A Golden Past
July 2021 by Ralph Wetterhahn
My mining partner Keith McBride and I spent a week in May working on a twenty-nine man crew split up into six teams at a couple of “pay to mine” mining camps.
After burning more than 350 square miles, the Carr Fire near Redding, California, was finally out. Luckily our home was spared, and I had the opportunity to go metal detecting in burned areas previously too overgrown to access.
Gold, on the other hand, is super rare, and is one of the rarest elements in the earth’s crust. It averages only 0.000004 percent of the earth’s surface. That is four parts in a billion.
Fortunately, there are products on the market that can address these problems and make a small-scale mining operation feasible.
My intention was to end this discussion with waypoints and routes, then I found USGS maps of the Plainfield Quadrangle.
A week later, a small team of us hit it again, and this time the gold really showed up.
We were met with a plethora of mechanical problems with the dry washer and even a few with the excavator that were at times frustrating, but we were in this for the long haul, so we needed to solve these problems and move forward.
Designing my own dredge...
The Bawl Mill • Legislative and Regulatory Update • Ask The Experts - What percentage of the gold price can I get from a buyer? • Ask The Experts - Is a hookah battery setup legal in California? • Ask The Experts - Are friends and relatives regulated like employees? • Ask The Experts - What do you use for flux for melting gold? • Ask The Experts - Why Isn't There A Dual Coil Detector? • Ask The Experts - Who has the rights to a vein that goes under a neighboring claim? • Ask The Experts - Is platinum usually magnetic? • Ten Detecting Tips for the Savvy Desert Prospector • All About Hard Rock Drills • Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: When a Gold Prospector Goes to a Diamond Mine • Why So Much Gold in Nevada? • Fire Assay Finish by Silver Nitrate Fusion for PGMs • Do Gold Nuggets Come Out At Night? • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices