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Anonymous User February 14, 2012 04:35AM
Scott: If you are going to be a part of Capt Paul's scientific exploration team next year in the Keweenaw, I'm offering my services as water-boy and gopher........can't think of anything more enjoyable to do. Bill
Paul Brandes February 18, 2012 03:08AM
LOL, I have groupies!!!! :-D
Don Windeler February 18, 2012 05:29PM

You may have received a response to your question on this already, but it is possible to get a gold from Michigan (if not Keweenaw):
Ropes Gold Mine, Ishpeming

Display at the 2010 Detroit show on Ropes.

I think there was also a thread about trying to collect there a year or two back, actually, but haven't found it.

I have run across gold specimens from Ropes for sale on occasion; Dana Slaughter had a few at one point, but that was about four years ago. (Picked one up for my Michigan collection, but I unfortunately have only the one...) I'll keep an eye open.

Paul Brandes February 18, 2012 08:04PM
MIchigan has, as Dan would likely agree, a fair amount of gold actually. The most abundant area is around Ishpeming where a number of small gold mines were located. The largest of these is the Ropes Gold Mine near Deer Lake, but several smaller mines also dot the hills. Also, many of the streams in the Upper and Lower Peninsulas have placer gold in them. I'm lucky enough to have gold from three different mines around the Ishpeming area. One of these days I should get all of them photographed; the only one I have so far is from the Michigan Mine.
Scott Sadlocha February 19, 2012 11:07PM
The book in that photo is Dan Fountain's book that I mentioned a few posts back. The display was his as well, and he gave an excellent presentation at that show. If you are interested in the history of gold in Michigan, that book is a must read. I never realized how many gold mines and prospects were in Michigan until I read the book.

That photo is actually from my report on the show. I am still trying to get a Michigan gold specimen, and I intend to someday, hopefully from one of the mines rather than placer gold.
Paul Brandes February 26, 2012 12:51AM
There are Michigan gold specimens out there, they are just hard to find and once one is located, they tend to be pricey because of the rarity.
Bart Cannon February 26, 2012 10:52AM

Mike Basal of Marquette, Michiigan has supplied me with some Michigan golds. Thank you very much for the connection.

Turns out he and I have a lot in common.

Some of the specimens have gray and brassy metallics which I will try to identify.

The visible golds are from the Gold Bluff Mine, and the Michigan Gold Mine #6.

He is still searching for a Ropes Mine gold that he can bear to part with.

Paul Brandes March 06, 2012 01:14AM
Oh gosh, Mike Basal; now there's a character if I've ever met one!!! Known him for years.
More than likely, the gray mineral is tetrahedrite and the brassy colour pyrite.
You might be waiting a while for a Ropes gold Mike can part with.... :-D
Dan Fountain March 06, 2012 12:07PM
I agree that the brassy yellow is probably pyrite, but there are a number of possibilities for the gray stuff. The Gold Bluff is host to a number of tellurides ± silver ± bismuth, including volynskite, tsumoite, kochkarite, hessite and tellurobismuthite. The Michigan also has tellurobismuthite as well as bismuthinite and galena. I believe both have some unidentified / unnamed tellurides also.

Have fun with them, Bart.
Paul Brandes March 19, 2012 02:02AM
Enough minerals in the Ishpeming area to keep a man busy for years.
And then there is the Keweenaw..........
Jeffrey de Fourestier March 28, 2012 02:13AM
I was at the Beryl Pit in Quadeville over the weekend and found a beautiful specimen cover in "flowers" under my scope of stilbite crystals (probably -Ca). This is new for this locality, as it has not been previously reported.
Jeffrey de Fourestier March 28, 2012 02:15AM
Sorry about the typo!
Paul Brandes April 11, 2012 11:12PM
Not quite sure what stilbite from Ontario has to do with the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan, but ok........ :-S
Scott Sadlocha August 23, 2012 06:01PM
Haven't been to this thread in a while, but figured I would check back since I will be in the area soon, and I had another question for Paul.

I am going to be in the UP for an extended weekend, staying around the Negaunee area, but I am planning some of the time to be in Copper Country as well, at least for a day or two. As such, I won't have much time, but I want to see all that I can and will be going from dawn till dusk to do so.

What I was curious about Paul, is accessibility to some of the sites you mentioned several posts back when I asked for your opinion on areas to visit. I have the Red Gold and Tarnished Silver book detailing many collecting sites in CC, and it mentions that many of the sites are private. However, I recall a chat I had with you on Mindat a long while ago where you said that quite a few sites are open to collecting. Also, hearing from many others that collected the area seems to corroborate that fact. Can you shed any light on that with regard to the sites you mentioned (or anyone else do so, for that matter), or any other useful information that might be good for me to have? I seem to recall the mention of stopping by a store somewhere to ask permission to collect, but for the life of me can't remember where that is at.

David Von Bargen August 23, 2012 07:41PM
" I seem to recall the mention of stopping by a store somewhere to ask permission to collect, but for the life of me can't remember where that is at. " - Phoenix

There used to be a visitor center in Calumet on US 41.

You might want to check out the website of the recently completed Copper Country Mineral Retreat

Central Exploration "As of July, 2012, this pile was crushed to create logging roads in the area and no longer exists. "

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/23/2012 07:48PM by David Von Bargen.
Jim Gawura August 23, 2012 10:38PM
The Phoenix store is on the south side of m41 just west of the m26 turn to Eagle River. There are a couple of gas pumps and the store. The family that runs the store also owns about half of the Phoenix pile. If you ask for permission to collect on the pile from whoever is in the store it has always been given in the past. If you stand in front of the store and look at the pile, they own the left half. The right half is owned by another person who did not take kindly to anyone collecting on his property. He died recently and I'm not aware of his sons policy to collectors. If you email me I will go over the mine lists in the book with you and give you the info I have as of last year.
Anonymous User August 24, 2012 12:05AM
I don't want to be the "wet blanket " regarding everyone's enthusiasm about the Keweenaw. This summer, more of the mine waste piles or rock piles were crushed. The Osceola numbers 3 & 4 are gone, the Central Exploration has been flattened, and a significant section of the Ojibway was crushed. Some rock was taken away from the Central mine's piles and some of the Tamarack no. 6 (?) was also crushed. I just want to make collectors aware of what recent activity has taken place up here, so they are not shocked when they travel to this area to find that some of their favorite sites are either gone or off limits. The Drexel mine piles are also depleted.
Anonymous User August 24, 2012 12:10AM
I don't want to be the spoiler, but I thought I'd make collectors aware of what has been happening to many of the poor rock or mine waste piles in the Keweenaw. This summer saw an increase in the crushing of some of them, and here is a list of those mine piles that have either disappeared or been partially crushed.
The Osceola numbers 3 & 4 are gone.
The Central Exploration pile, which was huge has been flattened.
The Ojibway pile was partially crushed (about 5500 cubic yards gone).
The Drexel mine is depleted of specimens.
The Tamarack and Central had rock hauled away, but the piles are not totally gone. The Central mine pile is still significant.

I hope this information is helpful,
Susan Robinson
Scott Sadlocha August 24, 2012 02:00AM
Thanks for the very helpful information everyone, I really appreciate it. Finding out that some of the sites are now gone saddens me, especially Osceola and Central. Hearing that the piles are turned over makes one hopeful that it will open up new material, but when they are taken away completely, there is not much that can be done.

Still, there is something remaining, and I am not afraid to get off the beaten track or beat the bush, so to speak, in my search. I have found that this opens up quite a bit more opportunities. Hopefully there should be enough to keep us occupied. I plan to visit the Seaman museum, Quincy Mine, and possibly Delaware for the tour there, along with many of the old sites and dumps. I am just as much interested in the mining history as I am the collecting.

I am going to put together an itinerary of sorts for the time I have there, and I will post it up here when I get it together, possibly this weekend (I am spending much of my time in Iron Country and I am getting together an itinerary for there as well, but that is for another forum).

Once I have it together, I will send an email your way.That way, I can have my plans somewhat finalized and won't take up too much of your time.

Thanks again!
Bart Cannon August 24, 2012 08:34AM
Hot off the press, 1963.

That's the last time I was in the Keeweenaw. One of my favorite places. I will return someday.

My parents were very indulgent of my love of minerals, and took most anywhere I whined enough to go to.

I remember visiting some of the important copper country mines, but not finding much. Not surprising since I didn't know how to collect a waste rock pile.

We visited a diner in the area and asked where we could find native copper. The waitress said to go into the woods near Eagle Harbor. There are many small workings in the woods. We found as much native copper as we could carry to the car.

I am highly interested in the human distribution and toolmaking of Michigan copper. I think that there was pre-Columbian trade between North America and Europe associated with Michigan Copper. I thought that WDS electron probe analysis would define Michigan coppers which could be associated with copper artifacts in Europe. Turns out that even low ppm trace elements would not do the job. Coppers from the same mine had much higher trace elemental variation than any "fingerprinting" would support.

I was left with only silicate inclusions as the fingerprinter. I gave up.

It is of interest that Michigan coppers didn't find their way to the Northwest tribes. Even copper from Copper River, Alaska can not be proven to have been part of their trade. But Russian copper sheet from the 1700s and later were highly prized by the tribes and used for tools and trinkets.

I have an interesting book entitled "Discussion as to Copper From the Mounds" published in1903 by the American Anthropologist. It is a debate between six researchers about whether the early copper artifacts from the American colonies were made from European copper or Michigan copper. No conclusion was reached.

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