Ophir—Possibly the Best Kept Secret in Alaska!
November 2013 by Chuck Merritt...I decided to excavate the semi-frozen high-bank that was resting on a soft shale bedrock footing. Within three feet, I encountered an intrusive!
Maybe we could find a few pieces of ore from that tunnel? It was worth a try. The old timers didn’t have that stamp mill for looks, so we set off to get some samples.
Kimberlite is very difficult for geologists to find, let alone prospectors and rock hounds. This is because kimberlite is rarely exposed on the surface and few people know how to identify the rock.
I picked up a noticeably heavy, fist-sized chunk of what I thought was a heavy piece of iron. After wiping some of the dirt and clay off, I still didn't know what on earth this object was.
At first we decided to see what the flat by our camp would produce where the old-timers had worked it with their Pelton wheel and dragline buckets.
The research I did for “Gold in the Slate Creek Basin” (September 2011 issue) found me chasing a channel out of the LaPorte territory headed towards the old mining town of Brandy City, California.
The gold was very chunky and much of it had quartz attached. Even back then I knew that the gold was very close to its source.
A retired gold prospector spent hours digging up his fortune in the northern goldfields near Kambalda, Western Australia, after finding the target with his metal detector.
The Bawl Mill • Ask the Experts • One Potato, Two Potato... • Proper Placer Sample Processing • Strategic Metals—Part I • Dry Washing to Capture Fine Gold • Are There Any Good Prospects Left? • Southern Oregon's Illinois River—A Lesson in Sharing • Using Sucker Guns to Find Gold • Making Adjustments to Catch Fine Gold • The Subsurface Suction Dredge • A Few Thoughts About Successful Nugget Hunting • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices