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Friday, March 30, 2012

John Carter on Martian Gold Mining

Mars from the Hubble Telescope   NASA

It may be a long time before we have prospector’s boots on ground on Mars, but we already know the Red Planet has gold deposits.  Gold and other valuable minerals on Mars will be associated with such geologic features as volcanoes, lava flows and impact craters.  Because the Red Planet has a totally different history, atmosphere and chemistry then Earth it is certain that many of the minerals found on Mars will be different then minerals found on Earth.  Another thing that is certain it will be a long time before any of these minerals and ores will find their way back to Earth.

Since all the elements in the universe other than hydrogen and helium are the results of atomic fusion that has taken place inside of stars and is a byproduct of supernova's gold can be found throughout the universe as a universal substance. You might consider gold and the other elements as leftovers from the formation of a supernova.

Olympus Mons the largest volcano on Mars and the largest known volcano in the Solar Ststem   NASA

Future prospectors on Mars are likely to find valuable mineral deposits in some usual locations according to planetary scientists that have been studying different ways to valuable deposits of metal ores can be concentrated on the red planet Mars as well as all the other planets in the universe.

The only environment that we have observed so far are those found on Earth or surface waters, ground waters and even chemicals left by lifeforms have played a major role in leaching, concentrating and depositing different kinds of valuable metal deposits including gold, silver, nickel, copper, iron and all the rest of the valuable minerals.

Victoria Crater, Mars showing its distinct scalloped edge caused by erosion.  This is a typical impact crater caused by a large asteroid that collided with Mars.  Both volcanoes and these features would be prime targets for prospecting.  Notice the large field of sand dunes in the center of the crater.   NASA

At present there is no surface water visible on Mars but there is plenty of evidence visible themselves this used to be running water across the surface of Mars. This fact indicates that there is ample evidence to support the idea of finding place or deposits on the surface of Mars where gold and other metals have been concentrated by the action of running water as well as wind. Other than these placer deposits question is raised where else does the starving prospector look for gold and other valuable metals on Mars.

Valleys and canyons on the surface of Mars as seen from the orbiter HiRise   NASA

According to planetary scientist Michael West of the Australian national University in Canberra and the Mars Institute is desirable minerals would be found around volcanoes and impact craters. One of the great differences in prospecting on Mars versus the planet Earth is that on Mars the planet is so cold that even groundwater is turned to ice as permafrost so that it functions little more than as another mineral in the ground.

Yes, there is gold to be found on Mars but don't count on putting any evidence of it in Fort Knox for a few more years at least.


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