Gold in Moffat County, Colorado
March 1999 by Edgar B. Heylmun, PhDThe area of interest in this article is in eastern Moffat County, located in northwestern Colorado adjacent to the Wyoming line. It is a high, sagebrush prairie which ranges from 6,200 to 7,200 feet in elevation, north and northwest of the county seat of Craig (pop. 8,000).
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After a long winter, gold flakes swirling around in black sand at the bottom of my pan was a welcome sight.
Unfortunately, mining is politically unpopular and support of the mining industry, no matter how many jobs it brings to a state, even in times of difficult financial need, is never popular among politicians of any stripe.
We decided to check some spots that were pretty good to us on previous trips. The detector was deceptively simple with few buttons and auto-ground balance.
The Big Swede was working his pan trying to get rid of the black sand. Usually there were others at the river, but on this day he was there alone. He figured that most of the other fellow miners were either doing their laundry, or working.
by Ronald F. Balazik
Excerpted from USGS Mineral Industry Survey's 1998 Annual Review
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