Detecting Alluvial Bench Deposits -- Pt II
March 2017 by Reese TownesWalking around the gulch and exploring the upper drainage, picking up different rocks and inspecting them with a good loop, and looking them up in a field guide of rocks and minerals of your region will help you understand how the gold got there.
At first we decided to see what the flat by our camp would produce where the old-timers had worked it with their Pelton wheel and dragline buckets.
This was two days of gold panning, with just over 250 gold panners trying to win a medal to show they were one of the best of the best.
The big interest to prospectors thinking about the effect of erosion is not what might happen long into the future, but what they might find in the rivers later this summer when the water levels go down.
I had some success following this premise this summer, finding a few nuggets in places I think I overlooked in the past.
Some of the items that I’m going to go over are outcroppings, ditches, exploratory trenches and contacts/surface materials. I am going to speak about each of the above items in as much detail as I can, and then towards the end of this article I will tie them together.
Nuggets make for the best memories and this patch was just adding to mine. In the hours of daylight I had left, I worked from that nugget to the bottom of the patch, collecting eight more nuggets.
This year was a test. We had never done anything like this before, yet we grossed $30,000 in the short time we had to mine.
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