Green Valley Reconnaissance
January 2013 by Don RobinsonDuring this trip we found enough gold to make us want to come back, even with the punishment of a very long, tough hike.
As I started walking down to the river one chilly morning, the mist was hanging over the calm portions of the water like a white cotton blanket. This scene got me to thinking about why the river was like that—the deep pools, boulder fields, gravel bars, the effects of how much water was moving at any given time along the watercourse—and most of all the relationship all these things have on where I will be able to find gold.
Shallow water crevicing or sniping can produce gold if you’re persistent, a hard worker and lucky. It’s nice to have a snorkel, wet suit and goggles. The best practice for success, in my humble opinion, has always been to determine the best gold location and then figure out how to capture it.
Pumps can be set up quite a distance away horizontally from the sluice, even hundreds of feet. It will work so long as there is sufficient water at the source where the pump is located. Vertical distance is more of a problem than horizontal distance; 30 to 40 feet is the maximum vertical climb for most pumps.
This is just the type of specimen that could have been easily ignored by the old-time miners. It felt a little heavier in my hand than a chunk of quartz of that size ought to have been.
The old report I read indicated all they ever did was dig some trenches and take samples. It sounded to me like a good place to take my metal detector...
...if you have a good, rich spot, hand-operated systems can produce some decent gold.
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 Bawl Mill • From the Editor • Ask the Experts • Iron Minerals, Your Detector and Gold • The Robinson Mine—Big Things Happen Here • Forty-Six Nuggets • Customizing Your Dredge • Small Miner Beats Forest Service in Court • Using Vegetation and Soil Conditions as Prospecting Aids • Prospecting for Diamonds • Gold Pour Signals Revival in the Mother Lode • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices