June 2021 by Scott Harn
I had the opportunity to attend the Public Lands for the People (PLP) get together near Randsburg, California in late April/early May.
Over 100 prospectors gathered for three days of detecting, drywashing and camaraderie, along with some updates on what PLP has been doing on behalf of miners.
It was a very interesting and historical piece of property of about 140 acres offered up for use by PLP board member Bill Samarin of Mad Mining. Samarin said the property had been thoroughly tested and sampled by the US Army back during WWII for scheelite, the primary ore of tungsten, but even though gold is known to be prevalent in this area, gold content was ignored because that was not the goal at the time. Large equipment was deployed to scrape the area down to bedrock. As a result, there were countless piles of material throughout the property as the Army went through much of the area and sampled for scheelite. It was ultimately determined that the amount of scheelite present was not found in high enough concentrations to continue at the price per ton at that time.
While the Army did not test for potential gold content, that’s been the focus of Samarin’s efforts.
“There’s plenty of gold here,” said Samarin. “They just didn’t test for it. Most of it is fine gold, but there are some small nuggets.”
Samarin pointed to a large, exposed section of bedrock and stated, “You can see they (the US Army)used a really large bucket excavator. The scrapes in that rock are from the bucket’s teeth.”
While attendees attempted to recover gold using their own drywashers and detectors, Samarin set out to testing a version of the new commercial drywashing units he has developed.
Other activities for the three-day event included a small-scale Sierra Blaster demonstration, a kids’ detecting hunt, a huge pot-luck dinner. Afterwards, PLP board members provided an update about their procedures for using suction dredges for reclamation and answered a few questions from members.
The Saturday evening event ended with a raffle. Things became a bit challenging when the hot, dry weather was interrupted by 30mph winds with occasional gusts nearing 50 mph. Everyone jumped in after the raffle to help clean up before the winds could carry everything away.
Toward the end of this summer, we expect another Federal Register notice will be published that deals with Forest Service mining regulations.
We are heading into 2019 with a cautiously optimistic view. We feel we are very close to obtaining regulatory relief for miners, and believe this NDAA cycle will prove fruitful.
A mining right is a powerful and not commonly understood concept that is all too often watered down by agency regulatory interference...
In the meantime, I want to highlight some recent court cases won with the assistance of Public Lands for the People…
After many decades of closures, land-use restrictions, and over-regulation, miners and all other public land users may finally see some real relief due to the efforts of MMAC.
We spent our evening at some informal get-togethers at two private residences in the DC area, which provided the opportunity to talk with staff members from Congress, other agencies, and a few consultants working on public land issues. We found common ground with many of them, and found a strong ally in a former Congressman turned consultant who agreed that Mining Districts provide the smartest legal route...
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts - How do I stake this claim? • Ask The Experts - Is this non-toxic leaching system for real? • Ask The Experts - Where can I find more information about this claim? • Ask The Experts - Can you tell me more about the Meadow Lake area? • Tracing Gold To Its Source • Tips & Tricks: How to Revive a Dredge Engine That’s Been Submerged • Quit While You’re Goin’ Good • The Historic Gold Rush Town of Quincy • Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: Add This to Your Bucket (Check) List • Finding Gold Beyond Your Detector • Opinion: Another Attack on Oregon’s Rural Communities • Rand, Red Mountain, Atolia Mining Districts of Kern and San Bernardino Counties, California • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices