Cold Alaskan Gold—Part I
September 2012 by Chris RalphCrowds may be great for football games or the Fourth of July, but not for prospecting. So, this summer, while thousands of gold seekers were heading to the coast of Alaska, I headed to a remote part of the Interior.
The excavator or backhoe has become the tool of choice for testing placer ground. These machines are the best way to explore and sample a placer deposit if the ground is not too wet or frozen and bedrock is not beyond the reach of the machine.
If the material drops down out of the hopper too fast, it can overwhelm the riffles and you can blow the gold right out. If it runs too slowly, the riffles can clog up and the process is too slow.
Excited for this first notable evidence, I returned to that riverbed, looking for another paystreak and obviously more jade.
It was one of those awkward situations as we walked, fatigued and too thirsty to speak a word.
In October, five of us decided to take an exploration trip into an area called Green Valley. This was perhaps ten miles upstream from where we had gone in September and the difficulty was access. One would think that based on the name it was an easily accessible area not far from a nearby town. This couldn’t be more wrong.
Over the years, I've noticed a pattern in the type of rocks associated with the best gold deposits in Midwestern glacial gravel.
What do you do when you’ve located a promising deposit of gold or gemstones, but it’s trapped in solid rock?
The Bawl Mill • Wild and Scenic River Prospecting—North Fork of the American River • Detecting for Gold—Finding Nuggets Where You Least Expect Them • Potholes and Other Bedrock Traps • Financing by the Crowd • Wealth Beyond Your Wildest Imagination • Gold Too Big to Carry • The World of the Simple Gold Pan • New Silver and Zinc Mine Slated for Montana • Eastern Oregon Mine Seeks Permits • Mining Returns to Historic Comstock • BLM Issues Environmental Review of Wyoming Uranium Mine • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices