History & Geology
…to see the huge differences between the gold production amounts of the Western States, let’s look at the gold production—both hard rock and placer—of these 13 states up to the present.
You can learn a lot from a small mining operation because you have to become proficient in every job. Soon I was preparing fuses, placing powder (dynamite) and learning the ins and outs of drilling and blasting.
There are times when being able to recognize a type of rock can make you a much more successful prospector.
A few months later, a young, greenhorn lawyer agreed to pay to have it assayed, and the quartz turned out to be rich in both gold and silver.
There are many other locations in the area where gold has been found, but Woods Creek is the most famous of the creeks and gulches in the area where the 49ers searched for that elusive yellow metal.
The more experienced prospectors know these lesser known spots are the types of places where big finds are still made.
The area was mined intermittently from around 1900 to 1915, but was also mined in the late 1800s, with a total output valued at about $100,000, which is around $9.5 million at the current gold price.
For the prospector, knowing what oxidized hydrothermal alteration looks like in the field is an important exploration tool.
Many miners know that lead is very commonly associated with silver values, but the truth is that it is also associated with gold values in many locations as well.
Every time we prospected here we found gold, sometimes some really coarse flakes, but no large nuggets (yet).
Some of the wire forms are strange and fantastic, with wires sticking out in twisted, seemingly random directions. Others have deformed crystals and all of them have significant value to collectors.
Many of the Sixteen to One’s challenges arise from its unusual geology and the pocket characteristics of the ore deposits.
Exploration for and prospecting in search of similar deposits should focus on rhyolite bodies located in fluorite-bearing areas.
Gold can potentially be found in all the glaciated areas of the Midwest, but to find it in any appreciable amount one needs to look to areas where the gold gets concentrated by more recent water flows.