Digging for buried treasure in Marathon Co. - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Digging for buried treasure in Marathon Co.


MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) -- Geologists are back to work in Marathon County -- digging for gold in the town of Easton. They're continuing the hunt for buried treasure.

"We're having good results and just right now we're starting to get on the main deposit and we're expecting some larger numbers," said Aquila Resources project geologist Nicholas Schlagenhaft.

Geologists discovered gold here decades ago, but decided it wasn't worth the cost to dig it up at the time. But things have changed.

"Right now, the gold prices are so high," said CWE environmental director and project scientist Stephanie Finamore. "That's driving the mining industry."

Last year, workers with Aquila Resources started taking samples of the gold -- using hollow diamond drill bits to bring those samples above ground. Last month, they started again.

"We're drilling at about a 50 to 60 degree angle and that's because the geology itself is situated at an angle dipping to the north," said Schlagenhaft.

Geologists are quick to point out this type of mining has little effect on the surrounding environment.

"As far as generating earthquakes or anything like that, it's just not going to happen," said Finamore.

They said it's also different from iron mining -- a hot topic right now at the Capitol.

"Madison is in such an upheaval with this mining bill that's going through," said Finamore. "It doesn't relate at all to the reef deposit."

The hours can be long and the payout -- microscopic.

"Every now and then you'll see little tiny flecks but for the most part, it's very small," said Schlagenhaft. "The gold's typically grain sizes of less than one micron which is tenths of millimeters."

But after exploring, geologists said they're optimistic they'll find enough of those little reasons to start a big mining project.

The project covers 600 acres in Marathon County.

If you'd like to see it for yourself -- you can. To set up an appointment, you can contact Aquila Resources at 715.393.4035.

To find out more about this project, you can click on this link.

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