October 2012 by Ron KliewerBefore 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.
My plan was to go up the canyon along a ridge and then drop into the canyon whenever I came across a spot that might give me reasonable access.
When we got set up and I started to swing the coil over a small mound, I got a good signal, faint but repeatable.
In some places valuable ores can be found within the waste material of mine dumps, sorted ore piles, and detrital vein matter at the surface. Though many of these old mine sites can be an excellent source of gold, not all are created equal.
Not too far from the pine-filled mountains, a young boy was exploring along Meadow Creek in Cabarrus County, North Carolina, one fine day in 1799. He discovered a beautiful rock that he took home and put to good use as a doorstop. Shortly thereafter, a jeweler stopped by to visit his folks, and as it turned out, the new doorstop was actually a 17-pound gold nugget. That nugget truly did open a door as it marked the beginning of the first gold rush in America.
After a while I got a very nice signal and out came a sweet kidney-shaped bit of gold weighing about three grams.
I recently grew complacent, and it caused me to make a mistake that resulted in the loss of a mining claim. It brought my mining plans for the summer to a complete halt.
This was no ordinary nugget. It had not traveled very far from its nearby source, and that did mean a lot, as we were searching for the source of several such nuggets found during a gold rush that occurred in 1859.
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