Placer Gold Deposits of Utah
December 2018 by Chris Ralph
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.
Picking the right spot to placer has to do with years of experience, and a little luck. The textbooks can tell you where it should be, but sometimes the rules just don’t seem to apply.
I got a signal but knew it was small. Still, I was very happy to find something. I continued and got another signal. Yes! A bigger nugget! Then I got another signal.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could know if there is gold in the ground without setting foot on the ground? Well you can, to a certain extent, if you can recognize mined ground from unmined.
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.
Looking around, I could tell that this was an old hand-digging. As I walked around the perimeter of the digging I could see shovel and pick marks scratched on the clean, hard clay and bedrock.
I was amazed and surprised, and I took a moment to admire how beautiful this coarse chunk of gold was. It later weighed exactly one-half ounce.
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.
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