Prospecting Underground: Use Caution
April 2011 by Don RobinsonIn underground placer work, the contact point of the bedrock tunnel and the gravel is a very weak point and always has to be timbered. The bedrock here is thin, fractured, and the gravels loose from many years of oxidizing.
Gold and jade are actually only minor mineral resources for the Northwestern Alaska region as a whole. Modern prospecting has focused more on base metal than precious metal resources.
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.
In underground placer work, the contact point of the bedrock tunnel and the gravel is a very weak point and always has to be timbered. The bedrock here is thin, fractured, and the gravels loose from many years of oxidizing.
His findings were not exaggerated—after running 82 buckets of gravels in two days we had a remarkable 27.8 grams of gold!
I didn’t think too much of our dredge hole and we were both considering a move when we hit bedrock. There was a good quantity of flakes and fines, but no nuggets.
I love to see old-timer workings while I am out detecting for gold. For one thing, it assures me that gold came from there. Second, it tells me gold should almost certainly still be there.
Doug told me that there had been a 100-year flood that took place in October of 2013 and it washed out part of the mile-long landing strip. It also washed a large, wide gully down below and above the camp.
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