The Gold Of Horseshoe Bend
November 2011 by Tom LeftwichAnd 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.
I couldn’t wait to get started. With no field budget, an assay budget of $100/year, a 1975-Ford Bronco that was a road hazard, a gas card, a topo map and full support of the director, I headed to the State Line district near Tie Siding along US Highway 287 to begin mapping kimberlite.
Mike and I each selected a side of the creek and started to work our way upstream. We both worked the water and sides of the creek, and better than half the gold found in this area is in the water.
We continue to seek out a patented mining property with an owner who is willing to host such an event with a water supply and enough remaining gold to make it worthwhile for the students.
Rivers are not just random and accidental; streams and other drainages are what they are because of the forces of erosion acting on the bedrock.
These gritty clay lines were only a quarter of an inch up to three inches wide. Once the line had been laid out, they would look at the wall of gritty clay material and seek more indicators.
There may be lots of smaller gold I cannot hear with a detector, but it looks just fine in my pan once it is out of the crevice.
Modern-day placer miners have many advantages over the prospectors of the gold rush days. Our prospectors can reap many benefits from accumulated knowledge of the last 100 to 150 years, which is a long and impressive list.
The Bawl Mill • Legislative And Regulatory Update • Ask The Experts—Compensation for closed mining claim? • Ask The Experts—Inconsistent fire assays • Gold From Cemented Gravels • Evolution Of A Gold Prospect • Gold, Quartz & Chalcedony—Part II • Alaska to Target Rare-Earths • Minnesota Delays Decision on Mineral Leases • Alaska's Cripple Creek Mining District • Tyrie's Roadway Nugget • Melman on Gold & Silver