Green Valley's Fine Gold Patch
October 2019 by Don Robinson
Once across, I panned a couple of spots around some old grass roots and the fine gold was amazingly heavy. Every pan I ran after that had lots of color.
Plumas has been historically rich in gold because of its favorable geology. The Melones Fault trends north-south through the county and many rich gold-bearing districts lie along its course.
I suspect detailed geological mapping and prospecting would lead to discovery of one or more overlooked gold deposits in the district even though it has been heavily prospected in the past.
Once again the coil was put over the spot but the target was in the pile now. I pinpointed, grabbed a handful of dirt and began sprinkling it over the coil until I heard that mild thud.
The problem is that extracting gold from hard rock is often a lot more difficult than processing placer gravels. Still, there is some very high-grade ore out there in many old mining areas.
I furiously started pulling material out of the side wall and putting it in my scoop. It didn't take long to discover that the source of the scream was from a one-ounce chunk...
There is always an overwhelming feeling when finding gold of any size, but one like this doesn’t come along very often.
The area was mined intermittently from around 1900 to 1915, but was also mined in the late 1800s, with a total output valued at about $100,000, which is around $9.5 million at the current gold price.
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