The Value of Old Patches
June 2019 by Michael Greyshock
Nuggets make for the best memories and this patch was just adding to mine. In the hours of daylight I had left, I worked from that nugget to the bottom of the patch, collecting eight more nuggets.
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.
Part I of the article addressed modern placer gold deposits. This second installment will address “ancient” flood deposits.
For the last two years we’ve held a hands-on prospectors training session in the Iowa Hill district of California’s Mother Lode country as a part of our Gold Prospecting and Mining Summit event. Because of this, I thought it might be good to take a look at the history, geology and opportunities that the Iowa Hill district still offers to the individual prospector.
I suspect detailed geological mapping and prospecting would lead to discovery of one or more overlooked gold deposits in the district even though it has been heavily prospected in the past.
On our last trip, we brought ropes and went down the first waterfall forty vertical feet, only to be confronted by a second, sixty-foot-high, overhanging waterfall that emptied into a slot canyon.
A large, 8-pennyweight piece popped out of a very small crevice where the water had been extremely swift in the winter, leaving no visible gravel.
I figured it would be quite conservative of me to shoot for about four ounces of gold instead of the twelve ounces I had found in 2013.
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