Electrum: Gold and Silver Together
January 2016 by Chris Ralph...if you are out prospecting and find something that looks very much like a nugget but has an odd greenish-gray cast to it, don’t be too quick to simply toss it aside as junk.
Gold on the bedrock is a good rule of thumb, but not one that is 100 percent effective. There are plenty of exceptions. So, how does a prospector recognize those exceptions?
The gravels in contact with the bedrock or false bedrock base are often the richest. The same facts apply to the alluvial paystreaks that are formed on gravel bars; the lowest level of the gold-bearing gravel is normally the richest.
For approximately 30 years, the mines produced good ore, some so rich it was simply sent straight to bagging, bypassing milling and loaded directly on the rail cars.
Only the richest ores could be worked and shipped off for processing at a profit. As a result, early mining in the southern part of the Humboldt Range was short-lived. In the 1880s, placers were discovered in Spring Valley and American Valley on the east side of the range...
He found 5 to 7 feet of gravel containing half an ounce per yard. This started a rush of placer activity and several other shafts were sunk, with some large multi-ounce nuggets being found.
I have been finding nuggets all my life, beginning in Sierra County 50 years ago, and believe me they don’t pop up out of the ground like mushrooms when they see me coming and say, “Here I am and take me home.”
The other opportunity that I see is in seeking unusual types of deposits. Specifically, the prospector would be searching for the stuff no one (or almost no one) is searching for. These deposits are effectively hiding in plain view.
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts • Ask The Experts • Ask The Experts • Ask The Experts • Detector Prospecting Accessories • Drywashing Arizona Gold • Mineralized Faults and Contacts in the Search for Gold • Sunshine and Gold • A Successful Trip Through Gold Basin • Oregon Miners File for Summary Judgment • The Significance of Nuggets in Placers • The Strange History of the Utica Mine • Forest Service Seeks to Lock Miners Out in South Dakota • Maitland Bar Nugget to Go On Display • Company Says Central Idaho Project Feasible • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices