United States National Gold Panning Championships
August 2000 by Michael OkeyCompetition Results
During the Miocene and Pliocene mid-Tertiary Epochs, the Great Basin, Mojave, and Sonoran deserts within parts of California, Nevada, and Arizona became the source—the genesis—of ubiquitous epithermal “precious metal” fissure-gold veins associated with extensive acidic volcanic lava flows that blanketed much of the Cordillera during this time.
Keep in mind there are specific steps that must be taken to get your traditional mining district organized if it has fallen into disarray.
In the 1980s, I spent 5 summers living in a tent in order to map the 450 mi2 South Pass granite-greenstone belt and many of its historic mines. While mapping, I was quite impressed by the general lack of development of lode gold deposits.
Rotten rock (saprolite) can be found in all warm, humid regions, but is best developed in humid, subtropical climates, like that found in the American South. Outwardly, it looks like bedrock, but upon closer inspection, it can be seen that roots penetrate it and that it can be worked with a shovel or hydraulic monitor.
Leaving El Dorado County and crossing the middle fork of the American River, the next county along Highway 49, the “Golden Highway,” is Placer County. The county also owes its name to the mining heritage of the gold rush.
Common thought is the switchback slows the velocity of the rushing water and gold drops out from the cut bank to a fill gravel bar within or below the switchback. I am not going to disregard that model; however, I hope to improve upon it.
The Bawl Mill • Our Readers Say • August Hearing Set for Crandon Mine • Montana Approves Stillwater Expansion Bonds • Guest Editorial—Globalizing Mining in America, Part I • Quartzsite, Arizona • Groups Plan to Sue Over Lynx Protection • Picks & Pans: Treasure Hawk Mine—Cutthroat Mining Corporation • Company Notes • Nuggetshooting Eluvial Placers in the Western United States • 125 Years of Mining History in the Panamints • Cuba Revisited • 2000 National Mining Hall of Fame Inductees • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices