Carr Fire Gold
April 2019 by David Obester
After burning more than 350 square miles, the Carr Fire near Redding, California, was finally out. Luckily our home was spared, and I had the opportunity to go metal detecting in burned areas previously too overgrown to access.
Our destination was some old hydraulic workings where the old miners had washed literally mountains of material away to expose gold in ancient river channels.
And we eventually reached gold. It was a winding crevice of beautiful white quartz lined with small nuggets and loaded with fine gold. There were flakes and small granular pieces—there had to be a hundred or more.
So why would a modern-day prospector want to learn about a method of mining that was banned by the courts more than a century ago?
There are several counties around Shasta County that offer very good gold detecting. Many of these locations are old hydraulic pits. While detecting these old pits over the years I have come up with some ideas on how to go about hunting them.
I recently found myself wondering what would be the ultimate prospecting adventure. What would be the most amazing thing if I had no restrictions or limitations?
Across and downstream of our operation was a large pile of huge boulders. It was logical to think that water forces may have deposited gold in and around these boulders. We moved our dredge over and started pulling the rock pile apart.
While recovery rates are important, they must necessarily be secondary to the volume of material processed. Running more material at lower recovery rates is generally preferable to increasing the efficiency of the system.
The Bawl Mill • Our Readers Say • Ask The Experts - Is there a Forest Service camping limit for mining claims? • Ask The Experts - Should I be focusing on uranium and thorium? • Ask The Experts - What is this sample worth? • Ask The Experts - Need help finding production records • How To File A Mining Claim • Back to Basics--Finding Gold With a Pan and a Sluice • Persistence Leads to Over a Pound of Gold • Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: The Superbowl Nugget • Revisiting The Old Mini Patch • Preserving the True History of the Ivanhoe • Secrets of Successful Prospecting • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices