Understanding Skim Bar Placers
September 2018 by Chris Ralph
Perhaps the most notable thing about skim placers is that they form on the top surface of gravel bars, as opposed to coarser gold placers where the weight of the gold particles allows the gold to settle down on or near bedrock.
We just completed a trip to another river, and yes, there was definite movement and redistribution of gravels, and other prospectors have seen this as well.
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.
Their rewards were far better than they had anticipated, resulting in one of the best clean-ups they had ever seen.
Fortunately, there are products on the market that can address these problems and make a small-scale mining operation feasible.
We had been picking away at it, but the going was mightly slow. Why not use some explosives to advance a little quicker?
Across and downstream of our operation was a large pile of huge boulders. It was logical to think that water forces may have deposited gold in and around these boulders. We moved our dredge over and started pulling the rock pile apart.
If you do the math, it equates to about $1,500 of heavy metal value per three-hour dive. This is good wages, and you are doing a service to the environment by removing this toxic metal.
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