Hausel, Gem Hunter, Gold Hunter, Geological Consultant

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A new gold book published in August 2011 tells prospectors how to find gold and where exactly to go to find gold. Written by geologists W. Dan Hausel and Eric J. Hausel with more than 35 years experience in finding mineral deposits.



This appeared in the University of Wyoming Campus Pulse in 2004. Only a handful of geologists have been periodically selected for this award, and I believe I may be the only hardrock geologist who has ever received this award. It was a total surprise and entirely unexpected. The association gave me this award to a standing ovation and this was one of the most memorable experiences in my life.

W. Dan Hausel, Wyoming State Geological Survey (WSGS) senior economic geologist is the recipient of the Wyoming Geological Association (WGA) 2004 Distinguished Service Award in for "outstanding endeavors and contributions to the work and progress of the Association."

The award, presented Oct. 22 at the Casper’s Petroleum Club, is only awarded once every few years to those geologists who have made extraordinary contributions to Wyoming’s geology and the advancement of the Association. Ralph Specht, WGA vice president, cited Hausel career achievements and contributions to the WGA:

"W. Dan Hausel earned BS (1972) and MS (1974) degrees in geology from the University of Utah. Since 1975, he has worked as a consultant for various companies and as a research geologist for the Wyoming State Geological Survey. Currently as WSGS senior economic geologist, his duties include investigations related to precious and base metals, gemstones, mineralogy, mining districts, Archean greenstone belts and diamondiferous host rocks.

During the past 27 years, Hemapped more than 600 square miles of historic mining districts and Precambrian geology including the two largest kimberlite districts in the US and the largest lamproite field in North America. His work has resulted in the discovery of some diamond, several colored gemstone occurrences and several base and precious metal occurrences and deposits, as well as a previously unrecognized gold district in Wyoming (Rattlesnake Hills). While on leave from the state, he has consulted on several diamond and gold projects around North America, and provided the initial mapping on the Donlin Creek gold deposit in southwestern Alaska, which is now considered to be the largest undeveloped gold deposit in North America.

He has authored or co-authored more than 450 books, professional papers, general interest articles and geological maps, and lectured to hundreds of groups around North America. In 1992, he was awarded the American Association of Petroleum Geologist's Energy Mineral's Division President's Award and the Wyoming Geological Association's Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Endeavors and Contributions. In 1994, he was a Distinguished Lecturer for the Laramie Lyceum; in 1998, was listed as a Distinguished Lecturer of the University of Wyoming Department of Geology and Geophysics, and was also presented the Prospector's Best Friend Award by the Rocky Mountain Prospectors and Treasure Hunters. In 2001, he was presented the Education Award and elected to the National Rock Hound and Lapidary Hall of Fame for his contributions to the education of rock hounds and amateur mineralogists and in 2003, he was elected to the Colorado Chapter of the International Order of Ragged Ass Miners. His achievements have been highlighted in several Who’s Who documents including Who's Who in Science & Engineering, Who's Who in the West, Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, 2,000 Notable American Men, and 5,000 Personalities of the World.

His hobbies include sketching and martial arts…”

The presentation was followed by a lecture by Hausel on the geology of gemstone deposits which included discussions on some more gemstone discoveries made by the WSGS in the State.


GEOLOGIST - Who's Who   (August 10, 2010) 

Marquis Who’s Who will high-light geologist and polymath in upcoming - Who’s Who in the World (2011) for contributions to geological sciences, martial arts writing, public speaking & art.

Who’s Who research institute selected Dan Hausel, member of 2 Halls of Fame for contributions to geology (as well as 14 Halls of fame for martial arts) for the soon to be published biographical reference book. Hausel is considered one of the leading diamond, colored gemstone, and gold research geologists in North America and author of >650 publications. He is an artist, a public speaker & former astronomer.
He was presented the AAPG's President's Award, the Thayer Lindsley Award in Economic Geology for a major international ore deposit discovery, the Archimedes's Award of Geological Sciences, the Wyoming Geological Association's Distinguished Service Award, the Education Award from the National Rockhound Hall of Fame and >100 other awards. He was a member of the discovery team of Donlin Creek gold deposit in Alaska that has as much gold as mined in the entire history of the Homestake mine. He discovered the Rattlesnake Hills gold district which appears to host some major gold deposits. He found the two largest colored gemstone deposits in the world in eastern Wyoming. He left the Wyoming Geological Survey after 30 years of service & accepted work as VP of Exploration for DiamonEx Ltd, an Australian company. He has consulted for several US, Canadian and Australian mining companies. As a martial artist, he is one of the highest ranked in the world and has trained for 46 years. He contributed to more than 30 books on economic geology.



