Piggin' for Gold
May 2015 by Tom LeftwichTake a look at the picture—it’s pretty simple and you can build it yourself.
On my weekends off I spent many hours dredging the Second Broad River from Cane Creek Road up to the headwaters. I used a three-inch dredge with air and graduated to a five-inch with air.
We chose this particular area because an old channel had run here at one point and had been heavily worked on top of a mountain hilltop. Erosion patterns cut deeply on each side, leaving the channel exposed. The erosion cut sharply, dropping into ravines far below.
When working fine gold placers with a drywasher, there are some natural variables that can be beneficial as well as others that can be a hindrance to achieving good recovery.
I’d like to offer some practical comments about staking and maintaining mining claims. Owning your own claim is the dream of many prospectors. I’ve made good money off my mining claims, both from the minerals I have found on them as well as from leasing out some of my claims to larger mining and exploration companies.
In October, five of us decided to take an exploration trip into an area called Green Valley. This was perhaps ten miles upstream from where we had gone in September and the difficulty was access. One would think that based on the name it was an easily accessible area not far from a nearby town. This couldn’t be more wrong.
The placer deposits of Utah occur in two distinct types of environments. These are 1) placers found adjacent to, and derived from, gold, silver and base-metal deposits; and 2) placers found in major rivers and derived from unknown, distant sources.
Once indicators start showing up along or below a contact I start to get excited. When I have shale, and outcroppings of diorite with iron-red, gritty soil and some clay thrown in, I really get lightheaded. I may be a mile away from the nearest diggings but that’s okay. I just found a spot that could provide some nice nugget hunting.
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts • Ask The Experts • California's Mother Lode Quartz Veins • Key to Successful Prospecting: Confidence • What To Look For—And Look Out For—In A Placer Mineral Report • Additional Note on Bluff's Beach • Surface Indications Of Quartz Adularia Epithermal Deposits • Montana’s Rosetta Stone: Discovering Mines In The Treasure State • Perception of Mining vs. Reality • Partnering for Tax Savings • Over The Divide: Charles Lewis Garrett • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices • Melman on Gold & Silver