Cold Water Gold
December 2011 by Tom LeftwichIt was June 2011, and my wife Fran and I with Grandson Lucas and good friend Ernie Cruz were attempting to get to our gold mining claim on the Middle Fork of the Feather River about ten miles from Quincy, California. Rain had poured down in the previous few days and the road in a large number of low places was under water. Following two hours of slugging through the mud...
For the last two years we’ve held a hands-on prospectors training session in the Iowa Hill district of California’s Mother Lode country as a part of our Gold Prospecting and Mining Summit event. Because of this, I thought it might be good to take a look at the history, geology and opportunities that the Iowa Hill district still offers to the individual prospector.
Please note that new mining claims filed on or after September 1, 2019, will be subject to the new fee schedule.
Once a seam is found it can be traced for miles in either direction. While you are tracing a clay line, you are looking for indicators. The indicators that I look for are ironstone, hematite, different color clays intermingled with the clay line, and a very iron-rich, brown gritty soil.
My hunch was that the gold is coming down the apron, falling off to both sides and into both gulches. I say that because the gold we found previously has the same characteristics and color across the entire area.
A two-pronged approach is necessary to restore suction dredging; federal preemption needs to be established as addressed above via petition; and clarification from the EPA is needed to establish that no Section 402 permit is necessary when there is no “addition” of a pollutant.
Picking the right spot to placer has to do with years of experience, and a little luck. The textbooks can tell you where it should be, but sometimes the rules just don’t seem to apply.
Within the first 3 hours he and I had found pocket after pocket of gold and couldn't wait to tell Levi of our treasure.
The Bawl Mill • Our Readers Say • Ask the Experts—Looking up mining claims on the Internet • Ask the Experts—Access to mining claim across private land • Ask the Experts—Best way to identify calaverite and sylvanite • Legislative and Regulatory Update • WSGS Releases New Geologic Maps • Prospecting on the North Yuba • Yesterday's Gold—Today's Mine • Where to Find Gold in Indiana • Prospecting Australia—Part III Anatomy of a Nugget Patch in Western Australia • Nevada Miners: Check Your Claim Markers • Managers at Fault for Two Deaths at Meikle Mine • River Dredging vs. Creek Dredging—Part I • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices