A Gold Mine on a Washington Beach?
February 2012 by Associated PressBela and Barbara Kovacs began prospecting for gold about seven years ago as a family orientated outdoors activity. A welder by trade and lured by the simple fact that beach sands can contain small bits of precious metals, Bela decided a few years ago to build a sand sucking contraption that can sift the shoreline for anything worth keeping.
The excavator or backhoe has become the tool of choice for testing placer ground. These machines are the best way to explore and sample a placer deposit if the ground is not too wet or frozen and bedrock is not beyond the reach of the machine.
I probably swung over a few targets without noticing them. My first target came about ten minutes later as I went over a part of the high bench in this wide section of the dry wash.
Back at our campsite, while the rest of us grabbed a late four o’clock lunch, Fallyn volunteered to do the clean-up panning.
We all continued over to another location at the top of a massive placer operation. Arriving at the draw, I showed everyone where gold had been found before and we all began detecting.
The biggest nugget I have found detecting here was three grams and the following weekend someone found a 9-gram nugget while detecting. Some have even found quarter-ounce nuggets, with one being a chevron nugget.
The big interest to prospectors thinking about the effect of erosion is not what might happen long into the future, but what they might find in the rivers later this summer when the water levels go down.
If the material drops down out of the hopper too fast, it can overwhelm the riffles and you can blow the gold right out. If it runs too slowly, the riffles can clog up and the process is too slow.
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