Beach Mining for Placer Gold
June 2019 by Rob Roy
What I saw was a beach area that was just completely covered in black sand. Rubbing my hands close together like a kid in a candy store, I could not wait to get set up.
Looking around, I could tell that this was an old hand-digging. As I walked around the perimeter of the digging I could see shovel and pick marks scratched on the clean, hard clay and bedrock.
Winters are a great time to explore the hills in the area of the Middle Camp, Oro Fino and La Cholla placers on the southern flank of the Dome Rock Mountains.
My plan was to go up the canyon along a ridge and then drop into the canyon whenever I came across a spot that might give me reasonable access.
Once you have determined that the land is locatable, the next step in the claim research process is to determine if the land has already been claimed by a previous locator.
One of the first minerals most prospectors learn to recognize is quartz, because, in the right circumstances, it can be an excellent indicator mineral for prospectors. Quartz is common, easy to identify, and is often associated with gold and other valuable metal deposits.
My wife Fran and I were brushing and repairing the road to our claim when we were interrupted by a fellow in a pretty yellow Jeep heading out to the local town of Quincy, California.
Chris got a nice target signal on the edge of rising bedrock, but still in a low, but washed area. After breaking up the bedrock, he recovered several pieces of gold amounting to almost three pennyweight.
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