         Scientist Selected as Who’s Who                       June, 2010

June 2010:  W. Dan Hausel, geoscientist and polymath, was notified by Alison Perruso Managing Editor of Marquis Who’s Who in America that he has been selected for induction into the 2011 volume for contributions to science. According to the biographical research institute, the polymath contributed to more than 650 publications and 30 books as well as discovered several major gemstone and gold deposits in North America.

 As a research geologist for the Wyoming Geological Survey at the University of Wyoming, he mapped more than 1,000 km2 of complex geological terrain and his research projects led to the discovery of major multi-million ounce gold mineralization in the Rattlesnake Hills west of Casper in 1981 that is currently being explored by several mining companies. His research also resulted in discovery of the world’s largest iolite gemstone deposits in 1995, 2004 and 2005 along with gold, platinum, palladium, nickel, ruby, sapphire, gem garnet, chromian diopside, peridot, opal and other gems. This research was recognized by national and international awards including the Archimedes’s Award of Geosciences, the Wyoming Geological Association’s Distinguish Service Award and the AAPG’s President’s Award. A speaker of note, Hausel traveled all over North America and was presented more than 100 awards for his lectures and talks as a Distinguished Speaker for the University of Wyoming Department of Geology and Geophysics and Geological Survey.

 As a consultant, he discovered diamond deposits in Colorado, Montana and Wyoming, gemstones in California, and was on the 7-member team that discovered the Donlin Creek gold deposit in Alaska in 1988 that is now considered to be North America’s largest undeveloped gold deposit. Donlin Creek is expected to result in one of the largest gold mines in the world by 2012 and contains an equivalent amount of gold to the legendary Homestake mine. For this work, he and the 6 other members were presented the Thayer Lindsley Award of Economic Geology as the PDAC in Toronto Canada in 2009.

 Hausel also was employed as a director of a Canadian diamond company, and the US Manager of Exploration and Vice President of Exploration for an Australian diamond company.

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                                 June 23, 2009


Seven geologists were recognized for discovery of the Donlin Creek gold deposit, in Alaska. The seven were presented the 2009 Thayer Lindsley Award for an International Mineral Discovery by the PDAC (Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada) in Toronto, Canada. Richard Garnett, Bruce Hickok, Dan Hausel, Paul Graff, Mark Bronston, Toni Hinderman and Robert Retherford were presented the award for discovery of the depsit that is estimated to host at least $32 billion in gold resources. The discovery was made in the 1980s.  

In 1988 and 1989, Hausel was hired as a consultant for WestGold Exploration to map & explore the Kuskokwim Mountains, Alaska due to his ability to produce detailed geological maps. The group of seven distinguished geologists identified the epithermal gold deposit at Donlin Creek. According to the Northern Miner (May, 2009) Donlin Creek is considered one of the largest untapped gold deposits in the world. Based on proven and probable reserves, Donlin Creek contains 29.3 million ounces of gold (>$32 billion) (equivalent to 70% of the gold mined during the 100+ year history of the Homestake mine). For their discovery of Donlin Creek, the team was presented the most prestigious award for an international mineral discovery. Richard Garnet accepted the Award at the PDAC in Canada on March 2nd, 2009. Unfortunately, 2 of the 7 have passed on.


 Part of the WestGold discovery crew - Rob Retherford (standing left), Dr. Paul Graff (standing right) & Dan Hausel (sitting right) - 1988.


Left - Dr. Paul Graff examines old 'Giant' at Fullerton, Alaska, from a gold era bygone. Right Dan Hausel stands on hill overlooking Snow Gulch, Alaska (1988).


 PDAC Award for a major International Mineral Discovery.

Press Release, 2009


In 1981, W. Dan Hausel looked at the Rattlesnake Hills (RSH) west of Casper. It was a Archean greenstone belt with great auriferous source rocks and had the added attraction of being intruded and brecciated by >40 alkalic plugs and dikes. It was a no brainer for gold but for some reason, no one had ever looked. So Hausel went to the field (something that was rare for other geologists at the WGS) and found a very nice gold anomaly his first day in the field (called it the Lost Muffler), and each time he went out, he found additional anomalies in exhalites, veins, faults, stockworks, breccias and in alkalic Tertiary rocks. This resulted in at least two separate gold rushes. The first was between American Copper and Nickel, Bald Mountain Mining, Newmont and Canyon Resources (and others).  

Newmont made a classical error - they accidentally found a gold deposit with >1 million ounces without realizing it. They dropped the property. The next gold rush began with Evolving Gold examining this property where Hausel had identified gold anomalies near Sandy and Goat Mountains. Evolving Gold took Newmonts position and a second rush begain.

The last hole drilled by Evolving Gold hit a mineralized zone averaging 10.8 grams over 67 meters and 184 meters of 4 grams including the lower grade halo. The company's stock more than doubled. Another company staked claims on the edge of the discovery (Endurance Gold) and they had a run on their stock that tripled.

