MINING TALUS PILES
are unconsolidated sediments resulting from the dumping of mine waste.
piles are rocks and gravels that form a scree slope (the natural slope of
accumulating falling rocks). Natural talus piles form as mountains, canyon walls
and other large rocks weather and pieces fall off, accumulating in a steeply
Since talus piles are as steep as possible, they are unstable and
a dangerous place to climb. Sliding down one can cause an avalanche.
Mining talus piles are formed as mines are excavated and the waste is dumped.
Often they contain portions of the target ores, sometimes they contain rare
minerals overlooked by the mine operators. Mineral collectors often sort through
such mining talus piles in the hopes of finding a unique and even possibly
valuable rare specimen.