River Dredging vs. Creek Dredging—Part I
December 2011 by Ron KliewerAs I started walking down to the river one chilly morning, the mist was hanging over the calm portions of the water like a white cotton blanket. This scene got me to thinking about why the river was like that—the deep pools, boulder fields, gravel bars, the effects of how much water was moving at any given time along the watercourse—and most of all the relationship all these things have on where I will be able to find gold.
The research I did for “Gold in the Slate Creek Basin” (September 2011 issue) found me chasing a channel out of the LaPorte territory headed towards the old mining town of Brandy City, California.
I have smaller pans for cleaning black sand concentrates, big pans for taking large samples, pans with corners for pouring out materials, and pans with lots of special riffles. This variation is why I have so many pans—they each have their specialty.
Across and downstream of our operation was a large pile of huge boulders. It was logical to think that water forces may have deposited gold in and around these boulders. We moved our dredge over and started pulling the rock pile apart.
The operation and techniques employed are highly successful in producing free gold with minimal work involved while maintaining an environment protection process through the use of recycled water and a settling pond.
I have seen many samples taken originally with an eye toward getting the highest grades possible, but later someone claims that those results represent an average grade of the whole gravel deposit.
The box sat in a hallway and employees began using it for impromptu cricket games, no knowing what it contained.
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