Over the years,some of the largest gold and gemstone deposits in the world were found by W. Dan Hausel. Some discoveries were covered by the ICMJ Prospecting & Mining Journal a few years ago. These include gold deposits at South Pass, Donlin Creek, Alaska, Seminoe Mountains, Rattlesnake Hills, Sierra Madre, Wyoming and iolite-ruby-sapphire-kyanite and opal deposits as well as many diamondiferous kimberlites.
When I photographed this diamond in Laramie, the diamond was the largest uncut diamond in the world at 603 carats.
When Hausel found the largest iolite gemstone in the world, the Palmer Canyon blue star weighing more than 1,750 carats (see below), was the largest iolite in the world. Along with iolite, the Palmer Canyon deposit was found to contain ruby, sapphire, and kyanite gemstones (Hausel, 1998, 2002).
The Palmer Canyon Blue star (left) with some faceted iolites from Palmer Canyon.
Hausel predicted that a similar deposit would be found at Grizzly Creek based on geology (Hausel and Sutherland, 2000). A few years later, this deposit was verified (Hausel, 2004). At the time of discovery, a much larger iolite gemstone known as the Grizzly Creek blue giant - 24,150 carats, was recovered but larger gemstones were found as massive stones in outcrops.
Below - Grizzly Creek Blue Giant - valued at $1.2 to $2.4 million based on weight of gems.
But these deposits could be eclipsed by other deposit in this region: the Sherman Mountains deposit further south also has gem-quality iolite verified by Hausel. Based on past reconnaissance in this area more than a half century ago, this deposit could potentially host 2.7 trillion carats of iolite. Yet, it remains unexplored for gems!
Wayne Sutherland sits in front of an outcrop that is almost entirely formed of one massive piece of iolite - this gem, if recovered, would weigh 1 million carats? 5 million carats? More?
Below - close up of rock showing exposed iolite.
As a consultant in 1988 and 1989, Hausel mapped & sampled much of the Donlin Creek gold deposit in Alaska & was recognized as one of 7 geologists who made this giant gold discovery of >30 million ounces. While at the WGS, he discovered gold in the Rattlesnake Hills at dozens of sites & recently >million ounces were identied at one of his discovery sites by drilling from mining companies. He also recognized over a hundred gold anomalies in the South Pass greenstone belt and identified a major gold deposit at the historical Carissa mine that had been overlooked. This deposit is 1000 feet wide, at least 970 feet long and continues vertically to possibly several thousand feet (see photo gallery).