Hausel recognized Wyoming was an overlooked major gold province. The geology of Wyoming was similar to many gold rich terrains in Australia, Canada, South Africa and Zimbabwe in that it was underlain by an old Archean craton (continental core) with some greenstone belts. In other parts of the world, ‘greenstone belt’ and ‘gold belt’ are synonymous and used interchangeably. Even so, Hausel could get little support from the Wyoming Geological Survey (WGS), so spent some of his own money and invested a lot of personal time exploring these terrains while living in a tent to sample and map these belts. It paid off, he discovered significant gold in the Rattlesnake Hills, Seminoe Mountains, and South Pass greenstone belts that resulted in several claim staking rushes. Hausel believes that all three host significant gold deposits.

Based on geology, the RSH was intruded by several Tertiary volcanics which provided an excellent environment for gold. When greenstone belts formed >2.5 billion years ago, they were deep basins filled with volcanic and sedimentary material with above normal gold concentrations. Thus these basins already had a good source for gold, all that was necessary was to mobilize the gold through tectonic or geothermal processes and focus the precious metal in rare submarine volcanic eruptions referred to as exhalites, or mobilize the gold and focus it in permeable faults, shear zones, breccias, or veins. In the geological past, theRSH had several opportunities.

In 1981, Hausel investigated this region and found significant gold and started a claim-staking rush in 1982 (Hausel and Jones, 1982). Every time Hausel conducted additional investigations in this belt, he found more gold, but still could not gain support from the WGS. Thus with a minimal budget ($300 to 500/year) he identified several dozen significant gold anomalies and mapped the 50 square mile greenstone belt (Hausel, 1995, 1996). As a result of his discoveries, this area will likely lead to development of one or more gold mines.

The initial gold discovery in the Rattlesnake Hills was made on a pyrite-rich metachert that Hausel named the Lost Muffler prospect. He later recognized a minimum of three episodes of gold mineralization, including syngenetic stratabound exhalative mineralization, epigenetic mineralization, and disseminated epithermal gold associated with Tertiary volcanic activity. He discovered gold in exhalites, quartz veins, Tertiary volcanics and adjacent breccias, banded iron formation, and stockworks. It is rare for a government employee to spend his own time and money to conduct research, but if he had not, the RSH would likely have remained undiscovered as a significant gold district. Exploration in the terrain continues to this day with dozens of mining claims filed in the district over the past few years.


Hausel, W.D., and Jones, Suzanne, 1982, Field notes - Lost Muffler gold prospect, Rattlesnake Hills: Geological Survey of Wyoming unpublished Mineral Report MR82-9, 5 p.

Hausel, W.D., 1989, The Geology of Wyoming's Precious Metal Lode & Placer Deposits:Geological Survey of Wyoming Bulletin 68, 248 p.

Hausel, W.D., 1995, Preliminary report on the geology and gold mineralization of the Rattlesnake Hills supracrustal belt, Wyoming: Wyoming Geological Association Resources of Southwestern Wyoming Guidebook, p. 361-372.

Hausel, W.D., 1996, Economic Geology of the Rattlesnake Hills Supracrustal Belt, Natrona County, Wyoming: Geological Survey of Wyoming Report of Investigations 52, 28 p.

Hausel, W.D., 1997, The Geology of Wyoming's Copper, Lead, Zinc, Molybdenum and Associated Metal Deposits: Geological Survey of Wyoming Bulletin 70, 224 p.

Hausel, W.D., Miller, D.R., Sutherland, W.M., 2000, Economic diversification through mineral resources: Wyoming Geological Association Field Conference Guidebook, p. 209-225.







PRESS RELEASE - February 26, 2008 


W. Dan Hausel geoscientist, martial artist, writer, artist and pubic speaker contributed valuable insights into the geology in Wyoming. His work lead  to discoveries of several gemstone and gold deposits and to his recognition by national & international scientific and biographical organizations for his contributions.  After retiring from the Geological Survey, he opened a consulting firm in Arizona and continues to receive invitations by various research organizations for his lifelong contributions.

Dr. Nicholas Law, Director General of the International Biographical Center in Cambridge England notified Hausel that the IBC selected him for recognition as one of IBC’s 2000 OUTSTANDING SCIENTISTS OF 2008-2009. He was also nominated for Charter Membership in the Leading Intellectuals of the World and nominated for the 21st Century  Award of Achievement. Their selection was based on Hausel’s more than 35 years of leading research in geological sciences on diamonds, colored gemstones and ancient geological terrains known as greenstone belts & more than 40 years of contributions to traditional martial arts.

Karen Chassie, Managing Editor of Marquis Who’s Who in Providence, NJ also noted that Hausel was selected for inclusion into the 2009 editions of Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World

According to these research institutes, Hausel has been a productive scientist for more than 3 decades and contributed to more than 600 publications and 27 books as well as discovered several major gemstone and gold deposits in North America.  Hausel, a 14-Time inductee into national and international Halls of Fames for his contributions to the martial arts, is also considered one of the highest ranked martial artists in the world. In past years he taught at the University of Utah, University of New Mexico and University of Wyoming and is currently teaching traditional karate at Arizona State University. He is also the Vice President of Exploration of an international diamond mining company based in Australia which is currently developing diamond mines in Botswana and the US. In addition, Hausel is an artist and public speaker and a past keynote speaker at several institutions around the world. Some of his artwork appears in books and magazines.







Following discovery of the Palmer Canyon iolite-ruby-sapphire-kyanite deposit at Palmer Canyon in 1995, W. Dan Hausel, using geological principals and geochemistry found additional colored gemstone deposits. At Palmer Canyon, Hausel recovered the largest iolite gemstone ever found in the world weighing 1,750 carats. He then predicted a similar deposit would be found in Grizzly Creek to the south in his book on gemstones published in 2000. Thus in October 2004, he was able to gain access to this latter deposit and found even larger gems. One, the Grizzly Creek Blue Giant, is a gemstone of 24,500 carats (the size of a football) but left others in the outcrop that could top a million carats or more!

This discovery led to another, the Sherman Mountains deposit in 2005. This latter deposit could potentially host more than 2 trillion carats based on sampling and trenching making it the largest colored gemstone deposit on earth. However, more research is necessary. After the discovery of this deposit, the Wyoming Geological Survey removed all funding and support for this project and confiscated field vehicles so that research could not be completed. 


While mapping and sampling the 250 square mile South Pass Greenstone Belt in western Wyoming in the 1980s, Hausel (1991) identified a major gold deposit at the Carissa Mines near South Pass City. This deposit likely hosts more than a million ounces. At the surface, the primary mineralized zone averages 0.15 to 0.3 ounce per ton gold and is enclosed by an enormous fractured halo that is about 1000 by 1000 feet across. This structure contiues to unknown depths. Past drilling indicated the structure continues to a depth of at least 970 feet and likely continues to much greater depths. During mapping of this structure on the surface and within the old mine, Hausel was able to identify the controls for mineralization that likely control several ore shoots in the district. Hausel believes that the South Pass greenstone belt is a giant awaiting the right company.

Above - Carissa shear zone (averages 0.15 to 0.3 opt Au over 3 to 15 feet).

Below - (Left) Mined out portion of shear zone on 400 foot level of mine (about 8 feet wide). This primary shear is hosted by a large (1000 foot) secondary shear with numerous quartz stringers (Right). When composite chip samples were collected of this material, the rock ran from 0.02 to 0.09 opt Au (similar to ore grades of several operating gold mines in Nevada) over widths of 30 to 100 feet.

Hand specimen from the Carissa mine showing considerable visible gold in vugs.

 Press Release 8/14/2009


Dan Hausel, consulting geologist in Arizona, was nominated for the American Order of Merit. Hausel, a geologist of note, researched gold, diamond and colored gemstone deposits over the past 35 years and is considered a specialist in Archean greenstone belts and gold mineralization (very old volcanic-sedimentary terrains), and diamond and colored gemstone deposits. Over the past 30 years, he was recognized as the most productive geologist in the history of the Wyoming Geological Survey and presented numerous awards including the American Association of Petroleum Geologist’s President’s Award, the Wyoming Geological Association’s Distinguished Service Award, IBC’s Archimedes’s Award of Geological Sciences, the National Rock Hound and Lapidary Hall of Fame’s Education Award. He was also employed by numerous gold and diamond exploration companies and former Deputy Director of the WGS and VP of Exploration for DiamonEx Ltd.

Over the years, his work led to hundreds of mineral discoveries including discovery of the Rattlesnake Hills gold district, world-class colored gemstone deposits in the central Laramie Mountains, hundreds of diamond deposits in Colorado, Montana and Wyoming, and contributions to the Donlin Creek gold deposit discovery (considered to the largest undeveloped gold deposit in North America). Hausel also authored nearly 700 publications including several books and mapped more than 1000 km2 of complex geological terrain.

He is a member of 15 Halls of Fame in martial arts & science and a member of several dozen Who’s Who compendiums.  Recently, J.M. Evans, President of the American Biographical Institute contacted Hausel stating,

“I am writing to inform you that we wish to induct you into the American Order of Merit …. Your achievements and dedication … make you a perfect inductee. Dr. Hausel, you are an inspiration to those around you. On behalf of the Institute, I send my heartfelt thanks for the accomplished and honorable example you are demonstrating to others”.