Volcanoville: A California Gold Rush Town
February 2024 by Dan Stanton
Breaking cemented gravels
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.
Located 23 miles south of Libby, the land surrounding the Libby Creek area has been of interest to prospectors since the early 1860s, when it was home to up to 600 miners working at a camp known as Libbysville.
The gold in this area can get quite large. Most of the pieces are about half a pennyweight on average.
A two-pronged approach is necessary to restore suction dredging; federal preemption needs to be established as addressed above via petition; and clarification from the EPA is needed to establish that no Section 402 permit is necessary when there is no “addition” of a pollutant.
The problem is that extracting gold from hard rock is often a lot more difficult than processing placer gravels. Still, there is some very high-grade ore out there in many old mining areas.
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