Yesterday's Gold—Today's Mine
December 2011 by Craig E. RedickIt would seem that we are often indeed destined to repeat history. In terms of gold discovery, even with all the advancements that have been made over the years, it seems we are once again on the cusp of returning to the 1800s world of gold mining. Even as you read this, a new gold rush is taking place in a sleepy little town in South Carolina.
I couldn’t wait to get started. With no field budget, an assay budget of $100/year, a 1975-Ford Bronco that was a road hazard, a gas card, a topo map and full support of the director, I headed to the State Line district near Tie Siding along US Highway 287 to begin mapping kimberlite.
Two of the major factors affecting the profitability of a placer mining enterprise are the relative efficiency of the mining equipment, and the rate and percentage of recovery obtained while conducting mining operations.
The country we were to visit was Burkina Faso, a small country about the same size of my home state of Nevada with about 10 times more people. The second day I was in Africa, we went out to the goldfields for the first time.
The gravels in contact with the bedrock or false bedrock base are often the richest. The same facts apply to the alluvial paystreaks that are formed on gravel bars; the lowest level of the gold-bearing gravel is normally the richest.
It seemed that the preacher always gave the same answer to anyone who asked where his gold had come from. His answer was, “If you know your gold, you can find it. However, you will have to find it the hard way, the way I found it.”
There are a load of ways to do research, and I’m going to talk about how I do it—maybe you’ll get some ideas that will work for you, too.
This is the intelligent way to start modern prospecting. The value of literary research yields challenging outings, specimens, history and geologic research.
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