Gully Prospecting and Mining
September 2014 by Don RobinsonThis article is about our recent gold prospecting adventure, which has yielded over 20 ounces of specimen gold—with more to come.
An online video gave me some ideas, and with a lot of trial and error I developed a reliable method of panning free gold particles down below 35 microns quickly and easily.
Before I tell you what dredging backwards is, I’ll tell you why my team and I decided to give this very unconventional dredging method a try.
Perhaps the most notable thing about skim placers is that they form on the top surface of gravel bars, as opposed to coarser gold placers where the weight of the gold particles allows the gold to settle down on or near bedrock.
I had never run an impact mill before, but anything involving rocks, water and a big electric motor sounded great.
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.
I grew up in Southern California, and found my first nugget there, so I know my way around. Because there is good gold there, I thought it might be helpful to take a look at the many placer gold opportunities found in the southern part of the state.
Our destination was some old hydraulic workings where the old miners had washed literally mountains of material away to expose gold in ancient river channels.
The Bawl Mill • Ask the Experts • Ask the Experts • Taking on the EPA, Sasquatch, Ratchilla and Gold Dredging • Wilfley Tables—Repair, Rebuild & Set Up • Designing and Evaluating Placer Gold Recovery Plants • Finding Streams of Gold • This is Why You Check Your Tailings • Lode or Placer: What Difference Does It Make? • New Rules to Impact the Lease/Buy Decision • There's a First Time for Everyone • Appeals Court OKs Permits for Upper Peninsula Mine • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices