Downieville: Another Gold Rush Favorite
October 2021 by Dan Stanton
I didn’t know what to expect because the area we were working was not close to the water, but we were pleasantly surprised when we began to pan out some nice flakes and a few pickers.
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 you’re going to successfully detect nuggets you must not only know a little about finding gold and detecting, but you also need to know your own limits, have a dash of luck and a lot of persistence.
We just completed a trip to another river, and yes, there was definite movement and redistribution of gravels, and other prospectors have seen this as well.
Old tailing piles extend for miles. There was still plenty of water flowing here, so WPA members set up highbankers at several settling ponds.
The placer deposits of Utah occur in two distinct types of environments. These are 1) placers found adjacent to, and derived from, gold, silver and base-metal deposits; and 2) placers found in major rivers and derived from unknown, distant sources.
I believe dry washing is an underappreciated prospecting method. There are plenty of places where there is some pretty decent gold to be had, but the spot is a long way from any water and dry processing may well be the best way to go.
On my weekends off I spent many hours dredging the Second Broad River from Cane Creek Road up to the headwaters. I used a three-inch dredge with air and graduated to a five-inch with air.
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts - Is the trumpet plant a good indicator of minerals? • Ask The Experts - Why won’t my detector respond on wire gold? • Ask The Experts - Should I be able to locate gold near old volcanoes? • Secrets of Gold Research and Why You Need It • Detecting 'New Again' Spots • The Miner’s Theme Park: MINExpo 2021 • Placer Sampling for the Small-Scale Miner • Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: The Disappearing Nuggets • National Mining Hall of Fame Names 2021 Inductees • Lithium Fuels Hopes Around Salton Sea • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices