Melman on Gold & Silver
March 2002 by Leonard MelmanWho would have thought it possible? According to a New York Times editorial in late January, they predict that the terrorist attack on September 11 will not be remembered by historians as the most significant event of the last half of 2001. Their new choice is the collapse of corporate giant Enron—and they just may be right.
• "Not a pollutant"
• Thank you Senator Sessions
• California suction dredging
• EPA uses secret email accounts
Indians used asphalt from oil seeps in California for caulking boats and other objects long before the white man arrived. Spaniards noted seeps as early as 1542, and the Portola expedition in 1769 used oil for wagon axles and as a fuel. Spaniards also used crude stills for obtaining lamp oil for use in the missions.
Most gold guidebooks just give a brief description of the geology of placers and focus more on the equipment and techniques used to recover placer gold or to metal detect for gold. This article hopes to stimulate your interest in a different direction.
Prospectors often wonder why gold deposits in veins like it does. Why is one vein rich while another is barren, even though they are only a few hundred feet apart?
I believe dry washing is an underappreciated prospecting method. There are plenty of places where there is some pretty decent gold to be had, but the spot is a long way from any water and dry processing may well be the best way to go.
The Bawl Mill • Our Readers Say • Greens Force Strategic Mine Out of Business • Silver Strike in Happy Camp, California • Gold in New Hampshire • Fabled 1933 Gold Coin Up For Sale • The Douglas Creek Placer District, Medicine Bow Mountains, Southeastern Wyoming • Picks & Pans: The California State Nugget • Aerial Photos • Mojave Desert Placer Mining • Mining Camp Adventures—The Collinsville-Twin Creek Goldfields • Monetary Freedom and Accountability Act • Company Notes • North Korea Seeks Outside Help to Modernize Mining • Aussie Gold—A Look at Tasmania • Looking Back • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices