Hunting Down Paystreaks
April 2018 by Chris Ralph
When I teach people about finding gold, I often explain that it is helpful to think of any river or stream that carries gold as being something like a sluice box.
With the high price of gold, there are many new prospectors out in the hills all over the United States, and while we would all prefer to be finding those larger nuggets, it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes all that is available is nothing more than a few small flakes. The truth is, new prospectors are sprouting up all across the planet—especially in the developing nations.
Setting up a gravity dredge
The whole purpose of sampling mineralized ground is to measure the values in a small volume of material that would be representative of a much larger volume of similar material. The key word is representative. Chemical and fire assaying will not accurately represent placer deposits by themselves.
The 2011 gold season had finally got underway on the Middle Fork of the Feather River near Quincy, California. Cold weather and high water had pushed gold mining into mid-summer, but things were looking up.
Feeling through the mud, I felt the weight and shape of what could only be gold. Throwing my hand in the water revealed a sixteen-gram nugget oozing with character.
Our research indicated this whole area had been claimed by Newmont mining company for several years, but when the price of gold dropped they let the claims expire, and we confirmed this with the local BLM office.
The Bawl Mill • Legislative and Regulatory Update • Ask The Experts - What Do I Look For and How Do I Sample? • Ask The Experts - Prospecting Around Graeagle • Deep Nuggets From The Strange Little Patch • We’re Still Thinking About It • Springtime Sampling In The High Desert • How to Evaluate Mineral Claims—What to Know Before You Buy • Dredging Safety: Don't Ignore The Warning Signs • Russian Plane Spills 3 Tons of Gold on Runway • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices