How Do I Recover Gold In Black Sands?
April 2022 by Chris Ralph
Prospectors deal with black sands in lots of different ways. I know that some prospectors worry about getting every speck of gold and save black sands in buckets until they have hundreds of pounds.
Some will doubt its value given the ultra-fine particle size… Some will become encouraged about not having to incur significant time and expense to break rock.
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.
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.
As I write this, I am still on a rush from taking my 9-year-old son, Jeffrey, prospecting for the first time this past weekend. It’s not that he hasn’t been along on numerous outings before: this is the first time that just the two of us went out for a day of drywashing and detecting under the desert sun.
I had two of the guys go down into the creek and each one picked out a small island of bedrock. I had them detect their piece of bedrock and then gave a critique to all on how they did.
The call of gold is a strong one and it has pulled men from every corner of the planet. That said, I guess it’s now my turn to chase far away gold.
There are many other locations in the area where gold has been found, but Woods Creek is the most famous of the creeks and gulches in the area where the 49ers searched for that elusive yellow metal.
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