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.
In 1967, a local resident showed me a pouch of small gold nuggets and flakes. Several years later I asked the same person where that gold was found. He responded, “From the streambed below the old stamp mill at Apex.”
The gravels in contact with the bedrock or false bedrock base are often the richest. The same facts apply to the alluvial paystreaks that are formed on gravel bars; the lowest level of the gold-bearing gravel is normally the richest.
My partner had the contacts and it wasn’t long before we had an agreement in place and the company had a geologist on site. I recall a time when he was getting the lay of the land, so to speak, and he broke off a rock sample and inspected it with his magnifier.
Prospectors who specialize in electronic detecting for nuggets in desert areas are especially interested in this type of deposit, as it yields nuggets that are close to the surface of the ground...
When my field assistant Jay Roberts and I entered the mine, it appeared as if someone just walked out of the mine, turned off the lights and never returned.
The Oatman/San Francisco Mining District’s historic gold production of 2.2 million ounces of gold since the 1880s makes this area Arizona’s greatest primary gold producing district.
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