Cobalt-Gowganda Trips, Fall, 2022


This fall, I made two trips to the Cobalt-Gowganda areas: one with Normand Breton and the other with both Normand and Daniel Joyce. We visited many sites with our metal detectors, had luck at some of the old mines and little luck at others. Fortunately, the weather was warm and great during both trips. PLUS there were no biting black flies, mosquitoes and deer flies, either time! Here are some highlights of the two trips, blended together for you.

A beautiful scene near Gowganda.
The muckpile at this mine is extra challenging because of the high angle of repose. I decided to excavate across the top of the pile for stability and to get into fresh material. I did manage to find some nice cobalt arsenides and native bismuth but little silver. N. Breton photo.
This is a superb specimen of botryoidal safflorite, composed of radiating groups of safflorite crystals. 6.8cm across. These types of specimens are obscured by dolomite and calcite, which I have dissolved away.
This is an interesting one that shows botryoidal safflorite with cubic crystals of skutterudite on the safflorite. As well, there is a leaf of silver in the middle with small skutterudite crystals on it. 6.0cm
A microphoto of a sharp arsenopyrite crystal on safflorite. The crystal is 3mm long.
A group of parallel arsenopyrite crystals about 3mm long.
This is a beautiful spot to search for native silver! I found a really nice one featured in the next photo. N. Breton photo.
This specimen shows a high grade vein section of bright, metallic native silver, associated with breithauptite and nickeline. 9.7cm across
While in Cobalt, we visited the "little Silver Vein" or, at least, where the Little Silver Vein once was. This is the open cut left after the vein was mined out over 100 years ago. Some of the old timbers still remain!
Daniel and me at the Langis Mine rock pile, in Casey Township. We found only little ones here.
A nice shot of me probing the shallow waters of Peterson Lake, where the water level is low. Only little ones here. N. Breton photo.
Norm Breton attacking a muckpile at the Capitol Mine where he got some nice high grade.
Me on the Capitol muckpile, using my pin pointer to locate silver and arsenides. I did find a couple of nice ones here!
Well crystallized, dendritic silver, from the Capitol Mine, enclosed in arsenides and calcite.
The Fall colours were very nice around Gowganda.
This young fella slowed us down on the way back to Cobalt from Gowganda.

It is still possible to find high grade silver and associated minerals in the mine waste rock dumps in the Cobalt-Gowganda areas. It is getting more difficult all the time but if you work hard and have good metal detecting equipment, you can find some good pieces. We'll be back!

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