California: The Land of Big Nuggets—Part II
January 2018 by Chris Ralph
There are a number of Tertiary river channels in the area, most of which trend south-southwest. They tend to be steep, narrow, and rich with coarse gold.
I recently had the opportunity to spend a day exploring around Butte, Montana and was amazed by the amount of mining that has taken place there. The old-timers called Butte “the richest hill on earth” and had pretty good reasons for doing so.
There is reason to believe these stream valleys are still rich with gold, silver and copper.
With successively lower temperatures as the water mixture cools, new sets of minerals are formed and many of those stable at a higher degree of heat became subject to alteration as the temperature progressively moved lower.
Common thought is the switchback slows the velocity of the rushing water and gold drops out from the cut bank to a fill gravel bar within or below the switchback. I am not going to disregard that model; however, I hope to improve upon it.
The fact that mineral deposits can contribute specific types of heavy minerals is why the analysis of the heavy mineral concentrates in the streams of an area can be an important prospecting technique for finding undiscovered mineral deposits.
In some places, semi-continuous sections of riverbed can easily be linked in many places to identify the path of the ancient rivers.
I’ve been fascinated by iron minerals for many years. So let’s take a look at this very interesting and colorful element.
The Bawl Mill • Legislative and Regulatory Update • How to Interpret Assay Values • Bedrock Nugget Hunting: Tools of the Trade • A Primer on Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies • Gold Hunting on Libby Creek • PLP and MMAC Update • Man's Best Friend • An Interview with Minelab Engineer Mark Lawrie • Third Largest Nugget in Existence Returns to Dallas • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices