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.
During this trip we found enough gold to make us want to come back, even with the punishment of a very long, tough hike.
The technique I will describe is a much safer alternative and it works. It’s a fine-gold panning technique that eliminates the need for mercury amalgamation of most placer samples.
Some will doubt its value given the ultra-fine particle size… Some will become encouraged about not having to incur significant time and expense to break rock.
I picked up a noticeably heavy, fist-sized chunk of what I thought was a heavy piece of iron. After wiping some of the dirt and clay off, I still didn't know what on earth this object was.
To get to the gold, the miners had to remove the shale pieces and stack them on the sides while sluicing the remaining material through their boxes.
As I laid in my Jeep and tried to get some rest, I began to realize how tired I was. I felt like a little kid who walked around Disneyland for 12 hours with his parents.
Some gems can potentially poison you, make you sterile and even make you forget who you are.
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