Gold Placers in Italy
Gold is a fairly widespread mineral in the Italian Alps and in the Northern Apennines. It is found both in primary mineralization and in past and recent floods.
Last month, one of our readers requested an article regarding the possible use of Google Earth for prospecting research. It was a good idea, so here it is.
Just three weeks ago one of our prospecting team members decided to go back to this location on his own. He had a new detector and wanted to try it out some.
Old tailing piles extend for miles. There was still plenty of water flowing here, so WPA members set up highbankers at several settling ponds.
Picking the right spot to placer has to do with years of experience, and a little luck. The textbooks can tell you where it should be, but sometimes the rules just don’t seem to apply.
The first experience involved an overgrown gold mine operated during the 1880s. A razed mill adjoined the mine and could be glimpsed from the isolated public dirt road I was traveling.
The same questions you ask yourself about gold trapping features in the present stream can be applied to the benches above the stream. Just imagine the stream at a much earlier time, before it cut its way down to the present level…
The technique I will describe is a much safer alternative and it works. It’s a fine-gold panning technique that eliminates the need for mercury amalgamation of most placer samples.
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