Cold Alaskan Gold—Part II
October 2012 by Chris RalphI decided to focus my attention on some exposed bedrock that was along a little stream only about 100 yards from our cabins. My very first pan full of gravel showed several nice small flakes that were just big enough to be picked up with my fingers. That first pan showed that indeed there was some very nice gold to be had here...
Before I tell you what dredging backwards is, I’ll tell you why my team and I decided to give this very unconventional dredging method a try.
Once again the coil was put over the spot but the target was in the pile now. I pinpointed, grabbed a handful of dirt and began sprinkling it over the coil until I heard that mild thud.
The metal is expensive, not because it is rare but because of the expense to produce and work it. The minerals mined for titanium are all oxides, unlike many base metals that are mostly mined as sulfide minerals.
The amount of gold in the traces from the low-grade scattered veinlets may be much more than the traces from the small but rich pocket, at least until the pocket hunter closes in on the rich pocket. Further confusion arises if the prospector stumbles across a placer deposit on one of the higher peaks.
Our theory was that a dredge would collect far more material in a shorter period of time, leaving us with ounces of gold every day.
So much of gold detecting depends on attention to detail. Every gold area offers its own distinct geological markers and as prospectors we must pick up on those markers.
The higher the sensitivity setting, the louder and sharper the signal from a gold nugget or other metal target.
The Bawl Mill • Our Readers Say • Ask the Experts • Ask the Experts • Dredging Backwards? • Tips for Detecting Old Hydraulic Pits • The Verde Copper-Gold-Silver-Zinc District, Jerome, Arizona • Recluse Died with $7 Million in Gold • California State and US National Panning Championships • A Data Miner Builds A Power Sluice • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices