Mud Men: Pocket Miners of Southwest Oregon Part III
April 2011 by Tom BohmkerThe amount of gold in the traces from the low-grade scattered veinlets may be much more than the traces from the small but rich pocket, at least until the pocket hunter closes in on the rich pocket. Further confusion arises if the prospector stumbles across a placer deposit on one of the higher peaks.
We were met with a plethora of mechanical problems with the dry washer and even a few with the excavator that were at times frustrating, but we were in this for the long haul, so we needed to solve these problems and move forward.
My first clean-up showed that my efforts were not in vain. There was considerable color with some good-sized nuggets in the riffle trap.
So why would a modern-day prospector want to learn about a method of mining that was banned by the courts more than a century ago?
This is just the type of specimen that could have been easily ignored by the old-time miners. It felt a little heavier in my hand than a chunk of quartz of that size ought to have been.
Time is a commodity which if traded would dwarf the price of gold. Nobody has enough of it; we can’t make more of it; and whether squandered or spent wisely, once gone, it’s gone forever. To find gold we have to spend time.
During this trip we found enough gold to make us want to come back, even with the punishment of a very long, tough hike.
Potholes in bedrock can trap placer minerals and even be glory holes. They are, at least, interesting geologic phenomena, and at best, a treasure trove of gold nuggets.
The Bawl Mill • Mining Claims—What to Know Before You File • Prospecting Underground: Use Caution • Small-Scale Concentrating and Recovery Methods • 5th Circuit Ruling May Benefit Miners • Indicator Minerals for Gold & Silver • Legislative and Regulatory Update • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices • Silver Mining Returning to Texas