Revisiting an Old Mine in Idaho Reaps Rewards
April 2012 by Steve BurrisOur research indicated this whole area had been claimed by Newmont mining company for several years, but when the price of gold dropped they let the claims expire, and we confirmed this with the local BLM office.
All locations gave up some gold, but one particular section of exposed bedrock with steep, packed crevices kept giving us good, consistent results. We had found our spot.
Bela and Barbara Kovacs began prospecting for gold about seven years ago as a family orientated outdoors activity. A welder by trade and lured by the simple fact that beach sands can contain small bits of precious metals, Bela decided a few years ago to build a sand sucking contraption that can sift the shoreline for anything worth keeping.
Ditches almost always started in the high country and contoured the mountainsides, making a long drop, usually many miles away, to the goldfields. There are ditches in Trinity County that originate at seven and eight thousand feet in the Trinity Alps that carried water almost thirty miles.
And we eventually reached gold. It was a winding crevice of beautiful white quartz lined with small nuggets and loaded with fine gold. There were flakes and small granular pieces—there had to be a hundred or more.
Without knowing or even thinking about it, I had put together a map that showed me a pattern of the ancient Sacramento River channel. I also had a distinct picture of where the ancient channels of several other creeks and rivers were running.
Winters are a great time to explore the hills in the area of the Middle Camp, Oro Fino and La Cholla placers on the southern flank of the Dome Rock Mountains.
I’d like to offer some practical comments about staking and maintaining mining claims. Owning your own claim is the dream of many prospectors. I’ve made good money off my mining claims, both from the minerals I have found on them as well as from leasing out some of my claims to larger mining and exploration companies.
The Bawl Mill • Ask the Experts • Ask the Experts • Prospecting Homonyms • Today's MSHA • Following Clues to a Lost Gold Deposit—The Northern Extension of the Cedarberg • Bering Sea Gold—Part I • Safety With a Tax Deduction • Who Says You Have to Own a Claim to Find Gold? • US Policies Holding Back Arizona • Judge Gives OK to Nevada Mining Tax Initiative • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices