Recovering Fine Gold with Oleophilic Adhesion
April 2014 by Alex DolbeareOleophilic means "affinity to or attracted to oils," and this includes gold an diamonds.
Imagine for a minute the year is 1850. You’ve read and heard that gold was discovered in California and the creeks are so rich you can just scoop it up with your hands.
We all love to see that first glimmer of gold when it peeks out from under the black sand in our pan, or feel the weight of a nugget in our scoop when we dig a good target. But sometimes things don’t go quite so smoothly.
I recently grew complacent, and it caused me to make a mistake that resulted in the loss of a mining claim. It brought my mining plans for the summer to a complete halt.
So, how much rain does it take to cause a major movement of gravels in a stream and redistribute the gold? The technical answer is enough water to move the bed load of the river.
Plumas has been historically rich in gold because of its favorable geology. The Melones Fault trends north-south through the county and many rich gold-bearing districts lie along its course.
Back at our campsite, while the rest of us grabbed a late four o’clock lunch, Fallyn volunteered to do the clean-up panning.
Part of the good thing about this spot is that it is not that far from my home in the famous Virginia City mining district. Not everyone knows this, but the first discoveries around that area were gold placers.
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