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.
I decided to dig near it to see if there were any more and immediately uncovered others. In total I found a pocket with over 100 crystals in it. I was hooked.
Not too far from the pine-filled mountains, a young boy was exploring along Meadow Creek in Cabarrus County, North Carolina, one fine day in 1799. He discovered a beautiful rock that he took home and put to good use as a doorstop. Shortly thereafter, a jeweler stopped by to visit his folks, and as it turned out, the new doorstop was actually a 17-pound gold nugget. That nugget truly did open a door as it marked the beginning of the first gold rush in America.
“I heard him hollering down in the hole as soon as I got there,” he said. “I was just glad to see him alive.”
One of his friends had 700 feet of small-gauge mine track and a hundred-year-old track bender laying out in his back 40; plus he also wanted to join the team. Perfect.
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 zone of influence of each sample must be carefully considered when deciding how far sample sites should be spaced from each other.
I worked my way to a flat area along a ridge where I could see a quartz blowout. As I got within 100 feet of it, I started seeing rock that I knew to be associated with gold.
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