Alaskan Gold Adventure
December 2016 by Amanda FitzhughIn Chicken I had my first experience with the famous Alaska blue clay, sometimes called the blue layer. The blue layer is where the best fine gold was to be found.
The placer deposits of Utah occur in two distinct types of environments. These are 1) placers found adjacent to, and derived from, gold, silver and base-metal deposits; and 2) placers found in major rivers and derived from unknown, distant sources.
The gold in this area can get quite large. Most of the pieces are about half a pennyweight on average.
I love to see old-timer workings while I am out detecting for gold. For one thing, it assures me that gold came from there. Second, it tells me gold should almost certainly still be there.
I decided to focus my attention on some exposed bedrock that was along a little stream only about 100 yards from our cabins. My very first pan full of gravel showed several nice small flakes that were just big enough to be picked up with my fingers. That first pan showed that indeed there was some very nice gold to be had here...
Getting started in prospecting often requires the purchase of some equipment, but one can spend as little as $10 and be finding gold or spend thousands and also be finding gold—yet you will probably have many more opportunities and possibilities with more and better equipment.
I had some success following this premise this summer, finding a few nuggets in places I think I overlooked in the past.
Our research indicated this whole area had been claimed by Newmont mining company for several years, but when the price of gold dropped they let the claims expire, and we confirmed this with the local BLM office.
The Bawl Mill • Our Readers Say • Ask the Experts: What type of wetsuit do I need? • Prospector's Guide to Rock Breaking and Blasting • MMAC Update • Pros and Cons of Big Detector Coils • Prospecting and Mining Old Mine Sites • Detecting Strategies for Heavily Forested Areas • Mining Districts and Community Outreach • Learning the Game and the Power to Change It • Central Idaho Federal Employees Back to Work With Local Help • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices • Melman on Gold & Silver