Trying Out the New Highbanker
February 2012 by Tom LeftwichThe 2011 gold season had finally got underway on the Middle Fork of the Feather River near Quincy, California. Cold weather and high water had pushed gold mining into mid-summer, but things were looking up.
I had been busy representing the Prospecting and Mining Journal this spring, but prospecting season finally arrived and I’ve been out digging for nuggets—I’ve even found a few. I know a number of prospectors who are armed with new metal detectors and headed to the hills to look for that precious yellow stuff.
I remember in the couple of years after that 1997 flood, prospectors around California did very well, taking ounces of gold from places that had not yielded any gold for years before that.
After removing about six inches of dirt and cobbles, the sound was a bit more recognizable. I was now confident that there was a definite target and not just a ground noise.
The metal is expensive, not because it is rare but because of the expense to produce and work it. The minerals mined for titanium are all oxides, unlike many base metals that are mostly mined as sulfide minerals.
...we were able to pull out close to another 3+ ounces of small, angular Silver City gold. This also included several more small nuggets, pieces of wire gold and some quartz-gold pieces—not bad for 4 days with a small sluice.
We decided to run a detector over each piece. If we got a decent signal we placed the piece into a high-grade pile and the rest went into another pile to be worked on later. This high-grade pile wasn’t that large—maybe 25 pounds...
Crowds may be great for football games or the Fourth of July, but not for prospecting. So, this summer, while thousands of gold seekers were heading to the coast of Alaska, I headed to a remote part of the Interior.
The Bawl Mill • Ask the Experts - ...Worth further investigation? • Ask the Experts - Processing sulfide ore without mercury or cyanide. • Regarding "Good Assays and Bad" • New "Employment" Category • 4 Keys to Successful Nugget Hunting • A High Price to Pay • Eolian Placer Gold • All the Gold Ever Mined... • The Basics of Geophysical Exploration • Targeted for a Tax Audit • Feds Order Closure of Idaho Mine • A Gold Mine on a Washington Beach? • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices