Uncovering the Find of a Lifetime
December 2014 by Chris Ralph• The 75-ounce Butte County nugget is the largest found in California since the 156-ounce Mojave nugget in the 1970s...
…the “One More Time” has turned into three more trips and each of the three has yielded more gold each time down.
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.
On my weekends off I spent many hours dredging the Second Broad River from Cane Creek Road up to the headwaters. I used a three-inch dredge with air and graduated to a five-inch with air.
The old timers typically washed these areas down to bedrock, and some areas appear terraced. I would imagine this is because these hydraulic mines were generally where the miners found old Tertiary river channels on the sides of mountains that were gold-bearing.
Once indicators start showing up along or below a contact I start to get excited. When I have shale, and outcroppings of diorite with iron-red, gritty soil and some clay thrown in, I really get lightheaded. I may be a mile away from the nearest diggings but that’s okay. I just found a spot that could provide some nice nugget hunting.
Most prospectors understand placer mining a lot better than hard rock mining and don’t realize the amount of work that goes into processing different types of hard rock ore.
Dredges actually do pretty well in freezing conditions. There are a few tips you should know, however.
The Bawl Mill • Legislative and Regulatory Update • Ask The Experts • Ask The Experts • Ask The Experts • Suction Dredging Battle Escalates • Guinea Africa: Gold, Ebola, and a Monkey Barbecue • Finding Gold in Tailing Piles • Small-Scale Processing of Hard Rock Ores • 2014 Index - Annual Tables of Content • Why Did This Silver Mine Close? - Pt III • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices