A Passion for Gold: An Autobiography

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University of Nevada Press, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 232 pages
Ralph Roberts's is not a household name in Nevada, but it should be - it was he who discovered the Carlin Belt gold deposits that created a major mining boom in the state in the last four decades of the twentieth century. But this discovery was only one episode of his remarkably eventful life. A Passion for Gold is Roberts's account of that life, a story as colorful and adventurous as that of any fictional hero. Roberts's engagingly told autobiography traces his life from its beginnings in eastern Washington State to his fame as a world-renowned geologist, skillfully alternating personal experiences with the development of his understanding of the structure of Nevada's geology and the forces that shaped it. His fascination with ore-bearing minerals led to a long and productive career with the U.S. Geologic Survey, which took him to extended postings in Central America and later to Saudi Arabia, where he was instrumental in the redevelopment of the ancient gold mines at Mahd adh Dhahab, possibly the site of the biblical Ophir. But he returned again and again to Nevada, intrigued by its geological complexity and the precious minerals that lay hidden beneath its convoluted surfaces, and was involved in the development of a number of the state's most significant gold-mining areas. Roberts's account conveys his abiding enthusiasm for the processes of geology, and his captivating text allows his reader to share and understand that enthusiasm. His story is that of a geologist of unusual astuteness, a man whose professional successes were only part of a life marked by devotion to family and an unremitting curiosity about the world and people around him.
 

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Contents

FIGURES
1
The Early Years 19111939
12
Sonoma Range 19391942
28
Mineral Deposits of Central America 5 5
55
Military Geology
68
1942
83
Bingham CopperGold Project
106
Mahd adh Dhahab Cradle of Gold
132
Dreams Turned to Ashes 19602000
155
Consulting 19861994
173
Mij
186
Background on the Men of the uses
199
References
214
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

After forty-four years with the U.S. Geological Survey, Ralph J. Roberts retired in 1981 and formed a partnership providing consultation for the exploration of gold deposits, He is the recipient of numerous professional awards including the Distinguished Service Award from the U.S. Department of the Interior; the Man of the Year Award from the Nevada Mining Association; and the Medal of Merit from the American Mining Hall of Fame.

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