Drywashing for Fine Gold
October 2017 by Alex Dolbeare
When working fine gold placers with a drywasher, there are some natural variables that can be beneficial as well as others that can be a hindrance to achieving good recovery.
The first thing I realized was this was not a toy—this thing had power and I needed to really pay attention. I got into position, took a deep breath, and pushed that monster into the hard pack.
Sampling other people's stockpiles or dumps has some inherent risks that sampling undisturbed ground does not have.
He began hiking my way and was as astonished as I was when he saw it. Another high five moment! It makes you wonder how long this gold had just been sitting there on the ground.
I was able to remove the gravels with the assistance of a crowbar and I scooped them up with a garden trowel. This gravel contained over a pennyweight of gold and there were several 2-grain and 3-grain pieces…
It was one of those awkward situations as we walked, fatigued and too thirsty to speak a word.
Our theory was that a dredge would collect far more material in a shorter period of time, leaving us with ounces of gold every day.
Because the old timers were so good at locating the better paying deposits—most of them along clay seams in this particular area—it makes good sense to try and locate these clay lines at old mining sites.
The Bawl Mill • Legislative and Regulatory Update • Ask The Experts - Where should I get my geology degree? • Ask The Experts - How much rock shall I crush to determine the value? • Placers Directly Associated with Lode Deposits • Is It Time for a Change? New Ways to Find More Gold • MMAC Update • Silverton's Gold • Procuring Mine Owner Permission at a Mine Site • Champions Crowned at the California State Gold Panning Championships • ICMJ Gold Prospecting and Mining Summit Postponed • Kennecott Copper Mine, Kennecott, Alaska • High Prices for Gold, Silver & Copper: What Does it Mean for Prospectors? • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices