Mojave Desert Placer Mining
March 2002 by Frank Lorey IIISeveral locations in the Mojave Desert region of California have yielded placer gold, apparently scattered from nearby lode deposits that have long-since eroded from existence. Some of the areas are still popular with weekend prospectors, and some have been worked on a much larger scale in recent years.
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.
During the 49’er gold rush, because of harsh winters and adverse river conditions, the working season could be restricted for a week or more at a time. Moreover, many of the “argonauts” (a term dating back to the adventures of the early Greek gold seekers in seeking the Golden Fleece), were unprepared both mentally and physically to meet the harsh conditions.
It was only a few years ago that China was taxing and limiting quantities of exports for rare earths in an effort squeeze the market, drive up prices and extract the most in the way of income.
As I started walking down to the river one chilly morning, the mist was hanging over the calm portions of the water like a white cotton blanket. This scene got me to thinking about why the river was like that—the deep pools, boulder fields, gravel bars, the effects of how much water was moving at any given time along the watercourse—and most of all the relationship all these things have on where I will be able to find gold.
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 • 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 • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices