was able to add to the known number of known diamond deposits that had been discovered in the district by David Eggler, Chuck Mabarak and Mac McCallum - all excellent geologists.

I really enjoyed mapping kimberlites the State Line district and educating myself about characteristics of diamond deposits. My work, education, mistakes and successes would provide a foundation for future work on other diamond and colored gemstone deposits both for my research at the Wyoming Geological Survey, as a consultant for mining companies and VP of US Exploration for DiamonEx Ltd. For me, I was living my dream job.

In 1984, 30 years ago, I authored and co-authored nineteen papers on mineral deposits and prospecting, traveled around the West presenting 9 talks and field trips which included session chairman for Diamond Exploration for the Society of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers at the Denver Conference. Because of my work and because I could be relied on, I was promoted to Deputy Director of the Wyoming Geological Survey under Gary Glass the State Geologist. I occupied this position for 10 years from 1981 to 1991 along with the job of Senior Economic Geologist - essentially holding down two jobs and paid for one. I must have been nuts. But I was thankful that Gary Glass thought I was worthy of this added job.

The Gemhunter talks to crowd about geology, history and gold deposits at the South Pass greenstone belt. In 1985, Hausel
 began to research and map this greenstone belt and ended up mapping 250 to 350 square miles of complex Archean 
geology in Wyoming's primary gold districts. This project resulted in completion of eight 7.5 geological quadrangles, one 
regional 1:250,000 scale map of the greenstone belt, a couple of tour guides, completion of nearly three dozen
 underground mine maps, and the discovery of more than a 100 significant gold anomalies (all while he was also
 publishing papers, presenting talks, working two jobs at the Survey and teaching martial arts through the Department of
 Physical Education, Department of Kinesiology, Department of Extended Studies and University Club Sports. This field
 trip was so well-attended, that State Representative David Miller remarked Hausel's future field trips might require traffic
 control (photo by David Miller).
25 years ago, six geologists and myself made a world-class gold discovery in Alaska at Donlin Creek  (1988 and 1989). How many people in history can say they discovered a gold deposit containing more than 40 million ounces? Well, at least 7 of us can. We were later awarded the Thayer Lindsey Award for this discovery. I'm very thankful I was part of that crew. In 1989, I had another memorable event when my book on Lode and Placer Gold in Wyoming was published.

20 years ago I was recognized as the Distinguished Speaker for the Laramie Lyceum and awarded the 1994 American Biographical Institutes's "Man of the Year". 

Over the years, I was in demand for speaking engagements to various clubs and associations. By the time I retired from the Geological Survey, I had traveled all over the US talking to rock hound and lapidary clubs, professional societies and miscellaneous groups. One of my most memorable talks was to the Rocky Mountain Prospector's and Treasure Hunter's Club in Fort Collins. These people were just getting their club started and I was to speak one late evening at the Family Alnutt Center. I drove to Fort Collins and finally found the Alnutt Center, I figured I was either lost, or someone was playing a prank. Luckily the door was open and I gingerly walked in to be sure not to wake the dead, and found I had indeed arrived at the right place - a mortuary!  In that same year, I authored or co-authored 26 papers and abstracts and mapped the Cooper Hill mining district in the Medicine Bow Mountains.

15 years ago, I published 20 papers on geology and mineral resources and the demand for talks and field trips led my section at the Survey to being a one-man public relations front for the Wyoming Geological Survey and State of Wyoming. In 1999, I spoke and lead field trips for 39 groups. Most were on my own time. I was also the co-Chairman for a mineral and geology conference for University of Wyoming Geology which included considerable work such as lining up speakers, getting papers published, etc. While all of this was going on, I mapped the Iron Mountain kimberlite district while killing dozens of rattlesnakes. By the time the Iron Mountain district project was completed, I had identified about 70% more kimberlite had been found and mapped than previously known. I was blessed - I had now mapped the two largest kimberlite districts in the United States.

In 2004, I contributed papers on North American Diamond Deposits, Geology of Gemstones, and Significant Gold Deposits to the Wyoming Geological Association guidebook and was presented the Wyoming Geological Associations highest honor - the Distinguished Service Award followed by a standing ovation by the Association. It was as if I were in a dream. I remember listening to my first talk at the WGS in 1977, and dreamt that one day, the association would recognize me for my accomplishments - I finally made it. In this same year, I was inducted into Marquis Who's Who in Science and Engineering, Who's Who in the West, Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World.

The Gemhunter teaches members of the general public to pan for gold
and diamonds in the Centennial Ridge district.
Mineral discoveries were becoming an annual event for me. Earlier, I had predicted in a book, co-authored with my field assistant Wayne Sutherland, that a significant mineral deposit was likely to be found in the Grizzly Creek area of the Central Laramie Mountains based on similar geology to the Palmer Canyon deposit discovered by myself in 1996.

Yes, I would still be in Wyoming finding new mineral deposits, but it was not in the stars. The new director of the Survey complimented lack of leadership and ethics with an abundance of hatred for any productive, free-thinking, independent employee. At least a dozen or more employees were independent - and there was no place for independence, creativity, free speech any more. It was as if we left our planet and gone off on the wrong solar system.


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