The Downieville Gold District
January 2011 by Chris RalphMany locals are just waiting for California to allow dredging once more, especially with the current gold prices. There are still plenty of good opportunities for prospectors in this area, just as it has been for so many years.
Because quartz and gold may be deposited together across a considerable range of temperatures, not all quartz veins are the same, and there are several different types of gold-quartz deposits.
Two of the major factors affecting the profitability of a placer mining enterprise are the relative efficiency of the mining equipment, and the rate and percentage of recovery obtained while conducting mining operations.
The nugget sat there in plain sight, though it was covered in dirt, while hundreds of people had passed that way every day.
Most gold-bearing veins in this region are controlled by fractures associated with the Melones Fault, a late Cretaceous structure that is 108 to 127 million years old.
An example of some of this extraordinary ore was a lot of about four tons from the Florence mine during the last days of a lease that averaged over 300 ounces of gold per ton.
We just completed a trip to another river, and yes, there was definite movement and redistribution of gravels, and other prospectors have seen this as well.
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