Highbanking for Gold
August 2018 by Chris Ralph
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.
Within this area, about two million ounces of gold and fifty million ounces of silver have been mined. Faults, dikes, veins and fissures that carry the ore form a concentric radial pattern—like spokes on a wagon wheel—around the caldera core.
There is always an overwhelming feeling when finding gold of any size, but one like this doesn’t come along very often.
After your excitement peaks when you first receive the high gold assay from the vein you just exposed, you ponder how you will extract and sell your gold. You will need to develop a flow sheet for your process to optimize your recovery and minimize your costs and permit requirements.
I am learning more about gold deposition in this area than I knew previously. I am passing this information on with the hope that many of you will be able to locate patches and lines a little easier in the future because of this article.
This is the story of a nugget patch I’ve been working on that is a bit unusual. I won’t be telling you where it is located, but I will tell you how I found it and how I’ve worked it.
This second trip down was a challenge. It started in Colfax on the Stevens Trail, where the distance to the river is four miles with an elevation drop of about 1,000 feet.
The mine site consists of river gravels from an ancient channel covering over 20 acres, and the place is covered with very large river rock and small tree overgrowth.
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