Attention to Detail - Part II
September 2016 by Ray MillsDitches almost always started in the high country and contoured the mountainsides, making a long drop, usually many miles away, to the goldfields. There are ditches in Trinity County that originate at seven and eight thousand feet in the Trinity Alps that carried water almost thirty miles.
The first experience involved an overgrown gold mine operated during the 1880s. A razed mill adjoined the mine and could be glimpsed from the isolated public dirt road I was traveling.
His findings were not exaggerated—after running 82 buckets of gravels in two days we had a remarkable 27.8 grams of gold!
I couldn’t wait to get started. With no field budget, an assay budget of $100/year, a 1975-Ford Bronco that was a road hazard, a gas card, a topo map and full support of the director, I headed to the State Line district near Tie Siding along US Highway 287 to begin mapping kimberlite.
Nuggets make for the best memories and this patch was just adding to mine. In the hours of daylight I had left, I worked from that nugget to the bottom of the patch, collecting eight more nuggets.
Some will doubt its value given the ultra-fine particle size… Some will become encouraged about not having to incur significant time and expense to break rock.
Each day for the first part of the week my boys and I picked and chipped away at that wall, stockpiling dirt in 5-gallon buckets and cement mixing tubs.
Old mine workings and tailing piles can represent opportunities on many levels, from the chance to simply find a nugget on up to the commercial reworking of the old tailings for profit.
The Bawl Mill • Our Readers Say • Ask The Experts: Is there a safe DIY alternative to cyanide or mercury for extraction? • Ask The Experts: Should I take my claim access problems to the Desert Advisory Council? • Ask The Experts: How do I identify gold in hard rock that may be mixed with other metals? • Ask The Experts • Ask The Experts • Legislative and Regulatory Update • Pickers and Nuggets • Modern-Day Claim Jumping • Oregon's Waldo and Galice Mining Districts Unite • The Seven Troughs Mining District • CA Supreme Court Rules Against Rinehart - But There Is A Solution • Summertime Gold Panning • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices
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