Reality of the Klondike
January 2012 by Gerald T. AhnertI saw gold this summer. The kind of gold that I haven’t seen since ‘81. The kind of gold that rattles in the pan. The kind of gold that would start a stampede—even in 1898.
Everyone has a bucket list, and one of my items has always been to dredge and dive in a major river, Oregon’s Rogue, with the opportunity to find some chunky gold.
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.
I had a chance to visit the operation in person and talk with Neal. I was very impressed and I think our readers could learn a lot about building up a commercial placer operation from scratch…
The whole purpose of sampling mineralized ground is to measure the values in a small volume of material that would be representative of a much larger volume of similar material. The key word is representative. Chemical and fire assaying will not accurately represent placer deposits by themselves.
After he excavates the ore down to bedrock, he goes over the bedrock with a metal detector to ensure he didn't leave any gold behind before he backfills the area.
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.
Sampling gold placers can be rewarding, but remember to treat the samples so you are not high grading or low grading your results. Learn the rules and apply them so your samples are accurate.
The Bawl Mill • Southwest Alaska Gold Project Progresses • Good Assays and Bad • Where to Find Gold in Indiana—Part II • Who is a Qualified Person? • Time Well Spent • NWMA Show • River Dredging vs. Creek Dredging—Part II • Pot Hole Gold • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices