Ask The Experts
April 2015 by Chris Ralph• Making a noisy dredge more quiet
There are many smaller old hard rock mines out there—more than you might think. There are some small hard rock properties that are even open to be claimed if one does the right amount of research to find them.
There are currently three controlling agencies or entities over suction dredging in California—and you can make that four if the state legislature decides to further muddy the waters with additional legislation to block suction gold dredging in the state.
There were nice sections of vein material at the end of several drifts, like they just stopped work one day and walked away.
I thought things started off okay until I realized I had forgotten some of my gear and had to return to the house. My troubled start was not helped when my boy came up to me a few minutes after my return to show me his first nugget of the day.
Plumas has been historically rich in gold because of its favorable geology. The Melones Fault trends north-south through the county and many rich gold-bearing districts lie along its course.
Don’t hunker down and just keep digging in one spot where there is very little or no gold—if you don’t find it, you’ve got to get up and move on!
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.
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