Commercial Placer Mining: Alaska Style
September 2021 by Chris Ralph
There are currently about 170 commercial-scale placer operations in Alaska. Most of these are small operations with just a few people working; they are often family affairs that operate seasonally only during favorable weather.
If you want to get better gold you will need to put your detector down for a while .
I woke up on Sunday morning, August 10, to heavy smoke. I saw where it was coming from, but it seemed like it was a long way off so I thought I was okay for the time being.
In my early days of nugget hunting things were fairly simple. Just headphones, a pack, a detector and a small pick were all I needed for my search for great wealth.
Gold and jade are actually only minor mineral resources for the Northwestern Alaska region as a whole. Modern prospecting has focused more on base metal than precious metal resources.
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.
My wife Maureen and I spend part of our winter season in the Quartzsite, Arizona area. One fine March morning, we left our RV camping area at approximately 10am in search of that elusive yellow metal with our metal detectors.
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