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.
The specific gravity of chalcedony is 2.58 to 2.64. This is slightly lower than coarsely crystalline quartz because of slight porosity in chalcedony. Being so light, it will easily wash out of a gold pan.
Because tungsten minerals are heavy, exploration can be done using stream sediment samples. Prospectors looking for gold have found scheelite or wolframite in their placer concentrates, and in some cases this has led them to make important tungsten finds.
Gold has always been noted to have an affinity for quartz to such a degree prospectors almost always dig on quartz veins in a search for the precious metal.
While both zinc and lead deposits also are enriched by the surface weathering process, in part two we will look at the enrichment process for copper and also gold deposits, and at the interpretation of leached outcrops to figure how rich the concentrated deposits below them may be.
The areas that were mineralized with the bedded ore were huge and vast tonnages were indicated, although they had no idea at the time.
The big interest to prospectors thinking about the effect of erosion is not what might happen long into the future, but what they might find in the rivers later this summer when the water levels go down.
Because quartz and gold may be deposited together across a considerable range of temperatures, not all quartz veins are the same, and there are several different types of gold-quartz deposits.
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